Cellectis announces successful programming of immune system cells to kill cancer cells

Published on October 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM · No Comments

“These results testify to the power and efficiency of Cellectis's genome engineering tools - meganucleases and TALENs™ - and their increasing impact on therapeutic field.”

Cellectis (Paris:ALCLS) (Alternext: ALCLS), the genome engineering specialist, has announced successfully programming cells from the immune system (T cells) to kill cancer cells. This technological breakthrough was revealed for the first time ever on Saturday, October 27th at the congress of the ESGCT (European Society of Gene & Cell Therapy) in Versailles, outside Paris. The project is led by Dr. Andrew Scharenberg, Chief Scientific Officer of Cellectis therapeutics, a Cellectis Group subsidiary. Dr. Scharenberg is an immunology specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital in the United States and a professor of pediatrics and immunology at the University of Washington.

New hope for treating certain cancers

Cancer is characterized by the proliferation of certain abnormally-behaved cells in a person's body. The immune system, whose role is to defend the body against "foreign invaders" such as viruses and bacteria, has difficulty identifying these cancerous cells as hostile.

Cellectis's highly innovative approach involves isolating cells from the immune systems of healthy patients and genetically programming them to attack cancer cells in sick patients. The immune cells thus "armed" could be produced industrially, making it possible to treat many patients rather than just one.

Conclusive initial results

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