Targets & Mechanisms

Going beyond genetic medicines for muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophies are poised for what could turn out to be a step change in the field, even if only a fraction of the rich pipeline in the clinic makes it over the finish line....

New life for EGFR at ASCO21

This year’s ASCO features a series of compounds and combos taking aim at resistance mechanisms plaguing the sea of marketed therapies against EGFR. The biggest focus is on EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung...

ASCO readouts offer early hints of efficacy for 4-1BB antibodies

LAG3 may be attracting most of the attention at ASCO21, but a trickle of first-in-human readouts for another checkpoint target — 4-1BB — suggests the broader landscape of checkpoint inhibitors could be...

Long COVID’s big tent needs to get more precise

The emerging consensus is that Long COVID should be addressed as a collection of distinct syndromes, even as advocates speak with one voice. Carving the disease into specific pathologies and biomarker-defined subsets will be important for...

Triplet brings a new strategy to Huntington’s disease

Preclinical data suggest that with a new target and route of administration, Triplet’s antisense oligonucleotide for Huntington’s disease may be effective where others have fallen short.  The Cambridge,...

New targets featured at AACR signal growing opportunity in established mechanisms

The bulk of the new targets presented at AACR21 involve pathways and mechanisms active in tumor cells rather than immune cells, reflecting the biotech industry’s growing interest in targeted oncology and...

A snapshot of target innovation in 2020

Preclinical publications highlighted in BioCentury’s Distillery this year identified white space target opportunities including untapped E3 ubiquitin ligases, vesicular regulators and ion channels, as...

Tissue-targeting autoantibodies as a driver of long COVID

One implication of the recent Yale study linking autoantibody production to the development of long COVID is that treatment with therapies directed at B cells or antibody clearance might prove useful in...

Primate study reveals relationship between neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses

A rhesus macaque study argues that CD8+ T cells contribute to immunity against COVID-19, while simultaneously suggesting that antiviral antibodies alone, if at a high enough titer, can protect against...

Product profiles that could make interferons effective against COVID-19

The recent failure of IFNβ in WHO’s master protocol trial for COVID-19 notwithstanding, there are plenty of reasons to suspect that interferons should be effective treatments for the infection. An analysis...

Verge puts ALS target through COVID-19 paces, leaning on preclinical partners

After a drug repositioning screen flagged Verge’s ALS target PIKFYVE as an Achilles heel for COVID-19, the neurodegeneration-focused biotech jumped into infectious disease by tapping the growing ecosystem of partners with industrialized SARS-CoV-2 assays. That...

Gut microbiome manipulation reduces ALS, frontotemporal dementia symptoms

A team from Harvard and the Broad Institute uncovered a link between intestinal bacteria and a pair of neurological diseases associated with pathological DNA repeats, strengthening the connection between the gut microbiome and neurological diseases....

Connecting COVID-19 antibody responses to disease protection, one data set at a time

Reports that most if not all COVID-19 survivors have antiviral antibodies are beginning to set benchmarks for immunity, but understanding how much protection different levels and types of antibodies provide will be critical for determining...

New Gladstone institutes point to emerging concepts in virology, immunology

The research focuses of new centers replacing the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology highlight how the fields have evolved since its founding in 1991. Like their predecessor, the Gladstone Institute of Virology and the...

Los Alamos team opens door to allosteric COVID-19 countermeasures

A SARS-CoV-2 spike mutation linked to locally dominant strains could become the basis for allosteric COVID-19 countermeasure development. A Los Alamos National Laboratory team has identified a SARS-CoV-2 spike mutation linked to locally dominant strains...