MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune response attacks the central nervous system, almost as if the body had become allergic to itself, leading to progressive physical and cognitive disability.
The new treatment, appropriately named GIFT15, puts MS into remission by suppressing the immune response. This means it might also be effective against other autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease, lupus and arthritis, the researchers said, and could theoretically also control immune responses in organ transplant patients. Moreover, unlike earlier immune-supppressing therapies which rely on chemical pharamaceuticals, this approach is a personalized form of cellular therapy which utilizes the body’s own cells to suppress immunity in a much more targeted way.
GIFT15 is a chimera, meaning it consists of two proteins fused together which as a single unit suppress the immune response. According to the scientists, this may work the same way in humans as in mice. If so, this is a tremendous breakthrough and very exciting news.