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Updated: 19 hours 55 min ago

Researchers develop a new way to safely boost immune cells to fight cancer

Fri, 04/19/2024 - 10:00
Cancer is the monster of our society. Last year alone, more than 600,000 people in the United States died from cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. The relentless pursuit of understanding this complex disease has shaped medical progress on developing treatment procedures that are less invasive while still highly effective.

Immunotherapy is on the rise as a possible solution. Immunotherapy involves harnessing the power of the body's immune system to fight against cancer cells.

How the Birmingham Drug Discovery Hub created an investment-ready 'drug library'

Thu, 04/18/2024 - 10:00
A novel approach to drug discovery is enabling University of Birmingham researchers to overcome the 'valley of death', where projects fail due to the funding gap between original research and commercial investment.

The approach, detailed in a feature published in the April issue of Drug Discovery Today, has attracted more than £4m in industry funding, grants and industry awards, on the back of just £0.2m investment from the University's Dynamic Investment Fund (DIF).

Common HIV treatments may aid Alzheimer's disease patients

Wed, 04/17/2024 - 10:00
Alzheimer's disease (AD) currently afflicts nearly seven million people in the U.S. With this number expected to grow to nearly 13 million by 2050, the lack of meaningful therapies represents a major unmet medical need. Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys have now identified promising real-world links between common HIV drugs and a reduced incidence of AD. The study, led by Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., was published in Pharmaceuticals.

Chun's new research builds on his lab's landmark publication in Nature in 2018 that described how somatic gene recombination in neurons can produce thousands of new gene variants within Alzheimer's disease brains.

AskBio presents 18-month Phase Ib trial results of AB-1005 gene therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease

Tue, 04/16/2024 - 10:00
Bayer AG and Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a gene therapy company wholly owned and independently operated as a subsidiary of Bayer AG, on Sunday April 14 presented results from the 18-month Phase Ib clinical trial for AB-1005, an investigational gene therapy for treating patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).(1,2) The data were presented at the American Academy of Neurology 2024 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA.

The study met its primary objective, which was to evaluate the safety of a one-time bilateral delivery of AB-1005 directly to the putamen.

Next-generation treatments hitch a ride into cancer cells

Mon, 04/15/2024 - 10:00
Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are next-generation drugs that can treat disease by blocking the transfer of harmful messages from our genes. In people with cancer, ASOs have the potential to block messages that encourage the growth and spread of the tumor. However, ASOs aren’t used for treating cancer yet. They must first get delivered inside cancer cells, but the cancer cells won’t let them in.

Finding an effective ASO delivery system is a major challenge. Cancer cells have gatekeeper molecules that stop unwanted substances from entering.

Groundbreaking treatment approach shows promise in hard-to-treat cancers

Fri, 04/12/2024 - 10:00
Researchers have developed a functional precision medicine approach that targets cancer by combining genetic testing with a new way to test individual drugs on tumor samples. The results of the clinical study were published today in Nature Medicine.

This combined approach, developed by Florida International University cancer researcher Diana Azzam, was used successfully for the first time to guide treatment of relapsed pediatric cancer patients in collaboration with First Ascent Biomedical and Dr. Maggie Fader at the Helen & Jacob Shaham Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami.

This outdated diabetes drug still has something to offer

Thu, 04/11/2024 - 10:00
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are a class of drug that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes by reversing insulin resistance, one of the main hallmarks of the disease. While TZDs were extremely popular in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, they have fallen out of use among physicians in recent decades because they were discovered to cause unwanted side effects, including weight gain and excess fluid accumulation in body tissues.

New drug prevents flu-related inflammation and lung damage

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 10:00
Infection with the influenza virus leads to lung injury through inflammation over-activation that causes collateral damage to cells required for breathing. Such damage can be life-threatening, but scientists have a new preventative treatment. A team from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, University of Houston, Tufts University School of Medicine and Fox Chase Cancer Center created a drug that can prevent flu-induced lung injury. In a mouse model, the drug achieves a novel balance between shutting down runaway inflammation and allowing the immune system to stop the virus.

Swapping red meat for herring/sardines could save up to 750,000 lives/year in 2050

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 10:00
Swapping red meat for 'forage fish', such as herring, sardines, and anchovies, could save up to 750,000 lives a year in 2050 and significantly reduce the prevalence of disability as a result of diet-related disease, suggests a data analysis published in the open access journal BMJ Global Health.

Adopting this type of diet would be especially helpful for low and middle income countries, where these fish are cheap and plentiful, and where the toll taken by heart disease, in particular, is high, say the researchers.

Does cannabis use affect cognitive decline?

Mon, 04/08/2024 - 10:00
A new study by Upstate Medical University researchers shows that recreational cannabis use may offer protection against cognitive decline.

The study, done by Master of Public Health (MPH) student Zhi Chen and Professor Roger Wong, Ph.D., MPH, MSW, analyzed a large data set from the CDC and found that compared to non-users, non-medical cannabis use, such as for recreational purposes, was significantly associated with 96 percent decreased odds of subjective cognitive decline (SCD).

Novel biological mechanism discovered that could lead to new treatments for neurological disorders, cancers

Fri, 04/05/2024 - 10:00
The lab of Yongchao C. Ma, PhD, at Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago discovered a fundamental biological mechanism that could lead to new treatments for neurological diseases, such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and autism, as well as different cancers. The study was published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

Dr. Ma's team found that chemical modification of RNA (called RNA methylation) regulates mitochondrial function.

New study paves the way for precision drugs to treat blood cancers

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 10:00
The Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) protein mediates signaling from several cytokine receptors in the regulation of hematopoiesis and immune responses. Somatic mutations in human JAK2 lead to constitutive activation and cytokine-independent signaling and underlie several hematological malignancies from myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) to acute leukemia and lymphomas. JAK2 contains an active kinase domain and an inactive pseudokinase domain. Interestingly, pathogenic mutations mainly occur in the regulatory pseudokinase domain.

Johns Hopkins investigators develop novel treatment for T-cell leukemias and lymphomas

Wed, 04/03/2024 - 10:00
A novel treatment for leukemias and lymphomas that arise from immune system T cells, developed by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and its Ludwig Center and Lustgarten Laboratory, was found to be effective at killing these cancers in mice bearing human T-cell tumors.

The therapy, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), combines an antibody that targets a protein called TRBC1 expressed on the surface of T-cell cancers with an anti-cancer drug, called SG3249.

Scientists link certain gut bacteria to lower heart disease risk

Tue, 04/02/2024 - 10:00
Changes in the gut microbiome have been implicated in a range of diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease. Now, a team of researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard along with Massachusetts General Hospital has found that microbes in the gut may affect cardiovascular disease as well. In a study published in Cell, the team has identified specific species of bacteria that consume cholesterol in the gut and may help lower cholesterol and heart disease risk in people.

Mayo Clinic scientists pioneer immunotherapy technique for autoimmune diseases

Mon, 04/01/2024 - 10:00
Mayo Clinic scientists have developed an immunotherapy strategy that potentially lays the groundwork for treating a spectrum of autoimmune diseases.

The new technique, detailed in a preclinical study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, involves combining chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) with mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC), resulting in engineered stem cells known as CAR-MSCs.

Advancing drug discovery with AI: introducing the KEDD framework

Thu, 03/28/2024 - 11:00
A transformative study published in Health Data Science, a Science Partner Journal, introduces a groundbreaking end-to-end deep learning framework, known as Knowledge-Empowered Drug Discovery (KEDD), aimed at revolutionizing the field of drug discovery. This innovative framework adeptly integrates structured and unstructured knowledge, enhancing the AI-driven exploration of molecular dynamics and interactions.

Shared digital NHS prescribing record could avoid nearly 1 million annual drug errors

Wed, 03/27/2024 - 11:00
Implementing a single shared digital prescribing record across the NHS in England could avoid nearly 1 million drug errors every year, stopping up to 16,000 fewer patients from being harmed, and saving up to 22 lives every year, suggests a modelling study, published online in BMJ Quality & Safety.

The figures, which are based on the assumption that such a system could reduce medication errors by at least 10%, and by as much as 50%, could also save £millions for the NHS, say the researchers.

Global study could change how children with multiple sclerosis are treated

Tue, 03/26/2024 - 11:00
A ground-breaking study - the largest of its kind globally - has found children with multiple sclerosis (MS) have better outcomes if treated early and with the same high-efficacy therapies as adults.

There are a limited number of therapies approved for children with MS, with only one considered to be of high-efficacy - meaning highly effective.

FDA approves nonsteroidal treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Mon, 03/25/2024 - 11:00
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Duvyzat (givinostat) oral medication for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in patients six years of age and older. Duvyzat is the first nonsteroidal drug approved to treat patients with all genetic variants of DMD. It is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor that works by targeting pathogenic processes to reduce inflammation and loss of muscle.

Reducing the side effects of breast and ovarian cancer treatment

Fri, 03/22/2024 - 11:00
Some anti-cancer treatments not only target tumour cells but also healthy cells. If their effects on the latter are too strong, their use can become limiting. A team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in collaboration with Basel-based FoRx Therapeutics, has identified the mechanism of action of PARP inhibitors, used in particular for breast and ovarian cancer in patients carrying the BRCA gene mutation.