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Plants as mRNA Factories for Edible Vaccines

University of California-Riverside researchers say they are studying whether they can turn edible plants into mRNA vaccine factories. The researchers are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens. The new project, if successful, would give plant-based mRNA vaccines the ability to be stored at room temperature.

Inflammasome Therapeutics Takes On Sustained Drug Delivery

Inflammasome has recently been awarded a $1.3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop dual bioerodible sustained-release implants that combine drugs for HIV prevention and birth control. The implant will deliver a steady dose of islatravir for HIV prevention and the hormone levonorgestrel for birth control.

New Algorithm Helps Target, Detect, and Isolate Pathogens

Researchers at McMaster University have developed a new tool that could help provide early warning of rare and unknown pathogens by targeting, isolating, and identifying DNA sequences. The findings pave the way for broader applications for human health and scientific discovery, and may aid in the detection of pathogens associated with life-threatening conditions such as sepsis.

Unconventional Myosin Protein Linked with Breast Cancer Response to Immune Checkpoint Blockade

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers uncovered a role for the protein-coding gene, MYO10, in regulating genomic instability, and in tumor development and immune therapy response. Their studies indicated that breast tumors with high levels of MYO10 responded favorably to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy, supporting the use of this type of treatment against these tumors. In contrast, tumors with low MYO10 grew larger after ICB therapy.

After Clinical Setbacks, Theravance Axes 75% of Workforce and Refocuses on Respiratory Drugs

The job reduction was announced the same day that Theravance acknowledged that its wholly-owned symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) candidate ampreloxetine (TD-9855) failed the Phase III Study 0169 (NCT03750552) by missing its primary endpoint of improvement in OHSA #1 in patients receiving the drug for four weeks compared to placebo.

Studying Gene Function Faster, Easier, and More Efficiently

The Baylor College of Medicine novel technology platform enables researchers to track genetic manipulations in Drosophila melanogaster without having to screen thousands of individual flies. The researchers describe the fundamentals of their new technology as well as examples of its applications.

Advanced Technology to Accelerate Development of Next-Generation Biotherapeutics

In this GEN webinar, sponsored by SCIEX, we will take a closer look at the latest technologies purpose-built to meet the challenges of the biopharmaceutical industry. For instance, we will hear details about a multi-capillary electrophoresis system that enables researchers to run multiple samples significantly faster than traditional methods, allowing for high-throughput analysis of protein purity and stability, as well as genome integrity and AAV purity.

Cancer Immunotherapy Gets a Power Up by PIP

Researchers at Kyoto University report they have developed a synthetic molecule called pyrrole-imidazole polyamide (PIP), that can be programmed to target a specific DNA sequence, and provide energy to anticancer immune cells. Further improvements are needed before the approach can be tested for clinical use, but the new approach gives hope to overcoming some of the limitations of immunotherapy.

Fourth Boy Dies in Trial of Astellas Gene Therapy Candidate

The fourth boy was the first and only patient who received the lower dose after the FDA lifted its initial clinical hold last year. According to Astellas, he was dosed over the summer and showed abnormal liver function tests (LFTs) within weeks after dosing with AT132. An initial elevation of hepatic lab values was observed within the first month of dosing, Astellas said September 1.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Neutralized by Bispecific Antibodies

Bispecific antibodies are a promising next-generation antidote against existing and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. A research team, led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has developed bispecific antibodies that simultaneously bind to two different antigens, targeting multiple regions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The researchers showed that these bispecific antibodies can neutralize the original virus as well as the emerging variants of concern.

Epigenetic Changes in Aging Stem Cells Rejuvenated by Acetate

Thinner bones and more fractures are common ailments of aging. One cause is the reduction of stem cell function caused by changes in the epigenome. More specifically, chromatin remodeling due to degradation of a citrate carrier. Now, researchers show that acetate is a key factor in the reversal of these changes in isolated stem cells—findings that could be relevant for the treatment of diseases such as osteoporosis.

Mammoth Valuation: Unicorn Pursues In Vivo CRISPR Drugs, Diagnostics

Both Mammoth’s therapies and diagnostics will be based on what the company touts as the largest toolbox of CRISPR proteins on earth. Through the financing, Mammoth plans to expand the toolbox and broaden its pipeline of genome-edited therapies, focusing on the smallest known CRISPR systems, based on Cas14, which targets single-stranded DNA; and Casɸ, which is encoded exclusively in the genomes of huge bacteriophages.

Smarter Control Vital for Modern Biopharmaceutical Production

The move to contract manufacturing and a need for rapid scaleup and flexible manufacturing require more advanced scale-free control systems that can be deployed at larger scales.

Empowering Hypoxia in Bioprocessing

Scientists say it might be possible to exploit the hypoxia signaling pathway in CHO cells to improve productivity by almost three-fold under oxygen-deficient conditions.

AI Lab of the Future Seeks to Build a Digital Cell

A research laboratory in Berlin is using automation and artificial intelligence to develop “digital twins” of cells for cell-line development.

Single Use for Manufacturing Cell-Based Therapies

What disposables did for mAbs they will do for cell-based therapies (CBTs), and more. Scalable single-use bioreactors are designed to support growth and expansion of induced pluripotent stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and exosomes.

Ebola Vaccine Good News: Clinical Trial Shows Strong Immune Response

Welcome news for Ebola virus disease prevention came yesterday in clinical trial data suggesting that Johnson & Johnson’s two-dose Ebola vaccine regimen is safe, well tolerated, and produces a strong immune response in people over the age of one. These results, from the EBOVAC-Salone study conducted in Sierra Leone, support the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine regimen for Ebola virus disease prevention.

Self-Assembling Drug Delivery System for Local Anesthetics

Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a self-assembling delivery system that releases a class of potent anesthetics called site-1 sodium channel blockers (S1SCBs) over a prolonged period locally, at the site of injection. S1SCBs that include tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin are an attractive alternative to opioids. The researchers modified two peptides in the sodium channel with hydrophobic domains to induce self-assembly into nanostructures that bind to S1SCBs and release the anesthetic when the nanofibers are in the proximity of the nerve, providing sustained local anesthesia.

Reproducible Synthetic Hydrogel Scaffold Supports Growth of Pancreatic and Other Tissue Organoids

MIT engineers, working with scientists at Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, developed a new way to grow pancreatic organoids—tiny replicas of the pancreas—from either healthy or cancerous pancreatic cells. Using a specialized synthetic hydrogel scaffold to mimic the extracellular environment, the researchers generated tiny pancreatic organoid structures that could be used to study the important interactions between pancreatic tumors and their environment.

Oxford Nanopore Files for London IPO, with Potential Value of $5.5B

Oxford Nanopore said in its registration filing that it serves customers in more than 100 countries. Researchers are using the Group's DNA/RNA sequencing technology for purposes that include analyzing human, cancer, plant, microbial/pathogen, food and/or environmental samples. The company’s tools and technologies have been written up to date in more than 2,100 scientific publications including preprints. Oxford Nanopore said it owns or in-licenses more than 2,000 patents and applications including 800 generated internally across more than 260 patent families.
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