A Change in Cell Logistics Helps Cancer Become Resistant

Technology Networks | November 15, 2019

A Change in Cell Logistics Helps Cancer Become Resistant
Researchers have uncovered a potential cause of sustained resistance to hormone therapy in the most common form of breast cancer. The majority of breast cancers are hormone receptor positive – these are cancers which have an oestrogen receptor on the surface of the cells. Hormone therapy is an effective treatment, but roughly 40 per cent of women relapse with a form of the disease which proves resistant to available treatments. Scientists found that breast cancers which had become resistant to hormone therapy have a molecular advantage that helps their cells successfully evade hormone therapies, which are the best treatment option currently available for patients with hormone receptor positive (or ER+) cancers. The study, led by researchers at Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences at the University of Florence, Italy, in collaboration with colleagues at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has shown that breast cancer cells which are resistant to hormone therapy have more of a microRNA molecule called miR-23b-3p.

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Immunotherapy harnesses the components of an individual's own immune system to identify and attack cancer cells. One form of immunotherapy is adoptive cell transfer (ACT), where the patient's immune cells are collected, genetically modified, and re-infused. CAR-T immunotherapy is one type of ACT that has shown exceptional promise against both blood cancers and solid tumors. CAR-T cells are T cells expressing specialized engineered receptors called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) which counter tumor evasion by improving recognition specificity for tumor cells and removing the need for MHC co-stimulation.

Spotlight

Immunotherapy harnesses the components of an individual's own immune system to identify and attack cancer cells. One form of immunotherapy is adoptive cell transfer (ACT), where the patient's immune cells are collected, genetically modified, and re-infused. CAR-T immunotherapy is one type of ACT that has shown exceptional promise against both blood cancers and solid tumors. CAR-T cells are T cells expressing specialized engineered receptors called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) which counter tumor evasion by improving recognition specificity for tumor cells and removing the need for MHC co-stimulation.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

BeiGene Initiates First-in-Human Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Investigational TYK2 Inhibitor BGB-23339

BeiGene | November 23, 2021

BeiGene a global, science-driven biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines, announced that the first patient has been dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial of BGB-23339, a potent, allosteric investigational tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor internally developed by BeiGene scientists. TYK2 is a member of the JAK family and functions as a critical mediator in cytokine signaling pathways implicated in multiple immune-mediated disorders, such as psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease. BGB-23339 is a potent, highly selective, investigational TYK2 inhibitor targeting the regulatory pseudokinase (JH2) domain. “Discovered and developed by BeiGene, BGB-23339 is a highly selective, potent, allosteric TYK2 inhibitor that has shown promising activity in preclinical evaluation. Building on our proven track record in oncology, BeiGene is expanding its clinical focus to discover new modalities and platforms in areas of high unmet need, including inflammation and immunology, to bring innovative, impactful medicines to patients.” Lai Wang, Ph.D., Global Head of R&D at BeiGene The first-in-human Phase 1 trial (NCT05093270) is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary activity of BGB-23339. The trial is expected to enroll up to 115 healthy volunteers in Australia and/or China. In addition to its broad portfolio focused on hematological malignancies and solid tumors, BeiGene is applying its research excellence and clinical expertise to address inflammation and immunology, an area of high unmet medical need. BeiGene’s internally developed, highly selective next-generation BTK inhibitor BRUKINSA® (zanubrutinib) is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 trial in patients with active proliferative lupus nephritis. About BGB-23339 BGB-23339 is a potent, highly selective, allosteric, investigational tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor discovered and being developed by BeiGene. TYK2 is a member of the JAK family and functions as a critical mediator in cytokine signaling pathways implicated in multiple immune-mediated disorders. Designed to target the regulatory pseudokinase (JH2) domain on TYK2, BGB-23339 has demonstrated strong selectivity in preclinical studies with potent inhibition of interleukin (IL)-12, IL-23, and Type 1 interferons (IFNs)—pro-inflammatory cytokines that play a determinant role in the induction of inflammation. BGB-23339 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical study. About BeiGene BeiGene is a global, science-driven biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide. With a broad portfolio of more than 40 clinical candidates, we are expediting development of our diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics through our own capabilities and collaborations. We are committed to radically improving access to medicines for two billion more people by 2030. BeiGene has a growing global team of over 7,700 colleagues across five continents. Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws, including statements regarding plans for the Phase 1 trial and development of BGB-23339, the potential for BGB-23339 to address unmet medical needs, BeiGene’s plan to expand its clinical focus to discover new modalities and platforms in areas of high unmet need, including inflammation and immunology, and BeiGene’s plans, commitments, aspirations and goals under “About BeiGene”. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including BeiGene's ability to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its drug candidates; the clinical results for its drug candidates, which may not support further development or marketing approval; actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of clinical trials and marketing approval; BeiGene's ability to achieve commercial success for its marketed medicines and drug candidates, if approved; BeiGene's ability to obtain and maintain protection of intellectual property for its medicines and technology; BeiGene's reliance on third parties to conduct drug development, manufacturing and other services; BeiGene’s limited experience in obtaining regulatory approvals and commercializing pharmaceutical products and its ability to obtain additional funding for operations and to complete the development and commercialization of its drug candidates and achieve and maintain profitability; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the BeiGene’s clinical development, regulatory, commercial, and other operations, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in BeiGene’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in BeiGene's subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and BeiGene undertakes no duty to update such information unless required by law.

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International Biotechnology looking to the long term rather than corona cures

Investors Chronicle | April 30, 2020

Healthcare companies around the world are scrambling to produce drugs and vaccines to treat and immunise people against Covid-19. However, the managers of International Biotechnology Trust (IBT) are not necessarily investing in these companies as their share prices are volatile, shooting up on reports of possible treatments in development.For example, Carl Harald Janson, lead manager of International Biotechnology Trust, recently reduced the trust’s holding in Gilead Sciences (US:GILD) – which accounted for 6 per cent of its assets at the end of March – when its share price hit $85 (£68.41), up from $65 at the start of the year. He says there is a risk that vaccine developers will become overvalued as there is pressure to make drugs as affordable as possible.Dr Janson and his team have also sold some of the trust's holdings in small, early-stage companies with little cash, which might struggle to refinance over the next 18 months. And, due to falls in world markets, the trust's board reduced its gearing – debt – from 8 per cent at the start of the year to zero. This is because if an investment trust borrows money to invest in more stocks than it can buy with its assets, and thenmarkets fall, it can compound the trust's losses.

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Boost Biomes announces close of Series A and co-development agreement with lead investor, Yara International, for biostimulants products

Boost Biomes | June 25, 2020

US-based food and agriculture biotech startup Boost Biomes and global crop nutrition company, Yara International ASA, announced today the close of Boost's USD 5 million series A equity round as well as a joint development agreement between the two companies. Yara's investment amounts to USD 3 million. Existing investors, including Viking Global Investors and Y Combinator, participated in the close.With this partnership in place, Boost and Yara will expand current efforts to co-develop a new product to enhance crops' rate of nutrient uptake from the soil enabling farmers to increase yields with fewer inputs, saving cost and reducing environmental impact.Boost will use the new funding to continue to develop its leading biofungicide product, and will further develop its product pipeline and technology platform, including products that may include novel antibiologicals, improve nutrient utilization, improve other measures of crop growth and health, and products that extend the shelf-life of produce.Jamie Bacher, Boost Biomes' CEO and cofounder, said, "We are putting Boost's platform technology to work. Yara's evaluation of our technology, and our resulting joint program, further validates that our platform generates a unique data set that can be exploited for many diverse microbiome applications in food and agriculture. While Boost develops products internally, we are also ready to work with partners on novel microbiome applications. We look forward to working closely with the team at Yara to develop novel products for farmers, to address their most pressing challenges.""We are excited to collaborate with, and invest in, Boost Biomes as part of Yara's focus on innovative microbial approaches within our crop nutrition solutions. A key priority for farmers is efficient and effective use of fertilizers. Boost's technology has the promise to unlock new means to enhance crops' nutrient uptake. This partnership underlines Yara's commitment to further developing our biostimulants product range under the BIOTRYG platform as part of our strategy to promote sustainable farming practices," said Joacim Christiansen, SVP, Yara Farming Solutions.

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