COVID-19 Severity Predicted by Early Presence of Afucosylated Antibodies

Early non-neutralizing, afucosylated IgG antibodies, specific to SARS-CoV-2 infection, were found to be associated with progression from mild to more severe COVID-19. Researchers identified the early biomarker of risk through analysis of blood samples from 178 adults who tested positive for COVID-19. This work could eventually lead to a test that, given soon after a positive COVID-19 result, would help clinicians identify high-risk patients.

Nanoparticles Improve Immunosuppression, Could Boost Diabetes Treatment

A nanocarrier delivery system re-engineered the immunosuppressive mechanism of Rapamycin by changing the cell types that are targeted. Using rapamycin-loaded nanocarriers, researchers generated a more targeted, controlled immunosuppression effect via direct modulation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) instead of T cells. Altering how immunosuppression is achieved could be particularly useful in the treatment of islet transplantation for treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Purdue Researchers Advance Cancer Immunotherapy Approach

Novel lead compound, called L-1, has no in vivo side effects and leads to reduced tumor growth and enhanced immune infiltration, according to research team from the College of Pharmacy at Purdue University. The researchers collaborated with colleagues at Johns Hopkins University, and demonstrated that PTPN22 inhibition by L-1 can be further leveraged to augment antitumor effects by immune checkpoint inhibitor anti-PD1.

Researchers Uncover New Ways to Determine Effectiveness of Cancer Therapies

There have been many advances in therapies against pathways altered in cancer cells. However, there are targeted therapies that remain less effective. Now, researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine report they have discovered a new way to determine how effective a drug might be against cancer. 

Digital Twin for Accelerating Vaccine Development & Manufacturing

The COVID-19 pandemic unveiled the crucial need for fast methods of creating and producing new vaccines, but GSK was already on the case. In 2019—before the world knew about SARS-CoV-2—GSK teamed up with Atos and Siemens to create a digital twin of vaccine development and manufacturing. This virtual replica, said Sandrine Dessoy, digital innovation lead at GSK, is “a dynamic tool—a simulation of the vaccine process.”

Advanced Therapy Biomanufacturing as a Service

Company reports that they have developed a cloud-based automated manufacturing platform, which can be purchased as pieces of equipment for academic research work, or as a mobile cleanroom space for scaled-up manufacturing. It was built to be cloud-native, i.e., to connect in real-time to the cloud, structure, and aggregate, and then apply machine learning to understand and receive feedback on processes in real-time.

Study Identifies Protein and Mechanism Involved in Cells’ Defenses Against Skin...

Studies by researchers at The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology CRG revealed new insights into the molecular mechanisms that underpin the body’s natural defenses against the development of skin cancer. The results suggested that CSDE1 coordinates a chain of events that trigger senescence in skin cells, which ultimately acts as a firewall against cancer that suppresses the formation of tumours. The findings could offer up new therapeutic targets for treating the disease.

Flow Cytometry as Process Analytical Technology

Advances in flow cytometry have created opportunities for single-cell analysis in a variety of situations, including to assess cell population distributions in bioreactors. Notable improvements include automated, real-type flow cytometry (ART-FC), which allows real-time, operator-free measurements, a la process analytic technology (PAT). There is a real potential for ART-FC to evolve further, and possibly become a standard application in bioprocess monitoring and process control.

MAPK4 Identified as Potential Target for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Scientists headed by a team at Baylor College of Medicine reported that MAPK4 may play an important role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Analyzing public genomic datasets, the researchers discovered that a large subset of TNBC expresses significant levels of MAPK4. Eliminating MAPK4 reduced human TNBC cell growth in animal models and sensitized the cells to therapies that block PI3K, a known cancer growth-promoting signaling pathway.

Pfizer’s mRNA Day: Up-to-$1.35B Beam Partnership; Alliances with Acutius, Codex DNA,...

Pfizer has agreed to pay Beam $300 million upfront. Should Pfizer exercise its opt-in license rights for all three targets, the pharma giant would pay Beam up to $1.05 billion in payments tied to achieving development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. Beam is also eligible to receive royalties on global net sales for each licensed program.