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No two people have quite the same immune system. And while that fact can make matching bone marrow and organ transplants torturously difficult, a Bay Area biotech believes it can harness immune diversity to treat a range of deadly cancers.

ImmuneBridge, a San Francisco-based startup, is developing cancer immunotherapies based on natural killers, or NK cells, a class of immune cells that efficiently target cancerous and virus-infected cells. Other companies are already genetically modifying and equipping these cells with molecules to make them more lethal cancer killers. But ImmuneBridge is convinced there are naturally occurring NK cells that can do the job — they just might not be the cells currently in your body.


The firm is collecting umbilical cord blood from public repositories across the U.S. and elsewhere. The idea is to search for samples that can generate NK cells with unusually potent cancer-killing activity and to deliver these to patients in need.

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