Sekmed has been awarded US Patent 7,442,547, “Dendritic cells and the uses thereof in screening cellular targets and potential drugs.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Francesca Granucci and Paola Ricciardi-Castagnoli.
As stated in the abstract, the patent is based on the discovery that in response to different stimuli, dendritic cells initiate various immune responses by producing different transcription profiles, such as IL-2 production by dendritic cells in response to a microbial stimulus. The patent provides methods of making libraries of gene expression profiles and libraries corresponding to dendritic cell maturation in response to a microbial stimulation. The patent also provides methods for activating lymphocytes or immune responses, and methods for producing Il-2 in dendritic cells or preparing dendritic cells for cell-based therapy, according to the abstract. The patent also provides methods and systems for screening agents affecting dendritic cell maturation.
The inventors also discovered that dendritic cells are targets for immunosuppressive virus infections. Accordingly, the patent provides methods for treating immunosuppressive virus infections or immunosuppression associated with such infections. The patent also provides methods using the dendritic cell system for screening candidate therapeutic agents to treat such infections.