Entrepreneur watch: Iwasaki targets the lymphatic system to clear brain tumors
After starting two companies this year, Yale’s Akiko Iwasaki clears glioblastoma in mice via brain lymphatics
Rising serial entrepreneur Akiko Iwasaki aims to bring antitumor immunity to the brain by opening the brain’s lymphatics, a recently discovered system of vessels just starting to find translational uses.
In 2015, a Nature paper from the lab of Jonathan Kipnis at the University of Virginia overturned long-standing dogma about immune privilege when it showed the brain, like every other organ in the body, contains a lymphatic network.
While the brain became a little less special that day, the work triggered a move to understand how the vessels contribute to health and disease. On the industry side, PureTech Health plc (LSE:PRTC) has been a leader (see “PureTech Plumbs the Brain”; “PureTech Turns Inward”).