Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Chronic Anemia Cured by Gene Therapy Using Genetically Engineered Blood Vessels

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 29 Nov 2011
A novel gene therapeutic method employing genetically engineered blood vessels to deliver erythropoietin (EPO) to anemic mice was described in a proof-of-concept study.

Investigators at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) created a new type of blood vessel by isolating endothelial colony-forming cells from human blood and then inserting into these cells the gene that encodes EPO. The gene that was inserted was part of a complex that included an “off/on switch” activated by the drug doxycycline.

The genetically engineered colony-forming cells were injected under the skin of immunodeficient mice that had been rendered anemic by radiation treatment (as often occurs in cancer patients) or through loss of kidney tissue (modeling chronic kidney failure).

Results published in the November 17, 2011, issue of the journal Blood revealed that the transplanted cells spontaneously formed networks of blood vessels that became integrated into the animals' own circulatory system. EPO produced by the genetically engineered cells was then released directly into the bloodstream. EPO production could be controlled by administrating or withholding doxycycline.

“Blood-vessel implants are an ideal platform technology for gene therapy applications whose goal is systemic drug delivery,” said senior author Dr. Juan M. Melero-Martin, assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Blood vessels are one of the few tissues where we have good control over engraftment. Endothelial cells are easily isolated from blood, are good at assembling themselves into blood vessels, and are ideal for releasing compounds into the bloodstream, since they line the blood vessels.”

“Such drugs are currently made in bioreactors by engineered cells, and are very expensive to make in large amounts. The paradigm shift here is, why we do not instruct your own cells to be the factory?” said Dr. Melero-Martin.

If this approach can be applied in humans, it would relieve patients from having to receive frequent EPO injections, thus reducing the medical costs associated with the management of anemia.

Related Links:
Harvard Medical School


comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Molecule in Green Tea Used as Carrier for Anticancer Proteins

A molecule that is a key ingredient in green tea can be employed as a carrier for anticancer proteins, forming a stable and effective therapeutic nanocomplex. This new discovery could help to construct better drug-delivery systems. Some cancer treatments depend on medication comprising the therapeutic drug and a carrier... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Yale West Campus is organized into research institutes and core facilities — all designed to promote collaboration and interdisciplinary dialogue (Photo courtesy of Yale University).

American and European Partners Establish a Microscopy Center of Excellence

A prominent American university has announced a partnership agreement with a major European producer of microscopes and imaging tools that will establish a center for the use of cutting-edge imaging technologies... Read more

Business

view channel

Interest in Commercial Applications for Proteomics Continues to Grow

Increasing interest in the field of proteomics has led to a series of agreements between private proteomic companies and academic institutions as well as deals between pharmaceutical companies and novel proteomics innovator biotech companies. Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.