BBC South East on 13th February 2018: “A Sussex man who lost his mother to cancer is raising money to pioneer a breakthrough treatment”
Last year, socially-minded Biotech LIfT BioSciences caught the headlines with the news that it had made an astonishing breakthrough in its research into finding a cure for cancer.
The researchers discovered that cancer cells from a well-known human cancer cell-line (HeLa cells), could be killed by human neutrophils cultured in vitro (a type of innate immune cell). This was a massive step in the right direction towards finding a cure for the disease, and attracted a huge volume of media attention.
Now, LIfT BioSciences is continuing its research using an xCELLigence machine, to make things easier and quicker. The machine was purchased using £40k of the money raised by Shadow Foundr in the fundraiser, in order to help LIfT continue with their pioneering research.
“Prior to purchasing the machine, analysing the cells was a laborious process,” explains Alex, founder of LIfT BioSciences. “After mixing target and effector cells (neutrophils) and incubating them for a certain time, effector cells are removed, and live target cells were stained. The percentage of live cells was then established through absorptiometry; however, the method is prone to error if any effector cells are left behind which may also be stained. With the xCELLigence machine, you can quickly sift through and identify those donors who have the super cancer killing activity we’re looking for. That gives you an idea of how far the technology has come”.
“Everyone has a certain level of immunity – broadly speaking – but there are some people who naturally have a higher level of immunity. We’re trying to find the people who have an exceptional cancer-killing capability,” Alex added.
LIfT BioSciences is aiming to begin the process of screening cells for this cancer-killing immunity later this year (2018). “We’re currently testing cells we get from blood banks. We get leukocyte cones, which are the unwanted white blood cells which come from blood donations. What we will be doing this year is working to understand the type of donor we’re looking for, by validating certain characteristics. We’re pretty confident that donors with the high immunity have no immediate family history of cancer. However, we also need to test if there’s a correlation between gender, ethnicity, and other factors. We’re doing this so that when we run patient clinical trials, we can rapidly identify and mass produce the best donor cells to use in our trials. We’re hunting for the best – and this machine helps us search faster”.
This is fantastic news for the company, the investors who put money into the fundraising effort, and everyone who is involved in the research towards developing a cure cancer.
LIfT BioSciences is currently raising funds to continue with its research and help them achieve its goal of finding a cure for pancreatic cancer by 2021.
To find out more about the company, click here.