SM101, a recombinant, soluble, non-glycosylated version of the Fc receptor IIb, binds to autoantibody/autoantigen complexes and blocks the triggering of Fc receptors on the surface of immune cells.

At present, SM101 is being developed in primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).

SuppreMol has been granted orphan medicinal product designation in the EU as well as orphan drug designation in the US for this indication.

The company believes SM101 may also have potential in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, besides SLE.

SuppreMol CEO Peter Buckel said the UNIarray technology platform of Protagen offers an opportunity to explore the potential for a personalized SLE therapy concomitant to the clinical development of SM101.

Protagen CEO Stefan Mullner said both companies are convinced that this approach allows for specific enrollment as well as better stratification of SLE patients, and that it will reduce the development risks of upcoming clinical studies.