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Using T-Cells for Transplantation and Autoimmune Therapy


Laboratory: National Cancer Institute

Technology: Method that derives large numbers of high purity T cells that acquire the immunosuppressant characteristics of Treg cells for the treatment of graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) and other autoimmune diseases.

Opportunity: Both licensing and co-development opportunities are available.

Description: Transplant complications and autoimmune diseases are primarily caused by T-cell immune responses against normal host tissue or transplanted tissues. Current treatment for these disorders is often not effective, and is typically associated with significant side effects, including global immune suppression. Researchers at NCI’s Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch have developed a cellular therapy to treat GVHD that results from hematopoetic transplant and other autoimmune disorders.

Introduction of the PD-L1 gene, an immune molecule present on regulatory T cells (Tregs), and a cell surface marker (such as CD19 or CD34) into patient T cells allows for the the isolation of large numbers of T cells that acquire the immunosuppressant characteristics of Treg cells. These immunosuppressive T cells have the potential to suppress autoimmunity or transplant complications without the side effects associated with current therapies.

Potential Commercial Applications:

This technology can:

  • Be adoptively transferred into patients to treat autoimmune diseases
  • Prevent GVHD, which remains the primary lethal complication after hematopoetic cell transplantation (HCT)
  • Prevent solid organ or HCT transplant rejection

Contact: To discuss co-development, contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D., NCI Technology Transfer Center. To discuss licensing, contact Surekha Vathyam, Ph.D.

For more information, visit NCI’s original listing for this technology.


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