MAPK4 Identified as Potential Target for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Scientists headed by a team at Baylor College of Medicine reported that MAPK4 may play an important role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Analyzing public genomic datasets, the researchers discovered that a large subset of TNBC expresses significant levels of MAPK4. Eliminating MAPK4 reduced human TNBC cell growth in animal models and sensitized the cells to therapies that block PI3K, a known cancer growth-promoting signaling pathway.

Pfizer’s mRNA Day: Up-to-$1.35B Beam Partnership; Alliances with Acutius, Codex DNA,...

Pfizer has agreed to pay Beam $300 million upfront. Should Pfizer exercise its opt-in license rights for all three targets, the pharma giant would pay Beam up to $1.05 billion in payments tied to achieving development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. Beam is also eligible to receive royalties on global net sales for each licensed program.

Sanofi, Exscientia Expand in AI with Up-to-$5.2B Cancer, Immunology Alliance

Exscientia and Sanofi agreed to collaborate to identify and select target projects by applying Exscientia’s personalized medicine platform. The platform is intended to enable a “patient-first” approach by integrating primary human tissue samples into early target and drug discovery research. Through that approach, Exscientia reasons, its researchers can integrate patient, disease, and clinically relevant data into decisions on potential new medicine candidates earlier in the process of drug creation.

Sorting Cancers by Microenvironment Potentially Shifts the View on Immunotherapy

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), reveal common immune microenvironments across different types of cancer. Their findings demonstrate a new way of looking at cancer immunotherapy. The researchers believe this is the next step in personalized medicine for cancer therapy.

CAR T Cells Generated In Vivo Reverse Fibrosis, Restore Cardiac Function...

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a novel approach to immunotherapy for cardiac fibrosis, which uses lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA to temporarily generate engineered (CAR) T cells that specifically target activated fibroblasts. In vivo tests showed that a single injection of the LNP-mRNA resulted in dramatic reduction in fibrosis and restored cardiac function in a mouse model of heart failure.

Amgen, Generate Launch Up-to-$1.9B Protein Therapeutics Collaboration

By combining Amgen’s biologics drug discovery expertise with Generate’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, the companies said, they can further facilitate multispecific drug design by shortening drug discovery timelines and generating potential lead molecules that demonstrate predictable manufacturability and clinical behavior. The collaboration reflects the focus of both companies on generative biology, which combines wet lab high throughput automation and dry lab computational biology to develop new treatments.

Study Suggests Superbug MRSA Evolved in Hedgehogs Long Before Clinical Use...

An international team of scientists has found evidence that a type of antibiotic-resistant superbug, MRSA, arose in nature 200 years ago, long before the use of antibiotics in humans and livestock. The newly reported studies, based on findings from hedgehog surveys, traced the genetic history of the bacteria. The results fit the hypothesis that resistance evolved in Staphylococcus aureus living on the skin of hedgehogs that also carried the fungus Trichophyton erinacei, which produces its own antibiotics.

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria May Succumb to Natural Products

Bacteria-derived antibiotics often appear in nature as congeners that are encoded by evolutionarily related biosynthetic gene clusters. The possibility that congener diversity reflects a response to the development of natural resistance, which often mimics clinical resistance, has been explored in a new study, one that has identified a colistin congener that could lead to new antibiotic candidates.

Molecule Produced in Fat Tissue Could Unlock New Approaches to Diabetes...

Salk Institute scientists have discovered a molecule that is produced in fat tissue and which, like insulin, rapidly regulates blood glucose. The newly reported research demonstrated that, like insulin, fibroblast growth factor 1 regulates blood glucose by inhibiting lipolysis, but does via a different pathway. The results suggest this difference could enable FGF1 to be used to lower blood glucose safely and successfully in people who suffer from insulin resistance.

Singapore Scientists Win Wellcome Leap R3 mRNA Contract

An A*STAR-led team was awarded contract from Wellcome Leap R3 program to join global network developing next generation of mRNA technology. The R3 program has two goals: one, to increase exponentially the number of biologic products that can be designed, developed, and produced every year, and two, to create a self-sustaining network of manufacturing facilities providing globally distributed, surge capacity to meet future pandemic needs.