Newly Identified Appetite-Controlling Neural Circuit Responds to Food Smells

genengnews | June 19, 2019

Studies in mice by a Baylor College of Medicine-led team have identified a previously unknown neural circuit that is activated by food odors and stops the animals from eating, to the point that they starve to death. The researchers say further studies will be needed to determine whether the same circuit, which connects the basal forebrain to the lateral hypothalamus, may also be involved in regulating nicotine-related appetite suppression, or driving food aversion behaviors that can be characteristic of eating disorders. “We think this work has potential implications that reach beyond feeding behaviors and mouse physiology,” said Benjamin Arenkiel, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience and molecular and human genetics and a McNair Scholar at Baylor. “This circuit is highly involved with how our brain perceives the outside world and brings this information to the hypothalamus, thus connecting with aspects of physiology like feeding, which relates to eating disorders that are associated with many neuropsychiatric conditions.” Arenkiel is also a member of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. Arenkiel and colleagues reported their findings in eLife, in a paper titled, “Sensory perception drives food avoidance through excitatory basal forebrain circuits.”

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Mirova, the subsidiary of Natixis Asset Management devoted to Responsible Investment, offers engagement investment management that aims to combine value creation and sustainable development. Embracing a global approach to analysis, Mirova has a team of over 40 members dedicated to thematic investment management, with fund managers specialized in different business sectors, engineers, financial and extra-financial analysts and experts in project financing as well as solidarity finance.

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Sartorius Stedim Biotech to acquire Albumedix, strengthening its portfolio of innovative advanced therapy solutions

Sartorius Stedim Biotech | August 09, 2022

Sartorius Stedim Biotech, a leading international partner of the biopharmaceutical industry, has agreed to acquire 100 percent of Albumedix Ltd. from private investors. The Nottingham, UK-based company provides best-in-class recombinant albumin-based solutions. Recombinant human albumin is an important component for the biopharmaceutical industry required for various applications, for example as an animal-free additive to cell culture media and for the stabilization of vaccines and viral therapies. The business, founded in 1984, has more than 100 employees and is expected to generate revenue of approximately £33 million in 2022 with a significant double-digit EBITDA margin. The agreed purchase price amounts to approximately £415 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close before the end of the third quarter of 2022. "Albumedix will be an important addition to Sartorius Stedim Biotech's advanced therapy solutions, particularly regarding our cell culture media business, as it will enable us to strengthen our position as a relevant supplier of innovative chemically defined media and critical ancillary materials. This market offers high growth potential due to the increasing regulatory requirements as well as rising demand for the use of recombinant human albumin in near-patient applications. Albumedix will also add important formulation excipients to our vaccine production solutions, allowing us to expand our existing customer relationships and forge new ones," René Fáber, member of the Board of Directors and Deputy CEO of Sartorius Stedim Biotech "We are delighted to be joining forces with Sartorius Stedim Biotech and look forward to accelerating our ambitious growth plans in delivering critical solutions to our global customers. We have been highly impressed with Sartorius Stedim Biotech's knowledge and capabilities in the bioprocessing markets, and we are excited to join this purposeful journey. We believe Sartorius Stedim Biotech will bring tremendous value in strengthening our market reach and broadening our innovation capacity, as well as significantly scaling up our existing platform. We remain focused on our promise of empowering excellence in the life science industry," said Jonas S. Møller, CEO of Albumedix. The existing 72,000-square-foot Albumedix site in Nottingham will be established as a center of excellence for innovation and GMP-compliant production of critical raw materials in Sartorius Stedim Biotech. Milbank LLP provided legal counsel to Sartorius Stedim Biotech in this transaction. William Blair acted as financial advisor to Albumedix, and Eversheds Sutherland provided legal counsel. This press release contains forward-looking statements about the future development of the Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Sartorius Stedim Biotech assumes no liability for updating such statements in light of new information or future events. This is a translation of the original French-language press release. Sartorius Stedim Biotech shall not assume any liability for the correctness of this translation. The original French press release is the legally binding version. 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, the shares of Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A. are quoted on the 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 2021, the company employed more than 10,400 people, and earned sales revenue of around 2.89 billion euros.

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SIGA Announces Oncology Collaboration with KaliVir Immunotherapeutics

SIGA Technologies Inc. | July 16, 2022

SIGA Technologies, Inc. a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market, today announced a collaboration with KaliVir Immunotherapeutics to make TPOXX® available for use with KaliVir’s proprietary oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy platform. This novel oncolytic platform includes multiple proprietary genetic modifications that can be combined to generate a unique oncolytic virus that has been optimized for systemic delivery and anti-tumor immune stimulation. Under this partnership, SIGA is providing its TPOXX oral capsules to support future clinical programs. “KaliVir is an innovator in the creation of oncolytic viral immunotherapies, and we are excited to enter into this collaboration with them. TPOXX is a powerful antiviral drug to vaccinia and allows the safe use of higher doses of vaccinia vectors; there is also the potential it could increase immunotherapeutic outcomes. This collaboration helps bring new levels of assurance to physicians, regulators, and especially patients receiving these promising investigational therapies.” Dr. Phil Gomez, CEO of SIGA “We are pleased to announce this collaboration with SIGA Technologies,” said Helena Chaye, Ph.D., J.D., CEO of KaliVir. “Pairing oncolytic immunotherapies with an effective antiviral agent is a critical part of the development of new treatments, and we look forward to enhancing our groundbreaking oncolytic immunotherapy programs with the support of SIGA’s TPOXX.” On July 13, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved oral TPOXX for the treatment of smallpox to mitigate the impact of a potential outbreak or bioterror attack. In preclinical studies, TPOXX has been shown to be active against most orthopoxviruses, including vaccinia The unique mechanism of action of TPOXX coupled with published efficacy in animal studies, make it an important addition to development programs focused on vaccinia-based cancer therapies. In 2020, SIGA entered into numerous collaborations, including a partnership with Turnstone Biologics to supply TPOXX to support Turnstone’s clinical oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy programs. In 2021, SIGA entered into a preclinical research collaboration with Bioarchitech to investigate TPOXX enabling higher doses of vaccinia vectors when used in combination with Bioarchitech’s oncolytic vaccinia-based immunotherapy platform. ABOUT SIGA TECHNOLOGIES, INC. and TPOXX® SIGA Technologies, Inc. is a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market. Health security comprises countermeasures for biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks (biodefense market), vaccines and therapies for emerging infectious diseases, and health preparedness. Our lead product is TPOXX®, also known as tecovirimat and ST-246®, an orally administered and IV formulation antiviral drug for the treatment of human smallpox disease caused by variola virus. TPOXX is a novel small-molecule drug and the US maintains a supply of TPOXX under Project BioShield. The oral formulation of TPOXX was approved by the FDA for the treatment of smallpox in 2018. The full label is available by clicking here. Oral tecovirimat received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2022. The EMA approval includes labeling for oral tecovirimat indicating its use for the treatment of smallpox, monkeypox, cowpox, and vaccinia complications following vaccination against smallpox. The full label is available by clicking here. In September 2018, SIGA signed a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for additional procurement and development related to both oral and intravenous formulations of TPOXX. ABOUT KALIVIR IMMUNOTHERAPEUTICS. KaliVir Immunotherapeutics is a privately held biotech company developing cutting-edge, next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapy programs. The company has developed a unique vaccinia virus-based platform that can generate potent novel oncolytic vaccinia viruses with modifications to maximize viral replication and to enhance intravenous delivery and spread (Vaccinia Enhanced Template “VET” Platform). VET™ platform utilizes the large transgene capacity of the vaccinia virus to deliver therapeutics matched to tumor immunophenotypes to stimulate patients’ immune systems and modify the tumor microenvironment. KaliVir’s oncolytic product candidates are designed to be safe, potent and systemically deliverable to treat cancer patients across multiple tumor types. KaliVir is in the process of advancing multiple therapeutic candidates toward the clinic.

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Anthos Therapeutics Announces that Abelacimab has Received FDA Fast Track Designation for the Treatment of Thrombosis Associated with Cancer

Anthos Therapeutics | July 11, 2022

Anthos Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative therapies for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Fast Track Designation to its investigational Factor XI inhibitor, abelacimab, for the treatment of thrombosis associated with cancer. The company will also be announcing this important milestone today at a session of the ongoing 2022 Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Congress in London, UK. The Fast Track Designation process is designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of treatments for serious medical conditions, thereby, addressing unmet medical needs. Drugs that are included in this program may be eligible for more frequent interactions with the FDA to discuss the development path, and if the program criteria are met, eligibility for a potential Rolling Review, Accelerated Approval, and Priority Review. Venous Thromboembolism including both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is the second most prevalent cause of death in patients with cancer, second only to the disease itself.1 However, treatment of Cancer Associated Thrombosis (CAT) can be challenging because the currently available anticoagulants used to treat VTE can have an increased risk of bleeding.2,3 "We believe that abelacimab has the potential to provide patients with cancer associated thrombosis an enhanced safety profile and overall low risk of bleeding, without sacrificing any efficacy of currently available agents. This unmet need is particularly true in patients with gastrointestinal / genitourinary (GI/GU) cancers who are at an even higher risk of bleeding and can be further burdened by the inconvenience of daily injections. Fast track designation by the FDA is a significant milestone for abelacimab and Anthos Therapeutics, but more importantly represents another hopeful step forward for patients. We look forward to working closely with the FDA on our clinical trial program to bring once-monthly abelacimab to patients in need." Dan Bloomfield, Chief Medical Officer at Anthos Therapeutics "Caring for cancer patients is a delicate and complex process, requiring a fine balance between the risks and benefits of their anticoagulant treatments. Managing thrombosis episodes is of the utmost importance for physicians, patients, and their caregivers, as untreated blood clots or bleeding episodes associated with currently available anticoagulants, can have dire consequences," said Jean Marie Connors, M.D., Associate Professor of Hematology at Harvard Medical School. "The hemostasis sparing potential of FXI inhibitors, such as abelacimab, may represent an important treatment advance in how we manage patients moving forward." About the Abelacimab Phase 3 Program in Cancer Associated Thrombosis (CAT) The abelacimab phase 3 CAT program comprises two complementary studies targeting to enroll approximately 2700 patients across 220 sites in more than 20 countries -- the largest program of any anticoagulant performed in Cancer-Associated Thrombosis. ASTER is an international multicenter, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint evaluation, phase 3 study comparing the effect of abelacimab relative to apixaban on venous thromboembolism recurrence and bleeding in patients with cancer associated VTE in whom DOAC treatment is recommended. Abelacimab 150 mg will be administered intravenously (IV) on Day 1 and subcutaneously (SC) monthly thereafter for up to 6 months; Apixaban 10 mg will be administered orally, twice daily (bid) for the first 7 days, followed by 5 mg bid up to 6 months. Enrollment in this trial began in May 2022. MAGNOLIA is an international multicenter, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint evaluation, phase 3 study in patients with gastrointestinal (GI) / genitourinary (GU) cancer in whom DOAC treatment is not recommended. The study will compare the effect of abelacimab relative to dalteparin on VTE recurrence and bleeding in patients with cancer associated VTE who are at a high bleeding risk with non-resectable, locally or regionally invasive GI / GU tumors. Abelacimab 150 mg will be administered intravenously (IV) on Day 1 and subcutaneously (SC) monthly thereafter for up to 6 months; dalteparin administered subcutaneously will be given daily, 200 IU/kg/day for the first month, and then 150 IU/kg/day up to 6 months. About the AZALEA-TIMI 71 Phase 2 Trial The AZALEA-TIMI 71 trial is an event-driven, randomized, active-controlled, blinded endpoint, parallel-group study to evaluate the effect of two blinded doses of abelacimab relative to open label rivaroxaban on the rate of major or clinically relevant non-major (CRNM) bleeding events in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who are at moderate-to-high risk of stroke. The trial completed enrollment in December 2021, with 1287 patients across 95 global study sites including the U.S., Canada, as well as from parts of Europe, and Asia. About Abelacimab Abelacimab is a novel, highly selective, fully human monoclonal antibody designed to induce effective hemostasis-sparing anticoagulation through Factor XI inhibition. Abelacimab targets the active domain of Factor XI, demonstrating dual inhibitory activity against both Factor XI and its activated form, Factor XIa. Abelacimab can be administered intravenously (IV) to achieve rapid inhibition of Factor XI activity and then used subcutaneously (SC) monthly to maintain nearly complete inhibition in a chronic setting. In a PK/PD study, abelacimab administered IV provided profound suppression of Factor XI within one hour after the start of therapy and maintained near maximal inhibition for up to 30 days. 4,5 In a Phase 2 study whose results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2021, a single intravenous dose of abelacimab after knee surgery reduced the rate of venous thromboembolism by 80%, measured 10 days after surgery, compared to enoxaparin.4 Factor XI inhibition offers the promise of hemostasis-sparing anticoagulation for the prevention and treatment of arterial and venous thromboembolic events.6 Abelacimab is an investigational agent and has not been approved for any indication. About Anthos Therapeutics Anthos Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of genetically and pharmacologically validated innovative therapies to advance care for people living with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Anthos Therapeutics aims to combine the agility of a biotech with the rigor of a large pharmaceutical company.

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