Biotechnology Cell Therapy Diabetes Pharmaceuticals

Diabetes Drugs Act as Powerful Curb for Immune Cells in Controlling Disease-causing Inflammation

Controlling Immune System Fuel Puts the Brakes on Macrophage Damage When tissue is damaged, one of the body’s first inflammatory immune-system responders are macrophages, cells which are commonly thought of as “construction workers” that clear away damaged tissue debris and initiate repair. However, prolonged inflammation promotes the progression of many diseases, including obesity. Now, a common class of drugs used to treat diabetes has been found to exert a powerful
Biotechnology Pharmaceuticals rare diseases

Researchers Discover Llama-Derived Nanobody Can Be Used as Potential Therapy for Hard-to-Treat Diseases

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have found a nanobody that holds promise to advance targeted therapies for a number of neurological diseases and cancer. In a recent study published in Nature Communications, Sahil Gulati, of the Department of Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and colleagues identified a nanobody derived from a llama that targets signaling of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a large family of
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New Insight Into Huntington’s Disease May Open Door to Drug Development

McMaster University researchers have developed a new theory on Huntington’s disease which is being welcomed for showing promise to open new avenues of drug development for the condition. Huntington’s disease is caused by a mutation in the gene that makes the protein called huntingtin. A team of researchers led by McMaster has found there is a unique type of signalling coming from damaged DNA, that signals huntingtin activity in DNA
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Pain Rehab Programs without Opioids Proving Effective

American Pain Society Study Reports Significant Quality of Life Improvements New research, published this month by the American Pain Society (APS), adds to burgeoning scientific evidence showing that interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs are an effective alternative to opioids for chronic pain management.  Despite several studies documenting favorable outcomes, access to multi-modal pain management programs remains out of reach for most patients due to inadequate insurance coverage.  This discourages providers from
Biotechnology Clinical Trials Pharmaceuticals

A Change in Bacteria’s Genetic Code Holds Promise of Longer-Lasting Drugs

By altering the genetic code in bacteria, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated a method to make therapeutic proteins more stable, an advance that would improve the drugs' effectiveness and convenience, leading to smaller and less frequent doses of medicine, lower health care costs and fewer side effects for patients with cancer and other diseases. The results were published today in the journal Nature Biotechnology. [June 4, 2018]
Biotechnology cancer Pharmaceuticals Prodrug

New Drug Combo Improves Survival of Women with Rare Uterine Cancer

Adding the monoclonal antibody drug trastuzumab—already used to treat certain breast cancers—to the chemotherapy regimen of women with a rare form of uterine cancer lengthens the amount of time their tumors are kept from growing, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conducting a small phase II trial of the regimen, testing its safety and value. The results of the trial, published online ahead of print on March 27 in the
Parkinson's Pharmaceuticals

Mutation of Worm Gene, Swip-10, Triggers Age-Dependent Death of Dopamine Neurons, Key Feature of Parkinson’s Disease

Dopamine, a signaling chemical in the brain, has the lofty job of controlling emotions, moods, movements as well as sensations of pleasure and pain. Dysfunction of this critical neurotransmitter is the cause of a number of diseases, most notably, Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of dopamine-producing cells and most theories of disease risk involve the selective vulnerability of ageing dopamine neurons to genetic mutations or to
Antibiotics Biotechnology Pharmaceuticals Prescriptions

Link Found Between Pediatric Osteoporosis and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

By studying mice in late adolescence, Johns Hopkins University researchers have discovered that the rapid bone growth associated with puberty is slowed not only by fewer cartilage cell divisions but also by the “aging” of bone cell precursor cells. After investigating the signaling molecules that promote this transition, the scientists conclude that some weak and brittle bone conditions in both children and adults may be due to the cells’ premature
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IU Research Suggests Failed Osteoarthritis Drug Could Get New Life as Opioid-Addiction Treatment

A new study from Indiana University suggests that a drug proven safe for use in people may prevent opioid tolerance and physical dependence when used in combination with opioid-based pain medications. Researchers in the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science at IU Bloomington have discovered that a compound previously tested to treat osteoarthritis pain appears to block neuropathic pain and decrease signs of opioid dependence. The work is reported in the
Biotechnology Diabetes Pharmaceuticals Prodrug

Targeting a microRNA shows potential to enhance effectiveness of diabetes drugs

Over the past 15 years, University of Alabama at Birmingham endocrinologist Anath Shalev, M.D., has unraveled a crucial biological pathway that malfunctions in diabetes. Her latest discovery in this beta-cell pathway, published in the journal Diabetes, shows the potential to enhance the effectiveness of existing diabetes drugs, as well as reduce some of the unwelcome side effects of those drugs. The need for improved treatment is great. Diabetes is a
Biotechnology Immunotherapies Pharmaceuticals

Drug targeting technique could aid therapies for immune diseases

A new technique that targets drugs to specific cells could lead to improved therapies for diseases caused by an overactive immune response. The approach could help people affected by conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases, where the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. Researchers focused on a group of immune cells called macrophages - some of which help the body heal after injury, while others can
Biotechnology Gene Therapy Pharmaceuticals rare diseases

MDI Biological Laboratory study finds immune system is critical to regeneration

The answer to regenerative medicine's most compelling question -- why some organisms can regenerate major body parts such as hearts and limbs while others, such as humans, cannot -- may lie with the body's innate immune system, according to a new study of heart regeneration in the axolotl, or Mexican salamander, an organism that takes the prize as nature's champion of regeneration. The study, which was conducted by James Godwin,
Biotechnology Clinical Trials Pharmaceuticals

New combination of anti-obesity drugs may have beneficial effects

Research conducted in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has revealed that a unique combination of hormone-based drugs can produce enhanced weight loss in laboratory tests with obese animals. The research is to be presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior. "Imagine a
Biotechnology cancer Pharmaceuticals

Targeted drug shows promise in rare advanced kidney cancer

Some patients with a form of advanced kidney cancer that carries a poor prognosis benefited from an experimental drug targeted to an abnormal genetic pathway causing cancerous growth, according to research led by a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientist. The drug, savolitinib, showed clinical activity in patients with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC) whose tumors were driven by overactivity of the MET signaling pathway, but was not effective for patients
Biotechnology cancer Pharmaceuticals

Combination approach improves power of new cancer therapy

An international research team has found a way to improve the anti-cancer effect of a new medicine class called 'Smac mimetics'. The team discovered how a protein called MK2 helps to keep cancer cells alive, making them resistant to the anti-cancer effects of Smac mimetics. The findings provide a rationale for combining inhibitors of MK2 with Smac mimetics as a potentially powerful new combination therapy for cancers with few treatment
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UTHealth’s Lenard Lichtenberger Tests Effectiveness of Lipidic Aspirin Formulation Against Cancer

Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) are testing the effectiveness of a soy-enriched aspirin formulation designed to fight colorectal cancer with fewer side effects. Lenard Lichtenberger, Ph.D., professor of integrative biology and pharmacology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, is the principal investigator for the preclinical study funded with a $1.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The grant was awarded to
Biotechnology cancer Pharmaceuticals

Custom built molecule shows promise as anti-cancer therapy

Scientists at the University of Bath funded by Cancer Research UK have custom-built a molecule which stops breast cancer cells from multiplying in laboratory trials, and hope it will eventually lead to a treatment for the disease. But perhaps even more importantly the method they used to create the molecule has potential to be applied to develop new treatments for a wide range of cancers and other diseases. The team,
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Pharmaceuticals

FDA approves drug to treat ALS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Radicava (edaravone) to treat patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “After learning about the use of edaravone to treat ALS in Japan, we rapidly engaged with the drug developer about filing a marketing application in the United States,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug
cancer Pharmaceuticals

Breast Cancer Drug Dampens Immune Response, Protecting Light-Sensing Cells of the Eye

Tamoxifen could be repurposed to treat degenerative diseases of the retina The breast cancer drug tamoxifen appears to protect light-sensitive cells in the eye from degeneration, according to a new study in mice. The drug prevented immune cells from removing injured photoreceptors, the light-sensitive cells of the retina in the back of the eye. The study, recently reported in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests tamoxifen might work for the treatment
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Computer Models Could Allow Researchers to Better Understand, Predict Adverse Drug Reactions

New computer models from North Carolina State University show how a variant of a common protein involved in human immune response binds to the antiviral drug abacavir, causing a severe life-threatening reaction known as the abacavir hypersensitivity syndrome (AHS). The work has implications for predicting severe adverse reactions caused by existing drugs and future drug candidates in subpopulations of patients. Abacavir is a common anti-HIV drug. However, it is associated