How SSIs Work

“After decades of research, the concept that bacteria can be used to activate and train our immune system to fight cancer and other diseases, such as Crohn’s, is coming to fruition… and Qu is leading the way.”

SSIs Stimulate Immune Function in the Targeted Organ or Tissue

Qu Biologics has developed a platform of immunotherapies called Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSIs)., which are designed to restore the body’s normal immune function to treat cancer and other immune-related diseases. Through both evolutionary and life experience, the immune system has learned the tissue specificity of common bacterial pathogens. Qu’s SSIs utilize this built-in knowledge to direct an activated innate immune response to specific organs or tissues to respond productively to any pathology that may be present at that body site. Each SSI contains components from a single inactivated microbial species that the immune system recognizes as a common cause of infection in a specific organ or tissue (illustration below).

Restoring our body’s normal healthy immune function

For millions of years, acute infection was the major selective force for the evolution of the immune system. Our immune system is remarkably adept at responding to acute infection, and this immune mobilization, like exercise for the body, helps to preserve and maintain optimal immune function. A lack of appropriate immune system stimulation by acute infection can lead to chronic immune system dysregulation, resulting in an increased risk of cancer and other chronic inflammatory diseases. This concept is commonly referred to as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ –that we may be living in ‘too clean’ a world and our immune system is not getting sufficient stimulation to maintain optimal function. Figure 1, originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows how the incidence of chronic inflammatory disorders has increased while the number of the number of infectious diseases we have to contend with has decreased.

Figure 1. Inverse Relation between the Incidence of Prototypical Infectious Diseases (Panel A) and the Incidence of Immune Disorders (Panel B) from 1950 to 2000.
Originally from Bach J., New England Journal of Medicine 2002;347:911-920.

Qu Biologics has developed a way to address the underlying immune apathy, or weakness, that is consequent of suboptimal innate immune training alluded to by the ‘hygiene hypothesis’. Chronic inflammatory disorders and cancer stem from and perpetuate chronic immune dysfunction. Ironically, many current treatments for both cancer and immune-related disorders suppress or disable the immune system rather than supporting its function. At Qu Biologics, we recognize that sustainable recovery from diseases is contingent upon restoring healthy immune function and harnessing the body’s intrinsic ability to heal. It is with this central aim that Qu Biologics has developed SSIs to activate the body’s innate immune system to re-establish balance and more optimal function.

SSIs are designed to restore the body’s normal immune response

Our immune system consists of two main components, referred to as the innate and adaptive immune systems. The adaptive immune system is highly specific – like a lock and key. It includes antibodies and T cells generated following exposure to a specific antigen. The reactivity of antigen-specific antibodies and T cells cannot be transferred to fight another danger. In contrast, the innate immune system, is our first line of defense, and it responds immediately to both infectious and non-infectious stress.
Cancer is often associated with a ‘suppression’ of the adaptive immune system, which prevents it from recognizing and clearing cancer cells. On the other hand, chronic inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease ulcerative colitis and autoimmune disease, are due to an ‘overreaction’ of the adaptive immune system, resulting in collateral damage from unproductive inflammation. While cancer and inflammatory bowel disease are opposite diseases from the perspective of the adaptive immune system, they share the same underlying pathology – an defect in innate immune regulation.
Historically, immunotherapy research in cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune disease has been focused on the adaptive immune system. Qu Biologics is approaching the treatment of these diseases in an entirely different way – by restoring the innate immune system and the body’s intrinsic capacity to heal.