Children who have bone marrow transplants are often vulnerable to dangerous viral infections. A new technique using white cells from the donor has been backed by the Technology Strategy Board.
Cell Medica Ltd’s work with UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust was one of fourteen regenerative medicine projects to receive support, and will take Cell Medica’s Cytovir ADV product into its first clinical trial.
Dr Waseem Qasim, welcoming the award, said
“Bone marrow transplantation is a highly effective cure for a wide range of diseases, including some forms of cancer and leukemia and certain inherited immune diseases. Survival rates in children have improved year on year, but we still run into significant problems when using less than perfectly matched donors. When patients undergo a bone marrow transplant, we often use chemotherapy and other drugs which suppresses their immune system, making them vulnerable to viruses."
"One way to boost immune recovery after transplant is to give infusions of white cells (T cells) collected from the same donor, but these cells can cause serious problems if they recognise their new host as different. We are working on ways to grow and enrich cells that can fight viruses without causing damage to the patient. In this new study CellMedica will grow anti-virus cells for children identified as being greatest risk of virus complications, and we will see if these cells can be used to treat infections quickly when they arise.”
"We are pleased to be working with Cell Medica as Sponsor of this Phase I/II clinical study for their Cytovir ADV T cell formulation and this will complement the work we are doing in other Phase I testing.”
Dr Waseem Qasim and Professor Bobby Gaspar receive financial support for their work from Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity."
The Technology Strategy board announcement
Project Title: Phase I/II study investigating safety and efficacy of adenovirus-specific T-cells given to high-risk paediatric patients post-HSCT to treat reactivation of ADV
Partners: Cell Medica Ltd (lead), UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
Contact: Karen Hodgkin, email@example.com, 0207 554 4074