GammaDelta Therapeutics, an emerging biotech company developing novel immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases, has announced the publication in Nature Immunology of new data examining the biological role of gamma delta T cell receptors.
The findings arose from an ongoing collaboration between GammaDelta and Professor Adrian Hayday’s laboratories at King’s College London and The Francis Crick Institute.
The study shows for the first time how gamma delta T cell receptors can act independently from other immune signals, functioning as a two-pronged device to discriminate cancer cells from normal cells before proceeding to kill them.
The receptors combine so-called innate immunity with so-called adaptive immunity by using different regions of the receptor to recognise different molecular targets, one associated with healthy tissues and the other associated with malignant cells.
The study focused on gamma delta T cells that line the gut surface where cancers often develop. By casting greater light on the complex gut immune system, the findings also enable further exploration of the causes and possible treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.
Paolo Paoletti, CEO at GammaDelta, said: “We are delighted with the productive collaboration between GammaDelta and Professor Adrian Hayday’s laboratories. Deeper understanding of the fundamental biology of gamma delta T cells is crucial to exploiting their potential for therapeutic applications.”
Commenting on the findings, Adrian Hayday said: “I am very excited about these unexpected findings, which are a key step in unravelling the complex mechanisms by which gamma delta T cells attempt to maintain tissue integrity in the face of an unending spectrum of microbial and chemical challenges.”