Immune Cell in Women with Pancreatic Cancer Points to Potential for...

Karolinska Institute researchers uncovered a possible explanation for the sex-related difference in response to pancreatic cancer immunotherapy. They identified in female patients a population of immune cells that highly expresses a protein called FPR2, which obstruct the body’s immune response to pancreatic tumors. In vitro and in vivo studies pointed to the potential to develop drugs that alter the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, and allow the development of sex-specific immunotherapy approaches against pancreatic cancer.

StockWatch: Antitrust Fears Dampen Support for $43B Pfizer-Seagen Deal

Investors and other market watchers are waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop—as in possible antitrust challenges from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other global regulators. The FTC has flexed muscle against larger M&A deals that it perceives as creating new monopolies by stifling competition—most notably the continuing challenges by the agency and the European Union to kill Illumina’s $7.1 billion acquisition of cancer blood test developer Grail.

Expediting Antibody Discovery and Characterization with Flow Cytometry

This eBook, sponsored by Sartorius, highlights some of the most recent advancements in the field of antibody discovery, covering a range of methods of antibody characterization and the novel modalities produced.

Gut Microbiome Plays a Role in CAR-T Cell Immunotherapy Response

CAR-T cells are engineered cancer immunotherapies that boost or hijack a person’s immune system to target their cancer. Increasing evidence from human studies and preclinical experiments suggests that the gut microbiome may modulate the efficacy of T cell-driven cancer immunotherapies, such as immune checkpoint blockade. Now, researchers have found that the gut microbiome may modulate the efficacy of CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy in patients with B cell leukemias and lymphomas.

Chiral Particles to Realize the Promise of Nanomedicine

Chiral molecules are widely used in drug design, with some molecules designed to interact with the body in an enantiomer-specific manner. For instance, D-Ethambutol is an anti-tuberculosis medication, while L-Ethambutol can induce blindness. The introduction of chirality into nanoparticles (NPs) and nanoassemblies is a promising venue to enhance nanomedicine’s translational impact. Chiral NPs are synthesized by binding a chiral ligand onto the surface of an NP.

Biomanufacturing Facility Upgrades at Catalent, Recipharm, and Lonza

Catalent's upgrades were put in place to reduce timelines to first-in-human clinical evaluation; Recipharm's Arranta Bio announced that capacity has been doubled at its Watertown, MA facility; Lonza enhanced its powder characterization capabilities at its small molecules site in Tampa.

StockWatch: Moderna Looks to Accelerate Cancer Vaccine

An accelerated approval, Moderna reasons, may be able to be granted based on the strength of data it and Merck have generated from the Phase IIb KEYNOTE-942/mRNA-4157-P201 trial (NCT03897881), assessing the combination of mRNA-4157/V940 and Merck’s anti-PD1 cancer immunotherapy blockbuster Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) in stage III/IV melanoma patients with high risk of recurrence following complete resection. In December, the companies trumpeted results showing that the vaccine-Keytruda combo met the study’s primary endpoint of statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in recurrence-free survival (RFS) versus Keytruda alone.

Novel Insights on How Immune Cells Respond to Cancer Cells Uncovered

A research team led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists has identified and analyzed the steps by which immune cells “see” and respond to cancer cells. Their findings may lead to more personalized immunotherapies for patients whose immune systems do not appear to respond to treatment.

T Cells Could Represent Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered how brain-resident microglia partner with T cells to cause Alzheimer’s disease neurodegeneration. They found that in mice with tau-related Alzheimer’s-like brain damage, microglia attract cell-killing T cells into the brain, but that the associated neurodegeneration could be largely avoided by blocking the T cells’ entry or activation. The findings suggest targeting T cells as a new approach to preventing neurodegeneration and treating Alzheimer’s disease and tauopathies.

Pioneering a Novel Approach to Bispecific Development

Bispecific antibodies are hard to manufacture because, unlike monoclonals, they don’t exist in nature. They’re also a relatively new class of biological therapy, with less information available on how they behave. Assessing their ease of development is important. Researchers need to deeply interrogate these molecules to understand their behavior while keeping in mind that there is no big dataset as is the case with monoclonals.