New Drug Blocks Rejection in Monkeys

Science  04 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5420, pp. 1594-1595
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5420.1594b

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According to a report in the June issue of Nature Medicine, blocking a key immune system signal in monkeys for only a few months after a kidney transplant leads to long-term acceptance of the new organ--with no detectable side effects. The new drug is an antibody that binds to a protein called CD154, one of two signals that the immune system's T cells need to launch an attack against an invader. Although scientists caution that it's too soon to know if the monkeys have permanently accepted their new organs, transplant immunologists are very excited about the results, and human trials are now getting under way.