How SSIs May Work

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Qu Biologics has developed an immunotherapy platform called Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSIs) that takes advantage of the innate immune regulatory properties of microbes to which we are all normally exposed. By strategically harnessing this natural immune modulating capacity of “bugs”, SSIs optimize immune function in a targeted manner to overcome diseases rooted in immune dysfunction, such as Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

Current treatments for CD and UC aim to manage symptoms by aggressively suppressing the immune system. In contrast, Qu’s QBECO SSI for the treatment of CD and UC works to restore the immune system’s ability to respond productively to invading bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and rebuild normal barrier function.

This strategy would be a major development for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as CD and UC. The long-term use of strong immunosuppressants, which are the current standard of care, come with potentially serious risks, including infections and certain cancers, and they have not thus far changed the course of disease for the majority of patients.

Dr. Hal Gunn explains how Qu Biologics’ QBECO SSI may work to restore innate immune function


Restoring our body’s normal healthy immune function

For millions of years, acute infection was the major selective force for the evolution of the immune system. Our immune system is remarkably adept at responding to acute infection, and this immune mobilization, like exercise for the body, helps to preserve and maintain optimal immune function.

A lack of immune system stimulation by acute infection can lead to chronic immune system dysregulation, resulting in an increased risk of cancer and other chronic inflammatory diseases. This concept is commonly referred to as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ –that we may be living in ‘too clean’ a world and our immune system is not getting sufficient stimulation to maintain optimal function.

Figure 1, originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows how the incidence of chronic inflammatory disorders has increased while the number of the number of infectious diseases we have to contend with has decreased.

Qu Biologics has in essence discovered a means to resolve the underlying immune dysfunction that is believed to be the consequence of the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ and which is a major contributor to the growing number of chronic inflammatory disorders we are now experiencing.



Figure 1. Inverse Relation between the Incidence of Prototypical Infectious Diseases (Panel A) and the Incidence of Immune Disorders (Panel B) from 1950 to 2000.

Originally from Bach J., New England Journal of Medicine 2002;347:911-920

Hygeine hypothesis figure

The ability of SSIs to support innate immune competency to over come pathophysiological states is, we believe, best for sustaining long-term health.