Targets & Mechanisms

Not all amyloids are the same - who’s targeting what and how it’s going: Data Byte

Whether β-amyloid monomers, oligomers, fibrils or plaques are the culprit in Alzheimer’s disease has been argued over and over during the twenty-year history of β-amyloid drug development, and Monday’s accelerated approval of aducanumab from Biogen Inc....

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...

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....