Travis Drow, BS, on Evaluating Engineered Tregs for Potential in Treating Multiple Sclerosis


The research scientist at Seattle Children's Research Institute discussed mouse model research he presented at ASGCT’s 2024 Meeting.

“Something that's uniform across several autoimmune disease indications is that you'll see that the patient has dysregulated Treg. Dysregulated Treg totally fits with an unchecked immune system. Being able to use the [engineered] Treg as sort of a band-aid for the immune system I think is a really nice approach, especially for tissue-specific autoimmunity, where you can essentially engineer the cells to go to a specific place and do a specific thing—where there is inflammation, or in the case of MS, demyelination, or in type 1 diabetes, insulitis.”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) remains a difficult to treat disease with high unmet need in the patient community, and as such, research into novel treatments is of great interest. The lab of David Rawlings, MD, the director of the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies at Seattle Children's Research Institute, is currently investigating the potential of engineered regulatory T-cells (Tregs) for the treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases. This year, at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 27th Annual Meeting, held May 7 to 10, 2024, in Baltimore, MD, Travis Drow, BS, a research scientist in the Rawlings Lab, presented data from preclinical research that evaluated myelin-specific engineered Tregs in a mouse model of MS.

Following his presentation, CGTLive® sat down with Drow to learn more. Drow explained the rationale behind the myelin-specific approach and described the key findings of the preclinical research, noting that the engineered Tregs caused a reduction in disease severity in the mice. He also speculated on the potential of a similar Treg-based approach to treat indications outside of autoimmune disease, such as cancer, but emphasized that a lot of work still needs to be done in autoimmune disease. He also pointed out that the Rawlings Lab and its partner Genti Bio are exploring use of the Treg platform in other autoimmune disease indications

1. Drow T, McKinney B, Dahl N, Cook PJ, Rawlings DJ. Myelin-specific engineered Treg exhibit therapeutic benefit in a murine model of multiple sclerosis. Presented at: ASGCT Annual Meeting 2024, May 7-10; Baltimore, Maryland. Abstract #40.
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