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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Health

HEALTH DISASTER: Is nearly half of all Americans destined to contract diabetes? Watch

Image of The irony of the situation is that Americans are generally living longer, which is a factor in their increased lifetime chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Americans are also not dying in the same proportions that they were, because of better treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Has the United States reached the tipping point with diabetes and obesity? A shocking new study claims that nearly HALF of all Americans, if trends continue, will develop type 2 diabetes in the near future. Public Health England, in their most recent report ... continue reading


First large-scale shipment of new malaria drug shipped out Watch

Image of The recent shipment marks a new phase in the fight against the mosquito-borne disease.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just as virulent - as far more easily transmitted than Ebola, malaria is making new inroads to populations in sub-Saharan Africa. In response, French drug maker Sanofi has announced the delivery of large-scale batches of an antimalarial drug made using ... continue reading


Very accurate colon cancer in-home detection kit approved by FDA Watch

Image of  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new at-home, DNA-based stool test that screens for colorectal cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Screening for colon cancer is frequently arduous and invasive. Patients need to fast prior to a colonoscopy, and the colonoscopy itself be highly uncomfortable and not always accurate. There's now good news for those at risk. The U.S. Food and Drug ... continue reading


You'll think twice before you put this dangerous chemical back in your mouth! Watch

Image of Colgate's Total brand of toothpaste contains the chemical triclosan, which has been proven to cause disruptions in the endocrine system in mice and rats.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A top-selling toothpaste uses the chemical triclosan which has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals, and regulators are still reviewing whether or not it's safe to pt in soap, cutting boars and toys, while many consumer companies ... continue reading


New diabetes drug could help us all: Found effective in preventing cancer Watch

Image of Scientists who studied more than 180,000 people found a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new study, a drug widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes could help us all live longer. Said drug, metformin, which controls glucose levels, may also stave off cardiovascular disease and cancer, regardless if the person is diabetic. LOS ... continue reading


Mutated gene increases women's chance for breast cancer by threefold Watch

Image of Doctors also could recommend more aggressive surveillance for breast cancer, such as annual mammograms or MRI breast screening.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study has found that mutated versions of a gene called PALB2 can dramatically increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. Researchers say that women carrying the PALB2 mutation have a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by the age of 70. LOS ... continue reading


WAS WORLD'S THROAT CUT? Ebola vaccine research was earlier abandoned Watch

Image of It must also be noted that while the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. government often fund the early animal safety and efficacy testing of a vaccine, pharmaceutical companies typically fund the human clinical trials to take a drug or vaccine to market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With increasing fears of the Ebola virus in West Africa and elsewhere, world governments are now frantically trying to contain the disease. What is not widely known is the fact that there had been work on finding a vaccine for Ebola four years ago, that was ... continue reading


PLAGUE STRIKES HOME: At least six people tested for Ebola in U.S. Watch

Image of Said individual, who has recently traveled to West Africa where the current outbreak is taking place is said to be under

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At least six people within the continental United States have been tested for the dreaded Ebola virus, the deadly hemorrhagic disease tearing through West Africa. While all six people tested negative, the states in which these people were from remains a tightly ... continue reading


NEW THERAPY: Will chemotherapy be rendered obsolete in 20 years' time? Watch

Image of Genome sequencing will help drug companies design medicines that can successfully target the tumor, according to Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is part of the project.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chemotherapy is regime that many cancer patients undergo. Many feel that the cure is at times worse than the disease: Weeks of nausea, fatigue, pain and disorientation. Now, drugs that target cancer without harming healthy cells that trigger harmful side ... continue reading


COUNTDOWN TO GLOBAL INFECTION: Hunt is on for 30,000 Ebola carriers worldwide Watch

Image of The father of three, Patrick Sawyer became the first American to die from the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the death of 40-year-old Patrick Sawyer, an American who contracted Ebola while caring for his sister with the virus, the hunt is on for people who may have been in contact. Officials hope to head of the deadly virus off at the pass - before it is too late. ... 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, Ezekiel 36:23-28
23 I am going to display the holiness of my great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
12 Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:1-14
1 Jesus began to speak to them in parables once ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 21st, 2014 Image

St. Pius X
August 21: On June 2, 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto saw the light of ... 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