Chimaeric Innate Immune Receptors (CIIRS)

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Macrophages in lung tissue
Macrophages in lung tissue

University: University of Aberdeen

Sector(s): Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

About Opportunity:

Utilisation of the adaptive immune system to develop novel cancer treatments is a well-known strategy with CAR-T cell therapies demonstrating success against acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and other haematological malignancies. However potentially severe side effects, development of resistance and lack of efficacy targeting solid tumours has led to other approaches being considered.

University of Aberdeen researchers led by Professor Mark Vickers and Professor Rob Barker considered an alternative approach utilising the power of the innate immune system which has evolved to detect and destroy pathogens through phagocytosis.

CIRS is a novel anti-cancer technology developed at the University of Aberdeen in collaboration with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

The technology offers a potential novel approach to target cancer cells using the innate immune system by utilising previously unrecognised phagocytic receptors to allow reprogramming of phagocytic cells to target the desired tumour antigen.

In vitro proof of concept demonstration of the technology achieved by engineering phagocytic receptors and showing that reprogrammed phagocytic cells can clear target cells expressing the corresponding target ligand.

Key Benefits:

  • Uses receptors routinely used in cell disposal
  • May target solid tumours
  • Avoids T cell cytokine release syndrome
  • Potential to maintain long term anti-tumour effects (through CD34+ autografting)


  • Cancer therapy

IP Status:

A priority patent application covering the core concepts was filed on 31st October 2017 (UK application number 1717974.8).

Further information is available under CDA with the University keen to engage with parties interested in development and licensing of the technology.


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