Single site solution: Engineering novel antibodies for the treatment of ITP

What is this research about?

Canadian Blood Services’ researchers have made significant advances toward developing a new therapy for a bleeding disorder. Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disease in which the body generates antibodies against its own blood platelets leading to platelet destruction. Platelets are important cells in the bloodstream that form clots to stop bleeding. When platelets are destroyed, bruising and bleeding can readily occur. A drug called IVIG can be used to treat ITP.

However, IVIG is derived from human plasma, is costly and alternative therapies are needed. In ITP, autoimmune antibodies bind to platelets and trigger phagocytosis, a defence mechanism by which an immune cell engulfs or eats another cell to destroy it. Macrophages, the immune cells involved in platelet destruction in ITP, have proteins on their surface called Fc receptors. Using these receptors, macrophages recognize platelets that have antibodies bound to them, then engulf and destroy them.

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