In a World First, a Patient’s Antibody Cells Were Just Genetically Engineered

Our B cells help prevent us from getting sick. Their job is to make antibodies, immune system proteins that fight off viruses and other foreign invaders. And they make a lot of antibodies—thousands of them every second. What if these antibody factories could be harnessed to make other things the body needs?

That’s the idea behind a trial launched by Seattle-based biotech company Immusoft. The company announced today that its scientists have genetically programmed a patient’s B cells and put them back in his body in an effort to treat disease. It’s the first time engineered B cells have been tested in a person.

The patient has a genetic disorder known

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