The Collaborative Network for
Clinical Research on Immune Tolerance
Immune-mediated diseases, such as type 1 diabetes or arthritis are very common, affecting tens of millions of Americans, including more than 19,000 organ-transplant recipients each year. These disorders result in direct and indirect annual costs of more than $100 billion in the United States alone. Successful and lasting induction of immune tolerance could potentially eradicate autoimmune disease and eliminate the need for permanent immune suppression in transplant patients.
The Collaborative Network -- which includes more than 70 of the world's leading immunology researchers and clinical specialists in transplantation and autoimmune disease from nearly 40 institutions in nine countries, the authors of more than 10,000 research articles -- will coordinate human clinical testing of new therapies designed to bring about immune tolerance.
"This collaboration brings together some of the brightest minds in immunology and flows from NIAID's plan to accelerate clinical trials for novel approaches to modulate immune responses," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Immune tolerance research has great potential to help millions afflicted with some of the most debilitating and chronic immune mediated diseases."
The goal is to learn how to persuade the immune system to accept certain
beneficial tissues yet remain vigilant against harmful invaders. The Network
will initially focus on the challenges presented by the rejection of foreign
tissues such as a transplanted kidney or insulin-producing beta cells and on the
autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis,
Contact: John Easton
University of Chicago Medical Center