Combatting Therapeutic-Protein Aggregation

Aggregation can occur across the process of making a therapeutic protein. Upstream, cell growth and protein stability depend on many factors and conditions, including aeration, agitation, antifoam agents, osmolarity, pH, and temperature. This poses another challenge: to tune parameters so as to optimize the product formation without inducing aggregation. For example, the optimum temperature for cell growth may affect the stability of therapeutic proteins.

In-Process Monitoring System Enables Real-Time Decision-Making

N-GLYcanyzer monitors monoclonal antibody (mAb) glycosylation in upstream biomanufacturing, enabling at- and on-line bioprocess monitoring of mAb titer within minutes of drawing a sample, and glycosylation monitoring within one to three hours of drawing a sample. It offers scalable, end-to-end integration and can be configured for batch and fed-batch bioprocessing models as well as continuous perfusion models for cell culturing.

Intervening in Beta Cell-Immune System Dialogue Could Prevent Diabetes, Study Suggests

University of Chicago scientists showed that knocking out a proimflammatory gene in the pancreatic beta cells of engineered mice protected the animals from developing diabetes. Using a drug compound to block the 12/15-lipoxygenase enzyme on human beta cells led to increased levels of levels of PD-L1, which the team suggests might block the immune system from destroying beta cells and prevent type 1 diabetes from developing in at risk patients.

Universal Influenza Vaccine, Developed at NIAID, Starts Clinical Trial

A Phase I clinical trial of a novel influenza vaccine has begun at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. The placebo-controlled trial is inoculating healthy, adult, volunteers to test the safety of a candidate vaccine, BPL-1357, and its ability to prompt immune responses. BPL-1357 is a whole-virus vaccine made up of four strains of non-infectious, chemically inactivated, low-pathogenicity avian flu virus.

Novartis Eliminating 8,000 Jobs in Global Restructuring

Novartis said 1,400 of the 8,000 jobs to be eliminated are based in its headquarters country of Switzerland, where the company is based in Basel. Switzerland accounts for approximately 11,600 people within Novartis’ total workforce of 108,000. Novartis has promised to offer workers whose jobs are being eliminated job brokering, career center support, best placement and development activities intended to improve employee chances of find new jobs internally and externally.

Common HIV Treatment Improves Cognition in Down Syndrome Mice

Lamivudine, an antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV, improves cognition in a mouse model of Down syndrome, according to the findings of a new study by researchers in Spain. Their work highlights the potential to use pharmacological interventions that impact on the same target as does lamivudine, to help ameliorate cognitive impairment in people with Down syndrome. The team now plans to initiate clinical trials evaluating lamivudine in people with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Effects Found Broader in the Body than Previously Realized

Nearly six million older adults have Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S., which is expected to double by 2050. Researchers say the burden of Alzheimer’s is steadily increasing, leading towards a neurological epidemic. Recent findings suggest that not only is this disorder incredibly complex, but that its pathology includes most known biological pathways. The disease’s effects are far broader in the body than previously realized.

Jellyfish Sting Mechanism Unveiled; Could Help Design Future Delivery Devices

The stinging organelles of jellyfish and sea anemones are “remarkable cellular weapons” that are used for both predation and defense. But how do they actually work? New research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has unveiled a precise operational model for the nematocyst of one species of sea anemone, providing new mechanistic insights that could have future therapeutic applications.

Obesity-Induced Liver Cancer Triggered by Leaky Membranes

Leaky membranes in aging liver cells release cancer-promoting factors that activate regulatory T cells, a new study demonstrates. High-fat diet weakens gut barrier function, resulting in the migration and accumulation of lipoteichoic acid in the liver, that is secreted by gut bacteria. Lipoteichoic acid stimulates the cleavage of gasdermin D protein that forms pores in the cell membrane through which cancer promoting IL-1β and IL-33 are released from liver fibroblasts.

StockWatch: Analysts See Positives If Merck Buys Seagen

Word of a potential Seagen takeover comes about two months after the company’s president, CEO and chairman Clay Siegall, PhD, was arrested April 23 on a charge of assault in the fourth degree DV, a gross misdemeanor, by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office following an alleged incident of domestic violence at his home in the Seattle suburb of Woodway, WA. Siegall—who has denied any wrongdoing—resigned last month from the company’s helm.