Intestinal bacteria from healthy infants prevent food allergy

Medical Xpress | January 14, 2019

New research shows that healthy infants have intestinal bacteria that prevent the development of food allergies. Researchers from the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Naples Federico II in Italy found that when gut microbes from healthy human infants were transplanted into germ-free mice, the animals were protected from an allergic reaction when exposed to cow's milk. Gut microbes from infants allergic to milk did not offer the same protection; mice receiving these bacteria suffered an allergic reaction when given cow's milk. Cow's milk allergy is the most common food allergy affecting children.
The study, published this week in Nature Medicine, also identifies a specific bacterial species that protects against allergic responses to food. "This study allows us to define a causal relationship and shows that the microbiota itself can dictate whether or not you get an allergic response," said Cathryn Nagler, Ph.D., the Bunning Food Allergy Professor at UChicago and senior author of the study.

Spotlight

Even before the 1980s, the notion of attaching a cytotoxic agent to a tumor-specific antibody captured the collective imagination of the international drug development community. Were antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) the magic bullets everyone was looking for that could, among other things, cure cancer? The evolution of ADCs is a stunning example of how global research can sculpt a new technology, gradually refining it in ways no one initially imagined, often spurred by other discoveries that surface along the way.

Spotlight

Even before the 1980s, the notion of attaching a cytotoxic agent to a tumor-specific antibody captured the collective imagination of the international drug development community. Were antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) the magic bullets everyone was looking for that could, among other things, cure cancer? The evolution of ADCs is a stunning example of how global research can sculpt a new technology, gradually refining it in ways no one initially imagined, often spurred by other discoveries that surface along the way.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Adcentrx and AvantGen Enter a New Partnership with a Three-year, Multi-target Collaboration to Discover Antibodies for Novel Antibody-drug Conjugates

Adcentrx Therapeutics | February 15, 2022

Adcentrx Therapeutics a biotechnology company focused on accelerating breakthroughs in antibody drug conjugate ("ADC") therapeutic development, and AvantGen, a leader in the use of yeast display technology for human antibody discovery and optimization, announced today a three-year, multi-target partnership for the discovery of antibodies to be developed into novel ADC therapeutic candidates. Under the terms of the collaboration, Adcentrx will specify targets against which AvantGen will screen for novel antibodies using its yeast display system. Adcentrx will be responsible for engineering the antibodies into ADC therapeutic candidates and has worldwide development and commercialization rights. AvantGen will be eligible to receive milestone payments for achievement of certain development milestones. "We are excited to enter this new partnership with AvantGen to accelerate our ADC development efforts. What attracted us to AvantGen initially is how their yeast display technology and human antibody libraries mimic human diversity to yield high affinity and very specific antibodies. Through our ongoing collaboration, AvantGen has demonstrated its capabilities in rapidly discovering a diverse antibody repertoire with high developability against defined targets. A key objective at Adcentrx, through this collaboration and opportunistic licensing activities, is to identify the best antibodies which we can leverage to assemble a pipeline of next generation ADC therapeutics." Hui Li, Ph.D., President and CEO of Adcentrx "We are proud to partner with Adcentrx to help accelerate its ADC pipeline build with our robust human antibody discovery platform," said Xiaomin Fan, Ph.D., President and CEO of AvantGen. "The speed that Adcentrx is able to take lead antibody candidates to development stage with its ADC technology is truly remarkable. We believe that this new partnership will enable Adcentrx to develop the most promising next generation ADC therapeutics with our high-quality antibodies." About Adcentrx Therapeutics Adcentrx is a biotechnology company focused on accelerating breakthroughs in protein conjugate therapeutic development for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. By combining the targeting precision of biologics and the disease fighting power of small molecule payloads, Adcentrx strives to develop next generation targeted therapies for improving patient treatment options. About AvantGen AvantGen, Inc is a leader in the use of yeast display technology for antibody discovery and optimization. Founded by experts in the creation of antibody discovery and optimization platforms, AvantGen excels in the rapid generation of antibodies for therapeutic, diagnostic and research tool applications. The Company's platforms include a robust yeast display system, large natural human antibody database, fully human antibody libraries comprised of over 100 billion antibody clones displayed by yeast cells, NK cell engager technology, flow cytometry-based and other screening technologies, as well as novel methodologies for rabbit monoclonal antibody and VHH nanobody generation. These versatile platforms can be used to discover antibodies directed at specific disease targets, affinity mature existing antibodies to improve their binding properties and humanize antibodies to render non-human antibodies suitable for human therapeutic applications, as well as generate rabbit monoclonal antibodies for applications that need extremely high specificity, such as antibodies capable of distinguishing point mutations and post-translational modifications for IHC, and anti-idiotype antibodies for PK studies. AvantGen's partners include pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostic and government entities, many of which are repeat customers.

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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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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

IndyGeneUS AI Secures Pathogen Sequencing for COVID-19 Genomic Surveillance Initiatives

IndyGeneUS AI | May 20, 2021

Through collaborations, IndyGeneUS AI has acquired genomic analysis and testing capabilities. This pathogen sequencing capacity has emerged at a critical moment in efforts to improve genomic surveillance and monitor COVID-19 variant strains across the continent. IndyGeneUS founder and CEO Yusuf Henriques emphasized the importance of this work. "COVID-19 and its variants pose a danger to the entire African continent, so we must act quickly. Our partners understand the urgency of this mission and are united with their cooperation." Next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based genotyping, targeted sequencing, and comprehensive bioinformatics analysis are among the capabilities. Comparative genomic analysis, disease genetics, epigenomics, and genome mapping are some of the applications of our capabilities. Bradford Wilson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at IndyGeneUS AI, said, "These capabilities are pivotal for the Continent and the future of precision medicine." "We are currently in talks with several large pharmaceutical firms that see the value of what we are developing to combat infectious and non-communicable diseases alike," he said. In less than a year, IndyGeneUS AI has partnered with Kenyan organizations such as the KAVI Institute of Clinical Research at the University of Nairobi and Afya Rekod. We've also teamed up with Encrypgen, which has created a blockchain-encrypted marketplace for commercializing insights gleaned from our repository and compensating participants who contribute data. IndyGeneUS has certainly understood the increasing need for infrastructure to sustain genomic surveillance activities by developing sequencing capabilities. Following the introduction of COVID-19 variant strains, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) established a network of laboratories last year to improve the continent's capacity to identify emerging variants of concern. More funding and infrastructure are needed for these initiatives. IndyGeneUS intends to accelerate sequencing capabilities across Africa by using public and private partnerships. About IndyGeneUS AI IndyGeneUS AI is a genomics company based in Nairobi is also developing the world's largest block-chain encrypted repository of African clinical and multi-omics data for disease prevention and diagnosis, drug discovery and development, clinical disease management, and the promotion of precision health equity. Mr. Yusuf Henriques, COO Dr. Wilmot Allen, and CSO Dr. Bradford Wilson formed IndyGeneUS. The company, which is owned by African Americans and Africans, has offices in Washington, DC, and a presence in South Africa through the Founder Institute. The Founder Institute is the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator.

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