Targeting T cell metabolism
Researchers at the University of Michigan have shown that modulating ATP synthase activity can selectively kill alloreactive T cells and arrestgraft-versus-host disease.1 Lycera Corp.has licensed the findings, which may provide a new indication for the small molecule partial inhibitors ofATP synthase that the company plans to advance into the clinic this year.
The findings also suggest that targeting cellular metabolism may be a viable therapeutic strategy to treat other immune diseases.
Each year, physicians perform more than 25,000 allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants worldwide, and GvHD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients.2The disease manifests when a subset ofdonor T cells detects differences in histocompatibility antigens and becomes alloreactive, proliferating and attacking their new host. This leads to tissue damage and in