New Hope for Organ Transplant Patients

                    New Hope for Organ Transplant Patients

  PR Newswire

  CHERTSEY, England, March 24, 2014

CHERTSEY, England, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --



A recent study supported by an Astellas European Foundation Grant has
identified potential therapeutic targets for transplantation treatment
research. The study, carried out by Dr Nuria Lloberas, examined whether
changing specific proteins in the body leads to a reduction in the
immuno-inflammatory response thus lowering the risk of organ rejection. 

Dr Lloberas, from Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge, Barcelona, received the
Astellas European Foundation Transplantation Grant in 2007 to support her
research culminating in her findings, 'Dendritic cells (DC) phenotype fitting
under hypoxia or LPS. ABC transporters far beyond an efflux pump' appeared in
Clinical   and   Experimental   Immunology   Journal . ^[ ^1 ^] The
study focused on ABC transporters to see whether they are essential in the
development of maturing immune cells in an oxygen-deprived microenvironment.
The modulation of these maturing cells through ABC transporters could be a
potential target to reduce immuno-inflammatory responses in organ
transplantation.

Dr Lloberas said, "As DC are the most potent Antigen-Presenting Cells (APC) of
the immune system, it is crucial to know the underlying mechanisms in their
activation. Furthermore, their ability to change their phenotype and function
depending on their stage of maturation is an interesting target in immune
system modulation towards tolerance in solid organs transplant. The first goal
of our work was to study the contribution of ABC molecules in    DC
maturation and, in a second step, we are studying whether ABC transporter
proteins under different immunosuppressive therapies are able to modify DC
maturation states and potentially ABC pro-inflammatory substrates. Our study
will provide more information on DC migration and maturation requirements,
considering that ABC molecules transporters have a potential target in
DC-based immunosuppressive therapies."

Over 30,000 transplants are performed per year in Europe. ^[ ^2 ^] ^ Success
in transplantation has occurred through innovations in surgical and patient
care and the development of immunosuppressive therapies. There is a need to
increase the specificity of immunosuppression in order to improve efficacy and
tolerability profiles. Identifying novel targets for the immune system is an
important step in the development of such specific immunotherapies.

Dr Ayad Abdulahad, Astellas European Foundation Trustee and Senior Vice
President Medical Affairs and Health Economics for Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.
stated: "I am delighted to see the progress made by the 2007 Grant winners.
The team was selected because its work was seen to have the potential to
identify new routes that researchers can target. Dr Lloberas and the team's
work highlights ABC-transporters as potential targets in immunosuppressive
therapies."

The Astellas European Foundation Transplantation Grant for 2014 will be
awarded in September. A grant of US$150,000 will be awarded to the successful
research unit or institution. The Grant will be offered for extensive and
meaningful research in the area of transplantation. "We receive many entries
from across Europe for the Astellas European Foundation Grants. We look
forward to receiving many more entries again for this coming year," said Dr
Abdulahad.

Application forms will be available in May of 2014. Please contact
aef@astellas.com or call +44(0)203-379-8039.

References

1.Lloberas, N. Dendritic cells (DC) phenotype fitting under hypoxia or LPS.
    ABC transporters far beyond an efflux pump. Clinical   and  
    Experimental   Immunology   Journal 2013 Jun;172(3):444-54
2.Matesanz, R. International   Figures   on   Donation   and  
    Transplantation   2012 , Council of Europe, European Committee, Vol. 18,
    No. 1, September 2013

Notes   to   Edi to rs 

About The Astellas European Foundation

The Astellas European Foundation is a registered charity, formed in 2005, with
the long-term goal of providing support for programmes and activities that
contribute to the advancement of an increasingly healthy society. In line with
this aim, the Foundation made substantial donations to global charities. The
Astellas European Foundation also supports Astellas employees in their private
fundraising efforts for charitable causes. The Astellas European Foundation is
registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, number 1036344.

The Astellas European Foundation was established by funding from Astellas
Pharma Inc, but operates independently of it.

Contact: For further information, please contact: Joe Barker, Astellas
European Foundation Manager, Tel: +44 (0) 203-379 8039 , Email:
joe.barker@astellas.com
 
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