Being Alive 1994 Feb 5: 10
IL-12 is also known as natural killer cell stimulatory factor and
cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor. Results from animal studies
have demonstrated that IL-12 has both anti-tumor and anti-infective
activities. IL-12's immunomodulatory effects are highlighted in a
paper published in the December 10, 1993, issue of Science by a team
of NIH researchers.
IL-12 appears to function by directly and specifically stimulating the
proliferating of protein-activated T-cells, thus restoring the immune
function of the cells. In addition, IL-12 seems to augment T-cell
function, including natural killer cell activity and cytotoxic
T-lymphocyte responses. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-12
may have therapeutic potential to enhance or maintain immune function
in people with HIV infection.
Genetics Institute Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has entered into
a patent cross-licensing and collaboration agreement on IL-12 with
Hoffmann-La Roche. The two companies will proceed independently in
developing IL-12 for clinical use. Genetics Institute plans to
initiate clinical studies for treating renal cancer in early 1994, and
these are likely to be expanded to include HIV.