Cancer Startup LIft BioSciences Targets Pancreatic Cancer Cure by 2021
The biotech startup LIft BioSciences was founded in 2016 by Alex Blyth after he lost his mother Margaret Blyth to pancreatic cancer in 2014.
Unfortunately, after so much advancement happening in the cancer research and development, patients with pancreatic cancer still have meager survival rates. Less than 10 percent patients live for five years.
LIft BioSciences is working with researchers from King’s College London to push their breakthrough immune therapy product, Leukocyte Infusion Therapy (LIfT) into human clinical trials as soon as next year to treat cancer patients.
The startup has identified the never before strategy to kill cancer cells in the body by the human’s natural immune cells made in the laboratory.
Innate immune cells of the body- neutrophils were prepared in the lab by the company that killed the HeLa cells (human cancer cell line) successfully. Neutrophils are the type of white blood cells that circulate in the bloodstream. They form the innate defense system of the body. In case of any foreign invasion by pathogens, they kill them.
Encouraged by the cancer-killing ability of the lab-made immune cells, the startup aims to develop the ‘World’s First Cell Bank of Cancer Killing Immune Cells’ that could supply the potentially life-saving immune therapies for the treatment of various solid cancers.
Initially, the company will target the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat form of pancreatic cancer– Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The five-year survival rate of PDAC patients is just 3 percent.
“I was initially skeptical about this when LIfT Biosciences approached us. It is something that I don’t believe has been done before, and producing these specific cells with cancer-killing ability is a notion we had not thought of before. We are excited by these early results and see the potential in LIfT BioSciences’ approach for further work”.
Professor Farzin Farzaneh, lead researcher at King’s College London.
Cancer develops due to a mutation in the healthy cells and later failure of the immune system in the body to destroy them. It avoids cancer removal at the initial stage and later leads to accumulation and movement of cancer cells in the body.
Now, LIft BioSciences’ special cancer-killing immune cells could be developed in the lab in large amount without any need for blood donation. The patients whose natural immune system has failed in stopping cancer could be treated by the infusion of the potential lab-made immune cells in the body to kill cancer.
LIft BioSciences aims to showcase the potential of the LIft therapy to cure the invincible pancreatic cancer by 2021.
“Our invention is a significant milestone in our mission to cure pancreatic cancer and other cancers with low survival rates.”
Alex Blyth, Chief Executive Officer at LIfT BioSciences
Also Read: Pancreatic Cancer: Still the Invincible One