Jefferson to test T-Cell therapy for coronavirus

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Thursday, August 20, 2020
Jefferson to test T-Cell therapy for coronavirus
Bone marrow transplant team from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center using their expertise to test a COVID-19 drug.

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Jefferson University Hospital's Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center will begin tests soon on a new type of COVID-19 drug.

It's based on disease-fighting T-cells, drawn from healthy volunteers.

"The T cells will be educated to recognize COVID in the laboratory," says Dr. Neal Flomenberg.

Dr. Flomenberg says the cells will look for what's essentially the trash of COVID-19 virus particles. It's on the outside of the cells.

"And they respond and get rid of that cell, they kill it off and let a normal uninfected cell take its place. Now the complexity of what we do is that in order for it to work, there's a certain degree of matching required," he says.

The matching will be similar to what Dr. Flomenberg's team uses for bone marrow transplants.

It's hoped an infusion of the drug, made by Tevogen, given just after a patient is hospitalized would give temporary immunity to fight off the virus.