Test Can Help Predict Toxic Reactions To New Medications

Professor Jane A. Mitchell Head of Vascular Biology Section Head of Cardiothoracic Pharmacology National Heart and Lung Institute, Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine & Science,    Imperial College, LondonMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Jane A. Mitchell
Head of Vascular Biology Section
Head of Cardiothoracic Pharmacology
National Heart and Lung Institute,
Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine & Science,
Imperial College, London

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In 2006 a drug called TGN1412 was given to 6 healthy male volunteers as a final test for safety. The drug had passed all of the preclinical tests and showed no problem when it was given to laboratory animals. However when it was given to people it caused a catastrophic side effect known as a ‘cytokine storm response’. All 6 volunteers became sick very quickly and needed immediate hospital treatment, they nearly died and remain at risk of immune problems still. We found a way to mimic the effects of TGN1412 in the laboratory using stem cell technology to engineer two different types of cells from the same donor to be grown and mixed together in a dish. Our test is better than the current tests used because it mimics better the human body and uses cells from one individual donor.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: This test can now be used to identify side effects of new drugs and can be used with cells from patient groups, allowing for personalised medicine.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This test should be implemented for assessing the potential side effects of drugs like TGN1412, drugs that are so human specific that they might not not show side effects in animal models.


An autologous endothelial cell:PBMC assay that detects cytokine storm responses to biologics

FASEB J fj.14-268144; published ahead of print March 6, 2015, doi:10.1096/fj.14-268144

Daniel M. Reed, Koralia E. Paschalaki, Richard D. Starke, Nura A. Mohamed, Giles Sharp, Bernard Fox, David Eastwood, Adrian Bristow, Christina Ball, Sandrine Vessillier, Trevor T. Hansel, Susan J. Thorpe, Anna M. Randi, Richard Stebbings, and Jane A. Mitchell

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jane A. Mitchell (2015). Test Can Help Predict Toxic Reactions To New Medications 

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