Much like doctors using modified T-cells from patients’ immune systems to combat cancer, biotech startup Rubius Therapeutics is aiming to develop focused disease therapy utilizing red blood cells. Business Insider reports that Rubius’ CEO, Torben Straight Nissen, believes their treatment is “basically superblood,” since their remedies are made using red blood cells rather than artificial materials or chemical compounds.
Rubius plans to equip red blood cells with a therapeutic protein that may be tailored to treat a specific condition. Afterward, they’re infused into the body to start treating the affected person’s health. Ultimately, this super blood will only account for lower than 1% of the entire quantity of blood in a patient’s body.
Initially, the firm desires to develop superblood therapies that replace lacking enzymes in patients affected by rare diseases, in addition to treating cancer and autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes and lupus). In contrast to T-cell therapy, however, red blood cell therapies don’t have to be as personalised. On their website, Rubius claims they’d only need one universal donor (somebody with an O negative blood type) to “generate sufficient therapeutic doses to treat thousands and thousands of different patients.” from all over the world.
Rubius is seemingly on track to meet their financial objectives because it recently finished raising $100 million. This follows $120 million the company was able to raise in June 2017 from investors.
“The addition of this funding further strengthens our foundation and permits us to accelerate the development of our first wave of Red-Cell Therapeutics products that are targeting treatment of enzyme deficiencies, autoimmune disease, and cancer” stated CEO Nissen in a press statement. “We have assembled an extremely talented team of leadership, investors, and advisers, which all share the long-term vision of bringing novel cellular therapies to patients.”
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It might be quite a while before Rubius’ remedies are broadly available; in any case, they’re currently not much more than an idea. First, these treatments need to be developed, then put through a sequence of clinical trials to find out their safety and effectiveness. If everything goes as planned, the superblood might eventually be permitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, just as T-cell therapy was last year.