What is GIFT15 treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS)?

An experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) completely reverses experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), the equivalent of MS in mice; the potential in humans has yet to be determined. Researchers at the Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and McGill University in Montreal developed the treatment that puts MS in remission by suppressing the immune response.

The new treatment, called GIFT15, is composed of two proteins, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GSM-CSF) and interleukin-15, fused together artificially in the lab. Normally the individual proteins act to stimulate the immune system, but in their fused form, the equation reverses itself.

The process began by taking normal B-cells from mice, purifying them in the lab, putting them in a Petri dish and sprinkling GIFT15 on them. Then they were given back intravenously to the mice that were ill with EAE. The disease in the mice completely disappeared. Researchers cautioned that the disease must be caught in its earliest stages, and clinical studies are needed to test the treatment's efficacy and safety in humans.

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