Methods for Producing Stem Cell-Like Memory T Cells for Use in T Cell-Based Immunotherapies

T cells currently employed for T cell-based immunotherapies are often senescent, terminally differentiated cells with poor proliferative and survival capacity. Recently, however, scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) identified and characterized a new human memory T cell population with stem cell-like properties. Since these T cells have limited quantities in vivo, the scientists have developed methods by which high numbers of these cells can be generated ex vivo for use in T cell-based immunotherapies.

Nanobodies Neutralizing Lassa Virus

Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever (LHF) is a serious disease caused by infection with Lassa virus (LASV) – highly prevalent in West Africa and spreading globally. LASV is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, annually infecting 100,000 to 300,000 individuals and causing 5,000 deaths. Developing prophylactics and treatment for LASV is difficult due to challenges in inducing neutralizing antibodies and producing their target, the LASV glycoprotein trimer (GPC).

Lymphatic Filariasis Biomarkers for Detection and Surveillance

Lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis; LF) is a neglected tropical disease that affects over 120 million people throughout the tropics and sub­tropics of Asia, Africa, the Western Pacific, and parts of the Caribbean and South America. LF results from infection with the filarial parasites Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia malayi. Current methods of confirming active infection by W. bancrofti or B. malayi include microscopy and immunoassays using serum/plasma extracted from the patient.

SARS-CoV-2 Iinfection of Human Lung Epithelial Cells Triggers a Cell-Mediated Acute Fibrin Fibrosis

Scientists at NIAID have developed a method of treatment for virus-induced lung fibrosis using nebulized thrombin inhibitors. Since March 2020, the WHO estimates that 564 million people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 world-wide. Lung fibrosis is a major factor associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections and can contribute to mortality. Additionally, severe SARS-CoV-2 cases can result in long-term pulmonary disease due to lung fibrosis. At present, attempts to treat lung fibrosis developed during a SARS-CoV-2 infection using intravenous heparin have been unsuccessful.

Human lgA Monoclonal Antibody that Targets a Conserved Site on the Plasmodium Falciparum Circumsporozoite Protein

Scientists at NIAID have isolated MAD2-6, an IgA antibody active against Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites, the infectious agent of malaria. In 2019, the majority of the 229 million cases resulted from P. falciparum infections. Because P. falciparum has a complex lifecycle during human infection, most advanced malaria vaccine candidates and current chemoprophylaxis drugs can confer only partial, short-term protection in malaria-endemic areas. Thus, the MAD2-6 antibody could be used alone or in combination with current technology.

Human Monoclonal Antibodies that Broadly Target Coronaviruses

The family of coronaviruses cause upper respiratory tract disease in humans and have caused three major disease outbreaks in recent history: the 2003 SARS outbreak, the 2012 MERS outbreak, and the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. There is an urgent need for strategies that broadly target coronaviruses, both to deal with new SARS-CoV-2 variants and future coronavirus outbreaks.

Monoclonal Antibodies to HIV-1 Vpr

Available for licensing are monoclonal antibodies against HIV-1 viral protein R (Vpr) and the respective hybridoma cell lines expressing the same. The antibodies provide a means for detecting HIV-1 Vpr. Currently, the mechanism of HIV pathogenesis believed to involve viral replication inside immune cells and other cells. At present, there are no clinical assays for detecting HIV-1 Vpr. Vpr circulates at detectable levels in the blood and is likely derived from degraded virions or released from infected cells. Vpr facilitates viral replication and disrupt normal cell function.