GEN Highlights

  • Rare Disease "Hub" Draws Support from Drug Developers (2018/07/20 14:40)
    A coalition of entrepreneurs, researchers, and biopharma industry advocates in suburban Westchester County, NY, is working to create a “hub” that would link them with partners in and outside the county, with the goal of advancing research and development of new treatments for rare diseases. The Westchester Biotech Project—a not-for-profit created to foster scientific research and collaboration by researchers, engineers, and data scientists—is working to create the Rare Disease Research Hub. It plans to establish a bioincubator that would house tenant startups, as well as a $6 million venture fund that would invest in up to 12 startups by awarding seed funding of $500,000 per company. The Hub also envisions helping the startups connect with established venture capital firms and other investors when the companies are ready for traditional financing. Startups are expected to be ready to pursue Series A financing in two years, though some companies ...
  • Mixed mRNA Tails Less Easily Docked (2018/07/20 14:35)
    For mRNA molecules, degradation is inevitable, but it may be delayed. One way to extend the lives of mRNA molecules is to give them longer protective tails, which give degradative enzymes something to chew on before they bite into anything vital. The tails can also be made less digestible by ensuring that they are mixed, that is, composed of different nucleotides, not just adenosines (As). Although it had been known for several years that some mRNA tails are mixed, the protection afforded by mixed tails wasn’t appreciated until researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) took a closer look at RNA tailing, what is more formally known as “nontemplated nucleotide addition to the 3′ end of RNA. In 2014, IBS researchers discovered that the mRNA tail is not limited to As. They developed a high-throughput sequencing method, TAIL-seq, to accurately measure the length of poly(A) tails ...
  • CRISPR Defense Thwarted through Viral Cooperation (2018/07/20 14:30)
    Gene editing using the CRISPR-Cas system has exploded with therapeutic potential over the last several years, and while researchers have begun to exploit the bacterial defense system to treat an array of diseases, little is known about the molecular battle between CRISPRs and invading viruses. A better understanding of these molecular events could enable therapeutic intervention using phage viruses. Now, two papers publishing simultaneously in Cell by researchers from independent groups provide new evidence of bacteriophage cooperation when attacking CRISPR-containing bacteria. The findings from the novel studies came from investigators at the University of Exeter through an article titled “ Anti-CRISPR Phages Cooperate to Overcome CRISPR-Cas Immunity ” and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) through an article titled “ Bacteriophage Cooperation Suppresses CRISPR-Cas3 and Cas9 Immunity .” The researchers discovered that to overcome destruction by CRISPR, phages have adapted by joining forces to rapidly infect a ...
  • Paralyzed Mice Walk Following Drug Therapy (2018/07/20 13:30)
    Spinal cord injury (SCI) commonly results in paralysis from the injury site down, even when the spinal cord hasn’t been severed completely. The remaining nerve cells that might bridge the gap appear to switch off, resulting in total loss of muscle control and sensation. Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital have now identified a small molecule drug that effectively reactivates the signaling pathways between these remaining nerve cells and the brain, restoring walking ability in mice that had been paralyzed by SCI. Led by Zhigang He, Ph.D., director of the Boston Children's Hospital Viral Core and professor of neurology and ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, the researchers found that the drug acts by boosting levels of the chloride transporter KCC2 in spinal cord inhibitory interneurons around the injury site, effectively restoring their ability to respond to brain signals. Using a gene therapy technique that prompts direct expression of KCC2 in ...
  • Got Milk? Roche to Apply PureTech Exosomes Platform in $1B+ Collaboration (2018/07/20 13:05)
    Roche will work to enable oral administration of its antisense oligonucleotide platform using PureTech Health’s milk-derived exosome technology, through a collaboration that PureTech said today could generate for it more than $1 billion. Under the multi-year collaboration, Roche will study applying PureTech’s milk exosomes technology, which is designed to facilitate oral delivery of macromolecules such as nucleic acids and peptides, as well as complex small molecules. PureTech reasons that the exosomes, which are believed to traffic via lymphatic circulation, could potentially enable new treatments through novel ways of targeting immune cells. Since the exosomes are mammalian-derived, according to the company, their natural composition will likely provide superior tolerability over current synthetic polymers. The challenge, according to PureTech, is that most sources of mammalian exosomes are not suitable or viable for use in oral administration of drugs due to their lack of stability under the harsh physiologic ...
  • Enzyme Identified that Helps Make Cancer Resistant to Cisplatin (2018/07/20 12:08)
    Scientists at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have identified an enzyme responsible for making tumors and cancer cell lines resistant to cisplatin, along with an experimental drug that targets that enzyme. Their study (“ MAST1 Drives Cisplatin Resistance in Human Cancers by Rewiring cRaf-Independent MEK Activation ”) appears in Cancer Cell . “Platinum-based chemotherapeutics represent a mainstay of cancer therapy, but resistance limits their curative potential. Through a kinome RNAi screen, we identified microtubule-associated serine/threonine kinase 1 (MAST1) as a main driver of cisplatin resistance in human cancers. Mechanistically, cisplatin but no other DNA-damaging agents inhibit the MAPKpathway by dissociating cRaf from MEK1, while MAST1 replaces cRaf to reactivate the MAPK pathway in a cRaf-independent manner. We show clinical evidence that expression of MAST1, both initial and cisplatin-induced, contributes to platinum resistance and worse clinical outcome,” write the investigators. “Targeting MAST1 with lestaurtinib, a recently identified MAST1 inhibitor, restores cisplatin sensitivity, leading to the synergistic attenuation ...
  • “Messy” DNA Repair Championed by Shieldin (2018/07/19 14:35)
    A quick-and-dirty form of DNA repair may be favored over its more fastidious counterpart, provided a protein complex—the newly discovered shieldin—joins the scene. Shieldin attaches itself near the stumpy, blunt ends of broken DNA, forcing them to be stuck back together directly, via a mechanism called nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). Because this mechanism is targeted by platinum chemotherapies and PARP inhibitors, its protector, the aptly named shieldin, can help ensure the success of these anticancer therapies. Alternatively, if shieldin is scarce or defective, cancer cells may become resistant. Specifically, cancer cells may sidestep platinum chemotherapies and PARP inhibitors by resorting to an alternative form of DNA repair called homologous recombination. These finding emerged from a study led by researchers based at the University of Toronto. PARP inhibitors hold great promise for breast and ovarian cancer treatment, but we must understand why they sometimes don't work, or stop ...
  • When “Good” Cholesterol Goes “Bad” (2018/07/19 14:18)
    Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the terms good and bad have always been somewhat subjective. For cardiovascular health, physicians regularly monitor the levels of “good cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins or HDL) and “bad cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins or LDL). Traditionally, cardiovascular risk is assessed by measuring levels of HDL and LDL. However, new evidence from investigators at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health indicates that this specific type of blood cholesterol measurement may not translate into a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease in older women—bringing into question the current use of HDL cholesterol in a common equation designed to predict heart disease risk, particularly for women. Findings from the new study were published today in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology through an article titled “ HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) Metrics and Atherosclerotic Risk in Women .” The results of our study are particularly ...
  • Autism and Mom’s Microbiome Could Be Linked (2018/07/19 13:30)
    Could the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children be prevented simply by modifying a mother’s diet during pregnancy, or getting her to take probiotics? Studies in a mouse model of autism by University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine scientists have linked the mother’s gut microbiome and maternal immune activation (MIA), with the susceptibility of her offspring to developing ASD. Their results, reported in The Journal of Immunology , suggest that the mother’s microbiome during pregnancy effectively calibrates interleukin 17a (IL-17a) responses, which in the mouse model acts as a key contributor to the development of autism-like disorder.  The effects of the microbiome on the development of MIA-induced autism could be prevented either by modifying the pregnant mother’s microbiome, or by directly blocking IL-17a signaling. We determined that the microbiome is a key contributor in determining susceptibility [to autism-like disorders], so it suggests that you could ...
  • Novartis Licenses MorphoSys/Galapagos Atopic Dermatitis Candidate MOR106 for $1.1B+ (2018/07/19 13:30)
    Novartis is licensing the Phase II atopic dermatitis candidate MOR106 from MorphoSys and Galapagos, which partnered to create the monoclonal antibody, through a global exclusive licensing deal that could generate more than $1.1 billion for the pharma giant. MOR106 is a fully human, IgG1 monoclonal antibody designed to target interleukin 17C (IL-17C). MOR106 is under study in the Phase II IGUANA trial ( NCT03568071 ) assessing the candidate’s efficacy, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) in atopic dermatitis. IGUANA was launched in May. Plans also call for a Phase I study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a subcutaneous formulation of MOR106 in healthy volunteers and atopic dermatitis patients. Novartis has agreed to pay for those studies. and all future research costs for MOR106—as well as all development, manufacturing, and commercialization expenses for the candidate. In return, Novartis will exclusively hold all rights for commercialization of ...

Fiercebiotech News

Google News:Health

  • Foodborne illness may be on the rise. Here's why
    Foodborne illness may be on the rise. Here's why  CNN Foodborne illness is On the Rise — But Is It a Bad Thing?  The Cheat Sheet Foodborne Illnesses May Be on the Rise  Assisted Living Facilities FoodNet 2017 Preliminary Data | FoodNet | CDC  CDC Full coverage
  • Science, Ethics of 'Ata' South American Mummy Investigation Criticized in New Study
    Science, Ethics of 'Ata' South American Mummy Investigation Criticized in New Study  Laboratory Equipment Atacama 'alien' controversy deepens as new study points to ethical concerns and faulty science  Brinkwire (press release) 'Alien' Atacama Mummy Genetic Study Findings Raise Serious Concerns  Infosurhoy Full coverage
  • Source For Legionnaires' Cases Narrowed Down: Health Officials
    Source For Legionnaires' Cases Narrowed Down: Health Officials Legionnaires' disease sickens 2 residents of southern Minnesota senior care facility Press Legionnaires' cluster in Washington Heights rises to 22 cases: health officials  WPIX 11 New York Full coverage
  • America's Drinking Habits Are Killing More Young People, Study Suggests
    America's Drinking Habits Are Killing More Young People, Study Suggests  TIME Liver disease deaths spike among young Americans Young Americans are drinking themselves to death at a 'disturbing' rate, study says  Fort Worth Star Telegram Full coverage
  • In Minnesota's woods, researchers take aim at ticks
    In Minnesota's woods, researchers take aim at ticks  Grand Forks Herald Tick infestation: Researchers find hundreds at Islanders' homes, thousands in parks Worried About Lyme Disease? Find Out If You're At Risk  HuffPost Full coverage
  • Diet soda linked to reduced colon cancer death, study says
    Diet soda linked to reduced colon cancer death, study says  Atlanta Journal Constitution Diet Soda Linked To Reduced Colon Cancer Death And Recurrence Risk: Study  Tech Times Lower colon cancer death risk among diet-soda drinkers  Futurity: Research News Full coverage
  • Ireland: Two measles cases reported in Dublin
    Ireland: Two measles cases reported in Dublin  Outbreak News Today Department of Health urges residents to get current on measles vaccination  The Daily World Strengthen efforts to immunise 5 million unvaccinated children  The Daily Star March of the MMR charlatan: How the British doctor struck off for falsely linking autism to a measles jab is exploiting US ...  Daily Mail Full coverage
  • Sweating up a storm? A new health sensor will eat that up
    Sweating up a storm? A new health sensor will eat that up  Digital Trends Scientists develop sticky patch with sweat sensor that monitors stress levels  Deccan Chronicle This wearable sensor can detect stress level from sweat  Mid-Day Full coverage
  • Cuauhtemoc Ruiz-Matus and Lucia Helena de Oliveira | HPV vaccines work
    Cuauhtemoc Ruiz-Matus and Lucia Helena de Oliveira | HPV vaccines work  Jamaica Gleaner Should your child get the HPV vaccine?  Centre Daily Times (blog) HPV Vaccine Market provides an in-depth insight of Sales and Trends Forecast to 2022 Full coverage
  • Anti-anxiety pills could be next US drug epidemic, public health officials say
    Anti-anxiety pills could be next US drug epidemic, public health officials say  Omaha World-Herald These pills could be next US drug epidemic  Peoria Journal Star Xanax could be driving America's next drug epidemic  Brinkwire (press release) Xanax could be driving America's next drug epidemic: Top psychiatrist warns addictive anti-anxiety meds are being ...  Daily Mail Full coverage
  • Fresh scandal erupts over vaccine safety in China
    Fresh scandal erupts over vaccine safety in China  Reuters Censors jump into action as China's latest vaccine scandal ignites  Yahoo News Chinese Rabies Vaccine Recall Expands With DPT and Heart Medicine Alert from FDA  PrecisionVaccinations Full coverage
  • Dozens of raccoons die from viral 'zombie' outbreak in New York's Central Park
    Dozens of raccoons die from viral 'zombie' outbreak in New York's Central Park  Fox News Dozens Of Central Park Raccoons Have Died From A 'Zombie' Outbreak, And City's Dogs Could Be At Risk  The Inquisitr Dozens of raccoons in Central Park have died from viral 'zombie' disease which can be passed on to dogs  Daily Mail Full coverage
  • Plasmodium vivax treatment, Krintafel, receives FDA nod
    Plasmodium vivax treatment, Krintafel, receives FDA nod  Outbreak News Today Simpler, one-dose treatment to prevent malaria relapse OK'd  Newsday New drug to boost India's efforts to end malaria by 2030  Hindustan Times Full coverage
  • Turning Vacant Lots Into Green Spaces Shown to Reduce Depression
    Turning Vacant Lots Into Green Spaces Shown to Reduce Depression Urban green spaces in vacant lots can reduce depression and anxiety  Hindustan Times Greening vacant lots may lower depression in city dwellers  Business Standard Full coverage
  • Frequent teen technology use linked to ADHD symptoms, study finds
    Frequent teen technology use linked to ADHD symptoms, study finds  WHIO ADHD study links teens' symptoms with digital media use Teens Who Frequently Use Technology Are More Likely To Develop ADHD, Study Finds  The Inquisitr Full coverage
  • Sound waves may help treat dementia
    Sound waves may help treat dementia  India Today Let's do our part for Alzheimer's and brain awareness  Jackson Clarion Ledger 8 Foods to Eat to Minimize Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease  Herald of Fashion Full coverage
  • Doctors Interrupt Patients, Stop Listening After 11 Seconds On Average, Study Says
    Doctors Interrupt Patients, Stop Listening After 11 Seconds On Average, Study Says  Newsweek Doctors Only Give Patients A Few Seconds To Describe Reason For Their Visit Before Interrupting, Study Shows  The Inquisitr The Doctor Game: Family doctors worth their weight in gold  Times Colonist Study: Doctors give patients only seconds to explain reason for visit before interrupting Full coverage
  • 4 Years After MH17 Downing, Advocates Urge Continued Attention To AIDS Crisis
    4 Years After MH17 Downing, Advocates Urge Continued Attention To AIDS Crisis  NPR High Risk Of "Losing Control" Of AIDS Epidemic, Say Experts  NDTV High risk of 'losing control' of AIDS epidemic: experts  India Today I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986 and I'm still around Full coverage
  • World-First Melanoma Blood Test Developed in Australia
    World-First Melanoma Blood Test Developed in Australia  Voice of America Australia scientists develop 'world first' melanoma blood test  Medical Dialogues Full coverage
  • Alabama research reverses hair loss and wrinkles in mice
    Alabama research reverses hair loss and wrinkles in mice Scientists Find 'Unprecedented' Reversal of Wrinkles and Hair Loss  Newsweek Finally, Scientists Bring Hope to Mice Embarrassed by Baldness  Haaretz Full coverage