Researchers discover a new mechanism used by bacteria to evade antibiotics

Phys.org | March 07, 2019

As bacteria continue to demonstrate powerful resilience to antibiotic treatments posing a rising public health crisis involving a variety of infections scientists continues to seek a better understanding of bacterial defenses against antibiotics in an effort to develop new treatments. Now, researchers at the University of California San Diego who combine experiments and mathematical modeling have discovered an unexpected mechanism that allows bacteria to survive antibiotics. As described in the March 7 early online release of the journal Cell, Dong-yeon Lee, Maja Bialecka-Fornal and Gürol Süel of UC San Diego's Division of Biological Sciences, along with Leticia Galera-Laporta of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain), and colleagues discovered that bacteria defend themselves against antibiotics by controlling the uptake of alkaline metal ions. When under attack by antibiotics, bacteria were found to modulate magnesium ion uptake in order to stabilize their ribosomes the fundamental molecular machines of life that translate genes into proteins as a survival technique.

Spotlight

This booklet gives a general introduction to X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry and XRF analysis. It explains simply how a spectrometer works and how XRF analysis is done. It is intended for people new to the field of XRF analysis. Difficult mathematical equations are avoided and the booklet requires only a basic knowledge of mathematics and physics.

Spotlight

This booklet gives a general introduction to X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry and XRF analysis. It explains simply how a spectrometer works and how XRF analysis is done. It is intended for people new to the field of XRF analysis. Difficult mathematical equations are avoided and the booklet requires only a basic knowledge of mathematics and physics.

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Deargen Announces New Model for Optimizing Drug Candidate Molecules With Nearly Doubled Performance Compared to Existing Models

Deargen | April 12, 2021

Deargen, a drug research and development biotech company based on artificial intelligence (AI), announced on April 9 that it presented study results on controlled molecule generator (CMG) technology at the ACM Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning (ACM CHIL) 2021. CMG technology can modify many properties of molecules at the same time. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), based in New York, is one of the world's most prominent academic organizations. The ACM was founded in 1947 and now has over 100,000 members worldwide. The ACM Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning 2021 was held online on April 8th as a healthcare conference. Deargen's latest CMG technology overcomes the limitations of current models for predicting molecule properties. Deargen's test results revealed that the new CMG method enhances efficiency by nearly doubling as compared to existing versions such as MolDQN and VJTNN. Deargen tried to improve aniracetam, which has the lowest binding affinity of dopamine D2-type receptor (DRD2) among 28 DRD2-targeted compounds in clinical or pre-clinical trials, in the most recent report. The study discovered that aniracetam's DRD2 binding affinity was highly enhanced while its other properties remained relatively unchanged. The technology of optimizing properties of candidate molecules in the process of developing new drugs, such as efficacy, toxicity, and structural similarity, is positioning itself as a key strategy for reducing costs and time required for drug development. Models that predict properties of previously proposed molecules, such as MolDQN, VJTNN, and VSeq2Seq, are considered to have limitations when used to produce new drugs because they either alter properties of molecules that must be retained by optimizing only one property or take very long to process data. Deargen's CMG model, on the other hand, will optimize only desired properties while minimizing changes in other properties that are meant to be retained as set by molecule design as it can consider multiple properties at the same time. Since it takes less time to examine, it can be directly applied to the development of new drugs. “Not only is our representative technology, MT-DTI, being used for discovering various new substances, including treatment prediction for COVID-19, but we are also poised to provide more advanced new drug development services by developing an ensemble of CMG models with our other platform MolEQ,” said Bonggeun Shin, Deargen's Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. Deargen President Kilsoo Kang said, "Deargen has accomplished drug development technologies on a global level and continues to invest in advancing these technologies and extending their support range." “The most recent technological advancement will provide an important momentum in the development of AI-powered new drugs.”

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Kaneka Eurogentec Announces the Successful Production of 25g of mRNA in One Batch

Kaneka Eurogentec | February 23, 2022

Kaneka Eurogentec, an FDA inspected contract development and manufacturing organization announced today that its mRNA manufacturing facility has successfully produced a 25 g batch of mRNA for a US customer. Eurogentec’s GMP mRNA manufacturing service offers in vitro transcription (IVT), purification, quality control and batch release of GMP material up to 25 g scale in its current facility in Belgium. In this project Eurogentec successfully produced and purified 25 g of material in one batch that will be tested by the customer. This quantity is equivalent to 100,000’s to millions of doses of mRNA, potentially sufficient for late clinical and commercial uses. Ingrid Dheur, Vice President Biopharma Development at Kaneka Eurogentec stated, “This successful production confirms our ability to produce mRNA at large scale and with a quantity and purity level that exceeds the targets requested by the customer.” “The rapid growth in cell and gene therapy products is driving the need for plasmid DNA and mRNA production. Our existing pharma and biotech customers have already expressed the need for such large-scale manufacturing capabilities, and we have developed methods to respond to these needs. Additionally, we are currently in the planning stages for a 2nd manufacturing facility to further expand our GMP mRNA manufacturing offering”. Lieven Janssens, President and CEO at Kaneka Eurogentec About mRNA Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a molecule that encodes for a protein which will have a beneficial effect in patients. Rather than producing complex proteins, producing mRNA is a convenient way to deliver the protein as a precursor. The production of mRNA is much simpler than producing a recombinant protein and thus mRNA molecules have the advantage of enabling a shorter production time to clinic. For example, current mainstream therapies for the protection against COV-SARS-2 infections are based on mRNA and have been developed in record time. The success of these COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has opened the evaluation of mRNA for other infectious diseases, for example influenza or HIV, and the need for custom large-scale production of GMP mRNA. About Kaneka Eurogentec Eurogentec was founded in 1985 as one of the first biotech companies in Belgium. Kaneka Eurogentec contributes to improving health and fighting diseases by supplying products and services to scientists involved in life science research, molecular diagnostics, and therapeutic developments. The Liège-based company is recognized as one of the major suppliers in the field of genomics and proteomics as well as a trusted Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) for the bio-production of pharmaceuticals. Eurogentec is one of a few CDMOs capable of manufacturing GMP oligonucleotides, mRNA, plasmid DNA and recombinant proteins for human injectable use, with commercial products sold in USA, Europe and Japan. In 2010, Eurogentec, renamed Kaneka Eurogentec in April 2017, became part of Kaneka Corporation, a large Japanese chemical company focusing on technology and innovation. About Kaneka Corporation Kaneka is an innovation-oriented chemical company. Traditionally the company has been active in polymers, fermentation, biotechnology, and electronics, as well as other fields. Business activities now span a broad spectrum of markets ranging from plastics, EPS resins, chemicals and foodstuffs to pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electrical and electronic materials, and synthetic fibers. The life science related activities are currently one of the strategically important domains for Kaneka. The company has been a pioneer among Japanese chemical companies in establishing overseas operations, beginning in 1970 with a subsidiary in Belgium.

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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.

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