Autoimmune Disease: Retraining White Blood Cells, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne Study  
12/18/2012 7:30:33 AM

How can the immune system be reprogrammed once it goes on the attack against its own body? EPFL scientists retrained T-cells involved in type I diabetes, a common autoimmune disease. Using a modified protein, they precisely targeted the white blood cells (T-lymphocytes, or T-cells) that were attacking pancreatic cells and causing the disease. When tested on laboratory mice, the therapy eliminated all signs of the pathology. This same method could be a very promising avenue for treating multiple sclerosis as well. The scientists have just launched a start-up company, Anokion SA, on the Lausanne campus, and are planning to conduct clinical trials within the next two years.