Study Finds Biothera Compounds Enhance Human Immune Cell Function

EAGAN, MN – May 1, 2007 –Biothera’s patented compounds enhance the anti-microbial function of human neutrophils, the most abundant immune cell in the body, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Immunology.

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University measured the ability of neutrophils to kill filamentous Candida albicans, a common cause of hospital-acquired infections.

Biothera’s yeast-derived beta 1,3/1,6 glucans (Imprime PGG(TM) and WGP(R) 3-6) are pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) that activate or enhance the anti-microbial function of immune cells. Antibodies capable of blocking the binding of the beta glucans to neutrophils resulted in a diminished host response to Candida albicans. Moreover, neutrophils utilized a receptor called Complement Receptor 3 (CR3) to mediate the recognition of fungal beta glucan.

“This research confirms and broadens our understanding of how Imprime PGG and WGP 3-6 prime human immune cells,” said Jonathan Reichner, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Surgery at the Brown University Medical School. “The study also elucidates recognition and signaling mechanisms used by neutrophils in response to beta glucan under conditions where phagocytosis is not involved in killing.”

There is a growing body of data supporting the ability of yeast beta glucans to benefit immune function and the body’s efforts to protect itself from disease. Imprime PGG binds to neutrophils, the most abundant immune cell in the body, and primes them for heightened immune activity. Previous preclinical studies have demonstrated that Imprime PGG-bound neutrophils attack and kill cancer cells when complement and antibodies are present, thus, engaging the innate immune system in the fight against cancer. In cancer, like in the immune response to Candida albicans, neutrophils respond to therapeutic glucans by using cell surface CR3.

Imprime PGG is Biothera’s immune modulating drug candidate that is in Phase I/II clinical trials. WGP 3-6 is a food-grade ingredient designed to support healthy immune function and is marketed to manufacturers of dietary supplements, functional foods, cosmetics and animal nutrition.

The citation for the study is: Liz M. Lavigne, Jorge E. Albina, and Jonathan S. Reichner. “B-Glucan is a Fungal Determinant for Adhesion-Dependent Human Neutrophil Functions.” Journal of Immunology, Dec 2006; 177: 8667 - 8675.

About Biothera, the Immune Health Company
Biothera is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving immune health. The company's primary focus is developing pharmaceuticals that engage the innate immune system to fight cancer. Other applications include hematopoietic (white blood cell) recovery and infectious disease. In addition, Biothera manufactures and markets food-grade ingredients that support healthy immune function to the nutritional supplement, functional food, cosmetic and animal nutrition markets. Website:

David Walsh
VP, Communications
Biothera, the Immune Health Company
[email protected]

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.