Wistar Institute: Timeline of key events

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Norman Klinman, an American immunologist, devises a splenic fragments culture technique for growing antibodies.1969-01-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccine, RA27/3 had been developed by a team headed by Stanley Plotkin.1969-01-01T00:00:00+00001972-01-01T00:00:00+0000Swiss-born immunologist Walter Gerhard cultivates single antibodies with known specificity against influenza viruses using Klinman's splenic fragment technique.1975-01-01T00:00:00+0000Koprowski uses myeloma cells from Milstein's laboratory to generate monoclonal antibodies against tumour antigens. This work forms the basis of the first patent later awarded for monoclonal antibodies.1976-09-01T00:00:00+0000Hilary Koprowski, Polish born virologist and Carlo Croce, Italian born geneticist, both based at the Wistar Institute, file for the first US patent for monoclonal antibodies. The antibodies are made against viral antigens using cells supplied from Milstein's laboratory in September 1976. 1977-06-01T00:00:00+0000Hilary Koprowski, Polish-born virologist and director of the Wistar Institute, together with American entrepreneur Michael Wall establish Centocor with Dutch-born biochemist Hubert Schoemaker and American scientist Ted Allen. Located in Philadelphia, Centocor is the second American company established to commercialise monoclonal antibodies for medical diagnostics and therapeutics.1979-05-01T00:00:00+0000Hilary Koprowski, Polish-born virologist, and colleagues granted US patent for monoclonal antibodies against tumour antigens (US Patent 4,172,124). The patent helps in the building of Centocor, the second American biotechnology set up to commercialise monoclonal antibodies. It also causes a major political controversy in Britain as the patent makes broad claims, essentially patenting the technique first developed by Cesar Milstein and George Kohler in 1975.1979-10-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccine was developed by Stanley Plotkin, Hilary Koprowski and Tadeusz Wiktor at the Wistar Institute1980-01-01T00:00:00+0000Tests begin with 17-1A, also known as edrecolomab, a monoclonal antibody developed at the Wistar Institute. 1980-12-01T00:00:00+0000M Kobayashi, L Fitz, M Ryan, RM Hewick, SC Clark, S Chan, R Loudon, F Sherman, B Perussia, G Trinchieri, ' Identification and purification of natural killer cell stimulatory factor (NKSF), a cytokine with multiple biologic effects on human lymphocytes', Journal Expermental Medicine', 170 (1989), 827-45.1989-09-01T00:00:00+0000Developed to treat Gram-negative sepsis, Centoxin originated from research conducted by Henry Kaplan and Nelson Teng based at Stanford University. It was licensed to Centocor, a small biotechnology company in Philadelphia. Following the FDA's request for more information, Centocor watched US$1.5 billion of its market capitalisation disappear. The news also had a devastating impact on other companies developing monoclonal antibody drugs. 1992-02-20T00:00:00+00001993-01-01T00:00:00+0000German regulatory authorities approve edrecolomab (Panorex) as an adjuvant treatment for post-operative colorectal cancer. The monoclonal antibody, originally known as 17-1A, was developed at the Wistar Institute and commercially developed for market by Centocor. 1995-01-01T00:00:00+0000Developed by William Wunner at the Wistar Institute1995-01-01T00:00:00+0000Research conducted by a team lead by Martha Jordan and published in Nature Immunology2001-03-28T00:00:00+0000Research led by Frank J Rauscher, published in Genes and Development.2002-04-14T00:00:00+0000Headed by Laszlo Otvos the research was published in the European Journal of Biochemistry.2002-08-07T00:00:00+0000Research carried out by Ramin Shiekhattar published in Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2002-08-20T00:00:00+0000Research led by Rajasekharan Somasundaram and Dorothee Herlyn published in Cancer Research.2002-09-14T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1969Splenic fragment technique devised for growing antibodiesKlinmanWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
1969 - 1970First license approved in US and Europe for vaccine against rubella (German measles)PlotkinWistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
1972Wistar Instute named National Cancer Institute - first research institution to gain such a title Wistar InstituteOncology
1975Short-lasting antibodies against influenza virus devisedGerhardWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
Sep 1976Cesar Milstein supplies myeloma cells to Hilary Koprowski at the Wistar Institute for producing monoclonal antibodiesKoprowski, MilsteinLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Wistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
Jun 1977First US patent application filed for monoclonal antibodiesCroce, Koprowski, MilsteinWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
May 1979Centocor foundedKoprowski, Schoemaker, WallWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
Oct 1979First US patent for monoclonal antibodies grantedKoprowski, MilsteinWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
1980US licensed first rabies vaccine for human useKoprowski, Plotkin, WiktorWistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
Dec 1980Clinical tials begin with a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancerKoprowskiWistar InstituteMonoclonal antibodies
Sep 1989Giorgio Trinchieri and colleagues identified interleukin-12 (IL-12), a cytokine that helps regulate the body’s resistance to infections and cancerKobayashi, Fitz, Ryan, Hewick, Clark, Chan, Loudon, Sherman, Perussia, TrinchieriWistar InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Feb 1992Monoclonal antibodies market crashed following FDA's call for more information for Centocor's drug, CentoxinSchoemaker, Koprowski, MilsteinCentocor, WistarMonoclonal antibodies
1993Wistar Institute patented Bcl-2, the first of a family of genes associated with different types of cancer Wistar InstituteOncology
1995First monoclonal antibody therapeutic for cancer approved for marketKoprowskiWistar Institute, CentocorMonoclonal antibodies
1995US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccine Wistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
Mar 2001Mechanism uncovered for the way the immune system generates regulatory T-cellsJordanWistar InstituteImmunology
Apr 2002Identification of new enzyme for silencing certain genes, opening new avenues for cancer treatmentsRauscherWistar InstituteGenetics
7 Aug 2002Scientists identified segment of insect-derived antimicrobial peptide called pyrrhocoricin necessary for killing off bacteria opening up possible avenue for developing new antibioticsOtvosWistar InstituteAntimicrobial resistance
20 Aug 2002Link identified between genes responsible for neurofibromatosis, a common neurological disorder, and a protein thought to play role in Alzheimer's diseaseShiekhattarWistar InstituteNeuroscience, Genetics
14 Sep 2002Regulatory T cells discovered to restrain cytolytic T cells attacking cancer via messanger chemical called TGF-betaHerlyn, SomasundaramWistar InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology

1969

Splenic fragment technique devised for growing antibodies

1969 - 1970

First license approved in US and Europe for vaccine against rubella (German measles)

1972

Wistar Instute named National Cancer Institute - first research institution to gain such a title

1975

Short-lasting antibodies against influenza virus devised

Sep 1976

Cesar Milstein supplies myeloma cells to Hilary Koprowski at the Wistar Institute for producing monoclonal antibodies

Jun 1977

First US patent application filed for monoclonal antibodies

May 1979

Centocor founded

Oct 1979

First US patent for monoclonal antibodies granted

1980

US licensed first rabies vaccine for human use

Dec 1980

Clinical tials begin with a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer

Sep 1989

Giorgio Trinchieri and colleagues identified interleukin-12 (IL-12), a cytokine that helps regulate the body’s resistance to infections and cancer

Feb 1992

Monoclonal antibodies market crashed following FDA's call for more information for Centocor's drug, Centoxin

1993

Wistar Institute patented Bcl-2, the first of a family of genes associated with different types of cancer

1995

First monoclonal antibody therapeutic for cancer approved for market

1995

US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccine

Mar 2001

Mechanism uncovered for the way the immune system generates regulatory T-cells

Apr 2002

Identification of new enzyme for silencing certain genes, opening new avenues for cancer treatments

7 Aug 2002

Scientists identified segment of insect-derived antimicrobial peptide called pyrrhocoricin necessary for killing off bacteria opening up possible avenue for developing new antibiotics

20 Aug 2002

Link identified between genes responsible for neurofibromatosis, a common neurological disorder, and a protein thought to play role in Alzheimer's disease

14 Sep 2002

Regulatory T cells discovered to restrain cytolytic T cells attacking cancer via messanger chemical called TGF-beta