Transforming the way the body responds to diseases.

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a class of proteins that are an important part of the innate immune system. They essentially act like a smoke alarm, alerting the body when trouble is detected. Ten different TLRs are known to exist. Our research focuses on three of them: TLRs 7, 8, and 9.

Through our TLR immune-modulation platform, we are designing drugs that are intended to turn the immune system off or on depending on the type of condition we are treating.

Our TLR antagonists being studied in the IMO-8400 program are designed to inhibit over-activation of TLRs 7, 8, and 9. These TLRs are implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases.  Our current clinical focus with IMO-8400 is in a disease called dermatomyositis, which is a very rare condition with disabling symptoms such as muscle weakness, skin rashes, joint pain and difficulty swallowing.

Conversely, TLR agonists such as tilsotolimod have been shown to stimulate the immune system, which is critical in treating certain types of cancers such as advanced refractory melanoma.