Monday, June 25, 2012

Non-Depleting Antibodies by Yi and Tisch at University of North Carolina

From the news article:

In some of the recently diagnosed NOD mice, blood sugar levels returned to normal within 48 hours of treatment. Within five days, about 80 percent of the animals had undergone diabetes remission, reversal of clinical diabetes. 
"The protective effect is very rapid, and once established, is long-term," [Tisch] said. "We followed the animals in excess of 400 days after the two antibody treatments, and the majority remained free of diabetes. And although the antibodies are cleared from within the animals in 2-3 weeks after treatment, the protective effect persists." The study showed that beta cells in the NOD mice had been rescued from ongoing autoimmune destruction.

I was asked if this is new concept or not.  Basically, I think that, in science, everything is based on work done before, so deciding that something is "new" or not usually involves arguing about the definition of "new", and is a waste of time.  Everything has some new parts and some old parts.

However, I will say that work in non-depleting antibodies targeting CD4 and CD8 to cure or prevent type-1 diabetes has been going on for about 20 years.  (Pubmed references from 1992, so the research actually has gone on longer than that.)  So from that point of view, I don't think this basic approach is completely novel, but I'm hoping these researchers are using a different antibody than has been used in the past, and that they will be more successful in humans than previous attempts.


Much older stuff:

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