Sanofi, GSK Launch Phase II Trial of “Refined” COVID-19 Vaccine

Sanofi and GSK said they have begun testing their COVID-19 vaccine candidate in a Phase II trial (VAT00002; NCT04762680) that is expected to recruit 720 volunteer participants ages 18 and older, with the goal of selecting the most appropriate antigen dosage for a Phase III study expected to begin in the second quarter.

COVID-19 Disease Severity May Be Driven by Antibody Responses

The variation in COVID-19 disease severity may be explained, in part, by different antibody signatures. Researchers found that levels of specific types of antibodies may be driving different responses, including one specific to severe disease in adults and another specific to MIS-C in children. Discovering how the immune system's response shapes COVID-19 and its outcome can help researchers develop treatments based on modulating the immune response.

BioVaxys and BioElpida Sign Ovarian Cancer Drug Manufacturing Deal

The term sheet covers the production of clinical grade BVX-0918A, BioVaxys’ vaccine for Stage III/Stage IV ovarian cancer. A European Union Phase I/II clinical trial is slated for early 2022, pending European Medicines Agency (EMEA) approval.

Lilly, Rigel Launch Up-to-$960M Partnership to Develop RIPK1 Inhibitors

The companies reason that inhibiting RIPK1 could effectively treat various autoimmune, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Protein Flips Switch between Burning and Storing Fat, Highlights Potential Obesity...

Studies in mice by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, identified a role for a single protein in regulating diet-induced obesity. The research found that weight gain in mice in which activity of eIF4E was inhibited either genetically or by using a compound that is in clinical development against cancer, was only half that of control mice, even if all the animals were fed the same high-fat diet.

Charles River Acquires Cell and Gene Therapy CDMO Cognate for $875M

Charles River reasons that in acquiring Cognate, it can provide its clients with an integrated solution from basic research and discovery through cGMP production, thus positioning itself as a premier scientific partner for cell and gene therapy development, testing, and manufacturing.

Preventing Regulatory T Cells from Feeding on Lactate Slows Tumor Growth...

Regulatory T cells are metabolically flexible and can use alternative metabolites like lactate in the tumor microenvironment to maintain their suppressive function. This helps tumors evade immune attack by metabolically supporting regulatory T cells.

New Technique Developed for Large-Scale Continuous Protein Purification

Novel method uses a hollow fiber membrane, shaped like a tube, as a filter. As a protein precipitate flows through the hollow fiber, unwanted host cell proteins and media pass through the sides of the tube and can be removed.

After Cancer Cases, Bluebird Bio Suspends Two Sickle Cell Trials

The temporary suspensions affect the Phase I/II HGB-206 trial, an ongoing, open-label study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of LentiGlobin gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD); and the Phase III HGB-210 trial, an ongoing single-arm open-label study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of LentiGlobin in patients between two years and 50 years of age with SCD.

AI Gets Gene Therapy Over the Immunity Hump

Focusing on a 28-amino-acid segment, investigators generated more than 200,000 variants of the AAV2 wildtype sequence, which yielded some 110,000 viable engineered capsids, half of which surpassed the average diversity of natural AAV serotype sequences with 12-29 mutations across the region.

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