IDIBELL licenses to Oxford Immunotec a technology to identify patients at high risk of rejection in kidney transplant


The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) has licensed to the company Oxford Immunotec, a technology to measure the secretion of anti-HLA antibodies from memory B cells to improve the efficiency of kidney transplants and prevent rejection of graft.

Oxford Immunotec is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative tests in the field of immunology enabling better patient care and improve their quality of life.

The licensed technology was developed by the team of Oriol Bestard, nephrology research group IDIBELL and kidney transplantation, head of the Kidney Transplant Unit at the University Hospital of Bellvitge and professor at the University of Barcelona. The researchers have published a study in the journal Kidney International which demonstratesthe effectiveness of this technique in patients on the waiting list for a kidney transplant as well as in patients who have undergone transplant rejection antibodies.

People have their own major histocompatibility (HLA), only identical twins have the same HLA. In the field of renal transplantation is important to find donors who are as compatible as possible with the patient and are not sensitized, ie having no preformed antibodies directed against the HLA antigens foreign organ to prevent graft rejection and to minimize the side effects of immunosuppressive treatments.

Currently the only way to evaluate this immunological sensitization is to measure anti-HLA antibodies in blood but this approach can not fully evaluate the response of memory. That is, memory B cells are able to develop into antibody secreting cells against the donor but not continuously secreted.

“Measuring antibodies secreting B cells specific memory against the donor and immunological memory response allows us to identify if the patient really is capable of generating antibodies against the foreign body even though they are circulating in the bloodstream” Oriol Bestard explained.

“It is a complementary technique that will allow us to refine more patient response to transplantation and potentially also help decide the most appropriate immunosuppressive treatment.”

The study was performed in 70 patients and license managed by the Innovation Unit IDIBELL optimize Oxford Immunotec allow this technology to make it a tool applied to the clinic. “One of the requirements to implement this kit” said Bestard “is to confirm its effectiveness with more patients in a multicenter, international study”.

The CEO of Oxford Immunotec, Peter Wrighton-Smith, said that “although there is still important work to market the test, the technical feasibility and potential development value have been demonstrated in the study published in Kidney International”.

Article reference

Lucia M, Luque S, CrespoE, Melilli E, JM Cruzado, Martorell J, Jarque M, S Gil-Vernet, Manonelles A, GrinyóJM, Bestard O. Preformed circulating HLA-specific memory B cells PREDICT high risk of humoral rejection in kidney transplantation . Kidney International Advance online publication 15 July 2015; doi: 10.1038 / ki.2015.205

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