Reducing B cells with CAR T cells is effective treatment of experimental lupus

Medical Xpress | March 06, 2019

Depleting the number of harmful B cells with novel immunotherapy that employs modified T cells may offer an effective strategy to treat lupus, according to a new study funded by the Lupus Research Alliance. These findings offer a renewed optimism for the elimination of B cells to provide a therapeutic option in lupus and pave the way for clinical research to test this new approach. B cells are a critical component of the immune system and play an important role in lupus including the production of auto-antibodies which can lead to inflammation and organ damage. B cells can also directly activate other cells of the immune system—T cells—and can secrete molecules, cytokines, that worsen the inflammatory immune response leading to disease flares. Given the central role and wide range of effects of B cells on lupus, it is not surprising that this cell type has been the subject of intense research in lupus for decades. Depleting the number of B cells has been one tantalizing approach that was tested in systemic lupus and lupus nephritis with rituximab: a humanized monoclonal antibody approved to treat blood cancers as well as several autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and Pemphigus Vulgaris. Rituximab was not approved for lupus because the Phase 3 trials testing its use in lupus patients did not reach statistical significance. Yet the agent is still used off-label because it helps some lupus patients.

Spotlight

The 4D Viewer of MetaMorph NX from Molecular Devices lets you render image stacks as 3D objects. The video covers an overview of the 4D viewer, isometric surface rendering, volumetric rentering, and data slicing tool.

Spotlight

The 4D Viewer of MetaMorph NX from Molecular Devices lets you render image stacks as 3D objects. The video covers an overview of the 4D viewer, isometric surface rendering, volumetric rentering, and data slicing tool.

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Bio-K Plus International is expanding its portfolio of probiotic products and is launching a new line of functional beverages infused with probiotics

Bio-K | October 22, 2020

Bio-K Plus International Inc. (Bio-K Plus), pioneer in the probiotic sector and leader in the biotech industry, is pleased to announce the launch of its new line of functional beverages, Essential. Focused on offering premium quality probiotics that make a real difference in people's lives around the world, the company is adding the Essential line to its existing Pro and Original lines. In keeping with this tradition of high quality, the Essential line fits perfectly into the active and modern lifestyle of today's consumer, always looking for innovative ways to stay healthy. Bio-K Plus offers a dose of probiotics in the form of fun, delightful and balanced functional beverages. This announcement is the result of more than two years of research and development carried out by Bio-K Plus' experienced team that has developed the best line of functional beverages infused with probiotic bacteria. This project was led by Martin Croteau, Chief Commercial Officer, and was driven by the need to democratize probiotics, making them more accessible for all, and broaden their use to support global health in a more holistic manner.

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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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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

BioInvent and Transgene Receive CTA Approval for Phase l/lla Study of Novel Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus BT-001

BioInvent | December 22, 2020

BioInvent International AB ("BioInvent") (OMXS: BINV), a biotech organization focused in on the discovery and development of novel and first-in-class immune-modulatory antibodies for cancer immunotherapy, and Transgene (Euronext Paris: TNG), a biotech organization that designs and develops infection based for the therapy of cancer, reported they have received administrative endorsement in Belgium for a clinical trial application (CTA) for a Phase l/lla study of the novel oncolytic vaccinia virus BT-001. BT-001 is a best-in-class oncolytic Vaccinia virus. It has been produced utilizing Transgene's Invir.IO™ stage and its protected large-capacity VVcopTK-RR-oncolytic virus, which has been designed to encode both a Treg- depleting human recombinant anti-CTLA4 antibody response created by BioInvent's proprietary n-CoDeR®/F.I.R.S.T™ stages, and the human GM-CSF cytokine. By specifically focusing on the tumor microenvironment, BT-001 is relied upon to inspire a lot more grounded and more successful antitumoral reaction. Conveying the anti-CTLA4 antibody response straightforwardly to the tumor microenvironment will permit a neighborhood remedial movement and will in this manner enormously increment the security and tolerability profile of the monoclonal immunizer by antibody foundational introduction. BT-001 is being co-created through a 50/50 collaboration among BioInvent and Transgene.

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