Development of a drug to replace IVIg, and ADCC as cause for unexplained hemolysis post-transfusion

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), consists of billions of antibodies derived from thousands of blood donors. It is often used as therapy in patients where blood cells, such as platelets that help clotting, are being destroyed by the patient through a process called phagocytosis, resulting in an immune cytopenia known as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). IVIg is thought to block phagocytosis in ITP allowing the platelets to survive. However, issues with IVIg like extremely high cost, and reports of significant side effects have become increasingly concerning. Therefore, the development of novel, nonhuman-derived, less expensive therapies with low toxicity to replace or enhance existing IVIG therapy would prove beneficial. Using proven drug design methods, we propose to develop drugs to replace or enhance IVIG therapies for the treatment of ITP and other immune cytopenias in children and adults. We also are trying to understand why some patients, such as in sickle cell disease, hemolyze, or destroy theirs as well as transfused red cells, to the point of death. This is called hyperhemolysis. It is possible that these patients have other cells in their blood, called natural killer cells, which are destroying the red cells. We would like to investigate if this is the case.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
BRANCH, Donald
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
ALMIZRAQ, Ruqayyah
Canadian Blood Services
Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Total Amount Awarded
Project Start Date
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