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What research is being done on cell-based biologic agents?
Cell-based biologic agents largely consist of cells, both primary cells and immortalized cell lines, which are manipulated in some manner with the aim of altering their function to elicit a desired effect. These desired effects can include integration and proliferation at a specific site (i.e., repairing dead tissues), targeted cell-cell interactions (i.e., cytotoxic killing), elevated paracrine activity to induce environmental changes (i.e., promoting angiogenesis), and introducing genetic alterations.
Cell-based biologics can serve both as active agents and as research models. For example, in the same way that a cell can be engineered to express the correct copy of a defective gene and then introduced with the aim of fixing a mutation-induced deficiency, that same cell can be manipulated to possess the identical mutation observed in vivo to create a disease research model for further experimentation.
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