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Manipulation of Regulatory T Cells Using LAG-3 Modulation


Invention Novelty

Identification and modulation of Regulatory T cell (Treg) specific receptor, to manipulate Treg function for treatment of autoimmune diseases, cancer and infectious diseases.

Value Proposition

Enhancement of Treg function could suppress autoimmune diseases, while inhibition or elimination of Treg cells could enhance immunotherapy of cancer and infectious diseases, as well as aid bone marrow engraftment. Hence, therapeutic manipulation of Treg in vivo requires identification of Treg-specific receptors. This invention identifying LAG-3 as an exclusive Treg cell receptor regulating Treg function can be employed for:

• Developing new agonists and antagonists against LAG3 for the recognition, inhibition and activation of Treg cells
• Screening drugs and developing novel therapeutics for autoimmune diseases, cancer and infectious diseases
• Enhancing bone marrow transplantation

Technical Details

Johns Hopkins researchers have identified LAG-3 as a Treg specific marker modulating its suppressor activity. CD4+Tcells (Treg precursors) having high LAG-3 expresssion, display in vitro suppressor activity; and antibodies to LAG-3 inhibit the suppression both in vitro and in vivo. Hence, agonists and antagonists against LAG-3 can be employed to activate or inhibit Treg cells respectively. Manipulation of Treg cells in this manner can therefore be used to enhance immunotherapy of autoimmune diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, as well as enhance lymphocyte engraftment in settings of donor lymphocyte infusion, bone marrow transplantation and adoptive T cell transfer.

Looking for Partners

To develop & commercialize the technology for the testing of drugs and treatment of autoimmune diseases, cancer, chronic infection and enhancement of lymphocyte engraftment after bone marrow engraftment.

Stage of Development


Data Availability

Animal data and in vitro data in murine T cells.


Drew M. Pardoll, Charles Drake, Ching-Tai Huang, Jonathan Powell, Dario Vignali, Creg Jason Workman

Patent Status

Issued U.S. Patent No. 8,551,481; U.S. Published Patent Application No. 2013-0095114 A1

Publications/Associated Cases

J Immunol. 2005 Jan 15;174(2):688-95.


Regulatory T cells, autoimmune disease, cancer, bone marrow transplantation, LAG-3



Contact Information

Name: Jeanine Pennington

Address: 100 N. Charles Street
5th Floor

City: Baltimore

State: MD

Zip: 21201

Phone: 410-516-5680

Email: jpennin5@jhmi.edu

Website: www.techtransfer.jhu.edu