From Bench to Bedside

In the 80's studies to characterize human interferon-β (IFN-β) were all done on the natural protein produced upon stimulation of foreskin fibroblasts . Once a recombinant IFN-β was avaialable, our monoclonal antibodies generated against the natural IFN-β facilitated high scale purification, monitoring and characterization of this recombinant protein. The recombinant IFN-β was translated into a drug known as Rebif™ for the treatment of multiple sclerosis 

One of the soluble TNF receptors we discovered, the TBPII, was translated 10 years after its discovery to a drug known as Enbrel™ this drug is used by rheumatoid arthritis patients.

We discovered IL-18BP in the late 90's and characterized it as a very potent antagonist of IL-18 (Novick, D; Kim, SH; Fantuzzi, G; Reznikov, LL; Dinarello, CA; Rubinstein, M., Interleukin-18 binding protein: A novel modulator of the Th1 cytokine response.  Immunity 1999, 10:127-136). It was translated to a drug and in 2014, on a compassionate basis, it saved a life of a baby born with a mutation in the inflammasome which causes an over expression of IL-18, a condition which results in what is known as Macrophage Activating Syndrome (MAS). MAS is also a complication of cancer, autoimmune diseases and inflammation and is fatal in 50% of cases. IL-18BP is currently in phase II and phase III clinical studies for MAS and for an autoinflammatory chronic disease in which the IL-18 level is extrememly high.

Fig. 1