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CEL SCI Collaborators Demonstrate Novel L.E.A.P.S. Vaccines Immunize Mice Against Tuberculosis Antigens and Suggest Potential to Treat Swine and Other Influenzas
Date:6/5/2009

ed by Dr. Borthakur's group will also be beneficial in developing more improved TB vaccines, perhaps ones including the L.E.A.P.S. conjugates known to elicit protective cytokines such as IL-12, a precursor to producing gamma interferon, and gamma interferon itself.

The L.E.A.P.S. technology combines a small peptide that activates the immune system with a small peptide from a disease-related protein, such as a herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoprotein to make a vaccine that induces a defined immune response. Last month Dr. Kenneth S. Rosenthal, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry at Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and colleagues showed that CEL-SCI's L.E.A.P.S. vaccines can activate and cause human immature dendritic cells from blood monocyte cells to become dendritic cells that secrete the IL-12 cytokine. The dendritic cells that result initiate a protective cell mediated and antibody immune response. These results were obtained for L.E.A.P.S. vaccines against HSV and HIV. The use of the L.E.A.P.S. vaccine technology may thus open a whole new way of maturing dendritic cell vaccines for infectious diseases such as pandemic flu and cancer. The cytokine IL-12 is the first step in gamma interferon production which is known to be protective with many viruses and pathogens.

"It is very exciting to see the effect of L.E.A.P.S. vaccines on isolated human immature dendritic cells using a simple molecule, in two different instances," said Dr. Zimmerman. "I am hopeful that other L.E.A.P.S. vaccine candidates, such as CEL-2000 being developed as a vaccine for rheumatoid arthritis, can also be used with comparable results in humans. The lack of proinflammatory cytokine production in responses to the L.E.A.P.S. vaccines is especially important for an immunotherapy aimed at rheumatoid arthritis, since these cytokines cause much of the damage seen in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and has im
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