Immunity is a defense system that
fights the causes of diseases such as bacteria and viruses in our bodies.
Immunity constantly monitors the body and serves protect us from many diseases
such as cancer and influenza.
The role of immunity is expressed as “find, defeat and remember”.
Immunity finds foreign enemies quickly, and calls friends to fight.
High sensitivity and diversity
All cells are mobilized to attack and defeat foreign enemies.
Cell therapy and target discovery
Memorize foreign enemies’ information and prepare for the next invasion or appearance.
In a healthy person’s body, such immunity works normally, but sometimes immunity runs out of control for some reason, damaging your body as an external enemy in cases like Rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Diseases caused by such immunity are called autoimmune diseases, many of which are intractable diseases. Immunity often serves to protect the body, but it may also cause diseases.
In order to understand such immunity and take advantage of these characteristics, we are working on the research and development so that we can provide better medical care than we do.
What is a biomarker?
Biomarkers are indicators used for various purposes, such as diagnosing diseases, understanding progress and situations of diseases and choosing way of treatments. Blood pressure, heart rate, and blood test at the time of the medical examination are also applicable.
There is still room for improvement, such as the lack of established indicators, the doctor’s experience, and the low sensitivity depending of some diseases. Furthermore, in order to develop effective medicines that are suitable for individual patients, it is necessary to determine on each individual whether the medicine is actually effective and whether there are no side effects, and there is a need to develop new biomarkers.
We are working on the development of new biomarkers based on human immunity in order to meet those medical and patients’ needs.
What is a drug discovery target?
Drug discovery targets are substances that are the target of drug making. The drug works by binding it to the target. Many researchers and pharmaceutical companies have contributed to the drug, and many drugs have been delivered to patients. However, the number of substances the drug targets is limited, and new targets are not found much compared to the number of new drugs. Because drugs are made against targets, it is very important to find new targets.
We are exploring new drug discovery targets utilizing new ideas and methods based on immune big data analysis. We hope that this will allow new medicines to be delivered to diseases and patients who have not had a good treatment in the past.
What is immune repertoire?
Receptors (sensors) are provided at surface on each cell to help immunity recognize and remember specific targets, not drug discovery targets, but targets that the immune system attacks. As each target is designed to be recognized by different receptors, there are a huge variety of receptors which estimates more than one trillion kinds and the accompanying number of cells are present in the body and operate as an immune system. Immune repertoire refers to all of this enormous variety of receptors, which represents the ability to attack targets of the person.
We are focusing on the immune
repertoire, which represents the immune target attack ability. Although immune
repertoire are vast and complex information, we analyze them by making full use
of AI technology developed by our own and our immunology knowledge, and we are
looking for biomarkers and drug discovery targets.
KOTAI’s Technology and Strengths
KOTAI was born out of the fusion of immunology and
Informatics at Osaka University, which is world famous as a “mecca”
for immunology. We are one of the few immune AI analysis experts
in the world.
We have the world’s highest sensitivity and speed technology to find receptor groups that only certain people have, such as patients with a specific disease or patients who are effective for a certain drug, among the vast variety of immune repertoires. This can be used to find very rare and important receptors, or to analyze thousands of people on the contrary.
These analyses are only possible with our unique AI analysis. Therefore, it is very novel and unique. We are researching whether the receptors and receptor groups found here can be used as new drug targets and biomarkers.
Immune-related diseases are very wide,
and there are many patients with many kinds. Among them, we are focusing on the
field of cancer and autoimmune diseases. In addition, we are conducting
researches in the field of infectious diseases under the grants from Japan Agency for
Medical Research and Development (AMED).