Having corresponded with Dr. Druey at NIH, I can provide context for this news. First, to my knowledge, nobody besides Dr. Druey and his team at NIH, and some colleagues he has partnered with in various medical schools, are carrying out biomedical research on SCLS -- or what is best described as primary capillary leak syndrome, because SCLS is not the consequence or side effect of any other bodily illness. It is a stand-alone phenomenon.
However, there is ongoing research on capillary leaks that are precipitated by other illnesses, like sepsis, certain autoimmune diseases, differentiation syndrome, engraftment syndrome, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and snakebite and ricin poisoning. Moreover, there is new research on capillary leaks caused by chemotherapy medications gemcitabine and tagraxofusp, as well as certain interleukins and monoclonal antibodies. In other words, there is research money and effort going to areas related to secondary capillary leak syndrome, because they affect many more people than those of us who experience SCLS -- cancer patients, in particular. Therefore, I have been very hopeful that some of that research would provide new insights for Druey and team.
And this announcement is the first example. Here is a Korean biotech company, PharmAbcine, whose bread-and-butter business is developing new cancer antibody drugs, and they came up with something (a novel Tie2-activating antibody) which apparently inhibits blood vessel leakiness in mouse tumor models. When they heard that Dr. Druey has also been doing research on capillary leakage using not just mice but also endothelial cells from SCLS patients, they entered into a contract with NIH to jointly determine whether PharmAbcine's new creation might also inhibit vascular leakage using human cells grown from patients with primary capillary leaks.
This is all research that will be carried out in laboratory conditions, so no human trials are envisioned at this point. If anybody experiencing an episode of SCLS in the United States would like to contribute to this and other research efforts, please have your family or other caregivers request that your doctors make arrangements to deliver your episode blood samples -- namely, the first blood draws upon your arrival to the hospital -- to Dr. Druey via overnight delivery under conditions that he will gladly spell out (e.g., chilled but not frozen blood). Episode blood cannot otherwise be obtained, and since most of us are not having episodes anymore, it is in very short supply for use in experiments of the kind envisioned in this instance.