Because most people are vaccinated against tetanus as children, delivering benign bacteria carrying a tetanus antigen into pancreatic tumors makes them visible to memory cells in the immune system, researchers report.
The Scientist spoke to Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s Jim Strickland about the institute’s new MDI Bioscience initiative to perform more drug testing and development in nonmammalian models.
First, the genetically engineered cells became CD8+ killer T cells that wiped out his leukemia. Then they transformed into a stable population of CD4+ helper T cells that continue to circulate in his body.
After receiving an intraocular injection of the gene for a light-sensitive protein, a 58-year-old man diagnosed with the neurodegenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa was able to locate objects on a table using engineered goggles.
Four dozen children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) who received a corrective gene carried by a virus have working immune systems two to three years later, according to three independent clinical trials.
Many major biopharmaceutical companies are developing or acquiring drugs that target the NLRP3 inflammasome, a large intracellular complex that researchers say can spark inflammation and stoke diseases of lifestyle and aging.