Cultured stem cells reconstruct sensory nerve and tissue structure in the nose

Phys.org | March 28, 2019

A team of researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine developed a method to grow and maintain olfactory stem cells in culture, which can then be used to restore tissue in the nose. The discovery raises hope that future therapies could be developed to restore the sense of smell in individuals where it has been damaged by injury or degeneration. The stem cells, called horizontal basal cells (HBCs), can repopulate all olfactory epithelium (OE) cell types, including sensory neurons, when transplanted into injured tissue. Published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports, the development paves the way for further research into stem cell transplantation therapies, or pharmacological approaches that stimulate stem cells within the nose to regenerate tissue. The nerves that confer the sense of smell are unique when compared to the rest of the nervous system, in that they can trigger a robust and nearly complete regenerative response after injury. OE tissue contains two types of stem cells—globose basal cells (GBCs) and HBCs. The GBCs have been successfully cultured and appear to have a primary role in repopulating cells that have been lost to routine turnover. 

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Business Insider is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that a class of type 2 diabetes drugs may cause a flesh-eating bacterial infection of the genitals. The condition developed in 12 patients after they took the drugs between March 2013 and May 2018. The FDA issued a statement saying "Patients should seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of tenderness, redness, or swelling of the genitals or the area from the genitals back to the rectum, and have a fever above 100.4 F or a general feeling of being unwell," the FDA said. The only drug not in the class linked to the condition is Merck & Co.'s Steglujan.

Spotlight

Business Insider is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that a class of type 2 diabetes drugs may cause a flesh-eating bacterial infection of the genitals. The condition developed in 12 patients after they took the drugs between March 2013 and May 2018. The FDA issued a statement saying "Patients should seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of tenderness, redness, or swelling of the genitals or the area from the genitals back to the rectum, and have a fever above 100.4 F or a general feeling of being unwell," the FDA said. The only drug not in the class linked to the condition is Merck & Co.'s Steglujan.

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RESEARCH

Skye Bioscience Establishes New Cannabinoid Pharmaceutical Innovation Program

Skye Bioscience, Inc. | October 13, 2021

Skye Bioscience, Inc. (“Skye” or the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company developing proprietary, synthetic cannabinoid-derived molecules to treat glaucoma and other diseases with significant unmet need, has formed a new exclusive sponsored research agreement with Emerald Health Biotechnology Espana SLU (“EHBE”), focused on developing and characterizing novel molecules that can affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS) for therapeutic benefit. The research initiative, referred to as the Cannabinoid Pharmaceutical Innovation Program (CPIP), will focus on targeting important signaling pathways in the endocannabinoid system to realize therapeutically beneficial effects. The CPIP reflects the company’s continued commitment to expand its leadership in cannabinoid-based science and cutting-edge research that can be commercialized through new and existing technologies. It leverages R&D initiatives with key opinion leaders with specialized research centers in the US and internationally, such as the University of Mississippi, University of Cordoba, and University of Eastern Piedmont. This agreement deepens the commitment of Drs. Munoz and Appendino, who will be the principal investigators and continue to lead Skye’s scientific advisory board. The CPIP is driven by the focus on investing in key value-creating pillars for the Company - ophthalmology applications, clinical development, pipeline expansion and people - to achieve the vision of creating a world-class cannabinoid pharmaceutical company. "As the world comes to appreciate the broad and dynamic role of the endocannabinoid system in humans and animal health, the pharmaceutical potential of cannabinoids to modulate this system is just starting to be understood. While the anecdotal evidence of the health benefits of cannabinoids dates back millenia, modern science has barely scratched the surface to validate the benefits of the ECS in preventing and treating diseases. Skye’s ambition is to play a leading role in effecting important therapeutic outcomes by influencing the endocannabinoid system. We want to continue to make strategic investments that can further bring value to all stakeholders, and our clear focus in this initiative is to achieve novel discoveries that achieve important clinical utility with commercial value. These overarching priorities will guide our strategy, project initiatives, and investments." Punit Dhillon, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Skye Bioscience Under the terms of the agreement: Skye will approve and fund designated projects and have exclusive rights to all data and products, and any intellectual property resulting from this research collaboration will be owned by Skye Research will be broad and encompass novel molecules that modulate the ECS to treat or prevent human or animal diseases EHBE will receive a single digit royalty on all licensing revenue or other consideration paid to Skye by a third-party licensee, assignee or purchaser related to any product commercialized as part of a Skye Project Skye will pay EHBE a retainer of $200,000 per year. “Having worked with cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system for over 25 years, it is clear that there are tremendous opportunities to discover and create cannabinoid-derived molecules with potential to beneficially interact with the ECS for positive medical outcomes. With the launch of Skye’s new Cannabinoid Pharmaceutical Innovation Program with our research team in Cordoba, Spain, our efforts will focus on preclinical development of CBDVHS, R&D of CB1 modulators involved in pain, inflammatory diseases, neurological diseases, fibrotic diseases and metabolic diseases, and drug discovery relating to modulators of the cannabinoid receptors CB2 and GPR55. We aim to generate a wide portfolio of proprietary products and IP around molecules with commercial potential.” Eduardo Munoz, Managing Director of Emerald Health Biotechnology Espana About Emerald Health Biotechnology Espana SLU Emerald Health Biotechnology España SLU (EHBE) is a preclinical-stage drug development research company focused on new cannabinoid derivatives to treat severe life-threatening conditions and other pathologies. Led by cannabinoid research experts and scientific advisors to Skye, Drs. Eduardo Munoz and Giovanni Appendino, EHBE is a pioneer in developing chemical cannabinoid derivatives that improve the therapeutic properties of the natural compounds. About Skye Bioscience Skye Bioscience Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company unlocking the pharmaceutical potential of cannabinoids through the development of its proprietary, cannabinoid-derived molecules to treat diseases with significant unmet needs. The company’s lead program, THCVHS, is focused on treating glaucoma, a disease with no cure and the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. For more information, please visit: www.skyebioscience.com

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Sysmex and ThinkCyte Have Entered into An Agreement for Joint Development and Capital Alliance

Sysmex Corporation | May 17, 2021

Sysmex Corporation and ThinkCyte, Inc. announced today the signing of joint development and investment agreements for the commercialization of an AI-based cell analysis technology in May 2021. The development of novel testing and diagnostic technologies of high clinical utility is being pursued to improve the precision of diagnoses and maximize treatment as healthcare becomes more accurate and personalized at an increased pace - in combination with the advancement of technology. Meanwhile, telehealth, AI-powered medical imaging analysis, and automated testing of robots are all gaining traction in the healthcare industry. Sysmex has been acquiring technologies for studying cells, genes, and proteins with high accuracy and sensitivity on a proactive basis. A cell analysis platform is one of the technologies that has been used in a variety of Sysmex products. In this field, Sysmex's current emphasis is on developing technologies that specifically analyze cells using different types of information such as cell function and responsiveness, as well as seeking faster cell analysis. ThinkCyte has "Ghost Cytometry technology," which analyses morphological information of cells in a quick and simple process, while the information gathered by this technology is much richer than what can be collected using conventional flow cytometry (FCM) technique. This technology, in addition to counting and analyzing cells based on their basic morphological features, helps users to identify each cell based on its specific morphological details in terms of its characteristics and functions. This high-resolution analysis will allow for highly accurate clinical condition determination using body fluids such as blood, improve precision in a wide variety of cell-based diagnoses, and contribute to more personalized healthcare. On March 31, 2021, Sysmex and ThinkCyte signed a memorandum of understanding to begin full-fledged joint development of the novel AI-based cell analysis technology as a result of ongoing collaborative research between the two companies to increase the viability of applying Ghost Cytometry technology to diagnostic techniques of high clinical value. In addition, on May 1, 2021, the two companies agreed to collaborate on joint development, with the aim of commercializing cell analyzers and testing techniques based on Ghost Cytometry technology for cell analysis (including research) in the field of in-vitro diagnostics (IVD). Meanwhile, on May 11, 2021, Sysmex agreed to make an equity investment in ThinkCyte, which will enable the two companies to enhance their strong partnership. Sysmex and ThinkCyte have formed an alliance to develop novel cell analysis technology and research techniques by combining Sysmex's IVD capabilities with ThinkCyte's proprietary Ghost Cytometry technology, thereby contributing to the advancement and evolution of healthcare around the world. About Sysmex Corporation Sysmex works to contribute to the development of healthcare and people's healthy lives in accordance with its goal of "shaping the advancement of healthcare," as described in the Sysmex Group's corporate ideology, the "Sysmex Way." Sysmex performs integrated R&D, manufacturing, and sales, as well as providing support services for its in vitro blood, urine, and other bodily fluids testing instruments, reagents, and software. Sysmex's products are sold to medical institutions in over 190 countries and regions around the world. Sysmex has been expanding its business in the life science domain in recent years, using proprietary technologies to develop new testing and diagnostic value, provide healthcare personalized to individual patients, and help patients minimize burdens and improve quality of life.

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MEDICAL

Mission Bio Announced the Launch of First Single-Cell Genomics Solid Tumor Solution on the Tapestri Platform

Mission Bio | March 30, 2022

Mission Bio, Inc., a pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics research, announced the commercial availability of the Tapestri Solution for Solid Tumor Research. On the Tapestri Platform, this new end-to-end single-cell DNA sequencing process comprises a nuclei isolation prep technique, pre-designed research panels for breast cancer and glioblastoma multiforme, and an enhanced single-cell copy number variation (CNV) bioinformatic analysis tool. Mission Bio currently covers solid tumors in addition to hematologic malignancies, where Tapestri is widely used to study tumor heterogeneity and gain new insights into the clonal variety and architecture driving disease progression, biomarkers, and therapeutic management. Recent high-profile research studies utilizing custom Tapestri assays for breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and melanoma have demonstrated the utility of high-resolution tools for assessing solid tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution, which contribute to disease onset, progression, and relapse. However, bulk next-generation sequencing technologies cannot offer the cell-by-cell mutational data required to detect disease-causing biological drivers — they are confined to population-level average metrics and lack information on clonal diversity. Tapestri quantifies DNA mutations at the individual cell level in thousands of cells simultaneously, simultaneously detecting SNVs, indels, and CNVs, conclusively identifying variant zygosity and mutational co-occurrence recognizing unusual cell populations. As a result, researchers studying solid tumors may now make use of a comprehensive workflow designed for the Tapestri Platform, which includes the following: Sample preparation assistance with an enhanced nuclei isolation process for both fresh and frozen samples New study panels for breast cancer and glioblastoma were meticulously selected to contain hotspot genes, copy number variants, and chromosomal arm aneuploidies linked with each illness. Additionally, users may create custom panels that target specific human or mouse genome regions. Enhanced capacity for CNV bioinformatics analysis with the development of a new visualization tool (in collaboration with Mission Bio's Field Application Scientist team). This integrated workflow approach has the potential to significantly advance our knowledge of disease progression and enable the development of more specific medicines. The commercial introduction of Mission Bio's Tapestri Solution for Solid Tumor Research demonstrates the company's ongoing commitment to allowing more precise cancer research using single-cell DNA sequencing. In addition, mission Bio has announced the establishment of its first Center of Excellence for solid tumor single-cell DNA profiling at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). The impressive results already seen from our early work with solid tumor researchers helped guide the development of these new workflows and underscored our commitment to providing unique and indispensable tools for solid tumor researchers. Just as Tapestri has been an invaluable tool for hematologic malignancy researchers, we're confident that our research panel pair, new prep protocol, and improved bioinformatics analysis capabilities will demonstrate the platform's value in solid tumors." CEO of Mission Bio, Yan Zhang, Ph.D., said.

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