Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

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 Nagy Lab 

Eric Neely,Graduate Student, PhD candidate

Eric Neely  

I joined the Nagy lab in 2013 after obtaining an Honour’s biology degree from McMaster University. Currently, I am a PhD student working on developing a novel biologic and cell therapy to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

 Currently, the majority of biological therapies approved for treating RA focus on modifying inflammation by inhibiting TNF-α. In addition to being extremely expensive, the intravenous or subcutaneous administration of these suppressors systemically inhibits TNF-α. This systemic immunosuppression is a major clinical concern as it can result in serious side-effects such as an increased susceptibility to infections like tuberculosis as well as cancer.

 Recently, our lab has developed a novel biological molecule termed a “sticky-trap,” which is an antibody that binds its protein target and remains localized to its site of administration. The localization of the sticky-trap prevents it from entering systemic circulation and eliminates its potential to cause serious systemic side-effects. Additionally, this molecule is designed to degrade rapidly if it enters systemic circulation; further reducing the risk of harmful side-effects. The focus of my research project is to extend this local-acting concept by developing a TNF-α sticky-trap that can effectively reduce joint inflammation in the absence of serious systemic side-effects.





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