Pure MHC identifies and leverages the same disease targets for drug discovery that the immune system naturally uses to identify foreign or aberrant protein targets in cancerous, infected, or unhealthy cells. The intrinsic value of this technology is that it provides access to every protein that is either synthesized or degraded inside any particular cell, including proteins that are not expressed on the cell surface. Using proprietary technology, Pure MHC consistently identifies previously unidentified disease targets as well as validates previously discovered and “usual suspect” targets.
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC), known as HLA in humans, is a surface expressed, transmembrane protein that presents peptide ligands for T lymphocyte recognition. Class I HLA molecules are found on all nucleated cells of the body, and they alert the immune system of pathogen-infected and cancerous cells in order to trigger destruction of the diseased cell by cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
Class II HLA molecules are expressed primarily on professional antigen presenting cells (B cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells), but they can be expressed on cells in the periphery under conditions of cell stress. Unlike the intracellular spaces surveyed by Class I molecules, the Class II HLA molecules are responsible for surveying extracellular spaces for threats such as bacterial infection, and in turn stimulate a response appropriate (antibodies, activated macrophages, etc.) for the extracellular threat.