We now know that immune cells – not only in the body’s periphery but also in the brain – can produce autoantibodies that cause severe neurological and psychiatric diseases. Founded to explore the latest discoveries in autoimmune neuropsychiatry, Arialys Therapeutics is developing new precision medicines to specifically block pathogenic autoantibodies in the brain and meaningfully expand the treatment possibilities for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders driven by autoimmune disease.
Recent scientific discoveries implicate abnormal autoimmune activity in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. One notable example is the identification of pathogenic autoantibodies in B lymphocytes from the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a CNS disease where neuropsychiatric symptoms are common (Nature 2022). We know now that B cells produced by the skull and vertebral bone marrow can enter brain tissue and produce autoantibodies (Science 2021). This points us in a new direction for finding better therapeutics for autoimmune neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases.
NMDA receptor (NMDAR) autoantibodies lead to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis (ANRE), a rare, potentially lethal, and poorly managed neurological disease. ANRE is one of the most common forms of autoimmune encephalitis, but it is often misdiagnosed as detailed in the book, Brain on Fire. At Arialys, we designed a therapeutic antibody, ART5803, that blocks the NMDAR autoantibody. We have promising preclinical data in higher animal models confirming ART5803 decreases the behavioral symptoms caused by NMDAR autoantibody pathogenicity in the brain.
At Arialys, we are open to new ideas and innovations. Millions of people suffer from neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, but limited treatment options exist today. Our team is discovering and characterizing pathogenic autoantibodies in the CNS to precisely guide both diagnosis and treatment. We are dedicated to building new therapeutics with novel methods of inhibition to help patients with autoimmune neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases.Meet the Team