Our bodies’ fine-tuned mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis will react to any foreign substance considered a threat. One of our first defense mechanisms is the complement system, with the critical job of fighting off harm while recruiting the appropriate parts of the immune system to neutralize the threat. However, it can not distinguish between different kinds of foreign substances and may respond in the same way to a drug as it would to a pathogen – by the activation of the complement cascade system.
With increased knowledge of how the human body and the immune system work, scientists have become more aware of how drugs affect the complement system. This, along with understanding how the complement system is involved in many conditions, has made the manipulation of the complement system a sought-after treatment option and an important factor to consider to avoid unintentional activation or quenching. Unintentional activation or quenching of the complement system can lead to side effects for patients in the future. Therefore, the need to monitor how a potential drug will affect the complement system is crucial at the drug development and screening phase to avoid compounds with unwanted effects.
With over 30 different molecules in the complement system, it is obvious that screening every single one of them would be tedious work. This work is made much easier with complement functional assays, making it possible to screen the entire system using just a few assays. Svar is in a unique position through our functional Wieslab assays that show if a drug candidate can affect the complement pathway and even specify which of the three activation pathways are involved. Incorporating these assays in the early stages of drug development and screening will help select candidates with the desired effect on the complement system.