Biotech startup Rubius Therapeutics is aiming to develop targeted disease therapy using red blood cells. Rubius’ CEO, Torben Straight Nissen, believes their treatment is “basically superblood” (because their treatments are made using red blood cells). Rubius plans to equip red blood cells with a therapeutic protein that can be tailored to treat a particular condition. Initially, the company wants to develop superblood therapies that replace missing enzymes in patients suffering from rare diseases, as well as treat cancer and autoimmune disorders like lupus and type 1 diabetes.
Unlike T-cell therapy, red blood cell therapies do not need to be as personalised. Rubius claims they only need one universal donor to generate enough therapeutic doses to treat hundreds to thousands of different patients.