Tests in laboratory mice indicate that Cel-Sci Corp.'s naturallymphokine "cocktail" enhances the immune response byincreasing the number and strength of T cells, the companysaid Monday.
Cel-Sci's patented BC-IL cocktail contains 12 lymphokines,including interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-2 and gamma interferon.
Mice treated with BC-IL had heavier thymuses and spleens, andhigher T cell numbers and proliferative responses to T cellmitogens than mice treated with recombinant IL-1 or IL-2 andother substances. Results were presented by Dr. John Hadden,an immunopharmacologist at the University of South FloridaSchool of Medicine in Tampa, at the fifth InternationalConference on Immunopharmacology in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Hadden now wants Cel-Sci to test BC-IL in combination withAZT in AIDS patients, said Geert Kersten, vice president ofoperations for Cel-Sci, which is located in Alexandria, Va."We're giving that very serious consideration," said Kersten.
But the company's first use of BC-IL will probably be as ananti-aging compound prepared using a patient's own blood,Kersten said. "There's a need to address an aging populationwhich becomes more susceptible to diseases," he said. "We seethis as a preventative treatment that someday people mayundergo on a regular basis."
The thymus, which produces T cells, declines in size after theage of 18. By the time a person is 55, the thymus is about 20percent of its size at age 18. As a result, the number andquality of T cells declines.
"There's a market now in Europe with 65,000 people wherecrazy treatments are sold for aging," Kersten said. "We'vealready been contacted by several clinics in Europe for thispurpose. That's the first thing we'll go after. Then we'll seewhere this will take us."
The announcement boosted Cel-Sci's stock price (NASDAQ:CELI)16 cents to $1.56. -- Karen Bernstein
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