Drug Discovery

Next-Generation Cancer Vaccines Get Personal

We are entering a new era in cancer therapy with the concept of truly personalized, or indeed individualized, medicines. We now have the opportunity to exploit the huge advances in diagnostics and our knowledge base to develop truly individualized cancer therapies.

Pfizer to Acquire GBT for $5.4B, Adding Sickle Cell Disease Drug...

Pfizer said the deal will complement and further enhance its 30-plus year heritage in rare hematology and reinforce its commitment to treating sickle cell disease (SCD), for which GBT has a marketed drug Oxbryta® (voxelotor) approved by the FDA in 2019. Pfizer said GBT’s expertise, portfolio, and pipeline, holds potential to address the full spectrum of critical needs for the SCD community, which Pfizer has committed to engaging through the deal.

SARS-CoV-2 Cell Surface Nucleocapsid Protein Modulates Innate and Adaptive Host Immunity

Cell surface N may play an important role in host adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and in manipulating innate immunity at the early stages of infection. In this GEN webinar, sponsored by Sartorius, our distinguished speaker Dr. Alberto Lopez-Munoz from the NIH will show how he finds that N is expressed on the cell surface of live cells in high copy numbers and that it binds to infected and non-infected neighboring cells by electrostatically associating with glycosaminoglycans.

Challenges and Considerations for mRNA Therapeutic Development

This is the second webinar in a series of four, cohosted by GEN and The CRISPR Journal, that is diving deep into the burgeoning world of mRNA research and therapeutics. Our distinguished guest for this event, Dr. Edward Miracco, will take us through his extensive experience with mRNA chemistry, sequence design, and commercial-scale production.

New Hydrogel to Extend the Shelf Life of Biologics

A new type of hydrogel enables biologics such as antibodies, enzymes, and protein-based vaccines to withstand a greater range of temperature fluctuations without losing their functionality. It may offer a new way to store and transport biologics, reducing costs and health risks associated with the cold chain.

Reinvigorating Terminally Exhausted T Cells Could Improve Cancer Immunotherapy

The results of studies by University of Pittsburgh and UPMC researchers suggest that in the battle with cancer, even the most fatigued T cells can be revived. The team profiled molecular features of T cells as they progressed from early to terminal exhaustion in a mouse model of melanoma. The results pointed to approaches to overcoming even terminal exhaustion, opening potential new avenues for cancer immunotherapy.

Apriori Bio’s AI Platform Provides Variant-Proof Protection from Viral Threats

Flagship Pioneering announced the launch of Apriori Bio, a health security company providing variant-proof protection against rapidly evolving viruses. Apriori has developed Octavia, a unique biology-informed AI platform that can infer the full landscape of potential variants for a given virus. Using Octavia, Apriori can define the antibody repertoire that most broadly protects against current and future virus variants, enabling the development of variant-proof vaccines and antibody drugs.

Questionable Data Jeopardizes Alzheimer’s Amyloid Theory

In a story published in Science last month, investigative science journalist Charles Piller reported on potentially doctored western blot images in scores of Alzheimer’s research articles, including images from a 2006 Nature paper. These images of concern were initially unearthed by Matthew Schrag, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology and director of the cerebral amyloid angiopathy clinic at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Amgen to Acquire ChemoCentryx for $3.7B, Bolstering Autoimmune Portfolio

Amgen said the approved drug, Tavneos® (avacopan), will strengthen its pipeline focus on treatments for inflammation and nephrology. ChemoCentryx won FDA approval in October for Tavneos as the first approved oral inhibitor of the complement 5a receptor, as an adjunctive treatment for adult patients with severe active anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, specifically granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis in combination with standard therapy including glucocorticoids.

Monoclonal Antibody Prevents Malaria in Clinical Trial

Results from a Phase I clinical trial have shown that a monoclonal antibody known as L9LS is safe and highly protective in U.S. adults exposed to the malaria parasite. The use of this antibody could be effective in limiting malaria in regions of the world where the disease is endemic.