BETHESDA, Md., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: NWBO) (NW Bio), a biotechnology company developing DCVax® personalized immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, announced today that it has been issued a key U.S. patent (#8389278) covering novel processes for manufacturing human dendritic cells. The cells produced through these processes are much more potent in their capacity to activate the immune system than those produced by the standard methods used throughout academia and industry today to produce dendritic cells. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110329/SF73084LOGO) This patent has also been issued in Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Korea, Singapore, Russia and other countries. The standard methods used to produce dendritic cells today involve several key steps, which start with precursors of dendritic cells (called "monocytes") obtained through a blood draw, then develop the precursors into immature dendritic cells, and finally develop these cells into mature and activated dendritic cells. The standard methods cause some premature activation of the precursors before they become immature dendritic cells, and this premature activation orients the cells toward becoming an undesired cell type rather than dendritic cells. This has to be stopped and overcome by treating the cells with a biochemical factor known as IL-4. This redirection results in conflicting signals, and dendritic cells that are somewhat "confused." In contrast, the patented NW Bio processes closely track the natural processes that occur in a healthy person's immune system. NW Bio's methods avoid the premature activation of the precursors (monocytes), and develop pure immature dendritic cells -- avoiding the conflicting and confusing signals, and the need to override those signals with IL-4. Building upon the pure immature dendritic cells, NW Bio's patented methods develop mature and activated dendritic cells that are far more potent than dendritic cells produced in the standard way. For example, NW Bio's dendritic cells produce as much as 10X or more the amount of signaling compounds which are key to mobilizing other active agents of the immune system, such as T cells (which infiltrate and attack tumors) and B cells (which produce antibodies).