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Targets & Mechanisms

Daily Chart: primate data hint full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike more potent vaccine antigen than spike peptides

Full-length spike protein may make a better DNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 than smaller spike peptides, including the popular receptor binding domain, according to a Science paper published Thursday. Led by Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical...

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...

Trends to surf for at AACR 2020

While the abstracts for this year’s virtual AACR meeting won’t be available until Monday -- and most data won’t be presented until June -- key session titles, combined with an analysis of recent trends in...

Insights on COVID-19 vaccine, mAb development from spike protein structure

A UT Austin and NIH Vaccine Research Center team has uncovered the structure of the COVID-19 spike protein, which mediates viral entry into cells via membrane fusion. The findings, published in a Science paper Wednesday,...

Entrepreneur watch: Iwasaki targets the lymphatic system to clear brain tumors

Rising serial entrepreneur Akiko Iwasaki aims to bring antitumor immunity to the brain by opening the brain’s lymphatics, a recently discovered system of vessels just starting to find translational uses. In 2015, a Nature paper...

Astellas lays groundwork for oncolytic virus combination therapy

With its next-gen oncolytic virus, Astellas is reinforcing the promise of improved efficacy for versions that make cytokines stimulating T cells as well as innate immune cells. After more than two decades in development with...

CAR T strategies for cracking the code in solid tumors

As drug developers try to crack the code for making CAR T cell therapies work in solid tumors, they aren’t sticking to the playbook that led to success with other modalities. BioCentury’s analysis of the...

CPSF3 emerges as new synthetic lethality target in AML and sarcoma

A team led by the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research identified CPSF3, a pre-mRNA processing endonuclease, as a novel synthetic lethality target for a subset of AML and sarcomas. The premise of synthetic lethality is...

For $75M up front, Biogen will pursue Pfizer castoff for circadian rhythm in AD, PD

Biogen acquired a clinical asset from Pfizer and will investigate its potential to normalize circadian rhythm to treat “sundowning” in Alzheimer’s disease and irregular sleep associated with Parkinson’s disease. Monday’s deal is Biogen’s second in...

Colitis-associated somatic mutations yield new colorectal cancer target

Kyoto University team identifies colitis-associated somatic mutations that are lost in colitis-associated cancer to reveal a new colorectal cancer target. A Japanese team has identified novel colorectal cancer targets by contrasting somatic mutations in cancerous...

Cancer's trajectory, as viewed by targets at AACR, ASCO and ASH

Beyond the headliner presentations at 2019’s three major cancer conferences were over a hundred posters and presentations showcasing new or emerging targets. A look at the identity of those targets reveals the growing diversity of...

SIGLECs go from homing beacons to next-generation checkpoints

Propelled by growing understanding of their biology, and an expression pattern that goes well beyond T cells, SIGLEC proteins are rising as the next set of checkpoint targets to challenge PD-1. The sugar-binding proteins could...