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Being Alive
Genetic Institute's IL-12
Henry E. Chang
February 5, 1994
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.