Press release 

Dutch DC4U and LUMC consortium receive €1.7 million Eurostars grant to jointly develop an innovative treatment of Type I diabetes 

  • Curing diabetes with the help of sugars 
  • Immune cell targeting restoring tolerance in type 1 diabetes mellitus 

Abcoude, The Netherlands, 25 October 2022 – DC4U, a preclinical-stage immunology company developing innovative treatments for auto-immune diseases and allergies, today announced to have been awarded a €1.7 million Eurostars (SiaDM) grant together with a Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) research group led by prof. Bart Roep, Intavis Peptide Services GmbH (IPS), and prof. Karsten Kretschmer of the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), for the joint development of an innovative treatment for Type I diabetes. 

The new groundbreaking approach uses – paradoxically – sugars to re-educate the immune response and restore tolerance to the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans. Earlier clinical studies by the group of Bart Roep revealed that it is feasible to modulate the immune response and induce tolerance to pro-insulin using immune cells from the patient trained by vitamin D3. However, this procedure is complex, expensive, and laborious. 

DC4U’s glycoimmunology technology research offers an off-the-shelf alternative. This is where sugar meets protein. Ground-breaking glycoimmunology research by DC4U’s CSO prof. Yvette van Kooyk, ensures the efficient targeting and triggering of dendritic cells (DCs) in order to elicit a specific, potent, and long term immune response without adverse effects. Fused together with expertise and knowledge of the LUMC (Netherlands), this unique combination can accelerate the development of a potential cure for Diabetes Type 1, which can benefit millions of patients. 

Professor Bart Roep, Professor of Diabetology, Immunopathology & Intervention and Director of the Dutch National Diabetes Center of Excellence at the Leiden University Medical Center, comments: 

“I’m thrilled that we’ve been awarded this Eurostars grant, as with this project we will be one important step further in a career long journey to translate new understanding of the mechanisms leading to type 1 diabetes to finding a solution for millions of patients suffering from this condition. The revolutionary approach provided by this consortium and specifically with the help of DC4U’s resolution of a more practical immune modifier through its glycoimmunology technology, will support those goals and will set an important next step.” 

Professor Yvette van Kooyk, DC4U’s Chief Scientific officer, 2019 Spinoza Prize laureate and head of the Dendritic Cell Immunobiology Unit at VU Medical Centre Amsterdam, adds: 

“The application of our groundbreaking GlycoDCTM technology in type 1 diabetes provides the opportunity to develop a cure for patients with this disease. A strong and close collaboration with the group of Professor Bart Roep from the LUMC and specialized service from Intavis and TUD, has resulted in a unique scientific approach that can change the course of treating autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes.” 

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About type 1 diabetes mellitus 

Type 1 diabetes is a serious autoimmune disease that originates when cells that make insulin (beta cells) are attacked by the immune system. Insulin is a hormone that is essential to allow sugar to enter the cells and fuel our bodies. The condition usually starts at an early age and requires life-long substitution with insulin through daily injections. Type 1 diabetes affects more than 8 million people worldwide and can result in serious side effects including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, foot ulcers, blindness and early death. Currently, there is no known way to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes. Treatment of its symptoms with insulin is required for survival. 

About Eurostars 

Eurostars is a European innovation programme, a Eureka network and European Commission initiative. Eurostars provides financial support for projects through national funding of each participating country. Eurostars helps (small) companies to install market-oriented technological development and aims to shorten the time-to-market of new technologies and reduce technical risks. 

For more info on Eurostars please visit: www.eurekanetwork.org/countries/netherlands/Eurostars/ 

About DC4U technologies 

DC4U is a preclinical life science company developing treatments for autoimmune diseases and allergies. Its GlycoDCTM technology can effectively and specifically suppress the immune system targeting dendritic cells by glycan modified antigen conjugates. This innovative and safe approach can potentially treat millions of people worldwide serious diseases 

Its GlycoDCTM technology is based on extensive research by Chief Scienctific Officer Prof. Yvette van Kooyk, for which she was awarded the Spinoza Prize 2019, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands. 

For more info visit: www.dc4u-technologies.nl 

About Intavis Peptide Services 

IPS is a leading provider of synthetic peptides, peptide arrays, peptide pools and resins as well as a research and development partner for projects in immunology. The goal of the IPS is to support the scientific and clinical community with peptide-related products that will lead to novel personalized vaccines or immunotherapies. 

Fore info on Intavis, please visit: www.intavispeptides.com 

Please contact for more info: 

DC4U Technologies, Abcoude, The Netherlands 

Henk Viëtor, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer 

T: +31 6 55 816 195 

E: henk.vietor@dc4u-technologies.nl 

LifeSpring Life Sciences Communication, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

Leon Melens 

T: +31 6 538 16 427 

E: lmelens@lifespring.bio