Altor’s Phase I grant was used to develop fusion proteins made up of a T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) linked to interleukin-2 (IL-2), an approved anti-cancer cytokine. Altor’s approach uses the TCR to guide IL-2 to the tumor site where the cytokine can stimulate the immune system to attack the cancerous cells. Altor has found that the STAR/IL-2 fusion exhibits improved pharmacokinetics and potent anti-tumor activity when compared with IL-2 in several different experimental metastases and primary tumor models. The Phase II grant will make it possible for Altor to complete its preclinical evaluations and finalize manufacturing processes for production of the STAR/IL-2 fusion protein for human clinical testing.”
Let’s non-scientists look a little closer at what they’re working on with that money.
– T-cells control immune system reactions.
– Antigens are substances that cause your immune system to react–and then they interact, or combine, with the substance your system produces.
– Cytokines are proteins (like interleukin 2) that cells release which then affect how cells act–or interact.
– Fusion protein is an organic compound that’s formed within a cell when the genetic information from two genes is combined and expressed (i.e., translated).
So, okay, I think this means the T-cell links with one kind of protein to form a another protein that tells the immune system to attack a tumor.
Whew. Sounds like it’s worth the million dollars from National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health. As our science grows ever more sophisticated, our ability to duplicate substances and direct actions in the body will only expand. This is one way we will all begin to see what many quantum physicists have begun to think–the impossibility of explaining how things happen at the subatomic level is leading many of them to conclude…there really is a God.