Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Tiny Immunocore of England harnesses T-cells to battle tumors

Two international pharmaceutical giants have their eyes set on a tiny, unassuming British startup company called Immunocore. Housed in a nondescript, single-story business park in Oxfordshire, Immunocore has found a way to use the mighty T-cell to fight tumors, paving the way for a possible cure for cancer.

Dr. Bent Jakobsen began the study T-cells 20 years ago while working at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

Dr. Bent Jakobsen began the study T-cells 20 years ago while working at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Immunocre, T-cells, Bent Jakobsen, immunotherapy, cancer


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Immunocore has signed contracts with two of the biggest players in the pharmaceuticals industry in the last three weeks. The agreements may soon lead to a huge influx of cash in order to fund research on cancer immunotherapy, using the body's own immune system to fight tumor cells.

It's possible that Immunocore is the only company in the world that has developed a way of harnessing the power of the immune system's natural-born killer cells. T-cells found in the blood cells of humans, designed over millions of years of evolution to seek out and kill invading pathogens.

Executives of the drugs industry, known for their caution in funding research believes that Immunocore may have found a detour in order for future cancer patients are able to fend off their disease with their own immune defenses.

The former academics who set up Immunocore have worked hard on realizing their dream of developing a totally new approach to cancer treatment - and it is beginning to look as if it will finally pay off. "Immunotherapy is radically different," Bent Jakobsen, the Danish-born chief scientific officer of Immunocore says. Jakobsen began the study T-cells 20 years ago while working at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

"It doesn't do away with the other cancer treatments by any means, but it adds something to the arsenal that has one unique feature - it may have the potency to actually cure cancer," Jakobsen says.

Jakobsen and his colleague's research has piqued the interest of both Genentech in California, owned by the Swiss giant Roche, and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline. Both companies have signed deals with Immunocore that could result in up to half a billion pounds being invested in new cancer treatments based on its unique T-cell therapy.

Cancer immunotherapy, or immuno-oncology as it is technically called, represents a sea change in terms of cancer treatment. Cancer in the past has been largely treated by "slicing," via surgery, "poisoning" via chemotherapy or "burning" via radiotherapy. All three methods are burdened with the inherent problem of how to spare healthy tissue from irreparable damage while ensuring that every cancer cell is killed, deactivated or removed.

The new approach, based on the immune system, a complex web of cells, tissues and organs that constantly strive to keep the body free of disease, which almost certainly includes keeping cancerous cells in check.

Scientists have known for years that the immune system plays a key role in cancer prevention. There is ample evidence of this, not least from patients who are immune-suppressed in some way - they are more likely than other patients to develop cancer.

Many organizations have tried to develop anti-cancer treatments based on antibodies, with limited success, Jakobsen said. Part of the problem is that antibodies are not really designed to recognize cells. Immunocore has built a therapy around the second arm of the immune system, known as cellular immunity, where T-cells seek out and destroy invading pathogens.

"There are a lot of companies working with antibodies but we are virtually the only company in the world that has managed to work with T-cells. It has taken 20 years and from that point we are unique," Jakobsen says.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Health

NOT long enough: Ebola could lay dormant in the body for longer than 21 days, expert claims Watch

Image of Biology Professor Charles Hass, who has vast experience of analyzing the risk of transmitting biological pathogens, said

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study warns that the recommended 21-day quarantine period for the Ebola virus is not long enough to contain the spread of the disease. While the World Health Organization advises the incubation period for the virus is between two and 21 days, scientists ... continue reading


Nurse says Texas Presbyterian Hospital was chaotic and filthy during Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, reacted very poorly when it discovered that they had been treating a Liberian man with Ebola. According to a nurse who has since come forward, safety regulations were blithely ignored, contaminated linens and waste ... continue reading


Why aren't we doing this? Colombia bans entry to those from Ebola affected countries Watch

Image of A Liberian man is having his temperature taken by a no-contact thermometer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two countries have started barring entry to people coming from the nations in West Africa that have been hardest hit by the current Ebola outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenny Anthony, the prime minister of St. Lucia-a small island nation in the ... continue reading


Second Dallas health worker contracts Ebola virus Watch

Image of Workers scrub down Amber Vinson's apartment in Dallas, Texas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A second Dallas health care worker has since contracted the Ebola virus - and authorities are now frantically trying to contact the more than 100 plus passengers with whom she shared a flight. Authorities says that the employee, Amber Vinson reportedly showed ... continue reading


World has until Christmas to control Ebola; all bets off afterwards Watch

Image of The World Health Organization, or WHO earlier said there could be 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week within two months.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations says the Ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days. Otherwise, the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan. Ebola, according to the U.N. "is running faster than us and it is winning the race." LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


The horrifying truth of Ebola: WHO suggests 10,000 could become infected per week Watch

Image of An aid worker carries a child infected with Ebola in Liberia, one of the West African nations hardest hit by the outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a dire warning to the world. On October 14 they announced that the death rate of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now 70%, much higher than usual. Even more horrifying, the WHO has stated that West Africa ... continue reading


Ebola is 'the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times' -- WHO Watch

Image of Ninety percent of economic costs of any outbreak

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Deaths from the currently Ebola epidemic has sailed past the 4,000 mark this week, with the majority of deaths confined to West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are the nations most impacted by the disease. But as the first death in the United States from Ebola ... continue reading


Stem cell breakthrough could save diabetics from daily injections Watch

Image of Patients could receive a single transplant with the newly generated cells, which would then read out the amount of sugar in the blood and squirt out just the right amount of the hormone insulin.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have announced a stem cell breakthrough that could one day free millions of diabetics from a lifetime of insulin injections. Stem cell researcher Douglas Melton has conceived of a method of growing billions of precious insulin-secreting cells en ... continue reading


Safety protocols called into question after first case of Ebola contracted on U.S. soil Watch

Image of More than 4,000 people have died of Ebola since the start of the year usually in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The epidemic appears to be outpacing efforts to fight it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Thomas Duncan from Liberia may have been America's "patient zero" in regards to Ebola, the nurse who treated him that has since fallen ill from the disease represents the first instance of Ebola being contracted on U.S. soil. Health officials, who believe ... continue reading


Texas nurse becomes second U.S. citizen to become infected with Ebola Watch

Image of The CDC has now issued a recommendation that the number of healthcare workers who treat any Ebola patients be kept to an absolute minimum to reduce the chances of exposure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The news is not good. A female nurse who treated America's "patient zero" with the Ebola virus - who later died - has been placed in isolation after testing positive for the disease. She remains at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital under lockdown. The U.S. ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:12-22
12 do not forget, I say, that you were at that time ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:35-38
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2014 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter