Biotechnology Genomes rare diseases

Drug Candidate Halts Crippling Excess Bone Growth in Animal Model of a Rare Bone Disease

New research in laboratory animals suggests that the drug palovarotene may prevent multiple skeletal problems caused by a rare but extremely disabling genetic bone disease, and may even be a candidate for use in newborn babies with the condition. Scientists at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who previously repurposed the drug to prevent excess bone formation in animal models of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), have extended that research in animals
Gene Therapy Genomes

Gene Variant Explains Racial Disparities in Adverse Reactions to Urate-Lowering Drug

A multi-institutional study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigator finds significant racial disparities in the risk that patients being treated for gout will develop a serious, sometimes life-threatening adverse reaction to the most commonly prescribed medication. The increased risk closely correlates with the frequency of a gene variant previously associated with that adverse reaction, supporting recommendations to screen for that variant in patients from those populations. "We found
cancer

UCLA Research Suggests That Gut Bacteria Could Help Prevent Cancer

Researchers have shown that various types of intestinal bacteria might be factors in both causing and preventing obesity, and in other conditions and diseases. Now, a UCLA study suggests that it could also potentially be used to reduce the risk for some types of cancer. The research, published online April 13 in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, offers evidence that anti-inflammatory “health beneficial” gut bacteria can slow or stop the
cancer Cancer Discovery

People with Hepatitis C Are Two to Five Times More Likely to Develop Certain Head and Neck Cancers

Long associated with liver cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reveals for the first time that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is associated with certain head and neck cancers. The findings, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, could have significant implications for both the screening of those with the virus and the treatment of those with head and
Antibiotics Biotechnology

New Research Explains Why HIV Is Not Cleared by the Immune System

Scientists at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have identified a human (host) protein that weakens the immune response to HIV and other viruses. The findings, published today in Cell Host & Microbe, have important implications for improving HIV antiviral therapies, creating effective viral vaccines, and advance a new approach to treat cancer. “Our study provides critical insight on
Biotechnology Cell Therapy

Scientists Develop Recipe for Testosterone-Producing Cells

Researchers led by teams at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Wenzhou Medical University of China have discovered a way to keep adult stem cells that are destined to become testosterone-producing cells multiplying and on track to fulfill their fate, a new study reports. The findings could eventually help scientists develop transplantable cells that can churn out testosterone, avoiding the multitude of drawbacks associated with other ways
Biotechnology cancer Cancer Discovery

Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers Discover Liver Metastases have Different Radiation Sensitivities Based on Primary Tumor Histology

Radiation is a commonly used therapeutic option to treat liver metastases, with the majority of tumors maintained under control after one year. However, some patients do not respond as well to radiation treatment, and the factors that predict patient outcomes are unclear. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers report that liver metastases have different sensitivities to radiation therapy based on the location of the primary tumor. Previously, Moffitt researchers developed a radiosensitivity
Biotechnology cancer Cancer Discovery Genomes

Spotting Dna Repair Genes Gone Awry

Researchers led by Ludwig Cancer Research scientist Richard Kolodner have developed a new technique for sussing out the genes responsible for helping repair DNA damage that, if left unchecked, can lead to certain cancers. Genome instability suppressing (GIS) genes play an important role in correcting DNA damage involving the improper copying or reshuffling of large sections of chromosomes. Called gross chromosomal rearrangements, or GCRs, these structural errors can disrupt gene
Diabetes

Liver Disease Risk Increased by Type 2 Diabetes, Study Finds

People with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk of serious liver disease than those without the condition, research has shown. Researchers warn that hospital admissions and deaths caused by liver disease are likely to rise if cases of type 2 diabetes continue to increase at current rates. The team examined cases of liver diseases among people with diabetes from anonymised, securely linked hospital records and death records in Scotland
Biotechnology

New Method Developed to Preserve Microfluidic Devices for HIV Monitoring in Developing Countries

Providing vital health care services to people in developing countries without reliable electricity, refrigeration and state-of-the-art medical equipment poses a number of challenges. Inspired by pregnancy tests, researchers from Florida Atlantic University, Stanford University, and Baskent University in Turkey, have developed a novel method to store microfluidic devices for CD4 T cell testing in extreme weather conditions for up to six months without refrigeration. Microfluidic devices with immunochemistry have broad
Biotechnology rare diseases

Drug Candidate Stops Extra Bone Growth in Animal Model of Rare, Genetic Disease

New preclinical research provides support to a drug that has been repurposed to possibly treat a rare and extremely disabling genetic bone disease, particularly in children. In that disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a mutation triggers bone growth in muscles, alters skeletal bone formation, and limits motion, breathing, and swallowing, among a host of progressive symptoms. The research appeared online in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR) ahead
Antibiotics Biotechnology

Harvard Scientists Report on Novel Method for Extending the Life of Implantable Devices in situ

Blood-contacting implantable medical devices, such as stents, heart valves, ventricular assist devices, and extracorporeal support systems, as well as vascular grafts and access catheters, are used worldwide to improve patients’ lives. However, these devices are prone to failure due to the body’s responses at the blood-material interface; clots can form and inflammatory reactions can prevent the device from performing as indicated. Currently, when this occurs, the only solution is to
Biotechnology cancer Cancer Discovery

University of Pennsylvania to join new collaboration to fight cancer with immunotherapies

The University of Pennsylvania has joined an unprecedented cancer research effort, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which unites six of the nation's top medical schools and cancer centers around a shared aim of accelerating breakthrough immunotherapy research that will turn more cancers into a curable disease. The venture is backed by a $250 million gift from the Parker Foundation, making it the largest single contribution ever made to the
Biotechnology Diabetes

Scientists Reveal New Target for Anti-Lymphangiogenesis Drugs

After an injury to tissues, such as in organ transplantation, the body grows new lymphatic vessels in a process known as lymphangiogenesis.  A new study in Nature Communications reveals a mechanism involved in the regulation of this process, specifically in corneal transplants and infectious eye disease. The team, led by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, and Tufts Medical Center,
Biotechnology

Dysfunctional Endosomes Are An Early Sign of Neurodegeneration

Writing in the April 11 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say abnormalities in a protein that helps transport and sort materials inside cells are linked to axonal dysfunction and degeneration of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Down syndrome (DS). “Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain are hallmarks of AD patients and people with DS. However,
Biotechnology Diabetes

Solving a Genetic Mystery in Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the body’s own insulin-producing cells. Scientists understand reasonably well how this autoimmune attack progresses, but they don’t understand what triggers the attack or how to stop it, says Stephan Kissler, Ph.D., Investigator in the Section on Immunobiology at Joslin Diabetes Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Mutations in dozens of genes raise the risk of the disease by
Antibiotics

New Potent Nanodrug to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

A research team led by University of Arkansas chemist Jingyi Chen and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences microbiologist Mark Smeltzer has developed an alternative therapeutic approach to fighting antibiotic-resistant infections. The novel method uses a targeted, light-activated nanodrug consisting of antibiotic-loaded nanoconstructs, which are nanoscale cages made of gold and coated with polydopamine. The antibiotic is loaded into the polydopamine coating. The gold nanocages convert laser irradiation to heat,
Biotechnology Pharmaceutical Business News Pharmaceuticals

Q&A with Denis Corin, Q Bio Med Inc – Getting Past the “Pharma Bro” – Smaller Biotech Continue to Strive for Well-Being of Patients

There has been a vast amount of mixed feelings surrounding the biotech/drug company development of drugs and the final price consumers/patients are paying. Especially when one biotech CEO, Martin Shkreli (aka ‘Pharma Bro”) decided to massively increase of a very cheap drug vital to patients with HIV from $13.50 to $750. The actions of one CEO has cast an unjust dark shadow on peers in the industry. According to Denis Corin,
Pharmaceutical Business News

Called Off: Pharmaceutical Giants Pfizer and Allergan to abandon $212 billion merger

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced it is abandoning plans for a US $160 billion ($212 billion) merger with Botox maker Allergan, citing new US rules cracking down on tie ups aimed at saving on taxes. The deal with the Irish-based firm would have created the world's largest pharmaceutical company. Pfizer said in a statement that the two companies "terminated by mutual agreement" plans to merge. "Pfizer approached this transaction
Biotechnology Cell Therapy

Growing skin in the lab

Using reprogrammed iPS cells, scientists from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Japan have, along with collaborators from Tokyo University of Science and other Japanese institutions, successfully grown complex skin tissue--complete with hair follicles and sebaceous glands--in the laboratory. They were then able to implant these three-dimensional tissues into living mice, and the tissues formed proper connections with other organ systems such as nerves and muscle fibers. This