Light and Sound Brain Wave Stimulation Shows Pre-clinical Potential As Alzheimer’s Therapy

RUAIRI J MACKENZIE | October 25, 2019 | 68 views

Research presented at Neuroscience 2019, hosted in Chicago this week, has shown promising pre-clinical data in mice that suggests altering the electrical oscillations of neuronal networks with external light and sound stimulation might have brain-boosting effects that reduce pathology related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In a plenary talk, MIT Picower Institute for Learning and Memory Professor Li-Huei Tsai gave an overview of research which implicates aberrant brain rhythms as having a contributory role in the neurodegeneration that is a hallmark of AD pathology.

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SP Scientific

SP Scientific is the synergistic collection of well-known, well-established and highly regarded scientific equipment brands — VirTis, FTS Systems, Hotpack, Hull, Genevac, and most recently PennTech — joined to create one of the largest and most experienced companies in freeze drying/lyophilization, centrifugal evaporation and concentration, temperature control/thermal management, glassware washers, controlled environments, vial washing and tray loading machines.

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MEDTECH

Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | July 20, 2022

The big question at the start of 2019 was whether the IPO window would stay open for biotech companies, particularly those seeking to pull off ever-larger IPOs at increasingly earlier stages of development. The short answer is yes—kind of. Here’s the long answer: In the words of Renaissance Capital, the IPO market had “a mostly good year.” The total number of deals fell to 159 from 192 the year before, but technology and healthcare companies were standout performers. The latter—which include biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies—led the pack, making up 43% of all IPOs in 2019. By Renaissance’s count, seven companies went public at valuations exceeding $1 billion, up from five the year before

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MEDICAL

Cell Out? Lysate-Based Expression an Option for Personalized Meds

Article | August 16, 2022

Cell-free expression (CFE) is the practice of making a protein without using a living cell. In contrast with cell line-based methods, production is achieved using a fluid containing biological components extracted from a cell, i.e., a lysate. CFE offers potential advantages for biopharma according to Philip Probert, PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Process Innovation in the U.K.

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MEDTECH

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | September 22, 2022

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

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Selexis Cell Line Development Strategies

Article | February 11, 2020

In today’s biotechnology landscape, to be competitive, meet regulations, and achieve market demands, “we must apply Bioprocessing 4.0,” said Igor Fisch, PhD, CEO, Selexis. In fact, in the last decade, “Selexis has evolved from cloning by limiting dilution to automated cell selection to nanofluidic chips and from monoclonality assessment by statistical calculation to proprietary bioinformatic analysis,” he added. Single-use processing systems are an expanding part of the biomanufacturing world; as such, they are a major component of Bioprocessing 4.0. “At Selexis, we use single use throughout our cell line development workflow. Currently, we have incorporated single-use automated bioprocessing systems such as ambr® and the Beacon® optofluidic platform for accelerated cell line development. By using these systems and optimizing our parameters, we were able to achieve high titers in shake flasks. Additionally, the Beacon systems integrate miniaturized cell culture with high-throughput liquid handling automation and cell imaging. This allows us to control, adjust, and monitor programs at the same time,” noted Fisch.

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Spotlight

SP Scientific

SP Scientific is the synergistic collection of well-known, well-established and highly regarded scientific equipment brands — VirTis, FTS Systems, Hotpack, Hull, Genevac, and most recently PennTech — joined to create one of the largest and most experienced companies in freeze drying/lyophilization, centrifugal evaporation and concentration, temperature control/thermal management, glassware washers, controlled environments, vial washing and tray loading machines.

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The Deep Brain Origins of Alzheimer's Disease

Technology Networks | October 07, 2019

Long before symptoms like memory loss even emerge, the underlying pathology of Alzheimer's disease, such as an accumulation of amyloid protein plaques, is well underway in the brain. A longtime goal of the field has been to understand where it starts so that future interventions could begin there. A new study by MIT neuroscientists at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory could help those efforts by pinpointing the regions with the earliest emergence of amyloid in the brain of a prominent mouse model of the disease. Notably, the study also shows that the degree of amyloid accumulation in one of those same regions of the human brain correlates strongly with the progression of the disease. "Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease so in the end you can see a lot of neuron loss," said Wen-Chin "Brian" Huang, co-lead author of the study and a postdoc in the lab of co-senior author Li-Huei Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Picower Institute. "At that point it would be hard to cure the symptoms. It's really critical to understand what circuits and regions show neuronal dysfunction early in the disease. This will in turn facilitate the development of effective therapeutics."

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Alzheimer’s Memory Loss Could Be Treated with Calcium Channel Blocker

GEN | September 12, 2019

A little extra calcium is a good thing, to help maintain healthy bones and muscles. However, too much calcium in your neurons could be an underlying cause of memory loss for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, but the changes in brain cell function that mediate memory loss remain poorly understood. However now, researchers at the University of Bristol have identified that calcium channel blockers may be an effective way of treating memory loss. Findings from the new study—published recently in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience through an article titled “Restoration of Olfactory Memory in Drosophila Overexpressing Human Alzheimer’s Disease-Associated Tau by Manipulation of L-Type Ca2+ Channels”—found that treating a diseased brain cell with a blocker of the L-type channel reduced the number of calcium ions able to flow into the brain cell. “Memory loss in AD is highly distressing and a difficult to treat symptom. Targeting the early changes in brain cell function—before they begin to degenerate—may be effective in treating memory loss,” noted senior study investigator James Hodge, PhD, associate professor in neuroscience at the University of Bristol.

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Questex LLC | July 06, 2018

A phase 2 Alzheimer’s trial once nearly consigned to the heap of disappointing attempts against the disease has re-emerged with new positive results, showing that an anti-amyloid beta protofibril antibody can slow clinical symptom decline, as well as reduce the accumulation of plaque in the brain. Biogen and Eisai’s BAN2401 did not present promising results last December, with 12-month data failing to clear the bar compared to placebo. The companies had hoped their adaptive trial design, employing Bayesian statistics, would provide a faster and cheaper route to phase 3 development compared to traditional protocols.

Read More

The Deep Brain Origins of Alzheimer's Disease

Technology Networks | October 07, 2019

Long before symptoms like memory loss even emerge, the underlying pathology of Alzheimer's disease, such as an accumulation of amyloid protein plaques, is well underway in the brain. A longtime goal of the field has been to understand where it starts so that future interventions could begin there. A new study by MIT neuroscientists at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory could help those efforts by pinpointing the regions with the earliest emergence of amyloid in the brain of a prominent mouse model of the disease. Notably, the study also shows that the degree of amyloid accumulation in one of those same regions of the human brain correlates strongly with the progression of the disease. "Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease so in the end you can see a lot of neuron loss," said Wen-Chin "Brian" Huang, co-lead author of the study and a postdoc in the lab of co-senior author Li-Huei Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Picower Institute. "At that point it would be hard to cure the symptoms. It's really critical to understand what circuits and regions show neuronal dysfunction early in the disease. This will in turn facilitate the development of effective therapeutics."

Read More

Alzheimer’s Memory Loss Could Be Treated with Calcium Channel Blocker

GEN | September 12, 2019

A little extra calcium is a good thing, to help maintain healthy bones and muscles. However, too much calcium in your neurons could be an underlying cause of memory loss for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, but the changes in brain cell function that mediate memory loss remain poorly understood. However now, researchers at the University of Bristol have identified that calcium channel blockers may be an effective way of treating memory loss. Findings from the new study—published recently in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience through an article titled “Restoration of Olfactory Memory in Drosophila Overexpressing Human Alzheimer’s Disease-Associated Tau by Manipulation of L-Type Ca2+ Channels”—found that treating a diseased brain cell with a blocker of the L-type channel reduced the number of calcium ions able to flow into the brain cell. “Memory loss in AD is highly distressing and a difficult to treat symptom. Targeting the early changes in brain cell function—before they begin to degenerate—may be effective in treating memory loss,” noted senior study investigator James Hodge, PhD, associate professor in neuroscience at the University of Bristol.

Read More

Biogen and Eisai’s previously bleak Alzheimer’s study comes back with positive results

Questex LLC | July 06, 2018

A phase 2 Alzheimer’s trial once nearly consigned to the heap of disappointing attempts against the disease has re-emerged with new positive results, showing that an anti-amyloid beta protofibril antibody can slow clinical symptom decline, as well as reduce the accumulation of plaque in the brain. Biogen and Eisai’s BAN2401 did not present promising results last December, with 12-month data failing to clear the bar compared to placebo. The companies had hoped their adaptive trial design, employing Bayesian statistics, would provide a faster and cheaper route to phase 3 development compared to traditional protocols.

Read More

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