By: Heidi Ledford 02 August 2017
Researchers in both academia and industry are turning to immune-suppressing cells to clamp down on autoimmune disorders, and the effort is building to a fever pitch.
On 24 July, pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, Indiana, announced that it would pay up to US$400 million to support the development of a drug — which entered clinical trials in March — that stimulates these cells, called regulatory T cells. And in January, Celgene of Summit, New Jersey, announced plans to buy a company working on a similar therapy for $300 million.
Other companies, from tiny biotechs to pharmaceutical heavyweights, are also investing in an approach that could yield treatments for a variety of disorders caused by an immune attack on the body’s own cells. Such conditions include type 1 diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.