ARTICLE | Translation in Brief

Tumor turncoat

How an agonist antibody can direct leukemia cells to kill each other

October 29, 2015 7:00 AM UTC

Instead of engineering T cells to kill tumors, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have found a way to direct a patient's own leukemia cells to kill each other by using an agonist antibody that turns acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cells into NK cells. Zebra Biologics Inc. has licensed the compound and plans to start by using it to generate an AML cell therapy.

Richard Lerner, a professor of immunochemistry and cell and molecular biology at Scripps, had previously identified an agonist antibody against the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (CSF3R; CD114) that induced differentiation of CD34-positive bone marrow cells into neural progenitors, and thought similar agonist antibodies might be able to convert other cells from a malignant to benign state...