Genome structure of malaria parasites linked to virulence

Phys.org | February 04, 2019

An international research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology has found that malaria parasite genomes are shaped by parasite-specific gene families and that this genome organization strongly correlates with the parasite's virulence. The findings highlight the importance of spatial genome organization in gene regulation and the control of virulence in malaria parasites.
"Our results underscore the idea that compounds targeting proteins involved in establishing and maintaining the genome structure can interfere with parasite development and immune evasion," said co-lead researcher Karine Le Roch, a professor in the UC Riverside Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology. "Novel intervention strategies targeting the genome structure could thus mark a breakthrough for both vaccine and drug development against malaria."

Spotlight

If you think it’s fruit that colors strawberry Yoplait yogurt red, think again. It’s carmine, a natural red dye derived from crushed cochineal bugs. People have used it for thousands of years to color everything from clothes to makeup.

Spotlight

If you think it’s fruit that colors strawberry Yoplait yogurt red, think again. It’s carmine, a natural red dye derived from crushed cochineal bugs. People have used it for thousands of years to color everything from clothes to makeup.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

McMaster, Sartorius Stedim Biotech team up to advance biomanufacturing processes with next-gen tech

Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A | August 23, 2021

Sartorius Stedim Biotech, a leading international partner of the biopharmaceutical industry, has entered into a partnership with McMaster University to improve manufacturing processes of antibody and virus-based treatments for diseases such as COVID-19, cancers, and genetic disorders. Using a state-of-the-art multi-column chromatography system provided by Sartorius Stedim Biotech, the McMaster team will "perfect" a process for the purification of therapeutic viruses that is more effective and cheaper than those currently available. This will pave the way for new and more affordable treatments to reach patients with a variety of needs. "Teaming up with Sartorius Stedim Biotech is an exciting opportunity for McMaster Engineering. This research will push the envelope in leading advanced, cutting-edge research in bio-manufacturing," says John Preston, associate dean, research, innovation and external relations in the Faculty of Engineering. "Establishing industry-friendly, collaborative environments is critical in solving real-world problems." This work aims to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set out by the United Nations, designed to give our people and planet a better future. More effective bio-manufacturing can make advanced biotherapeutics cost-effective and available to more people globally. "This partnership with McMaster University will lead to impactful research that will make important treatments available at a greater scale. We see this as a way to expand our research development and bring SDG-aligned pharmaceuticals to Canadian and global markets," says Brandon Corbett, research scientist at Sartorius Stedim Biotech. David Latulippe, associate professor of Chemical Engineering, and Prashant Mhaskar, professor of Chemical Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Nonlinear and Fault-Tolerant Control, are leading this project with Sartorius Stedim Biotech. The collaboration will initially run for four years. What is chromatography? Chromatography is an essential purification technology in biomanufacturing. To produce biotherapeutics, scientists use a bioreactor with specialized cell lines and customized growth media. Next, the biotherapeutic must go through a series of purification steps, often with duplicate steps to satisfy the requirements of regulatory bodies. Sartorius Stedim Biotechs' multi-column chromatography system uses parallel processing strategies to make the process more resource and cost-efficient. "Our ultimate goal is to perfect the downstream chromatography process by combining detailed experimental work with advanced process modelling concepts," says Latulippe. "This way, we can control the outcome and fix the processes on site, as production is happening, so everything is always 'on spec'." Currently, monoclonal antibodies are the leading biotherapeutic being used to fight against COVID-19. Training the next generation As part of the partnership, Sartorius Stedim Biotech will provide student training opportunities at their research and development facilities in North America and Europe. Ian Gough, a graduate of McMaster's Chemical and Bioengineering program, has already started working on this project. Gough is a former member of the Summer Studentship Internship program from BioCanRx, a Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Claire Velikonja, a recent chemical engineering graduate from the University of Toronto, will join the team in September. Both Gough and Velikonja received a Canada Graduate Scholarship from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to provide additional support for their first year of graduate studies. A profile of Sartorius Stedim Biotech Sartorius Stedim Biotech is a leading international partner of the biopharmaceutical industry. As a total solutions provider, the company helps its customers to manufacture biotech medications safely, rapidly and economically. Headquartered in Aubagne, France, Sartorius Stedim Biotech is quoted on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris. With its own manufacturing and R&D sites in Europe, North America and Asia and an international network of sales companies, Sartorius Stedim Biotech has a global reach. The Group has been annually growing by double digits on average and has been regularly expanding its portfolio by acquisitions of complementary technologies. In 2020, the company employed more than 7,500 people, and earned sales revenue of 1,910 million euros. About McMaster University Ranked among the world's top engineering schools, the Faculty of Engineering plays a significant role in helping McMaster University earn its reputation as one of Canada's most innovative universities. Our focus is on experiential, problem-based learning, and our interdisciplinary approach to collaboration results in smarter insights, groundbreaking ideas, and greater optimism. This approach is helping us create a Brighter World.

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MEDICAL

WILLOW BIOSCIENCES EXPANDS ITS PORTFOLIO WITH A NEW PARTNERED PHARMACEUTICAL PROJECT

Willow Biosciences | June 01, 2022

Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow" or the "Company") (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable ingredients is pleased to announce today that is has been engaged by a specialty pharmaceutical company (the "Counterparty") to optimize an enzyme vital to the development of a large volume Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) used in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. The Counterparty is partnered with a large-cap, multi-national healthcare company. This is a significant step forward in the evolution of Willow's business ,This new partnership highlights the capabilities of our scientific team, and demonstrates to our stakeholders the wide array of opportunities accessible to Willow's comprehensive FutureGrownTM technology platform. As Willow continues to expand its capabilities and add new partnerships, Willow is on a path to becoming the premier name in biobased manufacturing." Trevor Peters, Willow's President and Chief Executive Officer. The project consists of research & development and commercialization phases, with revenue coming from both research fees and milestone payments. Following commercialization, Willow anticipates an on-going revenue stream from license payments. About Willow Biosciences Inc. Willow develops and produces high-purity ingredients for the personal care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. Willow's FutureGrownTM biotechnology platform allows large-scale production with sustainability at its core. Willow's R&D team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products to benefit our B2B partners and their customers.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

TaiGen Partners with GPCR to develop Burixafor & Taigexyn(R)

Burixafor | November 09, 2020

TaiGen Biotechnology Company, Limited ("TaiGen") announced today that they have signed an exclusive agreement with GPCR Therapeutics, Inc. ("GPCR"), a leading Korean biotechnology company, for the continued development of Burixafor worldwide and the commercialization of Taigexyn® (nemonoxacin) in South Korea. Burixafor is a highly potent CXCR4 inhibitor currently under clinical development. It can be used as a stem cell mobilizer for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and a chemosensitizer in hematological and solid tumors. It can also be used for stem cell collection in healthy individuals for personalized regenerative medicine. Taigexyn® is a novel safe and effective antibiotic for the treatment of bacterial infections including those caused by drug-resistant bacteria. Under the terms of the agreement, GPCR Therapeutics will be wholly responsible for the development, registration, and commercialization of Taigexyn® in S. Korea and Burixafor worldwide. Apart from upfront fees, TaiGen will receive shares of GPCR Therapeutics as well as future milestone and royalty payments.

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