Notorious RBC

Rubius reaps the rewards of RBC advances and advantages

Rubius Therapeutics Inc. emerged from stealth mode last month to announce the first candidate from its engineered red blood cell platform. Behind that program, the company has an arsenal of tailored "red-cell therapeutics" that capitalize on the unique biology of RBCs and co-founder Harvey Lodish's discoveries of how to manipulate and culture them efficiently.

"We can put antibodies on the surface and bind all kinds of nasty things from the blood; we can put many kinds of enzymes on or in red cells. There's a huge number of possible applications, and we're working on many of them," said Lodish, who is also a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and professor of biology and bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The technology allows the company to add proteins of choice to RBCs and produce a new form of therapeutic that's a cross between a sophisticated liposome and a standard cell therapy. Because the cells persist in the circulation for up to four months, they can

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