Celgene, Acceleron Win FDA OK for Drug to Treat Anemia in...

Celgene and Acceleron Pharma have won a first-in-class FDA approval for Reblozyl® (luspatercept-aamt), an erythroid maturation agent that has won the agency’s first authorization to treat anemia in adults with beta thalassemia who require regular red blood cell (RBC) transfusions.

Inflammatory Disease Vaccination Strategy Targets Gut Microbiome Protein

The results of studies in mice by researchers at Georgia State University suggest that targeted immunization against bacterial flagellin, the major structural protein of bacterial flagella, could represent a new strategy to protect against chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

MS Trial Begins Comparing Stem Cell Transplantation to Best Available Drugs

Researchers have begun trial testing an experimental stem cell treatment against the best available biologic therapies for severe forms of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). The trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will compare the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of the two therapeutic approaches.

Utilizing Biopharma 4.0 to Boost Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Vaccine Efforts

Scientists are scrambling to develop a vaccine against coronavirus 2019-nCoV and plan to use advanced bioprocessing methods and techniques to accelerate production. The novel virus at the center of the current outbreak was identified in Wuhan, China, in mid-December. It has since been detected in multiple countries with human-to-human transfer confirmed in numerous locations.

Two Promising SARS-CoV-2 Blocking Compounds Undergo Testing

Impact BioMedical announces two compound candidates (Linebacker and Equivir) that may show promise in the fight against SARS-CoV-2. The compounds, which are undergoing accelerated testing, block three mechanisms that are important for SARS-CoV-2 replication and infection: the viral spike interaction point, helicase, and protease.

MERS Vaccine that Fully Protects Mice Used as Basis for Coronavirus...

The University of Iowa and University of Georgia team developed a PIV5-based MERS vaccine engineered to expresses the MERS-CoV envelope spike protein that mediates viral entry into target cells. Tests with the vaccine in mice showed that one, relatively low intranasally delivered dose fully protected all the treated mice from a lethal dose of MERS coronavirus, and improved virus clearance in the lungs. The investigators are planning more studies in animals to test the ability of PIV5-based vaccines in preventing disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

As FDA OKs Emergency Use, Gilead Commits to “Millions More” Remdesivir...

The FDA’s emergency authorization requires that remdesivir be administered in an inpatient hospital setting via intravenous infusion by a healthcare provider, and be supplied to authorized distributors, or directly to a U.S. government agency, that will distribute to hospitals and other healthcare facilities as directed by the U.S. government, in collaboration with state and local governments.

CRISPR: A New Break in the GPCR Drug Development Pipeline

This article discusses the role CRIPSR technology has played in strengthening our understanding of GPCR biology, its transformative potential for all phases of GCPR-targeted drug development, and the drivers of successfully implementing CRISPR initiatives.

Gene-Editing Treatment CTX001 Shows Proof of Concept in TDT

CTX001 also shows effectiveness in a patient with sickle cell disease (SCD), according to results from two Phase I/II trials that are the first clinical studies of a gene-editing candidate sponsored by U.S. companies.

Newer, More Dominant COVID-19 Variant Is More Infectious in the Lab

A specific change in the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus virus genome, previously associated with increased viral transmission and the spread of COVID-19, is more infectious in cell culture. The variant in question, D614G, makes a small but effective change in the virus’s “Spike” protein, which the virus uses to enter human cells. The new variant has become the dominant strain across the globe, but it does not appear to cause more severe disease.
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