A recombinant fusion cytokine that activates host immune responses for the treatment of cancer or infectious diseases and the development of adjuvant vaccines.
- Retains the immune stimulatory properties of both its parental molecules.
- Displays novel functions such as direct activation of B cells leading to anti-cancer and vaccine adjuvant activity.
Cytokines are small cell-signaling proteins with immuno-modulatory properties. GM-CSF and IL-4 are two important cytokines with immuno-stimulatory activities, GM-CSF affects adaptive immunity by promoting antigen presentation and co stimulation by dendritic cells and IL-4 has important roles in antibody class switching and lymphocyte activation and proliferation. Both of these proteins have been used in the past alone or in combination to boost host immune responses against cancer or infectious diseases. Alone, these immune responses have been clinically insufficient. Drs. Galipeau and Deng at Emory University have bio-engineered a novel fusion cytokine combining GM-CSF and IL-4, named GIFT4, which in addition to performing the individual biological functions of its parental molecules, displays unique gain of function immuno-stimulatory effects. GIFT4 directly activates adaptive B cells and induces the expansion of effector B cells and antigen specific antibody-secreting plasma cells both in vitro and in vivo. Clinical applications for GIFT4 include the ex vivo expansion of B cells for cellular therapies (both oncology and others), use as abiologic therapy for oncology applications, or use as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of infectious diseases.
Anti-tumor and vaccine activity of GIFT4 has been tested in animal model against B16F0 melanoma with positive results.
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