SFA Theatre Arts Division's production of Six Characters in Search of an Author, February 21 to 24, at the BU Theatre Mainstage

Vol. IV No. 23   ·   16 February 2001 


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IL-16 immunotherapies to be developed in BU joint venture

Boston venture development company RCT BioVentures NE and Boston University have formed Sedecim Therapeutics to develop Interleukin-16 (IL-16) as therapies for a variety of pathological immune responses.

Interleukins are one of several groups of cytokines, which are proteins secreted by certain white blood cells that regulate inflammatory and immune responses. Although each cytokine has a specific function, cytokines often act together, in tandem, or in conflict with each other in an immune response.

The partnership will initially support preclinical testing of IL-16 and IL-16 peptides as treatments for HIV and asthma. IL-16-based products could address several multibillion-dollar annual markets, including cancer research, and inhibitors of IL-16 may be useful against such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, Graves' disease, tuberculosis, diabetes, organ rejection, and leukemia.

In addition to its financial support, RCT BioVentures NE will also manage the company's development program. Sedecim is founded on the work of BUSM Professor David M. Center, Associate Professor William W. Cruikshank, and Professor Hardy Kornfeld. The BU researchers first described IL-16 in 1982 as a T cell-specific chemoattractant factor and showed that along with its chemoattractant activity, IL-16 stimulates growth of human CD4+ T cells, the cells in the immune system infected by HIV.


16 February 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations