Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Antigen-Specific T- Suppressor Cells for Rejection Treatment, Autoimmune Diseases

Technology #895

“Lead Inventor: Nicole Suciu-Foca, Ph.D.

Immunosuppressive Drugs for Transplant Patients Increase Infection Risk:
Transplantation medicine is a relatively new and growing field allowing thousands of lives per year to be saved which otherwise would have succumbed to end-organ failure. However, since currently the only source of organs is from allogeneic-matched donors, lifelong use of immunosuppressant drugs is necessary post-transplant to prevent graft rejection. Thus, the market for immunosuppresssants used in transplantation is large and estimated to grow to $4.3 billion by 2015. Current immunosuppressive drugs, however, are non-biologic and nonspecific, causing general immunosuppression and thus increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Indeed there is a large need for improved immunosuppressive therapy which is targeted to the graft tissue specifically while sparing general immune system function.

Transplant Rejection Treatment Targets Immune Activity at Graft Site:
This technology demonstrates a novel method for treating transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases by generation of allospecific T suppressor cells. Specifically, the invention details methods by which T suppressor cells (CD8+CD24-) that are specific towards a graft antigen are isolated from a patient blood sample, which are then clonally expanded. The clonal expansion T-cells then can be reintroduced into the patient’s circulation, thereby suppressing immune system activity towards the graft. More broadly, these techniques can be applied to any autoimmune phenomenon and used as immunosuppressive therapy.

Applications:
• Treatment of transplant rejection
• Treatment of autoimmune diseases (Lupus, etc.)

Advantages:
• Biologic therapy avoids toxicity
• Specificity of action avoids general immunosuppression
• Decreased side effect profile compared to current standard therapy (tacrolimus, sirolimus, etc.)


Patent Status: Patent Issued (US 6,759,239; US 7,144,728) ~ see links below.

Licensing Status: Available for Licensing and Sponsored Research Support

Publications: Vlad et al. CD8+ T suppressor cells and the ILT3 master switch. Human Immunology. 2008 Nov;69(11):681-6.