Targets & Mechanisms

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...

Data Byte: newly identified host factors that regulate ACE2 expression

Several recent publications highlighting host factors that modulate ACE2 expression point to possible new targets for COVID-19 therapies.  ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are the most common host targets of...

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...

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,...

AML’s growing options

For acute myelogenous leukemia patients, 2017 marked the end of a more than 40 year drought in which chemotherapy was the only treatment option. In the last three years, eight new AML therapies have come...