In mice with hemophilia B, when blood clotting factor IX bio-encapsulated within plant cells was delivered to the gut, it prevented fatal anaphylactic shock and complex immune reactions. The new NIH funding, which came through the National Lung, Blood and Heart Institute, will help propel the research to determine if the technique can work in other models and potentially to clinical trials thereafter.
"The collaboration has an excellent chance of developing treatments that improve the lives of people with hemophilia and, at the same time, help lower health care costs," said Roland Herzog, a professor at UF.
After Daniell mentored Herzog at Auburn University, Herzog went on to develop his career. He has received multiple awards for his research in hematology including several NIH grants, a career development award from the National Hemophilia Foundation, an outstanding investigator award from the American Society of Gene Therapy and a Bayer Hemophilia Award.
Both researchers are hopeful that if future research bears out, this approach would be much safer and potentially deliver less expensive treatments to thousands who live with this disease.
While the approach is cutting edge, the NIH funding has come after Daniell and Herzog's research was featured last year in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a highly acclaimed scientific journal. Bayer Healthcare of Germany, the world's largest funder of hemophilia research, also gave Daniell a $200,000 grant in 2010 for research exploring the novel concept.
Daniell is conducting similar research on a polio vaccine funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and on diabetes funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
|Contact: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala|
University of Central Florida