BioReliance® End-to-End Solutions from MilliporeSigma

Sébastien Ribault, PhD, talks about MilliporeSigma's contract development and manufacturing services tailored to the unique needs of biotechs.

New Vaccine Target Activates Malaria Parasite “Kill Switch”

For a study reported in the journal Nature, researchers screened blood samples from children who had natural immune resistance to severe malaria infection. The study identified an antibody to a particular malaria protein, called PfGARP, that appears to protect resistant children from severe disease. Lab tests showed that antibodies to PfGARP seem to activate a malarial self-destruct mechanism, causing parasite cells living inside human red blood cells to undergo a form of programmed cell death.

In Vaccine Design, Artificial Proteins Start Mimicking Real Immunogens

A new approach to epitope-centric vaccine design has been introduced with TopoBuilder, a computational system for creating irregular and discontinuous protein scaffolds. It has been used to generate epitope-focused immunogens based on the prefusion conformation of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fusion protein. The immunogens resulted in targeted neutralizing antibody responses in animal models. More generally, TopoBuilder could be applicable to the design of de novo proteins displaying complex functional motifs.

HIV Drug Candidate Opens “Shock and Kill” Possibilities

A bivalent, next-generation Smac mimetic called Ciapavir has been developed that has been shown to reactivate dormant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in a humanized mouse model. Ciapavir, its developers say, could enable “shock and kill” approaches because it operates in the “Goldilocks zone”—not so hot as to overactivate the immune system, not so cold as to preserve HIV’s latency.

Drug Delivery Nanoparticles Given Neurotransmitter “Passports” to Cross Blood-Brain Barrier

Biomedical engineers at Tufts University School of Engineering have developed neurotransmitter-derived lipidoids that can help lipid nanoparticles to ferry therapeutic drugs and gene editing proteins across the blood-brain barrier in mice. The researchers believe the new technology could overcome many of the current limitations associated with delivering intravenously administered therapeutics into the central nervous system (CNS), and allow the use of a range of therapeutics that would otherwise not have access to the brain.

Why Flu Vaccine Immunity Is Short-Lived

Research on plasma cells has uncovered one reason why the seasonal flu vaccine does not induce long lasting immunity. Researchers found that seasonal flu vaccination increases the number of these antibody-producing cells specific for flu in the bone marrow temporarily, but those numbers are short-lived, returning to near their pre-vaccination levels after one year. Strategies to enhance their persistence will be important for the next-generation of influenza vaccines.

Shedding New Light on GPCR Drug Discovery with a Novel Biosensor...

In this GEN webinar, sponsored by Domain Therapeutics, we will discuss how the use of enhanced bystander bioluminescence energy transfer (ebBRET) biosensors and tag-free G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) can help empower the discovery of next-gen therapeutics.

FDA Places Partial Clinical Hold on INOVIO Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine

INOVIO did not detail the FDA’s questions or areas of concern, but did say that it was “actively working to address the FDA's questions and plans to respond in October,” after which the FDA will have up to 30 days to notify INOVIO whether the trial may proceed.

Astellas Takes AIRM Opening New Regenerative Medicine Institute in Massachusetts

About 180 employees will be based at the 262,000-square-foot facility, one of Astellas' most tangible examples of its commitment to grow into a global leader in cell therapy and other forms of regenerative medicine.

Clinical Study Shows Hallucinogenic Magic Mushroom Compound Psilocybin Relieves Depression

In a small study of adults with major depressive disorder, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers found that two doses of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in "magic mushrooms," produced large reductions in depressive symptoms, when administered with supportive psychotherapy. The trial results showed that psilocybin-assisted therapy led to improvements in most of the patients, with half of the study participants achieving remission through the four-week follow-up.