Mother's dengue immunity worsens baby's response to Zika

Medical Xpress | March 01, 2019

Researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School and their colleagues have identified a surprising interaction between dengue and Zika viruses that sheds lights on the significant fetal brain abnormalities linked to Zika virus. The researchers found that fetal mouse brain damage was much worse if the mothers infected with Zika also had dengue antibodies. They further determined that an immune complex that forms when dengue antibodies attach to the Zika virus is recognized by a receptor on placental cells, allowing the virus to travel across the placenta into fetal cells. Their findings are reported in the journal Science Advances. Asst Prof St. John and a team of researchers in Singapore wanted to investigate why some, but not all, Zika virus infections during pregnancy led to fetal brain abnormalities. They also wanted to know if the severity of fetal infection had anything to do with the previous infection of the mother with dengue virus, which is closely related to Zika and often circulates in the same regions of the world.

Spotlight

Transcriptome analysis has made the leap from bulk population-based studies to the single cell, and scientists are harnessing this new degree of resolution with remarkable ingenuity. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) allows you to ask and answer questions that require single-cell resolution on a scale that suits your experimental needs, from hundreds to millions of cells. Are you truly tracking your cells' transcriptomes, or are you just reading into the averages?

Spotlight

Transcriptome analysis has made the leap from bulk population-based studies to the single cell, and scientists are harnessing this new degree of resolution with remarkable ingenuity. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) allows you to ask and answer questions that require single-cell resolution on a scale that suits your experimental needs, from hundreds to millions of cells. Are you truly tracking your cells' transcriptomes, or are you just reading into the averages?

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MEDICAL

TGen Selects MemVerge to Accelerate Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Discovery with Big Memory Technology

MemVerge | March 21, 2022

MemVerge™, the pioneers of Big Memory software, today announced that TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, an affiliate of City of Hope, has selected MemVerge Memory Machine Big Memory virtualization software to accelerate time to discovery for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease which affects 100,000 people annually in the U.S. Using MemVerge technology, TGen is able to dramatically speed analytical processing by nearly 36% for single-cell RNA sequencing. As a nonprofit medical research institute, TGen researchers process single-cell RNA sequences to characterize cell transcriptomic profiles. The process can take up to six and a half hours to analyze a matrix of 30,000 genes by 114,000 cells. With consistently growing datasets, this processing time was preventing a desired time to discovery. The data required for analysis was simply too large to retain in traditional memory, and scaling capacity with dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) was too costly. TGen has instead deployed memory virtualization technology from MemVerge which virtualizes both DRAM and PMem (persistent memory) memory technologies, to increase the memory pool available for processing without requiring more high-cost DRAM. The solution further speeds TGen's genomics sequencing analysis with Memory Machine ZeroIO in-memory snapshots which capture multi-terabyte data sets at any point for rapid reloads at each stage of processing. The ZeroIO snapshot service is 1,000 times faster than the fastest storage snapshot to SSD and enables TGen to run processing workflows in parallel. This ensures that in the event of a system crash, in-memory snapshots are available to instantly re-start long running jobs without lengthy reloading. By utilizing the snapshotting and cloning capabilities of Memory Machine, we were able to parallelize the processing workflow, As a result, we can now save nearly 36% of computational time while also taking advantage of the big memory nodes. This will save a lot of time in downstream analysis." Glen Otero, Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Computing at TGen. MemVerge Memory Machine has quickly resulted in research value for TGen, We have removed performance barriers from their research process so that they are able to perform vital, life-saving, research faster than ever possible. Now TGen is expanding the use of Big Memory technology across other research use cases where results and discoveries can produce findings for a healthier tomorrow." Jonathan Jiang, COO of MemVerge. MemVerge Memory Machine makes 100% use of available memory capacity while providing new operational capabilities to memory-centric workloads. Memory Machine answers the need for a modern in-memory computing model to support emerging applications that require real-time analytics, true in-memory computing, and fault-tolerant memory persistence to speed massive processing workloads. About MemVerge MemVerge is pioneering Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud technology for the memory-centric and multi-cloud future. MemVerge® Memory Machine™ is the industry's first software to virtualize memory hardware for fine-grained provisioning of capacity, performance, availability, and mobility. On top of the transparent memory service, Memory Machine provides another industry first, ZeroIO™ in-memory snapshots which can encapsulate terabytes of application state within seconds and enable data management at the speed of memory. The breakthrough capabilities of Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud Technology are opening the door to cloud agility and flexibility for thousands of Big Memory applications.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Mekonos Raises $4.6M Financing Round for Targeted Ex Vivo Gene Engineering

Mekonos | November 24, 2020

Mekonos, a biotech organization launching the first-of-its kind system-on-a-chip (SoC) for focused ex vivo gene engineering, today reported it has finished a $4.6 million financing round. Mekonos will utilize the new funding to quicken the SoC stage for its current and new ad organizations. The SoC stage, with IP from Stanford University, is a breakthrough that allows for molecular delivery in gene editing and synthetic biology. The stage is versatile over all cell types and has demonstrated to be a high return answer for partners. The stage assists organizations with expanding limit, quicken revelations, and develop new pre-clinical assets in the emerging cell and gene therapy space. The financing round was driven by Novartis AG with participation from institutional VCs including Hike Ventures, CRCM Ventures. Existing investors participated in the round, including Good AI Capital and past lead Elementum Ventures.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Legend Biotech Achieves Milestone Payments in BCMA CAR-T Collaboration with Janssen

Legend Biotech Corporation | February 14, 2022

Legend Biotech Corporation, a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing and manufacturing novel therapies, has achieved two milestones under its collaboration agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. for ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel), resulting in aggregate payments to Legend Biotech of $50 million. Cilta-cel is a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. Legend Biotech entered into the agreement with Janssen to develop, manufacture and commercialize cilta-cel for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Under the agreement, Legend Biotech received an upfront payment of $350 million and is entitled to receive additional payments upon achievement of landmarks for development, production performance, regulatory and sales. The global agreement specifies a 50-50 cost and profit-sharing agreement in all markets, excluding Greater China, where the split is 70 percent for Legend and 30 percent for Janssen. Including the payments announced above, Legend has achieved $250 million in milestone payments during the collaboration. About Cilta-cel Cilta-cel is an investigational chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy, formerly identified as JNJ-4528 in the United States and Europe and LCAR-B38M CAR-T cells in China, that is being studied in a comprehensive clinical development program for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and in earlier lines of treatment. The design consists of a structurally differentiated CAR-T with two BCMA-targeting single domain antibodies. In addition to a Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) granted in the United States in December 2019, cilta-cel received a Priority Medicines (PRiME) designation from the European Commission in April 2019, and a BTD in China in August 2020. In addition, Orphan Drug Designation was granted for cilta-cel by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2019, and by the European Commission in February 2020. A Biologics License Application seeking approval of cilta-cel was submitted to the U.S. FDA and a Marketing Authorization Application was submitted to the European Medicines Agency. About Legend Biotech Legend Biotech is a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to treating, and one day curing, life-threatening diseases. Headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, we are developing advanced cell therapies across a diverse array of technology platforms, including autologous and allogenic chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, T-cell receptor (TCR-T), and natural killer (NK) cell-based immunotherapy. From our three R&D sites around the world, we apply these innovative technologies to pursue the discovery of safe, efficacious and cutting-edge therapeutics for patients worldwide. We are currently engaged in a strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize our lead product candidate, ciltacabtagene autoleucel, an investigational BCMA-targeted CAR-T cell therapy for patients living with multiple myeloma. Applications seeking approval of cilta-cel for the treatment of patients with RRMM are currently under regulatory review by several health authorities around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

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