Biotechnology

For Patients with Kidney Disease, Genetic Testing May Soon Be Routine

A new study has found that genes cause about 1 in 10 cases of chronic kidney disease in adults, and identifying the responsible gene has a direct impact on treatment for most of these patients. “Our study shows that genetic testing can be used to personalize the diagnosis and management of kidney disease, and that nephrologists should consider incorporating it into the diagnostic workup for these patients,” says Ali Gharavi,
Biotechnology

Confronting the side effects of a common anti-cancer treatment

Results of a new study by neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Toronto suggest that a new treatment approach is needed - and how this may be possible - to address adverse effects of aromatase inhibitors, drugs commonly prescribed to both men and women to prevent recurrence of estrogen-positive breast cancer. The current drug therapy is linked to such complaints as hot flashes, memory lapses,
Biotechnology Infectious Diseases

UC San Diego Researchers Identify How Skin Ages, Loses Fat and Immunity

Dermal fibroblasts are specialized cells deep in the skin that generate connective tissue and help the skin recover from injury. Some fibroblasts have the ability to convert into fat cells that reside under the dermis, giving the skin a plump, youthful look and producing a peptide that plays a critical role in fighting infections. In a study published in Immunity today, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers
Biotechnology Neurology

Neuroscientists identify a surprising low-tech fix to the problem of sleep-deprived teens

A good night’s sleep comes down to a comfy place to rest your head. Marisa Harris/Unsplash, CC BY Adriana Galván, University of California, Los Angeles Healthy sleep leads to healthy brains. Neuroscientists have gotten that message out. But parents, doctors and educators alike have struggled to identify what to do to improve sleep. Some have called for delaying school start times or limiting screentime before bed to achieve academic, health
Biotechnology Infectious Diseases

Mailed HPV tests can help find women at-risk for cervical cancer, study finds

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have found that mailing self-collection kits to test for high-risk human papillomavirus infection has the potential to boost cervical cancer screening - especially for low-income women who are overdue for testing. In the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers published the results of mailing at-home, HPV self-collection kits to 193 low-income women in North Carolina who were overdue for screening according to
Cardiology

Researchers discover autoantibody in blood that accelerates underlying cause of cardiovascular disease

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight has identified a unique autoantibody directed against a cellular protein named GRP78 which accelerates atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease. The research team, led by McMaster University vascular biologist Richard Austin, has now demonstrated that anti-GRP78 autoantibodies can bind to GRP78 on the surface of lesion-resident endothelial cells and speed up atherosclerosis. The study also demonstrated that mouse models of
Diabetes Heart Health

Diabetes drug could be used to treat common heart failure syndrome, study suggests

Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes, might also be used to treat heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a condition that is predicted to affect over 8% of people ages 65 or older by the year 2020. The study, which was published December 19 in the Journal of General Physiology, shows that metformin relaxes a key heart muscle protein
cancer Cancer Discovery Cancer screening

Vaccine, Checkpoint Drugs Combination Shows Promise for Pancreatic Cancers

 Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center discovered a combination of a cancer vaccine with two checkpoint drugs reduced pancreatic cancer tumors in mice, demonstrating a possible pathway for treatment of people with pancreatic cancers whose response to standard immunotherapy is poor. Results of the experiments combining an immune system booster vaccine called PancVAX with two checkpoint drugs derived from anti-PD-1 and agonist OX40 antibodies were published in the
Biotechnology

Malnutrition Common in Children with Crohn’s Disease Increases Risk For Post-Operative Complications

Results of a medical records study of children with Crohn’s disease by Johns Hopkins researchers have added substantial evidence for a strong and direct link between malnutrition and increased risk of surgical complications and poor outcomes. The investigators say children with Crohn’s disease were selected for the data analysis because a common hallmark of their disease is malnutrition, and surgery is often used to treat it. But they say their
cancer Cancer Discovery

Loss of Tight Junction Protein Promotes Development of Precancerous Cells

Tight junctions are multi-protein complexes that serve as barriers in epithelial tissues such as the skin or lining of the gut. Loss of a specific tight junction barrier protein, claudin 18, occurs in the majority of gastric cancer patients and is correlated with poor prognosis in patients with advanced gastric cancer. Understanding how claudin 18 loss occurs and what pathways it regulates may provide new strategies to inhibit neoplastic progression
Biotechnology Pharmaceutical Business News

Q BioMed Announces Strategic Partnership and Preclinical Development of Treatment for Pediatric Nonverbal Disorder in Autistic Children

Collaboration with SRI Provides QBioMed Expertise in Formulation Development and Preclinical Work in Autism, as well as CMC and Manufacturing capability Q BioMed Inc., a biotechnology accelerationcompany, announced a collaborative agreement with SRIInternational to provide formulation development, preclinical development, andearly clinical manufacturing of QBM-001, in support of Q BioMed’s AutisticSpectrum Disorder (ASD) drug development program for non-verbal or minimallyverbal autistic children. SRI has broad expertise in solving formulation, drug delivery,
age-related decline Alzheimers and Dementia

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

 Scientists who recently identified the molecular start of Alzheimer’s disease have used that finding to determine that it should be possible to forecast which type of dementia will develop over time – a form of personalized medicine for neurodegenerative diseases. A new study from UT Southwestern shows that single toxic tau proteins that stick together and spread degeneration across the brains of dementia patients have different shapes. The folds of these
Alzheimers and Dementia

New Generation of Therapeutics Based on Understanding of Aging Biology Show Promise for Alzheimer’s Disease

 A scientific strategy that explores therapeutic targets based on the biology of aging is gaining ground as an effective approach to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease, accordingdd to research published in the December 7, 2018 online issue of Neurology®. A comprehensive review of the clinical trial landscape, including current agents being studied for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (and other dementias), points to the need to develop and test
Alzheimers and Dementia

Johns Hopkins Team Identifies Promising Diagnostic Tool For Alzheimer’s Disease

 Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have identified in live human brains new radioactive “tracer” molecules that bind to and “light up” tau tangles, a protein associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Two studies will be published back-to-back in the December issue of Journal of Nuclear Medicine—one as featured article of the month—describing testing of three candidate molecules in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as
cancer Cancer Discovery Cancer screening Clinical Trials

Early Clinical Trial Data Show Gene Therapy Reversing Sickle Cell Anemia

After over a decade of preclinical research and development, a new gene therapy treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA) is reversing disease symptoms in two adults and showing early potential for transportability to resource-challenged parts of the world where SCA is most common.  Preliminary data from a pilot Phase 1-2 clinical trial testing the gene-addition therapy were presented Dec. 3 at the American Society of Hematology’s (ASH) annual meeting in San
Biotechnology Cell Therapy Clinical Trials Immunotherapies stem cells

Dana-Farber researchers report clinical trial results in treatment of leukemia and lymphoma

New results from clinical trials of immunotherapy and experimental targeted agents for patients with leukemia and lymphoma are being presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting Dec. 1-4.  Here are summaries of three presentations, including one that compared outcomes of CAR T-cell therapy in patients in clinical trials with outcomes in the “real world” of clinical practice: CAR T-cell treatment provides durable
Biotechnology

Next step towards replacement therapy in type 1 diabetes

Scientists have discovered the signals that determine the fate of immature cells in the pancreas. The research shows that they are very mobile and that their destiny is strongly influenced by their immediate environment. This breakthrough published in the journal Nature will facilitate the manufacturing of pancreatic islet cells from stem cells and might help combating type 1 diabetes. Prof. Dr. Henrik Semb who led the study recently joined Helmholtz
Infectious Diseases

HIV in Liver Cells Found to Be Inactive, Narrowing Potential Treatment Targets

 In a proof-of-principle study, researchers at Johns Hopkins revealed that certain immune system cells found in the human liver, called liver macrophages, contain only inert HIV and aren’t likely to reproduce infection on their own in HIV-infected people on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART is a regimen containing combinations of HIV-targeting drugs that prevents the growth of the virus but does not eradicate it. The report on the findings, published
stem cells

Platelets grown from stem cells may be alternative to donated platelets

Researchers have developed a way to grow human platelets in the laboratory from stem cells derived from fat tissue. The achievement, reported today in the journal Blood, suggests manufactured platelets could eventually reduce the reliance on donated platelets to help patients with cancer and other disorders. Platelets are a component of blood that helps with clotting. Platelet transfusions can be life-saving for patients dealing with cancer or the effects of chemotherapy, infections,
Alzheimers and Dementia

Potential Breakthrough for Lewy Body Dementia

IntraBio Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for common and rare (“orphan”) neurodegenerative diseases, announced results for its lead compound series (IB1000s) for the treatment of dementia, including positive clinical results from compassionate-use studies in patients with Lewy Body Dementia and Fronto-Temporal Dementia, and from pre-clinical studies in Alzheimer’s Disease. Recent compassionate-use studies with IB1000s in patients with Lewy Body Dementia and Fronto-Temporal Dementia showed meaningful improvement in quality