Jakafi Success Helps Incyte Land Blockbuster MorphoSys Partnership

Incyte’s success with Jakafi® (ruxolitinihb) helped persuade MorphoSys that its tafasitamab (MOR208) could also be successfully commercialized by the Wilmington, DE, biopharma, which is licensing the B cell malignancy treatment candidate through a collaboration that could generate more than $2 billion for the German cancer drug developer.

Melanoma Treatment Resistance Linked to Cytoskeletal Changes, Highlighting Tumor Vulnerability

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London discovered that melanoma cells survive anticancer immunotherapy by increasing the activity of two cytoskeletal proteins, ROCK and myosin II. The scientists’ in vitro and in vivo studies showed that melanoma cells stopped responding to immunotherapies BRAF inhibition by increasing the activity of two cytoskeletal proteins ROCK and myosin II. Studies in mice showed that the effectiveness of immune checkpoint therapy effectiveness was increased by the addition of ROCK-myosin II inhibition.

Leukemia’s Favorite Fix, Vitamin B6, Vulnerable to Pharmacological Blockade

CRISPR-Cas9 screening technology has been used to shut down genes determined to be active in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The screen identified PDXK, an enzyme that produces pyridoxal phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B6, as an AML-selective dependency. In fact, this dependency was likened to an addiction. Pharmacological blockade of the vitamin B6 pathway at both PDXK and PLP levels recapitulated PDXK disruption effects.

Bacteria Self-Destruct to Halt Phage Infection

Researchers have discovered how a new bacterial immune system works to fight off the bacteriophages that attack them in which the infected bacterial cell self-destructs to keep the infection from spreading to other cells. The new information could be employed to improve treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections by refining phage therapy or even purposefully triggering bacterial self-destruction.

Cancer Immunotherapies Plot Regicide

So, what does it take to put cancer down and, most important, keep it down? A coalition. According to the four scientists consulted in this article, the ultimate coalition is one that combines immune system elements and human-made factors. This coalition is called … cancer immunotherapy.

From J.P. Morgan: Cell, Gene Therapy to Drive Biopharma M&A in...

After reaching an all-time high of $357 billion in 2019 (as of November 30), life sciences mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are unlikely to surpass that record combined value this year—but the number of deals is likely to bounce back from a year-over-year drop, with cell and gene therapy developers expected to carry out a growing number of those deals, EY has concluded in a report.

Artificial Organelles Help Natural Vesicles Serve as Molecular Factories

To avoid the difficulties posed by fully equipped artificial cells, scientists have developed a stripped-down but still customizable cell mimic. Called the molecular factory, the cell mimic is built by loading giant plasma membrane vesicles (derived from donor cells) with nanometer‐sized artificial organelles (multicompartmentalized reactive systems). The artificial organelles, which have the benefit of a cell-like environment, can produce specific bioactive compounds in vivo.

Boehringer Ingelheim, Enleofen Ink $1B-Per-Product Anti-IL-11 Partnership Focused on NASH, Lung...

Boehringer Ingelheim has acquired exclusive global rights to Enleofen Bio’s preclinical interleukin-11 (IL-11) platform to develop new therapies for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), and multiple other fibrotic human disorders, in a deal that could generate for the Singapore developer of antibody therapeutics more than $1 billion per product developed.

Antibody Combination Prevents HIV Transmission from Mother to Infant

When the single dose of antibody-based treatment is given is key. Monkey newborns receiving the antibodies 30 hours after being exposed to the virus did not develop SHIV. Delaying treatment until 48 hours resulted in half of the baby macaques developing SHIV.

Melanoma Immunotherapy Enhanced by Targeting Treg Cell Control Protein

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have identified a new potential strategy for boosting the immune system's ability to fight cancer. Their study findings suggest that a protein known as Siah2 is involved in the control of T regulatory cells that limit the effectiveness of anticancer immunotherapies. In mice that lacked Siah2 anti-PD-1 therapy cleared BRAF-mutated tumors that would otherwise resist therapy.

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