Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
The Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center, the leading research institute in Abu Dhabi, has launched the first trial of its kind in the UAE and the region to study the efficacy and safety of T-cell therapy using the Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR T-cell) in the treatment of blood cancers, such as myeloma, lymphoma and certain types of leukemia.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a new, globally recognized form of immunotherapies that manipulates the body’s defense system by reprogramming T cells, a key component of the body’s anti-tumor response mechanism, preparing them for the tasks of searching for Cancer and eliminating it. These programmed cells become a living drug that travels through the body, and the immune system is constantly used to attack the disease.
Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program in Abu Dhabi and co-principal researcher in the T-cell experiment, expressed her pride in this first achievement of its kind in the UAE and the region, and said: “We are proud to be the first in the country and the region to locally produce this new and innovative type of Treatments and research is being conducted to better understand their effects on cancer cells. As a local institute for scientific research, we are committed to contributing to support Abu Dhabi’s vision by building and strengthening the knowledge economy, and we continue to invest in the latest local research to ensure that the people of the country and the rest of the world receive the best possible health care.”
T-cell therapy using the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR T-cell) was developed in partnership with the biomedical research company Miltney Biotech and will involve the use of apheresis, which is a simple process of donating blood to separate its components for analysis and treatment, then genetic modification will be performed on T cells. It is a type of white blood cell that is an essential part of the immune system, to attack only the specific cancer cells of each patient.
Dr Yendre Ventura, immunologist and general manager of the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center and principal investigator in the clinical trial of CAR T-cell therapy, said: “Treating cancer remains one of the most complex and challenging medical pathways in the world. This underscores the growing need for locally developed research and treatment innovations. Understanding the effect of T cells and CARs on patients will be a long and arduous process, but at the same time, it will pave the way for a new and distinctive chapter in the history of the UAE, where these experiments will cement its distinguished position globally in the field of medical innovation and research and development. Our world-leading physicians and researchers, in collaboration with our partners at Miltini Biotech, are paving the way for advanced treatments for a healthier society while strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for healthcare, innovation and research.”
Viral vectors are used in the genetic modification of immune cells, tools commonly used by molecular biologists to deliver materials and information to cells. Viral vectors have recently been used for the global production of some “Covid-19” vaccines, which contain a modified version of a different virus “the vector” to deliver important instructions to our cells.
In the clinical trial of T-cell therapy using the Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR T-cell), these viral vectors are being produced internationally in partnership with Miltini Biotic.
“Our job is to make sure that the immune cells that we modify effectively target the cancer cells in each patient, so we can help direct them down the pathway,” said Dr. Robert Handgrittinger, Head of Adoptive Cell Transfer and Head of Pediatric Services at the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Program. Correct to idle mode. Here, the importance of the role of viral vectors and the partnership with Miltini Biotech emerges. By combining best manufacturing practices, cutting-edge research and expertise at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center, we are confident in our ability to achieve successful clinical trials and, ultimately, build a robust CAR T-cell therapy program in Abu Dhabi.”