Prof. Thomas Kündig

Keywords

allergology, dermatology, inflammation, immunology

What we investigate

Our research focus is on all immunological aspects of dermatology, allergy and inflammation, mostly in humans, but also in companion animals, such as cats, dogs and horses. Our expertise is in immunotherapy, vaccine development, development of monoclonal antibodies and in translational research projects.

Our research in more detail

Research Figure Kündig
IL-5 of the horse is linked to the surface of a virus like particle, derived from the Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CuMV). As IL-5 is a self-antigen, it would not be immunogenic if injected uncoupled. In contrast, displayed on the surface of a virus like particle, IL-5 becomes highly immunogenic, allowing for active vaccination against a self-antigen. In contrast to use of monoclonal antibodies blocking cytokines («passive anti-cytokine vaccination»), coupling of cytokines to virus like particles enables «active anti-cytokine vaccination».

Inflammatory skin diseases are highly prevalent. 10% of the population is affected by atopic dermatitis and 3% by psoriasis. Both inflammatory diseases are systemic, involving not only the skin but often also other organs. Atopic dermatitis is associated with asthma and allergies, whereas psoriasis is associated with cardiovascular comorbidities, arthritis and several other inflammatory diseases. We have identified novel therapeutic targets in atopic dermatitis (IL-1a) and have developed monoclonal antibodies currently evaluated in humans, as well as active anti-cytokine vaccines for treatment of eczema in horses and dogs, using virus like particles displaying IL-5 and IL-31. Virus-like particles can also be coupled with allergens to enhance efficacy of allergy immunotherapy (“desensitization”), so that the current regimen with 30-50 injections can be reduced to 3 injections.

Selected publications

SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are underlined:

  • Jensen-Jarolim E, Bachmann MF, Bonini S, Jacobsen L, Jutel M, Klimek L, Mahler V, Mosges R, Moingeon P, O'Hehir RE, Palomares O, Pfaar O, Renz H, Rhyner C, Roth-Walter F, Rudenko M, Savolainen J, Schmidt-Weber CB, Traidl-Hoffmann C, and Kündig TM (2020). State-of-the-art in marketed adjuvants and formulations in Allergen Immunotherapy: A position paper of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). Allergy 75:746-760

  • Olomski F, Fettelschoss V, Jonsdottir S, Birkmann K, Thoms F, Marti E, Bachmann MF, Kündig TM and Fettelschoss-Gabriel A (2020). Interleukin 31 in insect bite hypersensitivity - Alleviating clinical symptoms by active vaccination against itch. Allergy 75:862-871

  • Fettelschoss-Gabriel A, Fettelschoss V, Olomski F, Birkmann K, Thoms F, Bühler M, Kummer M, Zeltins A, Kündig TM and Bachmann MF (2019). Active vaccination against interleukin-5 as long-term treatment for insect-bite hypersensitivity in horses. Allergy 74:572-582