A new approach to drugging a difficult cancer target

One of the most common cancer-promoting genes, known as Myc, is also one of the most difficult to target with drugs. Scientists have long tried to develop drugs that block the Myc protein, but so far their efforts have not been successful. Now, using an alternative strategy, MIT researchers have discovered a compound that can reduce Myc activity by tying up the protein that is Myc's usual binding partner, leaving Myc partnerless and unable to perform its usual functions. The research team, led by Angela Koehler, an assistant professor of biological engineering and a member of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, found that the compound they developed could suppress tumor growth in mice with certain types of cancer. The compound has been licensed by an MIT spinout that is now seeking to develop more powerful versions that could potentially be tested in human patients.

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Nimbus Therapeutics Announces Expansion of Its Immunology Drug Discovery Pipeline

Nimbus Therapeutics | January 08, 2024

Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC a biotechnology company that designs and develops breakthrough medicines through its powerful computational drug discovery engine, announced the advancement and expansion of its pipeline with the addition of discovery programs targeting innate immunity pathways. These programs, targeting the salt-inducible kinase (SIK) family and cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), represent promising opportunities to leverage Nimbus’ industry-leading computational and structure-based drug design expertise to develop highly selective, potent medicines addressing areas of significant unmet need. "Building on the success of our TYK2 program, we are broadening our drug discovery engine to unlock new difficult-to-drug targets with compelling biology,” said Peter Tummino, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Nimbus. “SIK and cGAS are critical targets in highly prevalent diseases that are well suited to Nimbus’ structure-based drug design approach. We look forward to advancing our discovery and development programs across oncology, immunology, and metabolism to deliver transformative medicines to patients.” Nimbus is advancing its Phase 1/2 trial (NCT05128487) of NDI-101150, a small molecule inhibitor of hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1), and has reported positive dose escalation data showing potential monotherapy clinical benefit for patients with solid tumors. Furthermore, the company expects to initiate IND-enabling activities this year for its oncology program targeting Werner syndrome helicase (WRN). In collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company, Nimbus continues to progress the development of novel targeted therapies that activate AMPK to potentially treat a broad range of metabolic disorders. Nimbus continues to expand its platform capabilities with ongoing investments in cutting-edge technology for drug discovery. Alongside proprietary computational tools which the company has developed in-house, Nimbus’ platform leverages state-of-the-art technology through collaborations such as its recently announced partnership with Anagenex, a leader in generative AI for drug design. Jeb Keiper, M.S., MBA, Nimbus’ Chief Executive Officer, will provide an overview of the company’s progress and pipeline and anticipated milestones for 2024 and beyond at the 42nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Monday, January 8, 2024 at 7:30 am PT. About Nimbus Therapeutics Nimbus Therapeutics is a clinical-stage, structure-based drug discovery company developing novel small molecule medicines designed to act against well-validated but difficult-to-drug targets implicated in multiple human diseases. Nimbus combines leading-edge computational technologies with a tailored array of machine learning-based predictive modeling approaches. Nimbus’ pipeline includes a clinical-stage HPK1 inhibitor for the treatment of cancer (NCT05128487), as well as a diverse portfolio of preclinical programs focused on cancer, autoimmune conditions, and metabolic diseases. Nimbus is headquartered in Boston, Mass.

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MedTech

PanGIA Biotech Plans Expanded Multi-Cancer Early Detection Liquid Biopsy Study

PanGIA Biotech, Inc. | January 05, 2024

PanGIA Biotech, a US based biotechnology company with a mission to develop true liquid biopsy technology that is scalable for global impact, today announced that it is finalizing its three-year, prospective, multicenter, clinical study on prostate cancer liquid biopsy. This announcement comes as the company prepares to launch additional clinical studies in multi-cancer early detection using the PanGIA® Liquid Biopsy Platform. “The PanGIA urine based true liquid biopsy technology has been developed for global impact by diagnosing, monitoring, and managing cancers earlier to save lives using urine as the sample type to create vastly improved availability and scalability in cancer diagnostics,” according to PanGIA Biotech’s CEO, Holly Magliochetti. In 2020, the company received IRB approval and launched a novel AI integrated urine based liquid biopsy study. The company immediately began recruiting urologists in US-based academic as well as large and small group community practices to enroll men who were scheduled for prostate biopsy. Results of the study are pending publication. “Based on the high sensitivity and high specificity of the PanGIA prostate study, PanGIA Biotech is now preparing to significantly expand the platform by launching follow-on studies in ten additional cancer types,” said Tricia Schumann, Chief Investment Officer of PanGIA Biotech. Additional cancer types in the PanGIA follow-on study will include breast, ovarian, lung, renal, bladder, colorectal, stomach, pancreas, liver, and brain. The company will begin recruiting experienced medical professionals across the United States as clinical study sites as well as listing the study on ClinicalTrials.gov. PanGIA Biotech intends to launch the expanded study in mid-2024. Interested researchers may contact the company for additional information. About PanGIA Biotech, Inc. PanGIA Biotech develops novel, AI integrated, true liquid biopsy technology that is scalable for global impact. The PanGIA® platform allows rapid development of non-invasive testing for detecting, monitoring response to therapy, and managing a variety of diseases and disorders, including cancers as early as Stage 1. The company combines expertise in molecular biology with advanced computational biology and machine learning to detect disease-associated patterns using proprietary technology.

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Medical

Capricor Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with the National Institutes of Health for Clinical Trial of Novel Exosome-Based Multivalent Vaccine

Capricor Therapeutics | January 24, 2024

Capricor Therapeutics a biotechnology company developing transformative cell and exosome-based therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of rare diseases, today announced that Capricor’s proprietary StealthX™ exosome-based multivalent vaccine (StealthX™ vaccine) for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 has been selected to be part of Project NextGen, an initiative by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to advance a pipeline of new, innovative vaccines providing broader and more durable protection for COVID-19. As part of Project NextGen, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, will conduct a Phase 1 clinical study with Capricor’s StealthX™ vaccine, subject to regulatory approval. NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) would oversee the study. “We are extremely pleased with the external support from the NIH, which highlights the clinical potential of our StealthX™ exosome platform technology and provides non-dilutive support for the advancement of our vaccine candidate,” said Linda Marbán, Ph.D., Capricor’s chief executive officer. “Our proprietary vaccine is multivalent, delivering both the highly mutagenic S protein (Spike) and the more stable N protein (Nucleocapsid) which potentially may offer broader and longer lasting immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We view the NIH SARS-CoV-2 project as the first clinical step towards development of a next generation vaccine platform that may be extended to other infectious diseases. Our platform is designed to combine the speed of response of an mRNA vaccine with the potential efficacy of a protein vaccine. Further, our StealthX™ vaccine is free of both adjuvant and lipid nanoparticles and in preclinical studies has generated a strong immune response at low doses. We believe our StealthX™ vaccine may offer a clinically meaningful alternative for highly mutating or novel infectious agents.” Dr. Marbán continued, “This is the opportunity we have been waiting for as it allows the exosome technology to be brought into the clinic as we continue to focus our resources on CAP-1002 for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Beyond SARS-CoV-2, we look forward to exploring the potential therapeutic utility of this platform, and more broadly, expanding our pipeline into therapeutics and future partnership opportunities.” About Capricor’s StealthX™ Vaccine The StealthX™ vaccine is a proprietary vaccine developed internally by Capricor utilizing exosomes that were engineered to express either spike or nucleocapsid proteins on the surface. Preclinical results from murine and rabbit models published in Microbiology Spectrum, showed the StealthX™ vaccine, resulted in robust antibody production, potent neutralizing antibodies, a strong T-cell response and a favorable safety profile. These effects were obtained with administration of only nanogram amounts of protein and without adjuvant or synthetic lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). Exosomes offer a new antigen delivery system that potentially could be utilized to rapidly generate multivalent protein-based vaccines. Exosomes, first identified as extracellular vesicles, are small vesicles enriched in specific subsets of proteins, RNAs and lipids and responsible for cell-to-cell communication. About Capricor Therapeutics Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the development of transformative cell and exosome-based therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of rare diseases. Capricor’s lead candidate, CAP-1002, is an allogeneic cardiac-derived cell therapy currently in Phase 3 clinical development for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Further, Capricor has entered into a partnership for the exclusive commercialization and distribution of CAP-1002 for DMD in the United States and Japan with Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd. (U.S. subsidiary: NS Pharma, Inc.), subject to regulatory approval. Capricor is also developing its exosome technology as a potential next-generation therapeutic platform. Our proprietary StealthX™ exosome platform has potential for a broad range of new therapeutic applications in the field of vaccinology as well as targeted oligonucleotide, protein and small molecule therapeutics to treat or prevent a variety of diseases.

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