From The Stage
← Back to From The Stage
Dr. Linda Robbie
Posted by Dr. Linda Robbie Autoimmune Diseases, Viruses

Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) Target Occupancy Assays and COVID-19

Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) Target Occupancy Assays and COVID-19

Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) is a key regulator of B cell receptor and Fc receptor signaling and is a proven therapeutic target for autoimmune diseases. In recent months, BTK inhibitors are also being deployed in the fight against COVID-19.

What are BTK Target Occupancy Assays and How Can They Help Fight COVID-19?

BTK is a kinase largely expressed in B cells and myeloid cells, and it plays an essential role in the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway, often involving other members of the Tyrosine Protein Kinase (Tec) family of kinases. Given that BCR activity is involved in the normal development and function of B cells, there are several disease indications that have been attributed to abnormal B cell receptor activity. These include autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, in which B cells inappropriately break self-tolerance to produce antibodies contributing to the autoimmune disease. B cell receptor signaling also contributes to several B cell malignancies, such as Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). New therapeutics that target B cell receptor signaling are showing remarkable promise in the clinic today.

Clinical data has also shown that BTK activation can lead to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and that BTK activation can be an essential component of lung injury induced by infectious pathogens. Since BTK inhibitors have the potential to diminish the lung pathology mediated by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, these innovative therapeutics are being studied in several new clinical trials as a treatment strategy for COVID-19. In fact, early data published from a recent clinical study led by the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that blocking the BTK protein was associated with reduced respiratory distress and a reduction in overactive immune response in a small group of patients with severe COVID-19.

Accurate Assessment of BTK Target Occupancy Informs New Therapeutic Breakthroughs

A well-characterized and validated BTK Target Occupancy assay is a highly informative technology supporting the development and deployment of BTK inhibitors in clinical trials for many diseases, including COVID-19. BioAgilytix Boston (formerly Cambridge Biomedical) is recognized for its BTK Target Occupancy testing for the measurement of free and total BTK in several matrices including whole blood, cryopreserved PBMCs, cell pellets and cell lysates. If you have a program involving these powerful therapeutics that you would like to discuss with our team, please reach out here.

Share This