08 Feb Lupus: Monash Scientists Developing Modified Immune Cells to Protect Patients from Kidney Disease
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
A/Prof. Joshua Ooi, PhD
Head, Regulatory T-cell Therapies
Translational Research Facility
Clinical Sciences at Monash Health,
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: In 2017, we published a landmark Nature paper showing that people who are protected from autoimmune disease have specialized molecules on immune cells. These specific molecules are missing in patients that develop autoimmune disease.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: In this report, we successfully inserted these specific molecules onto the immune cells of lupus patients and showed in an animal model of disease that these modified immune cells stopped the development of kidney disease.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?
Response: This study using patient derived cells gives us confidence that this novel cell-based treatment could work in the patients.
We are currently in the process of clinical development and seek to start a first-in-human clinical trial in a couple of years.
In addition to lupus, our process of generating modified immune cells can be used to treat many other autoimmune diseases, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?
Response: This work was possible through funding from the Australian NHMRC, US Dept. of Defense, Lupus Research Alliance, Rebecca Cooper Foundation as well as industry partnership with industry partnerships.
Eggenhuizen, P.J., Cheong, R.M.Y., Lo, C. et al. Smith-specific regulatory T cells halt the progression of lupus nephritis. Nat Commun 15, 899 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-45056-x
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Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Marie Benz MD FAAD