Alzheimer's-like symptoms reversed in mice, researchers say

Medical Xpress | March 06, 2019

A diet containing compounds found in green tea and carrots reversed Alzheimer's-like symptoms in mice genetically programmed to develop the disease, USC researchers say. Researchers emphasize that the study, recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was in mice, and many mouse discoveries never translate into human treatments. Nevertheless, the findings lend credence to the idea that certain readily available, plant-based supplements might offer protection against dementia in humans. "You don't have to wait 10 to 12 years for a designer drug to make it to market; you can make these dietary changes today," said senior author Terrence Town, a professor of physiology and neuroscience at the Keck School of Medicine of USC's Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute. "I find that very encouraging." What's more, the study supports the idea that combination therapy, rather than a single magic bullet, may offer the best approach to treating the 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer's. Combination treatment is already the standard of care for diseases such as cancer, HIV infection and rheumatoid arthritis.

Spotlight

The author presents three scenarios of how the biotechnology revolution may alter our conception of human nature over the coming years. Which, if any, of these scenarios do you find morally troubling? Why?

Spotlight

The author presents three scenarios of how the biotechnology revolution may alter our conception of human nature over the coming years. Which, if any, of these scenarios do you find morally troubling? Why?

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Alloy Therapeutics and Normunity Sign Multi-Program Antibody Discovery Collaboration in Immuno-Oncology

Alloy Therapeutics | November 18, 2022

Alloy Therapeutics, a biotechnology ecosystem company, announced an antibody discovery collaboration spanning multiple precision immuno-oncology programs for Normunity, a biotech company that recently announced its $65 million Series A financing. The collaboration will support the advancement of Normunity’s immune normalizers, antibody therapies designed to target novel mechanisms that free the body’s normal immunity to fight cancer, which are conceived through a unique biotech-academic collaboration with a renowned immuno-oncology university research lab. Alloy democratizes access to tools, technologies, and services that are foundational for discovering and developing therapeutic biologics and has partnered with more than 130 discovery teams across academia, biotech, and large biopharma organizations. Through its discovery services offering, Alloy conducts high-touch, bespoke therapeutic discovery campaigns against partners’ targets of interest. “Our partnership reflects an exciting opportunity to pair Normunity’s insights in immune disruption and cancer disease biology with Alloy’s world-class antibody discovery expertise. We value Alloy’s collaborative approach and look forward to working together to advance the best therapeutic antibodies to target mechanisms discovered through Normunity’s platforms.” Normunity Chief Scientific Officer William LaRochelle, PhD The collaboration between Alloy and Normunity is leveraging Alloy’s high velocity antibody discovery services offering, Daedamab, which takes a sequencing-first approach to antibody discovery that reduces discovery timelines without sacrificing quality. The Daedamab team is based in Alloy’s research facility in Athens, GA, and its workflow comprises the ATX-Gx™, Alloy’s proprietary mice platform for human therapeutic antibody discovery, in addition to robust B cell isolation, next generation sequencing, cloning-free expression and a high throughput screening process—all supported by a rich informatics engine. “We are very excited to work with Normunity on its set of unique immuno-oncology targets using our high velocity NGS-based antibody discovery methods leveraging the ATX-Gx platform," said Richard Shimkets, PhD, SVP of Genetics and New Technologies at Alloy Therapeutics and CEO of the Daedamab site. “This relationship is emblematic of Alloy’s expertise in deploying the right technologies and processes to find our partners the best therapeutic antibodies against the novel targets they bring us.” Normunity is advancing into the clinic with programs that target mechanisms that drive the exclusion of T cells into immune-sensitive tumors and aim to deliver an active and effective immune system into cold tumors. About Daedamab Alloy’s Daedamab discovery service offers a novel, fast, powerful sequence-first approach to finding and making the best antibodies. The team is based in Athens, GA and supports Alloy collaborators with complete antibody discovery services, antibody sequencing of customer-provided material, expression and testing of customer-provided antibody sequences, humanization, and optimization services. About Alloy Therapeutics Alloy Therapeutics is a biotechnology ecosystem company empowering the global scientific community to make better medicines together. Through a community of partners across academia, biotech, and the largest biopharma, Alloy democratizes access to pre-competitive tools, technologies, services, and company creation capabilities that are foundational for discovering and developing therapeutic biologics across six modalities, including antibodies, TCRs, genetic medicines, peptides, cell therapies, and drug delivery. Partners may access all current and future technologies for a flat annual fee through Alloy’s Innovation Subscriptions offering. As a reflection of Alloy’s relentless commitment to the scientific community, Alloy reinvests 100% of its revenue in innovation and access to innovation. About Normunity Normunity, Inc., is a biotechnology company creating a new class of precision immuno-oncology medicines, called immune normalizers, that target novel mechanisms that free the body’s normal immunity against cancer. Based on an ongoing, interactive academic-biotech partnership with the lab of Dr. Lieping Chen at Yale School of Medicine, Normunity is targeting newly-discovered mechanisms of immune disruption in cancer based on proprietary discovery platforms that elucidate the complex interactions between human cancer and the immune system. The company is advancing an emerging pipeline of immune normalizers, including initial drug programs that target mechanisms that drive the exclusion of T-cells from immune-sensitive tumors and other mechanisms that are barriers to normal immune function in cancer. Normunity is located in Boston, Mass. and West Haven, Conn.

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MEDTECH, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

INOVIO Announces Strategic Reorganization to Deliver DNA Medicines to Patients

INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | February 01, 2023

On January 31, 2023, INOVIO, a leading biotechnology firm focused on the development and commercialization of DNA medicines to protect and treat people from cancer, HPV-associated diseases, and infectious diseases, announced a strategic reorganization to meet operational efficiency commitments and better position the company to deliver DNA medicines to patients. Following the previously announced end of clinical development projects in late 2022, the restructuring is estimated to result in yearly savings of roughly $4.3 million and an 11% reduction in full-time personnel. These and other strategic initiatives divert resources needed to progress critical programs, such as INOVIO's product candidate INO-3107 for the treatment of Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP). INOVIO anticipates a $1.1 million one-time restructuring charge in the first quarter of 2023. Its 2022 fourth-quarter and year-end financial results announcement, scheduled for March 2023, will provide more precise financial guidance. INOVIO's lead initiatives include therapies for HPV-related disorders, such as INO-3107 for RRP and VGX-3100 for cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL). In the first quarter of 2023, INOVIO is anticipated to release the results of its Phase 3 REVEAL2 study for VGX-3100 and the second cohort of its Phase 1/2 trial for INO-3107. About INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, PA, INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology firm dedicated to bringing precisely designed DNA therapeutics to market in order to treat, cure, and protect individuals from infectious diseases, cancer, and HPV-related diseases. INOVIO's in-development DNA medications are delivered utilizing its investigational proprietary smart device, CELLECTRA®, to elicit immune responses against targeted pathogens and malignancies. Its DNA medicines platform and the proprietary smart device can target almost any DNA sequence. With 15 clinical studies in development, the company has the potential to save and protect lives throughout the world and fuel a new decade of DNA medicines.

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MEDTECH

ElevateBio BaseCamp Unveils its LentiPeakTM Lentiviral Vector Platform

ElevateBio, LLC | November 07, 2022

ElevateBio, LLC (ElevateBio), a technology-driven company focused on powering transformative cell and gene therapies, announced the unveiling of ElevateBio BaseCamp’s proprietary LentiPeakTM lentiviral vector platform. LentiPeak is a serum-free, suspension-based, scalable production platform that has demonstrated high volumetric productivity of therapeutically relevant vector yields that meet regulatory guidelines. LentiPeak will enable efficient transition for cell and gene therapies from preclinical stage through clinical development and commercialization with accelerated timelines and reduced manufacturing costs.The LentiPeak platform leverages ElevateBio BaseCamp’s end-to-end process and analytical development expertise and scientific leadership and builds upon the company’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) manufacturing capabilities for research, clinical and commercial cell and gene therapies, and regenerative medicines. “As a 30-year veteran of the cell and gene therapy industry, I’ve witnessed the immense advancement of lentiviral vector technology from its infancy to the current landscape with six FDA-approved lentiviral vector-derived cell and gene therapies, The LentiPeak platform is made possible by ElevateBio’s strong scientific foundation, industry-leading expertise, and the investments we’ve made into viral vector production. Our pioneering work continues to be the basis for our continued innovation to drive many more therapies through development to commercialization for our partners.” -Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of R&D, ElevateBio ElevateBio BaseCamp’s LentiPeak platform offers a robust and scalable platform process for development and cGMP manufacturing of lentiviral vectors. The LentiPeak platform utilizes a serum-free suspension process capable of producing clinically relevant lentiviral vectors with high titers ranging from 1x10^8 TU/ml to 1x10^9 TU/ml, suitable to meet various therapeutic program needs from preclinical scale to commercial scale supply. The LentiPeak platform can also be seamlessly integrated into cell therapy programs with ElevateBio’s ability to conduct both vector and cell production activities. By leveraging the aligned process unit operations, materials, analytics, and manufacturing expertise at ElevateBio BaseCamp, the LentiPeak platform will simplify the product development and commercialization lifecycle, reducing complexity and ensuring comparability between early-stage and pivotal trials. “Our team of industry-leading experts have developed next-generation platform-based processes that are designed to address lentivirus manufacturing challenges head-on. With our partners’ needs in mind, our proprietary LentiPeak platform has demonstrated leading vector titers with high potency, and process scalability to help our partners de-risk vector production, right from the start, At ElevateBio BaseCamp, we are ever committed to simplifying the complex cell and gene therapy landscape to enable our partners to rapidly progress their therapeutic programs and make these therapies more accessible to patients in need.” -Andrew Sandford, President, ElevateBio BaseCamp About ElevateBio: ElevateBio is a technology-driven company built to power the development of transformative cell and gene therapies today and for many decades to come. The company has assembled industry-leading talent, built state-of-the-art facilities, and integrated diverse technology platforms, including gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and protein, vector, and cellular engineering, necessary to drive innovation and commercialization of cellular and genetic medicines. In addition, ElevateBio BaseCamp in Waltham, MA, is a purpose-built facility offering process innovation, process sciences, and current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) manufacturing capabilities. It was designed to support diverse cell and gene therapy products, including autologous, allogeneic, and regenerative medicine cell products and viral vector manufacturing capabilities. Through BaseCamp and its enabling technologies, ElevateBio is focused on growing its collaborations with industry partners while also developing its own portfolio of cellular and genetic medicines. ElevateBio's team of scientists, drug developers, and company builders are redefining what it means to be a technology company in the world of drug development, blurring the line between technology and healthcare.

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