Meet the Cambridge Scientist on Verge of Curing Multiple Sclerosis

MS – Multiple sclerosis is still a disease that cannot get entirely cured currently affecting 2.3 million people in the world. Hence, the researchers are on the constant look out for the cure for this medical condition.

MS is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system where the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath which covers nerve fibers. This disturbance affects the good communication between the brain and the rest of the body. In time, MS can permanently damage the nerves thus leading to other very serious health issues.

There are still no cures for autoimmune diseases, and MS resembles one, and because of that doctors prescribe pharmaceuticals that suppress the immune system. However all the MS used drugs come with side effects.

For that reason Dr. Su Metcalfe and her company, LIFNano are trying to find an effective medical treatment for this condition.  The brain cannot be repaired and also other vital organs of the body that have been affected by an autoimmune disease, but this doctor is working to find a solution.

Dr. Su’s whole career was mainly focused on working with immune cells and she is fully devoted on finding the solution. She says:

“The immune cell is the only single cell in the body that is its own unity, so it functions alone. It’s probably one of the most powerful cells in the body because it can kill you, and if you haven’t got it you die because you haven’t got it.”

LIF Stem-Cell Particles – The Potential Cure

Dr. Su has detected a small binary switch inside the immune cells, and because of that she is working with a stem-cell particle called LIF. This particle shows an ability to control the cell and in that way preventing the attack on healthy body tissues, meanwhile targeting the ones when it is needed.

These particles can repair the tissue and at the same time keep the brain and spinal cord healthy. This makes them a part of the regenerative medicine.

Dr.  Su is trying to find a way how to reverse the autoimmunity and she refers to it as “double whammy” that will also allow a repair for the damaged brain cells and tissues.

However, the path to success is curvy and with obstacles and the first one on which Su encountered is that LIF could only survive in the body for 20-minutes and after that the body system breaks it completely. So, their use would be useless as there would be not enough time for them to act. But, another solution popped up and that is the use of nanoparticles technology.

The Nanoparticles Technology

Both LIF and nanoparticles are compatible with the body, and that makes them the perfect combination as they are being slowly dissolved as soluble stitches. The role of the nanoparticles becomes the one of a delivery device that administers the LIF over a period of 5 days.

Here it is what Dr. Su states regarding their use:

“The nanoparticle itself is a protective environment, and the enzymes that break it down can’t access it. You can also decorate the surface of the particles with antibodies, so it becomes a homing device that can target specific parts of the brain. So you get the right dose, in the right place, and at the right time.”

Dr. Su believes that she is on the verge of finding the cure for MS by using the particles that were originally developed at Yale University. But, her company LIFNano has the license to use them that will allow Dr. Su to quickly find the cure.

The Benefits of the Revolutionary Nano-Medicine

This medicine is helping Su to be on the verge of a groundbreaking discovery in the medicinal world, and regarding its use she maintains the following, quote:

“Nano-medicine is a new era, and big pharma has already entered this space to deliver drugs while trying to avoid the side effects. The quantum leap is to actually go into biologics and tap into the natural pathways of the body.

We’re not using any drugs; we’re simply switching on the body’s own systems of self-tolerance and repair. There aren’t any side effects because all we’re doing is tipping the balance.

Auto-immunity happens when that balance has gone awry slightly, and we simply reset that. Once you’ve done that, it becomes self-sustaining and you don’t have to keep giving therapy, because the body has its balance back.”

Dr. Su and her company LIFNano are working very hard on acquiring the needed funds for this medicine and there are already positive feedback in terms of funding from the well-known drug company Merck and the Government’s Innovate UK agency. Su believes that there would be other investments soon which will allow the beginning of first clinical trials in 2020.

She adds:

“We’ve got everything we need in place to make the nanoparticles in a clinically compliant manner; it’s just a case of flicking the switch when we have the money. We’re looking at VCs and big pharma because they have a strong interest in this area. We’re doing all our pre-clinical work concurrently while bringing in the major funds the company needs to go forward in its own right.”

Currently the main focus in her research is finding the cure for MS, but with this new method of treatment and other diseases could be effectively treated.

Dr. Su states the following, quote:

“Psoriasis is high up on our list, and diabetes is another. Downstream from there are all the dementias since LIF is a major health factor for the brain – if we can get it into the brain we can start protecting against dementia.”

If you are interested in how her research develops, please follow this link LIFNano’s research and progress, here.