Living a stronger and longer life: What scientists are learning from worms

Medical Xpress | January 02, 2019

Research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute has uncovered a cause of declining motor function and increased frailty in tiny aging worms and a way to slow it down. The findings, scheduled to publish Jan. 2 in Science Advances, identify a molecule that can be targeted to improve motor function and indicate that similar pathways may be at play in aging mammals as well. As humans and animals age, our motor functions progressively deteriorate. Millimeter-long roundworms called nematodes to exhibit aging patterns remarkably similar to those of other animals, and they only live about three weeks, making them an ideal model system for studying aging.
"We previously observed that as worms age, they gradually lose physiological functions," said Shawn Xu, the professor at the LSI and senior study author. "Sometime around the middle of their adulthood, their motor function begins to decline. But what causes that decline?" To better understand how the interactions between cells changed as worms aged, Xu and his colleagues investigated the junctions where motor neurons communicate with muscle tissue.

Spotlight

This video is the second in a series of three videos depicting the major stages of industrial-scale bioprocessing: fermentation, separation/recovery, and purification. This video describes the process by which a biological product in this case, molecules of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is recovered from host e coli cells. The steps of this process are, in very basic terms: (1) separation of cell solids from the broth, (2) disruption of those host cells to release the product contained in them, and (3) isolation of the product through removal of cell debris and other impurities. Tools used to perform these steps include centrifuges, cell disrupters and microfilters.

Spotlight

This video is the second in a series of three videos depicting the major stages of industrial-scale bioprocessing: fermentation, separation/recovery, and purification. This video describes the process by which a biological product in this case, molecules of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is recovered from host e coli cells. The steps of this process are, in very basic terms: (1) separation of cell solids from the broth, (2) disruption of those host cells to release the product contained in them, and (3) isolation of the product through removal of cell debris and other impurities. Tools used to perform these steps include centrifuges, cell disrupters and microfilters.

Related News

MEDICAL

Peptilogics Announces FDA Clearance of Investigational New Drug Application to Initiate Clinical Trial of PLG0206 in Periprosthetic Joint Infection

Peptilogics | January 11, 2022

Peptilogics, a biotech company that engineers peptide therapeutics to radically improve the treatment landscape for patients with life-threatening diseases, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as accepted the company's Investigational New Drug Application for PLG0206 to treat periprosthetic joint infection allowing the Phase 1b study to proceed. Peptilogics will evaluate the safety and efficacy of PLG0206 in a Phase 1b open-label, dose-escalating study in patients undergoing debridement, antibiotics and implant retention surgery for the treatment of PJI occurring after total knee arthroplasty. “PJI is a devastating condition with limited treatment options, since systemic antibiotics frequently fail to eliminate the infection and surgery to remove the infected hardware is then required. Based on our promising preclinical efficacy and healthy volunteer Phase 1 study data with PLG0206, we are excited to explore its safety and efficacy as a potential treatment for patients with PJI.” Jonathan Steckbeck, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Peptilogics PLG0206 is an investigational broad-spectrum, anti-biofilm, anti-infective peptide therapeutic. The current standard of care for PJI includes numerous high-risk surgical procedures coupled with systemic antibiotic treatment, which are often ineffective due to device-associated biofilms. PLG0206 was designed with a unique mechanism of action that allows it to directly addresses biofilm bacteria and persistent pathogens that evade standard of care antibiotics by targeting and disrupting bacterial membranes to trigger bacterial cell death. PLG0206 has demonstrated best-in-class, rapidly bactericidal, broad-spectrum activity against a variety of pathogens, regardless of resistance phenotype, identified by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control as critical, urgent or high priority targets. PLG0206 has previously been granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of PJI and has been designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) as well. In December, Peptilogics announced the publication of two peer-reviewed studies on PLG0206. Data from a first-in-human Phase 1 study of PLG0206, published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, showed the investigational therapeutic was safe and well tolerated and has favorable pharmacokinetics when intravenously administered as a single dose. These data were presented in September at ID Week. Data from a clinical proxy study of PLG0206, published in Microbiology Spectrum, showed the investigational therapeutics’ ability to reduce bacteria on chronically infected prosthetic knee joints, which may translate to improved clinical outcomes. About Periprosthetic Joint Infection (PJI) More than one million total joint replacements are performed annually in the U.S., a number that is expected to grow to four million annual procedures by 2030 due to an aging and active population. Following joint replacement, 1-2% of patients will develop a PJI, a serious life-threatening condition which often necessitates continuous antibiotic usage and high-risk surgical procedures with limited ability to resolve the infection. The current standard of care has up to a 60% failure rate and results in a substantial number of patient deaths, evidenced by a 25% five-year mortality rate. About Peptilogics Peptilogics engineers peptide therapeutics to radically improve the treatment landscape for patients with life-threatening diseases. Through biological and pharmaceutical expertise, novel artificial intelligence algorithms, and purpose-built super-computing, Peptilogics is developing an extensive therapeutic pipeline and accelerating discovery efforts at a pace and scale that was previously impossible. Peptilogics is backed by visionary investors in life science and technology including Peter Thiel, Presight Capital, CARB-X, and Founders Fund.

Read More

MEDICAL

Slate Bio Announces the Launch with Seed Financing to Develop Next Generation IL-2 Therapies

Slate Bio | January 20, 2021

Slate Bio, Inc., reports the closing of a $1.75 million venture financing. Epidarex Capital drove the speculation round with cooperation from the UVA Licensing and Ventures Group Seed Fund, Center for Innovative Technology's GAP BioLife Fund, VTC Seed Fund, PharmaDirections, Inc., the board and others. Record is a pre-clinical biotechnology organization creating outlook changing IL-2 mixes dependent on examination directed at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. IL233, Slate's lead candidate, is a first in class drug that initiates constant abatement in animal models of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Slate's IL233 is a bifunctional IL-2 combination cytokine that increases Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and tissue resident Tregs for autoimmune and provocative infections. IL233 joins the de-gambling certainty of IL-2 and the collaboration and toughness of IL-33. IL233 goes about as a pharmacological kick off to revive the body's inherent pathways to stop inflammation, end mal-adaptive repair and promote regeneration of damaged tissues to restore homeostasis.

Read More

Maravai Lifesciences Expands Its Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) Capabilities at Trilink Biotechnologies

Maravai Lifesciences | August 25, 2020

Maravai LifeSciences, a global provider of life science reagents and services to researchers and biotech innovators, is expanding its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) capabilities at TriLink BioTechnologies for the second time in less than a year. The expansion is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021 and will increase TriLink's small molecule manufacturing capacity with a focus on additional scale-up of CleanCap®, its proprietary messenger RNA (mRNA) capping technology, for global mRNA vaccine and therapeutic programs. To further address the increasing demand for mRNA development and clinical programs, the company is currently completing the construction of its plasmid DNA production facility as well. Last November, TriLink opened their new headquarters in San Diego, CA and expanded mRNA and small molecule capacity as it opened five Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) suites. The current investment will further expand the operation with an additional three cGMP suites and four cGMP manufacturing support suites.

Read More