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Temprian Therapeutics Accepted to S2S

Chicago - Temprian Therapeutics will participate at the 2019 Science to Startup (S2S) symposium in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This invitation-only event on April 23 features twelve startups before an audience of 150+ pharmaceutical investors. Over 170 applications across the globe were submitted. In 2018, S2S selected two Northwestern faculty, Elizabeth McNally and Jennifer Wu, to present their research on muscular dystrophy and immunotherapy.

Temprian Therapeutics is developing a novel treatment for vitiligo, a depigmentation disorder, affecting close to 3 million Americans and for which there is no cure. The technology has been incubated in the research laboratory of Professor Caroline Le Poole at both Loyola University and Northwestern University.

In vitiligo, stress in patient skin cells triggers the production of large amounts of the heat shock protein HSP70i. Once released from affected cells, HSP70i causes recruitment of T cells to form an immune response. In people with a genetic disposition to vitiligo, the immune response results in the elimination of pigment cells. As a result their skin gradually turns white. This process has proven very difficult to permanently reverse.

The Le Poole lab has developed a variant of the HSP70i protein that tempers ongoing immune responses. Injected into the skin in DNA format, modified HSP70i tempers the activity of T cells, allowing the safe return of pigment cells. To date the treatment has been shown to reverse vitiligo in two live disease models. Temprian Therapeutics is focused on taking the therapy to clinical trials. 

At Northwestern, Temprian has participated in a number of events and opportunities organized by the university’s Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), including a showcase event in San Francisco and INVOForward, a mentorship program to accelerate biomedical commercialization.  “The support we have received from INVO at Northwestern, S2S and MATTER [a Chicago life science incubator] create an excellent scaffold to launch and accelerate our startup,” says Temprian’s CEO Kettil Cedercreutz.