Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Anti-KIR antibodies to treat rheumatic diseases

Technology #6526

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Bruce C. Richardson
Managed By
Ed Pagani
Associate Director, Health Technologies 734-763-3558
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending

Safe and efficacious treatment options are needed for patients with rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus

An estimated 0.3 million adult patients have systemic lupus erythematosus, a potentially life-threatening autoimmune disorder that can affect multiple organs including the brain, lungs, heart and kidneys. Current standard therapy options are not effective for all patients and some carry significant side-effects. [An additional ## people suffer from {other rheumatoid diseases here}…etc. Want to expand problem to larger group if possible]

Over 20% of adults in the U.S. suffer from arthritis

Over 50 million adults suffer from arthritic diseases in the United States, including systemic lupus erythematosus and other rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome. These disorders are known as systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Autoimmune rheumatic diseases develop when the immune system malfunctions and begins to damage the body’s own tissues and organs. Treating these disorders commonly involves the use of powerful immunosuppressants that increase the risk for severe complications including infection and cancer.

Targeted and specific treatment options are needed that will improve patient outcomes with limited side-effects.

Antibody targeting killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors for the treatment of rheumatic diseases

This technology is an antibody targeting a protein normally expressed by Natural Killer cells but was found to be abnormally expressed on T cells in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome. T cells expressing this receptor were capable of inducing a lupus-like autoimmune disease in mice, indicating these cells may play a direct role in the development and severity of lupus and other rheumatic diseases.

Targeting T cells that express killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor may be an effective therapeutic option for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus while limiting the complications associated with current drugs.


  • Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatic diseases
  • Diagnosing rheumatic diseases


  • Few therapies for rheumatic diseases target T cells directly
  • May be a safer and more efficacious treatment option for treating systemic lupus erythematosus