March 21, 2015 +44 (0)20 7025 7911 [email protected]

The Science

The Complement System and LTB4

In evolutionary terms the complement system is one of the oldest parts of the immune system. It forms a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity and is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom including those invertebrates lacking a circulatory system.

In recent years the importance of the complement system in human disease has been increasingly recognised. As well as providing protective functions against microbial attack it is now known that an inappropriate complement mediated attack on body tissues can be triggered by the formation of specific antibodies.

In addition to well-recognised auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease, complement activation is now believed to be associated with many chronic inflammatory conditions such as COPD and atherosclerosis. Intermittent complement activation triggers episodic haemolysis such as paroxysmal nocturnal haemaglobinurea (PNH) and microangiopathies such as thrombotic thrombocytopaenic purpura (TTP).

The ability to control inappropriate over activity of the complement system without impairing the body’s natural resistance to infection is key to the success of coversin. By intervening in the terminal common pathway at the C5 level coversin spares many of the beneficial earlier products of the complement cascade.

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