Light-based production of drug-discovery molecules

Phys.org | February 18, 2019

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are widely studied for the conversion of solar energy into chemical fuels. They use photocathodes and photoanodes to "split" water into hydrogen and oxygen respectively. PEC cells can work under mild conditions with light, which makes them also suitable for other catalyzing reactions that turn organic molecules into high added-value chemicals, like those used to develop drugs. However, PEC cells have rarely been used in organic synthesis so far, except in some recent conceptual attempts that have tested only a handful of simple substrates. Overall, PEC cells remain largely unexplored for broad-scope synthetic methodologies of functional organic molecules. They could nevertheless prove most helpful in one of the most appealing synthetic methods for pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals, called "direct amination". It involves adding an amine group to an organic molecule without pre-activating the molecule by an additional processing step.

Spotlight

A short, comprehensive video animation explaining cell & gene therapy and Lonza’s role in this emerging field. We develop and manufacture the key components of cell and gene therapy for our customers and their patients.

Spotlight

A short, comprehensive video animation explaining cell & gene therapy and Lonza’s role in this emerging field. We develop and manufacture the key components of cell and gene therapy for our customers and their patients.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Childhood Trauma and Genetics Linked to Increased Obesity Risk

DRI | March 10, 2022

New research from the Healthy Nevada Project® found associations between genetics, obesity, and childhood trauma, linking social health determinants, genetics, and disease. The study, which was published this week in Frontiers in Genetics, found that participants with specific genetic traits and who experience childhood traumas are more likely to suffer from adult obesity. In 2016, DRI and Renown Health launched the Healthy Nevada Project®, the nation’s first community-based, population health study, which now has more than 60,000 participants. The project is a collaboration with personal genomics company, Helix, and combines genetic, environmental, social, and clinical data to address individual and community health needs with the goal of improving health across the state and the nation. The new study focuses on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which are traumatic and unsafe events that children endure by the age of 18. Over 16,000 participants in the Healthy Nevada Project® answered a mental health survey, and more than 65 percent of these individuals self-reported at least one ACE occurrence. These 16,000 participants were cross-referenced with their genetic makeup, and clinical Body Mass Index (BMI) measures. According to the research team’s findings, study participants who had experienced one or more types of ACE were 1.5 times more likely to become obese adults. Participants who experienced four or more ACEs were more than twice as likely to become severely obese. Our analysis showed a steady increase in BMI for each ACE a person experienced, which indicates a very strong and significant association between the number of adverse childhood experiences and adult obesity, More importantly, participants’ BMI reacted even more strongly to the occurrence of ACEs when paired with certain mutations in several genes, one of which is strongly associated with schizophrenia.” lead author Karen Schlauch, Ph.D., of DRI. We know that genetics affect disease in the Healthy Nevada Project®, and now we are recognizing that ACEs also affect disease, Our new study shows that the combination of genes and environmental factors like ACEs, as well as many social determinants of health, can lead to more serious health outcomes than either variable alone. More broadly, this new work emphasizes how important it is for population genetic studies to consider the impact of social determinants on health outcomes.” Healthy Nevada Project® Principal Investigator Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., of DRI and Renown Health. The study team believes that it is important for clinical caregivers to understand the strong impact that negative childhood experiences such as ACEs can have on both child and adult health. The researchers hope the information from this study will encourage doctors and nurses to conduct simple screenings for ACEs and consider a patient’s social environment and history in combination with genetics when developing treatment plans for better patient health. According to the 2019 Youth Behavior Risk Survey (YRBS), 25.6 percent of Washoe County teenagers are overweight or obese. Obesity is a serious health concern for children and adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese as adults. Obese and overweight children and adolescents are at risk for multiple health problems during their youth, which are likely to be more severe as adults, Obese and overweight youth are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Losing weight, in addition to a healthy diet, helps to prevent and control multiple chronic diseases and improves quality of life for a lifetime.” Max J. Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAP, Nell J Redfield Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine, Physician in Chief of Renown Children's Hospital. We’d like to thank all of the Healthy Nevada Project® participants who provided information to make our work possible, Our research illustrates that it’s not just genetics that cause disease, but that our environment and life experiences interact with our genes to impact our health in ways that we are only beginning to understand.” Robert Read, M.S., of DRI. About DRI The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

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MEDICAL

Alligator Bioscience Announces IND Approval for CD40 Targeting Antibody Mitazalimab

Alligator Bioscience | December 07, 2020

Alligator Bioscience declares an affirmed IND (Investigational new Drug) for the CD40 targeting antibody mitazalimab. IND endorsement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an essential to begin clinical preliminaries in the USA. As of late, new benchmark information was distributed indicating that mitazalimab can possibly be top tier in the CD40 field. The comparison demonstrated the potent immune-activating properties and anti-tumor effects of mitazalimab. "While the upcoming clinical Phase Ib/II study in pancreatic cancer, OPTIMIZE-1, will be starting in Europe, the IND opens up for later expansion in the US. This is essential for the future success of the product", said Per Norlén, CEO of Alligator Bioscience.", said Per Norlén, CEO of Alligator Bioscience. "Our key focus right now is to complete the submission of the CTA for start of OPTIMIZE-1 in the EU", he added. The mitazalimab drug candidate has recently reported positive clinical information from a Phase I study performed by Janssen Biotech Inc., showing a manageable safety profile just as early signs of efficacy.

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MEDICAL

Bio-techne and Cygnus Technologies Present Plex Hek 293 Hcp 3G Immunoassay

Bio-Techne Corporation | April 13, 2022

Bio-Techne Corporation launched 3G assay for automated process impurity assessment on the EllaTM immunoassay platform ( NASDAQ: TECH ) and Cygnus Technologies, a division of Maravai LifeSciences ( NASDAQ: MRVI ). In cell and gene therapy applications, the purification of viral particles to reduce host cell protein (HCP) contamination is an important part of the viral production workflow. To guarantee HCP impurity clearance is performed in compliance with regulatory criteria, accurate quantification throughout process phases is required. The novel Simple Plex HEK 293 HCP 3G test uses a cartridge-based microfluidic design to deliver uniform and controlled assay conditions for HCP detection that is extremely accurate and reproducible. The test has a hands-free procedure and provides data in 90 minutes, providing pharmaceutical developers with a reliable and convenient tool for HCP impurity quantification. Simple Plex assays on the Ella platform, classic immunoassay methods, provide built-in calibration to reduce set-up time and user-dependent variability. The gold standard in HEK 293 HCP impurity quantification is Cygnus Technologies' HEK 293 HCP ELISA Kit, 3G. With high-tech antibody affinity extraction and heavy spectrometry procedures, the kit's antibody was tested for reactivity to almost 3,000 distinct HCPs present in HEK 293 strains. The kit has been tested with various viral vector-based medicinal compounds and in-process samples, demonstrating that it possesses the specificity and sensitivity to detect HEK 293 HCP contaminants with the reproducibility needed to meet regulatory requirements. The Simple Plex HEK 293 HCP 3G assay uses the same HEK 293 HCP antibodies from market leader Cygnus Technologies, ensuring the Cygnus ELISA's extensive HCP detection coverage and industry-recognized specificity, as well as the automated Ella platform's workflow advantages. We continue to enjoy the fruits of the Bio-Techne-Cygnus Technologies partnership as it provides the therapeutic development and manufacturing community an automated platform-based approach for HEK 293 host cell impurity testing, Fast and efficient process development and monitoring is crucial for biopharmaceutical companies providing a safe and efficacious product in a cost-effective manner." Will Geist, President of Bio-Techne's Protein Sciences Segment.

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