MedicalResearch.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.