One of the top trends in Life Sciences today is the advancement of immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy allows the body to use its own natural immunity to help fight diseases like cancer. Another promising application for immunotherapy is in the treatment of food-related autoimmune diseases, namely celiac disease.

In episode 3 of High Potential Start-ups Nick Ross, Co-Founder of Cavenagh Health, is joined by guest speaker Emil Pot to discuss the prevalence of food allergies and how they impact people’s quality of life.

As the Co-Founder and CEO of Allero Therapeutics, a biotech start-up pursuing immunotherapies for food-induced immune disorders, Emil offers amazing insights and guidance for future leaders pursuing careers in this field.

“Innovation at the kitchen table”

How do successful biotech start-ups arrive at their innovative and life-changing solutions to often debilitating health issues like food allergies, which affect 10% of the global population?

Apart from experience, it’s vital to build a like-minded team to help you drive ideas forward.

Emil makes it blatantly clear that creative thinking shouldn’t be limited to a set time and a boardroom table—in fact, that’s a recipe for disaster for any start-up!

It’s brainstorming at its peak when ideas are casually thrown around at the kitchen table during early-morning coffee conversations. 

It was this style of thinking that led Emil and his team to develop a novel solution to treat the causes of food-related immune disorders like celiac disease.

As one of the most common autoimmune disorders, celiac disease affects around 25 million people globally. When genetically predisposed people ingest gluten, their body responds by attacking the small intestine, causing damage resulting in malabsorption.

A large percentage of the population remains undiagnosed, putting them at risk for long-term health risks like osteoporosis, anemia and cancer in the small intestine.

Currently, the only treatment available for celiac disease involves strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.

However Emil and his team at Allero Therapeutics have developed a mouth patch that utilises technology based on antigen-specific immune tolerance to treat food-related immune disorders like celiac disease.

Their technology combines a tolerance-inducing agent with targeted delivery of specific antigens to the oral mucosal layer. The oral mucosal layer is an immune-tolerant environment that sees foreign antigens throughout the day, and it’s easily accessible, making it the optimal entry point for the treatment.

This short-course treatment is non-invasive, easy to use and has shown long-lasting results. Allero’s approach indicates the possibility of using the treatment in a broad range of applications.

It’s innovations like these that hold great promise for the future of biotech.
If you’re looking for guidance and inspiration for your own career in biotech you’ll be sure to find it in Emil’s remarkable journey. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Nick Ross

Author Nick Ross

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