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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2016 Aug;20(8):985-98. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2016.1148686. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

Discovering potential drug-targets for personalized treatment of autoimmune disorders - what we learn from epidermolysis bullosa acquisita.

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a Lübeck Institute of Experimental Dermatology (LIED) , University of Lübeck , Lübeck , Germany.
b Institute of Cutaneous Cell Biology , Kurume University , Kurume , Japan.



Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA) is a chronic autoimmune bullous dermatosis (AIBD). Treatment of EBA is challenging and mostly relies on systemic immunosuppression. During the last decade, intensive research led to the identification of new potential therapeutic targets that interfere in different phases of disease progression. Therapeutic interventions acting upon these candidate drug targets in animal models of EBA, such as cytokine-modulating biologics and small molecules, have validated them as potential new therapeutic strategies for EBA patients.


In this paper, we review the current treatments for EBA, describe the pathogenesis of the disease, and finally specify new drug candidates for the development of a more specific therapy with minimized side-effects for EBA and potentially other autoimmune diseases.


We currently understand EBA as a disease that evolves from the interplay of many different signaling pathways. These signaling pathways, which are described in this review, provide new targets for EBA treatment. The ultimate goal of this research field is the development of specific, pathogenesis-based therapeutic strategies. Through identification of up- or downregulated pathways that dominate disease progression in individual patients, we expect therapy in EBA to become more and more precise and move towards a patient-based therapy.


Drug targets; Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita; autoimmune bullous disease; pathogenesis; signaling

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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