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New therapies for Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) - targeting antibody secreting cells

Alternative title: Ny behandling for immuntrombocytopeni (autoimmun blodplatemangel)

Awarded: NOK 3.0 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2020 - 2024

Funding received from:


We here propose to test new drugs for therapy of Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a disease that is caused by an immune attack against thrombocytes (platelets) in the blood. The destruction is caused by B cells and plasma cells that secrete autoantibodies that destroy the platelets. Such innovative treatment is required as current treatment has 20-60% remissions; patients most often relapse and require chronic treatment. Anti-CD20 therapy (Rituximab) is an option, but relapsed patients have increased long-lived CD20-negative antibody-secreting plasma cells that are not targeted by Rituximab. We have demonstrated that a group of drugs has some members that target plasma cells and block a newly defined mechanism necessary for plasma cell survival. We will define the action, find which combinations of drugs are optimal for killing plasma cells and show what diseases the drugs potentially can treat. We will extend the findings to other autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and patients with transplant-related graft vs. host disease (GVHD). We also have a similar project that commercializes the drug use for plasma cell malignancy, and treatment of multiple myeloma. The project is progressing as planned.


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