Sonja Schrepfer, MD, PhD, Sana Biotechnology, Seattle, WA, describes the current landscape of allogeneic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) banks are used to facilitate HLA profile matching, however, rejection may still occur upon transplantation due to immune recognition of foreign peptides. This issue may be circumvented through complete allogeneic transplantation of HLA mismatched cells and developing strategies to overcome the immune barrier such as using gene editing approaches. Hypoimmunogenic iPSCs that completely evade the host immune system are currently being investigated which would remove the need for immunosuppression following transplantation. This interview took place during the American Society for Cell & Gene Therapy 24th Annual Meeting 2021.
Sonja Schrepfer is a scientific founder and stockholder of Sana Biotechnology, Inc. (“Sana”). Since Feb 2019, Sonja Schrepfer has been an employee of Sana in South San Francisco, CA, and since 2015, has been a Professor of Surgery at the University of California San Francisco (“UCSF”).