Why in news?
Recently, U.S Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved a Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) therapy to treat adults with certain types of large B-Cell lymphoma (blood cancer).
Yescarta uses CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) Tcell therapy for treatment.
About Yescarta therapy
• It is a type of gene therapy that turns cells in the patient’s body into a “living drug” that targets and kills cancer cells.
• It has been given Orphan Drug Designation, under which it will be provided with financial incentives to encourage the development of drugs.
• Living Drug – Genetically modified cells are that are infused back into patients in CAR T-cell therapy, continue multiplying to fight disease for months or years. That’s why these immunotherapy treatments are called “living drugs.”
• Orphan Drug – A biological product or medicine that is intended to treat diseases so rare that sponsors are reluctant to develop them under usual marketing conditions. According to WHO, disease having fewer than 100 patients per 100,000 population is described as rare disease and fewer than 2 patients per 100,000 is described as ultra rare disease. Examples of the rare diseases are haemophilia, thalassemia etc.
• Genes – They are the biological templates the body uses to make the structural proteins and enzymes needed to build and maintain tissues and organs. Humans have about 20,000 genes bundled into 23 pairs of chromosomes all coiled up in the nucleus of nearly every cell in the body.
Human immune system?
The Immune system is a complex network of cells and organs that work together to defend against foreign substances (antigens-bacteria, virus etc.). Various cells associated are:
• B-cell – It is a type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. Antibodies are large Y-shaped proteins which bind to specific antigens. This signals the other cells of the immune system to get rid of the invading microbes.
• T-cell – These are designed to recognise the molecular signatures of particular proteins, such as those from bacteria, in order to activate an immune response.
• Macrophage – It is the first cell to recognize and engulf foreign substances. It may break down these substances and present the smaller proteins to the T lymphocytes .
GENOME SEQUENCING OF RAGI
Why in news?
Recently, Genome sequencing of Ragi has been done.
• It was introduced to India in around 3,000 BC.
• It has a low glycemic index, so preferred by diabetics.
• Ragi is drought resistant and is the main crop of dry land farmers.
• It occupies 12% of global millet cultivation area.
• Karnataka, which has the second largest droughtprone crop land after Rajasthan, leads in its cultivation.
What is Genome sequencing?
• Genome sequencing is figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome i.e. the order of As (Adenine), Cs (Cytosine), Gs (Guanine), and Ts (Thymine) which make up an organism’s DNA. The human genome is made up of over 3 billion of these genetic letters.
• It may provide new information on the genetic basis of poorly understood diseases, with the potential to provide new therapies.