Fc Receptor Targeted Treatments in Inflammation and Allergy

When control of our immune system fails, it leads to uncontrolled inflammation or exaggerated responses that cause tissue destruction and life-threatening disease. Lack of this regulation results in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) and rheumatoid arthritis, and allergic diseases, such as allergic asthma and food allergies which are life-threatening.

While antibodies normally protect us from infections, if the immune system becomes misdirected it can make antibodies to our own bodies with the Fc portion of the antibody engaging receptors, FcγRs, on immune cells to drive inflammation in autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, misdirected antibodies can occur that recognise innocuous environmental molecules, like those from pollen or food. When such antibodies flag these molecules as threats, allergic diseases result.

We have discovered how to engineer antibodies to selectively engage and switch off inflammatory cells such as those that occur in autoimmune diseases or allergic diseases.

We are applying this broadly. In lupus, we switch off the inflammatory cells, such as macrophages, which drive inflammation and the B cells that make the aberrant inflammatory antibodies which initiate the inflammation.

Similarly, in allergic disease we target the inflammatory cells, allergic basophils and allergic B cells. Basophils are stimulated by the “allergic culprit”, allergen-specific IgE, which is associated with life-threatening allergies.

An emerging therapy in autoimmune diseases, like lupus or in allergic diseases, is the elimination of cells making the misdirected autoimmune or allergic antibodies. We are studying the application of Stellabody® hexamerisation technology with a view to either eliminating these cells entirely or inactivating them, making them non-responsive.


  • Dr John Cambier, University of Colorado
  • Dr Graham Mackay, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Alicia Chenoweth, King’s College London
  • Dr Jessica Anania, University of Southampton
  • Prof Robyn O’Hehir, Alfred Health
  • Prof Ross Baker, Perth Blood Institute
  • Prof Menno van Zelm, Monash University


  • Walkom Bequest
  • Nancy E. Prendergast Charitable Trust
  • Peter Leith Riddell Memorial Fund

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Mark Hogarth

Head, Immune Therapies Group