Narrator: This is Science Today. A new transplant drug called Zenapax was found to reduce episodes of kidney rejection by 37 percent. Dr. Flavio Vincenti, of the Kidney Transplant Service at the University of California, San Francisco, says the drug primarily uses humanized antibodies to fight off infection, as opposed to previous mouse-derived antibodies.
Vincenti: The new humanized antibody is 90% human and less than 10% mouse. So now we have an antibody that can do the same function as a mouse antibody, but doesn't have any of the shortcomings. It is accepted as human by the body because it is and it will last a long time.
Narrator: Zenapax also specifically targets a receptor on the white cell which is directly involved with the rejection process.
Vincenti: It doesn't target all the immune cells. It doesn't shut down all the immune system, like all the drugs that we have used so far.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.