Nextera AS is a drug discovery company with ambitions to develop a new approach in immunotherapy.
Our unique technology platform enables discovery of novel disease specific targets in the context of MHC class II presentation, and development of first-in-class lead candidate drugs.
MHC class II can be seen as the “initiator” of the acquired immune cascade due to it´s central role as activator of the helper T-cell response that orchestrates both effector arms of adaptive immunity, namely the cytotoxic T-cells and the antibody production from B-cells. Helper T-cells are also pivotal in establishing immunological memory.
Nextera´s approach involves targeting and manipulating the interaction between antigen presenting cells (APCs) and helper T-cells. The adaptive immune cascade is initiated by APCs presenting antigen fragments on MHC class II to which the T-cell receptor of the helper T-cells can bind. Upon binding, the helper T-cells are activated and hence initiate the cascade.
Many medical conditions require therapeutic intervention to modulate the activity of the immune system. In autoimmune diseases and allergies, an overactive immune system and chronic inflammation need to be suppressed. In contrast, immunostimulation is needed to activate and target the effector immune cells towards the malignant cells in cancer. Mutual for many of these diseases is that effective treatment often is hampered by lack of known disease specific antigens.
Nextera´s technology allows for the identification of these novel disease specific antigens, which means one can target the disease at the “initiation site” of the immunological cascade. This approach would result in a more specific treatment with fewer side effects.
The technology is developed by our CSO Geir Åge Løset and spun out from the group of Professor Inger Sandlie, University of Oslo. Sandlie’s group is one of the pioneers in immunotherapy technology development.
Nextera’s business model is to use its proprietary platform as an “innovation engine” to discover new targets and subsequently develop first-in-class lead candidate drugs for cancer, autoimmune diseases and chronic infections.
The company has two ongoing projects: 1) de novo target discovery followed by development of a lead candidate drug for the specific treatment of Crohn´s Disease and 2) development of a lead candidate drug for the treatment of hematological cancer.
The Nextera team has over 50 years experience from phage display. We operate from our own in-house laboratories located at the Oslo Science Park. The technology is well protected through patents and patent filings.