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Aug 29, 2013

Idera, NCI to Pit TLR Antagonists against B-Cell Lymphomas

  • Idera Pharmaceuticals entered into a Materials Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (M-CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to evaluate the company’s Toll-like receptor (TLR) antagonists as a potential approach to the treatment of certain genetically defined B-cell lymphomas.

    Idera's technology platform, according to the firm, involves creating synthetic RNA- and DNA-based compounds to modulate immune responses. Idera has applied this platform to develop TLR antagonists as immunomodulatory drug candidates.

    Recently, Idera presented results of a Phase I trial of IMO-8400, an antagonist of TLRs 7, 8, and 9 being developed for potential applications in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In addition to being well tolerated at all dose levels, IMO-8400-treated subjects showed inhibition of TLR 7-, 8-, and 9-mediated cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interferon-alpha (IFN-α), and other pro-inflammatory cytokines. Another TLR antagonist, IMO-3100, is currently being tested in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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