Nontoxic Silver Coating for Medical Implants Resists and Kills Bacteria

University of British Columbia scientists developed a long-acting silver-ion releasing coating for implanted medical devices that, when tested in rats, both prevented bacteria from adhering to implants, and also killed the microorganisms. The coating, which could applied via single-step dipping, spraying, or solution-skinning processes, was nontoxic, enabled sustained release, and stopped bacteria from adhering different materials over 30 days. The researchers suggest the coating could be broadly applied to prevent implant-related infections when used with diverse medical devices.

Current and Future CEOs See Opportunities in Editas’ Challenges

At Editas, recently-appointed CEO designate Gilmore O’Neill faces several challenges—although he prefers to call them opportunities. The first is shepherding the company’s lead candidate—EDIT-101 for Leber congenital amaurosis-10 (LCA10)—through the rest of its clinical trials towards regulatory approval. Editas’ second challenge is expanding its pipeline by successfully developing other gene editing therapies.

Nektar Eliminates 70% of Workforce, 500+ Jobs, in Restructuring

The restructuring, according to Nektar, will extend its cash runway into the first half of 2025 and ensure it has enough working capital to fund key R&D programs toward clinical milestones without having to raise external capital. Nektar said it will slim down its pipeline to two major clinical development candidates, NKTR-358 and NKTR-255, as well as several core research programs.

Breast Cancer Cells Reprogram Macrophages to Support Lung Metastasis

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center and HI-STEM found that breast cancer cells exploit macrophages to promote cancer metastases in the lungs. Studies in mice transplanted with human breast cancer cells showed that reprogrammed macrophages stimulate lung endothelial cells to secrete a cocktail of metastasis-promoting proteins that are part of the metastatic niche. The researchers say they have identified new targets and potential therapeutic approaches to restraining breast cancer metastasis.

GENcast: Reducing Drug Discovery and Development Risk with Mechanistic Modeling

In this GENcast, sponsored by Applied BioMath, we sat down with an expert in mechanistic modeling to discuss the specific of this approach and how companies are employing the technology successfully

Lonza and Integral Molecular Offer to Enhance Early De-Risking of Clients’...

Lonza and Integral Molecular say their respective services will benefit drug developers in the assessment of risk for off-target binding and activation. Unwanted immunogenicity can have severe consequences for patients and jeopardize drug development programs. The complementary offerings provide benefit in early de-risking and safety assessment of biologic drug candidates, thereby improving the likelihood of success in clinical development, according to officials at both companies.

Neighborhood Watch: Pangea Pursues Group Approach to Precision Oncology

Pangea's ENLIGHT platform is designed to predict patient response to more than 100 oncology drugs that are designed to treat dozens of types of cancer. ENLIGHT uses a two-layer, transcriptomics-based computational approach to predict the effectiveness of cancer therapies on individual patients in multiple cancer types by identifying clinically relevant genomic interactions. Using a proprietary ENLIGHT Matching Score (EMS), oncologists can identify a treatment’s efficacy potential for each individual patient, regardless of cancer type.

StockWatch: Checkmate Shares Quadruple on Regeneron Buyout

Jack K. Allen, CFA, Senior Research Analyst with Baird, said Regeneron—whose shares dipped 1% on Tuesday--may not be done with smaller “bolt-on” acquisitions. He speculated that the buyer may be interested as well in buying another of its collaboration partners—Decibel Therapeutics (DBTX), with which Regeneron is partnering to discover and develop gene therapies for hearing loss. The companies began partnering in November 2017 and extended the partnership last November for another two years.

Catalent to Invest $350 Million in Its Indiana Facility

The expansion includes the installation of new 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors and expanded downstream processing capabilities for drug substance, with the versatility to meet customers’ needs with batches of up to 4,000-liters using single-use technology, or 5,000-liters using existing stainless-steel bioreactors, according to Catalent. Also included are new quality control laboratories and packaging space with additional high-speed, automated cartoning and auto-injector device assembly capabilities.

Immune Cell Discovery May Bridge the Gap for Immunotherapy Resistance

Immunotherapy enables a patient’s own immune system to attack disease. This breakthrough therapy is helping some people with hard-to-treat cancer feel better and live longer. However, it may not work for everyone. Now, researchers at Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI) report they have discovered in mice, a new immune cell “soldier” that could be a good target for immunotherapy. Their findings may help bridge the gap between those who respond to immunotherapy and those who don't.