Lupus Patients Treated Successfully with mAb Targeting Plasma Cells

A team of scientists from Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum (DRFZ) Berlin, a Leibniz Institute, report that they have successfully treated two patients with the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The promising results seen in SLE may be transferable to other autoimmune diseases in which autoantibodies play a role.

Digital Tools Push Single-Use Technology Challenges to the Side

In a previous podcast, we heard about the power of virtual collaborations during a pharmaceutical company’s push to meet their manufacturing goals during a...

New Rapid and Inexpensive Test Shows How Antibiotic Combinations Kill Bacteria

Scientists at Uppsala University say they have developed a new technique to determine how effective two antibiotics combined can be in stopping bacterial growth. The new method is simple for laboratories to use and can provide greater scope for customizing treatment of bacterial infections.

Scientists Solve High-Resolution Structure of Psychedelic Drugs Bound to Serotonin Receptors

Scientists at the University of California at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and Stanford University School of Medicine, have solved the high-resolution structure of psychedelix drugs such as LSD and psilocybin, when actively bound to the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor (HTR2A) on the surface of brain cells. The researchers say this first glimpse of how such drugs act at the molecular level will provide key insights into how they work, and could accelerate the discovery of fast-acting antidepressants and potentially drugs to treat additional neuropsychiatric conditions, such as severe anxiety and substance use disorder.

Merck & Co. Commits Up to $4.2B toward Seattle Genetics Cancer...

The companies agreed to co-develop and co-commercialize globally Seattle Genetics’ Phase II antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) ladiratuzumab vedotin, while Merck was granted an exclusive license to commercialize Seattle Genetics’ marketed drug Tukysa® (tucatinib) in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, and other regions outside of the United States, Canada, and Europe.

SARS-CoV-2 Spike Is Primed by Cellular Heparin Sulfate to Bind ACE2

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has been found to bind ACE2 and to infect host cells more readily after it interacts with cellular heparan sulfate, which is found on lung cell surfaces, opens the spike protein’s receptor binding domain, and appears to act as a co-receptor. This discovery suggests new therapeutic opportunities, including manipulation of heparan sulfate and the introduction of exogenous heparin.

Beyond the Spike: The COVAXX Approach to a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVAXX’s UB-612 program focuses on developing its Multitope Peptide-based Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, constructed from a peptide-based platform first deployed by parent company United Biomedical. COVAXX has launched a Phase I trial of UB-612 in Taiwan, with a U.S. Phase I trial and a readout of data in non-human primates planned this fall.

Gilead to Acquire Immunomedics for $21B, Adding Breast Cancer ADC to...

The acquisition will bring to Gilead TrodelvyTM (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy), a first-in-class Trop-2 directed antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) indicated for the treatment of adults with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) who have received at least two prior therapies for metastatic disease.

Parkinson’s Disease Drug Stabilizes Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Improves Vision

The results of an open-label pilot study found that patients with an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) demonstrated improved vision and stabilized disease following treatment using the Parkinson’s disease therapy, levodopa. The study demonstrated that levodopa was safe and well-tolerated, and reduced the need for patients with neovascular AMD (nAMD) to receive expensive, painful anti-VEGF injections. These early findings point to the potential use of levodopa as an effective adjuvant therapy to anti-VEGF injections for nAMD.

COVID-19: AstraZeneca, U. of Oxford Resume Phase III Trial; Pfizer, BioNTech...

AstraZeneca said the Phase III trial of AZD1222 was resumed after receiving confirmation from the U.K.’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so, while BioNTech and Pfizer are seeking FDA approval to expand their Phase II/III trial to about 44,000 participants.

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