Tang Prize winners reflect on the breakthroughs made possible by cytokine research

TAIPEI, November 27, 2021 / PRNewswire / – After the inspirational opening speech, “The Future Perspective of Cancer Immunotherapy,” delivered by Nobel Prize Winner and Tang Prize Winner Prof. Tasuku Honjo at the 14th Asia Pacific Federation of Pharmacologist Conference (APFP) on November 26th, The 2020 Tang Prize Winner’s Lecture in Biopharmaceutical Sciences in Taiwan, took place on the 14th APFP at 1:30 p.m. (GMT + 8) on November 27th. Co-organized by Dr. Wen-Chang Chang, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Taipei Medical University, and Dr. Yun Yen, Chair Professor at Taipei Medical University, this special session included presentations from three 2020 Tang Prize winners in Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Drs. Charles Dinarello, Marc Feldmann, and Tadamitsu Kishimoto, which provides valuable information on the role of cytokines in inflammation and COVID-19 disease and possible treatments.

The first lecture by Dr. Dinarello, entitled “Interleukin-1: The Prime Mediator of Systemic and Local Inflammation,” began its purification of leukocyte pryogen from human white blood cells in 1971. It then took him six years to find two fever-producing molecules, later referred to as IL-1α and IL-1β. In 1977 the research results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The second speaker, Dr. Feldmann, shared his views on “Translating Molecular Insights in Autoimmunity into Effective Therapy”. The focus of the first half of his talk was how he discovered that anti-TNF can be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. In the second half of the talk he informed us that TNF has two different goals: TNF receptor-1 (TNFR1), which drives inflammation, and TNF-receptor 2, which does exactly the opposite. Therefore, they are “in the process of generating tools” and have already blocked TNFR1 without changing the function of the regulatory T cells. With the third lecture on “Interleukin-6: From Arthritis to CAR-T and COVID-19”, Dr. Kishimoto alerted the audience to how IL-6 was discovered, why IL-6 is a pleiotropic molecule and responsible for both antibody production and the induction of inflammation. He also shed light on the effects of IL-6 on autoimmune diseases and how IL-6 can trigger cytokine storms.

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To help the public better understand the latest advances in the biomedical sciences, the Tang Prize Foundation will then make these three presentations available on its official website (https://www.tang-prize.org).

SOURCE The Tang Prize Foundation

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