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Research & Development

Immunogenicity testing of cellular therapies

Virus-specific T cells

Adoptive T cell therapy represents a new therapeutic strategy to enhance viral immunity in patients who develop severe viral infections due to immunosuppressive therapy, impaired T-cell reconstitution/function; increased use of HLA mismatched donors or previous exposure to viral pathogens. Restoration of virus-specific immunity by virus-specific T lymphocytes administration has offered an attractive alternative to conventional drugs characterized by substantial toxicities or ineffective long term protection. In order to improve survival outcomes anti-virus specific T cell therapies are currently under clinical trials. Despite the major improvements in therapy to date the role of adverse immune reactions has not yet been elucidated.

Through the funding received from the European Commission FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network CELLEUROPE, Alcyomics Ltd has tested alloreactivity investigation of CMV-specific T cells therapy by the use of the human in vitro skin explant assay

CMV- specific T cells are isolated form seropositive donors by the IFN-ϒ secretion assay in a research scale. Highly pure CMV-CD4 and CD8 positive T cells are later expanded in vitro for 10-15 days by a mean of 100 fold. The expanded CMV-T cells are subsequently assessed for their viral specificity by intracellular IFN-ϒ staining and their safety profile by MLR and the skin explant assay (Skimune®).

Publication
Qesari M1, Richter A, Ogonek J, Mischak-Weissinger E, Wang XN, Dickinson AM. Cytomegalovirus-Specific T Cells Isolated by IFN-γ Secretion Assay Do Not Induce Significant Graft-Versus- Host Reactions In Vitro. Transplantation. 2016 May 5. [Epub ahead of print] DOI: 10.1097/TP.0000000000001219

Funding

We have successfully secured funding from;

  • Enterprise Development North East Limited (“EDNE”)- The Three Pillars Fund
  • One North East Research and Development Grant
  • The Technology Strategy Board – Development of a Prototype award
  • Newcastle University
  • UKTI
  • European Commission FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network CELLEUROPE
  • Initial Training Network (ITN) Marie Curie Horizon 2020
  • Eurostars – Technology Strategy Board funding with Volition