Icosavax: Giving VLPs the VIP Treatment

Icosavax's virus-like particle (VLP) technology, developed at UW’s Institute for Protein Design (IPD), is designed to address a challenge that has impeded wider use of VLP vaccines: How to construct and manufacture VLPs capable of displaying complex viral antigens that have been difficult to successfully produce at scale, including for RSV and hMPV.

Potential New Strategy for Blocking Cancer Cell Growth in Medulloblastoma Revealed

Medulloblastoma is the most common high-grade brain tumor in children. New preclinical research in human tissue samples, human cell lines, and mice by scientists at the Queen Mary University of London demonstrates a new strategy to starving tumor cells of energy to prevent further growth. The new findings could potentially lead to changes in how some patients are treated if confirmed in human clinical trials.

AACR Meeting News: Synlogic Presents Encouraging Data on Immunotherapy Drug

On the first day of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, the synthetic biology company Synlogic presented data from a Phase I trial of their immunotherapy drug, SYNB1891. The drug, which consists of engineered bacteria that are injected intratumorally, is being developed for the treatment of solid tumors and lymphoma. The data suggest that the drug is safe, well-tolerated, and activates the STING pathway in patients.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus More Vulnerable to Less Common Antibodies

The virus that causes tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) appears to trick the immune system, misdirecting it into producing inferior antibodies. But new research shows some people produce more potent antibodies, providing hope for treatments and vaccines. The best antibodies are also effective against the Langat, louping ill, Omsk hemorrhagic fever, Kyasanur forest disease, and Powassan viruses.

Secrets of Healing the Heart Discovered in Zebrafish Studies

Kazu Kikuchi, PhD, and his team at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney have discovered a critical new genetic switch that could help human hearts repair damaged heart muscle after a heart attack. The Klf1 gene selectively turns on in uninjured heart muscles cells in the zebrafish, allowing them to multiply and replace injured cells, and turns off once the healing is complete.

Replacing Glucose in Cell Cultures Allows Earlier Toxicity Screening and May...

A new method of culturing liver cancer cells that are commonly used to test drug toxicity, shifts the metabolic profile of these cells to more closely approximate normal cells. This allows earlier testing for drug toxicity and may potentially save clinical trial funds. The new method involves dialysis of serum to remove glucose and longer culture durations.

Novartis, Artios Pharma Target Cancer in Up-to-$1.3B DDR Collaboration

The companies plan to discover and validate targets that enhance Novartis’ Radioligand Therapies (RLTs) through a three-year research collaboration. Novartis will select up to three exclusive DDR targets, and receive worldwide rights on these targets for use with its RLTs, which are designed to deliver targeted radiation to a specific subset of cancer cells with minimal effect on surrounding healthy cells.

Bacteriophage to the Future: Insights from the 3rd Bacteriophage Therapy Summit

Challenges facing phage therapy range from a developing regulatory landscape and the design of clinical trials to the up-scaling of manufacturing processes. With lots of good science, practicality considerations, and clinical strategies along with funding concerns, the 3rd Bacteriophage Therapy Summit provided a great opportunity to discuss the current state of phage therapy and the pathway to regulatory approval.

You Can See Manhattan from Your Lab: $3B “Cove” Campus Announced...

To fill the project’s planned lab space, The Cove looks to draw upon the region’s numerous life-sci employers, New Jersey’s sizeable life-sci labor force, and Jersey City’s urban dynamic in a state where most life sciences space is within suburban or exurban lab-office campuses built a generation ago.

Studies in Mice Help to Explain Why Redheads Have Different Pain...

Studies by an MGH-led research team have offered up new insights into why people with red hair exhibit altered sensitivity to certain kinds of pain. Their work in red-haired mice with loss of melanocortin 1 receptor function could help point to new ways to manipulate the body's natural mechanisms for controlling pain perception, for example, by designing drugs that inhibit pain-sensing receptors.

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