Biotechnology and Biopharma News

Study finding suggests new ways in which genetic mutations may cause brain disorders
Many kids say they love their mom and dad equally, but there are times when even the best prefers one parent over the other. The same can be said for how the body's cells treat our DNA instructions. It has long been thought that each copy - one inherited from mom and one from dad - is treated the same. A new study from scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine shows that it is not uncommon for cells in the brain to preferentially activate one copy over the other.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

Researchers shed new light on molecular pump that ejects anticancer agents
Sometimes cells resist medication by spitting it back out. Cancer cells, in particular, have a reputation for defiantly expelling the chemotherapy drugs meant to kill them. Researchers at The Rockefeller University have shed new light on a molecular pump that makes this possible, by determining its three-dimensional structure, down to the level of atoms.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

People living in neighbourhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees less likely to suffer from mental health
People living in neighbourhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, according to research by academics at the University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Queensland.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

New study confirms benefits of Medtronic’s Solitaire stent retriever for stroke patients in real-world setting
Data presented today on Medtronic’s Solitaire stent retriever at the International Stroke Conference in Houston demonstrate that the results from the four pivotal randomized controlled trials – SOLITAIRE FR With the Intention For Thrombectomy as PRIMary Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke, Endovascular Treatment for Small Core and Proximal Occlusion Ischemic Stroke, EXtending the Time for Thrombolysis in Emergency Neurological Deficits - Intra-Arterial and Endovascular Revascularization With Solitaire Device Versus Best Medical Therapy in Anterior Circulation Stroke Within 8 Hours – can be replicated in U.S. centers, in a pragmatic, real-world setting reconfirming the benefits of mechanical thrombectomy in patients suffering acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

Mercy gynecologic oncologist recognized as "Top Doctor" for 2017 by Castle Connolly Medical
Mercy Medical Center has announced that Dwight D. Im, M.D., FACOG, Medical Director of The Neil B. Rosenshein, M.D., Institute for Gynecologic Care at Mercy, The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy and The National Institute of Robotic Surgery at Mercy has been recognized by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. as a "Top Doctor" for 2017.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

Fred Hutch scientists make important step in identifying specific T cells to fight against cancer
A new discovery by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle makes an important step in identifying which specific T cells within the diverse army of a person's immune system are best suited to fight cancer.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

Deep brain stimulation may help improve mental, physical health in patients with anorexia nervosa
Deep brain stimulation might alter the brain circuits that drive anorexia nervosa symptoms and help improve patients’ mental and physical health, according to a small study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

Scientists unravel mechanism of rare, early phenomenon that can affect human development
The genetic material of an organism encodes the instructions that guide its development. These codes are not written in stone; they can change or mutate any time during the life of the organism.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

MGH researchers discover regulators of gene expression programs in medulloblastoma
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have identified a mechanism that controls the expression of genes regulating the growth of the most aggressive form of medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor. In their report published online in Cancer Discovery, the team also identifies potential targets for future treatments.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

Alzheimer's drug prescribed off-label could accelerate cognitive decline for some patients
Donepezil, a medication that is approved to treat people with Alzheimer's disease, should not be prescribed for people with mild cognitive impairment without a genetic test.
02/25/17, News Medical Life Sciences

Ubadah Sabbagh: An American Scientist from the Middle East
The 23-year-old neuroscience graduate student, born in Saudi Arabia and raised in numerous countries, came to the U.S. as a teenager to attend college.
02/24/17, The Scientist

How Much Do Sex Differences Matter in Mouse Studies?
Examining both male and female model organisms is worth the extra effort and added costs, most experts maintain, but whether the results translate to human studies is less clear.  
02/24/17, The Scientist

RNA is DNA in action
By Wallace Ravven – Losing a breast or a lung to cancer leaves a scar, both physical and emotional. But even a biopsy to determine if a tumor is cancerous, or to track a tumor’s response to drugs, brings short-term pain and can miss signs of metastasis. So, the possibility of a scalpel-free biopsy has ...
02/24/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

Granatum – a graphical single-cell RNA-seq analysis pipeline for genomics scientists
Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is an increasingly popular platform to study heterogeneity at the single cell level. Computational methods to process scRNA-seq have limited accessibility to bench scientists, as they require significant amount of bioinformatics skills. Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa have developed Granatum, a web browser based scRNA-seq analysis pipeline to make ...
02/24/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

Considerations and complications of mapping small RNA high-throughput data to transposable elements
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) has revolutionized the way in which epigenetic research is conducted. When coupled with fully-sequenced genomes, millions of small RNA (sRNA) reads are mapped to regions of interest and the results scrutinized for clues about epigenetic mechanisms. However, this approach requires careful consideration in regards to experimental design, especially when one investigates repetitive ...
02/24/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

Tickets available for Clinical Researcher of the Year – The Americas
Who will be crowned Clinical Researcher of the Year – The Americas 2016?
02/24/17, PharmaTimes

Manchester to explore new ways of paying for medicines
The UK pharmaceutical industry has struck a unique deal with the health service in Manchester that it says will transform patients' access to medicines.
02/24/17, PharmaTimes

Celebrating excellence in international clinical research
The final entry deadline for the International Clinical Researcher of the Year 2017 competition has now passed, and the finalists have been invited to compete at the rigorous Final Day. Who will be awarded the coveted Pharma in front of an audience of their industry peers?
02/24/17, PharmaTimes

Better diabetic foot care 'could save NHS £250m'
NHS England could significantly cut its spending on diabetes foot care by introducing or rearranging specialist foot services, according to a leading charity.
02/24/17, PharmaTimes

Long-term homeostasis and wound healing in an in vitro epithelial stem cell niche model

02/24/17, Nature

Untangling the role of one-carbon metabolism in colorectal cancer risk: a comprehensive Bayesian network analysis

02/24/17, Nature

Micro RNAs and DNA methylation are regulatory players in human cells with altered X chromosome to autosome balance

02/24/17, Nature

Transcriptional mechanism of vascular endothelial growth factor-induced expression of protein kinase CβII in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells

02/24/17, Nature

Adipose tissue: Exosomal microRNAs — novel adipokines

02/24/17, Nature

The role of alternative polyadenylation in the antiviral innate immune response

02/24/17, Nature

Metacaspases versus caspases in development and cell fate regulation

02/24/17, Nature

AMPK improves gut epithelial differentiation and barrier function via regulating Cdx2 expression

02/24/17, Nature

Researchers at Imperial College London have found that so-called ‘junk DNA’ could play a role in diabetes
The human genome is enormous, containing billions of ‘letters’ of genetic code. But among the thousands of genes which code for vital proteins, hidden in plain sight are much vaster chunks of non-coding junk DNA, previously thought to have no function. Shining the spotlight on these dark, unexplored regions of the genome, an international team ...
02/24/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Genetic variation in long noncoding RNAs and the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
The human transcriptome comprises a myriad of non protein-coding RNA species, including long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which have a remarkable role in transcriptional and epigenetic regulation. Researchers at the University of Buenos Aires hypothesized that variants in lncRNAs influence the susceptibility to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Using next generation sequencing, they performed a survey of ...
02/24/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Xynomic Acquires Global Rights to Anticancer Drug Abexinostat
Xynomic Pharmaceuticals has acquired exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the anticancer drug abexinostat. The firm said it aims to start global registrational Phase III studies with the pan- histone deacetylase (pan- HDAC) inhibitor during Q3 2017. "We are honored and excited to forge this landmark agreement,” commented Y. Mark Xu, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Xynomic. “We will deploy necessary resources and closely work with key opinion leaders to expeditiously bring this innovative drug to the market to address unmet medical needs." Xynomic hasn’t stated from where it has acquired the drug, nor has it given any financial details. However, in September 2014, cancer drugs firm Pharmacyclics confirmed regaining all global rights to abexinostat, when its 5-year ex-U.S. collaboration with Servier was ended amicably. Pharmacyclics was acquired by Abbvie in 2015, for $21 billion. Fourteen Phase I and Phase II studies have been carried ...
02/24/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Two Different Genetic Conditions Can Combine to Cause Severe Infection
Scientists from the Rockefeller University have led a team of researchers to uncover how two different conditions—a genetic immunodeficiency and delayed acquired immunity--can combine to produce a life-threatening infection. In the study ("Human Adaptive Immunity Rescues an Inborn Error of Innate Immunity"), published online in Cell, Jean-Laurent Casanova, M.D., Ph.D., head of St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and his colleagues focused on the case of an otherwise healthy young girl who developed a life-threatening infection from a common strain of bacterium. Most of us carry Staphylococcus aureus  on our skin and in our nostrils. It can cause minor infections (staph infections), but in some people, it results in severe disease. The young girl's illness was mysterious. She had no known risk factors that would lead her to develop the acute form of the disease, and none of her family members had contracted ...
02/24/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Through Development, Some Brain Cells May Favor Mom’s Genes, or Dad’s
If we look at a child’s face, we may feel moved to say that she has her mother’s eyes, or her father’s nose. But if we consider an individual cell, we’re less discriminating. Our usual baseline assumption is that each cell expresses maternal gene alleles and paternal gene alleles more or less equally. Yet this pattern is known to admit certain deviations, including those due to genomic imprinting or X-inactivation. Some deviations, however, may remain undiscovered. And these deviations may be due to unknown mechanisms. New kinds of bias in the expression of maternal and paternal alleles have been explored by scientists based at the University of Utah School of Medicine. These scientists, led by Christopher Gregg, Ph.D., an assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy, invented a screen to measure the activity of specific genes from both parents. Using this screen, the scientists found that it is ...
02/24/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Startup Wins $400K from Foundations to Develop DMD Candidate
Startup Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) drug developer DMD Therapeutics said today it will advance its first candidate into the clinic after winning a commitment of $400,000 from three foundations. Ryan's Quest, Michael's Cause, and Pietro's Fight have committed the $400,000 in seed capital toward developing DMD-813, which has been shown in preclinical studies to reduce damage and inflammation in muscle leading to “markedly” increased muscle strength in the standard mouse model of DMD, the company said. Additional studies have shown significant increases in the ability of animals treated with DMD-813 to walk long distances, DMD Therapeutics added. “The preclinical results with DMD-813 therapy are striking, and its primary mechanism of action affects one of the molecular mechanisms responsible for muscle weakness in DMD,” Carlo Rago, Ph.D., CSO and co-founder of DMD Therapeutics, said in a statement. “There are few if any other drug candidates that demonstrate ...
02/24/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

CRISPR Pigs Make Disease-Resistant Bacon
Homer J. Simpson once referred—unknowingly of course—to the pig as a “magical, mystical creature,” and for many, culinarily speaking, this is right on the mark. Yet, public health officials and farmers view the “enchanted” porcine much differently. In addition to the animals being a haven for zoonotic diseases that often spread to humans, viral infections in pigs cost the swine industry billions of dollars in lost product every year. Creating animals that are genetically resistant to various viruses would not only save money, but could also provide a greater means to protect the population from potentially epidemic diseases such as influenza. Now, a team of investigators from the University of Edinburgh and the biotech company Genus have used the genome-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer pigs that are potentially resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), which causes severe breathing problems in young pigs and breeding ...
02/24/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Cempra's Fusidic Acid Antibiotic Meets Phase III Endpoints for Treating ABSSSI
Antibiotics firm Cempra reported positive topline data from a U.S. Phase III study evaluating its oral fusidic acid candidate against acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). The 716-patient trial met its primary endpoint of noninferiority compared with oral linezolid for early clinical response (ECR). Cempra said it will meet with the FDA to discuss the next steps in the U.S. development and regulatory pathway.  Sodium fusidate has been used for many years outside the U.S. for the treatment of Gram-positive infections, including both hospital- and community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and as long-term treatment in Europe and Australia for bone and joint infections. The firm initiated a Phase II study in patients with prosthetic joint infections in December 2012. “We are excited that the results of this Phase III study with fusidic acid confirm the results of our Phase II study and are consistent ...
02/24/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

A Year into Job, Celgene President and COO Said to Retire
Celgene’s president and COO Jacqualyn (Jackie) Fouse, Ph.D., “has decided to retire” effective June 30, the company said after the close of trading yesterday—just a year after she was named to the position. Scott Smith, president of Celgene’s Global Inflammation & Immunology (I&I) Franchise, will succeed Dr. Fouse as of April 1, when she shifts to serving as a strategic advisor to the company’s management team until her retirement. She will not seek reelection to the Board of Directors, Celgene added. Dr. Fouse was named president and COO in March 2016 when longtime CEO Bob Hugin became executive chairman. He was succeeded by current CEO Mark Alles, leading to talk at the time that he was chosen for the company’s day-to-day helm over Dr. Fouse. Celgene’s announcement did not disclose Dr. Fouse’s post-retirement plans, leading to speculation on Twitter. “Either something is really wrong (I ...
02/24/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Ties to Gilead, AbbVie and BMS raise questions about hep C drug value studies
Ties to Gilead, AbbVie and BMS raise questions about hep C drug value studies esagonowsky Fri, 02/24/2017 - 10:29
02/24/17, Fierce Pharma

Novartis' Zykadia gets a front-line boost in lung cancer race against Roche
Novartis' Zykadia gets a front-line boost in lung cancer race against Roche chelfand Fri, 02/24/2017 - 09:51
02/24/17, Fierce Pharma

Merck swallows $2.9B write-down of experimental hep C drug as market plummets
Merck swallows $2.9B write-down of experimental hep C drug as market plummets arlene.weintraub Fri, 02/24/2017 - 08:53
02/24/17, Fierce Pharma

Former Valeant, Philidor execs plead not guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud and kickback charges
Former Valeant, Philidor execs plead not guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud and kickback charges chelfand Fri, 02/24/2017 - 10:48
02/24/17, Fierce Pharma

FiercePharmaAsia: China’s national drug list update, Daiichi and ArQule’s failing tivantinib, New regulatory setback for Dr. Reddy’s
FiercePharmaAsia: China’s national drug list update, Daiichi and ArQule’s failing tivantinib, New regulatory setback for Dr. Reddy’s aliu Fri, 02/24/2017 - 09:02
02/24/17, Fierce Pharma

J&J leads $25M Series A in targeted radiotherapy startup
J&J leads $25M Series A in targeted radiotherapy startup nick.paul.taylor Fri, 02/24/2017 - 03:27
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

Unlocking 'enigma code' could lead to a drug for the common cold
Unlocking 'enigma code' could lead to a drug for the common cold aalidrus Fri, 02/24/2017 - 16:33
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

Fred Hutch scientists use novel ‘barcode’ system to find effective cancer-killing T cells
Fred Hutch scientists use novel ‘barcode’ system to find effective cancer-killing T cells arlene.weintraub Fri, 02/24/2017 - 13:25
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

Patient death in phase 3 raises doubts about safety of Roche’s potential hemophilia blockbuster emicizumab
Patient death in phase 3 raises doubts about safety of Roche’s potential hemophilia blockbuster emicizumab nick.paul.taylor Fri, 02/24/2017 - 04:39
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

LabCorp to acquire lab diagnostics player PAML
LabCorp to acquire lab diagnostics player PAML aalidrus Fri, 02/24/2017 - 11:25
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

FDA clears Accelerate Diagnostics’ bloodstream infection test
FDA clears Accelerate Diagnostics’ bloodstream infection test aalidrus Fri, 02/24/2017 - 09:25
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

Delay to hep C drug program behind Merck's write-down decision, say analysts
Delay to hep C drug program behind Merck's write-down decision, say analysts phil Fri, 02/24/2017 - 08:53
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

Celgene president, COO Jackie Fouse to make shock departure
Celgene president, COO Jackie Fouse to make shock departure badams Fri, 02/24/2017 - 03:45
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

AstraZeneca’s FDA delayed ZS-9 gains European thumbs-up
AstraZeneca’s FDA delayed ZS-9 gains European thumbs-up badams Fri, 02/24/2017 - 07:33
02/24/17, Fierce Biotech

The role of extracellular vesicle microRNAs in cancer biology
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a large family of small, approximately 20-22 nucleotide non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of target genes, mainly at the post-transcriptional level. Multiple studies report that miRNAs are involved in homeostatic maintenance and that aberrant expression of miRNAs is often observed in various types of diseases, including cancer. In cancer biology, miRNAs ...
02/24/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

High Prevalence of Mutant KRAS in Circulating Exosome-derived DNA
Exosomes arise from viable cancer cells and may reflect a different biology than circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) shed from dying tissues. Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center compared exosome-derived DNA (exoDNA) to cfDNA in liquid biopsies of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Patient samples were obtained between 2003 and 2010, ...
02/24/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

The Challenges of Studying RNA Modifications with RNA Sequencing
In 2004, oncologist Gideon Rechavi at Tel Aviv University in Israel and his colleagues compared all the human genomic DNA sequences then available with their corresponding messenger RNAs — the molecules that carry the information needed to make a protein from a gene. They were looking for signs that one of the nucleotide building blocks ...
02/23/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

MINTmap – profiling nuclear and mitochondrial tRNA fragments from short RNA-Seq data
Transfer RNA fragments (tRFs) are an established class of constitutive regulatory molecules that arise from precursor and mature tRNAs. RNA deep sequencing (RNA-seq) has greatly facilitated the study of tRFs. However, the repeat nature of the tRNA templates and the idiosyncrasies of tRNA sequences necessitate the development and use of methodologies that differ markedly from ...
02/23/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

Evolinc – quickly identify sequence conserved lincRNAs for functional analysis
Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are an abundant and functionally diverse class of eukaryotic transcripts. Reported lincRNA repertoires in mammals vary, but are commonly in the thousands to tens of thousands of transcripts, covering ~90% of the genome. In addition to elucidating function, there is particular interest in understanding the origin and evolution of lincRNAs. ...
02/23/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

US priority review for Novartis’ lung cancer drug Zykadia
US regulators are undertaking a speedy review of Novartis' application to expand the use of Zykadia to include its first-line use in patients with ALK positive non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
02/23/17, PharmaTimes

Novartis’ Afinitor gets NICE green light for kidney cancer
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has now published final guidelines backing routine NHS use of Novartis' Afinitor in certain patients with advanced kidney cancer.
02/23/17, PharmaTimes

Mundipharma to launch Mabthera biosimilar in EU markets
Mundipharma is gearing up to launch biosimilar Truxima in seven European markets for the treatment of certain cancers and inflammatory conditions, after Celltrion bagged a regulatory approval for the drug.
02/23/17, PharmaTimes

Bowel scope screening cuts cancer and death rate
A one-off screening test called Bowel Scope cuts the risk of developing bowel cancer by more than one third and could save thousands of lives, according to a new study published in The Lancet.
02/23/17, PharmaTimes

MiRNA-21 mediates the antiangiogenic activity of metformin through targeting PTEN and SMAD7 expression and PI3K/AKT pathway

02/23/17, Nature

Drosophila imaginal disc growth factor 2 is a trophic factor involved in energy balance, detoxification, and innate immunity

02/23/17, Nature

Cell biology of the neuron: Lightening the load

02/23/17, Nature

Using hiCLIP to identify RNA duplexes that interact with a specific RNA-binding protein

02/23/17, Nature

Ensemble and single-molecule dynamics of IFT dynein in Caenorhabditis elegans cilia

02/23/17, Nature

Oxidation of F-actin controls the terminal steps of cytokinesis

02/23/17, Nature

GIGANTEA is a co-chaperone which facilitates maturation of ZEITLUPE in the Arabidopsis circadian clock

02/23/17, Nature

CLK-dependent exon recognition and conjoined gene formation revealed with a novel small molecule inhibitor

02/23/17, Nature

Targeting MicroRNAs to Control Spread of Mosquito Viruses
Mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest animal on the planet, as the viral and parasitic infections they carry and spread have inflicted a tremendous burden on human morbidity and mortality. While many of these mosquito-borne infections have very diverse pathologies, they share a commonality in the mosquitoes themselves. For instance, the Aedes aegypti species can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, and yellow fever virus. However, since only female mosquitoes bite, requiring a blood meal to develop their eggs, targeting the reproductive events that follow could be an effective vector control strategy. Now, a team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside has just published data that describes how they have targeted mosquito egg maturation at the molecular level, focusing on small regulatory RNA molecules, called microRNAs (miRNAs). The findings from this study were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in ...
02/23/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Novasep Opens Commercial-Scale Bioconjugation Plant for ADCs
Novasep opened a new, €11 million (approximately $11.6 million) bioconjugation facility for antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) at its Le Mans site in France.  The 2000-m 2 purpose-built facility comprises two GMP production suites for clinical- and commercial-scale production of ADCs and offers R&D services, together with QC and scaleup laboratories. Novasep already has manufacturing platforms for producing the ADC payloads, linkers, and monoclonal antibodies. “We designed the facility to ensure smooth and robust scaleups and address the ADC-specific analytical and process challenges,” commented Rachel de Luca, general manager of the Le Mans site. “Our team has a long experience in applying DoE to chemical synthesis and bioprocessing and efficiently develop conjugation and purification steps on a wide range of ADC platforms.” Based in Lyon, France, Novasep provides process development, contract manufacturing, and purification services for small-molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediates, and biomolecules. Within the last 10 ...
02/23/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Incyte Partners with Penn on Cancer Immunotherapy Research
Incyte said today it will partner with the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania on research into cancer biology and immunotherapy. Through the collaboration, whose value was not disclosed, Penn investigators will study novel therapeutics being discovered at Incyte, with the goal of better understanding their mechanisms of action and developing clinical rationales for combination therapy and patient selection. Incyte said it will also partner with Penn to develop a bioinformatics program in clinical immunotherapy intended to advance novel therapeutics. During the “multiyear” research collaboration, Incyte added, it will provide financial support for these research programs and may conduct additional grant-funded research with Penn investigators in other unspecified innovative areas of cancer immunology. “This alliance will allow us to mobilize two groups of leading scientists toward the collective goal of advancing the field of immunotherapy,” Incyte CSO Reid Huber, Ph.D., said in a ...
02/23/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Genetic Mutation in Synaptic Receptors Found Linked to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Researchers at Northwestern Medicine report that they have found evidence suggesting how neural dysfunction in a certain region of the brain can lead to obsessive and repetitive behaviors much like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  The corticostriatal connection in the brain regulates habitual and repetitive actions in both humans and mice. This new study found certain synaptic receptors are important for the development of this brain circuit. If these receptors are eliminated in mice, they exhibit obsessive behavior, such as over-grooming. This is the first strong evidence that supports the biological basis for how these genes that code for these receptors might affect obsessive or compulsive behaviors in humans, according to the investigators. By demonstrating that these receptors have this role in development, researchers down the line will have a target to develop treatments for obsessive-compulsive behavior. "Variations in these receptor genes are associated with human neurodevelopmental disorders, ...
02/23/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Cyclacel Phase III Sapacitabine AML Study Fails to Meet Primary Endpoint
A Phase III trial evaluating Cyclacel’s lead anticancer candidate sapacitabine (CYC682) against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) missed its primary endpoint of increasing overall survival (OS). The firm said that while it will re-evaluate its investment in developing sapacitabine against blood cancers, it hasn’t yet written off the drug completely. “We plan to discuss the data with European and U.S. regulatory authorities once subgroup analyses are completed over the next few months and will report our further plans as they develop,” stated Spiro Rombotis, president and CEO. The Phase III SEAMLESS study compared a regimen of alternating cycles of sapacitabine and decitabine therapy with decitabine alone in AML patients aged 70 years and over who were not candidates for or refused intensive induction chemotherapy. While the sapacitabine regimen failed to increase OS significantly in comparison with decitabine monotherapy, it did improve the complete remission (CR) rate, a secondary ...
02/23/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

CRISPR Turbocharges CAR T Cells, Boosts Cancer Immunotherapy
When T cells are modified to fight cancer more effectively, cellular mechanics don’t pick up a socket wrench. Instead, they take hold of retroviral or lentiviral technology, which is used to install genes for synthetic T-cell receptors. Such technology, however, doesn’t always place genes in just the right place. Enter Mr. GoodCRISPR. This mechanic uses CRISPR gene-editing technology, which is more precise. CRISPR can be used to install genes, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) genes, into specific parts of the genome. Presumably, when CRISPR is used to build CAR T cells, their genomic engines will run more smoothly—and rack up more trouble-free miles. Such endurance is important for CAR T cells, which are being used in immunotherapy applications. These are long-distance races, and they are particularly grueling when CAR T cells must outpace cancer. A road test of sorts has been staged by scientists based at ...
02/23/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Stada's first real bidder has put up a $3.7B offer. Will a bidding war follow?
Stada's first real bidder has put up a $3.7B offer. Will a bidding war follow? chelfand Thu, 02/23/2017 - 09:28
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

One more time: We're not buying Valeant, Allergan CEO insists
One more time: We're not buying Valeant, Allergan CEO insists chelfand Thu, 02/23/2017 - 09:08
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

Billionaire pharma-pricing activist, an early ICER backer, funds new patient group's campaign
Billionaire pharma-pricing activist, an early ICER backer, funds new patient group's campaign esagonowsky Thu, 02/23/2017 - 09:23
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

China updates national drug list, adding some blockbuster Western meds
China updates national drug list, adding some blockbuster Western meds aliu Thu, 02/23/2017 - 11:19
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

Mass rep exodus at Valeant could seriously thwart its GI plans: analyst
Mass rep exodus at Valeant could seriously thwart its GI plans: analyst chelfand Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:58
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

Recipharm deals boost revenues big time for Swedish CDMO
Recipharm deals boost revenues big time for Swedish CDMO epalmer Thu, 02/23/2017 - 08:23
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

Pfizer plant hit with warning letter has history of FDA problems
Pfizer plant hit with warning letter has history of FDA problems epalmer Wed, 02/22/2017 - 21:50
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

Making (good) deals is hard to do, Gilead CEO says, but he's working on it
Making (good) deals is hard to do, Gilead CEO says, but he's working on it esagonowsky Thu, 02/23/2017 - 11:05
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

Lawmakers decry Army’s planned Zika vaccine license to Sanofi
Lawmakers decry Army’s planned Zika vaccine license to Sanofi esagonowsky Thu, 02/23/2017 - 14:21
02/23/17, Fierce Pharma

Bacterial transplant could ease eczema symptoms, treat staph infections
Bacterial transplant could ease eczema symptoms, treat staph infections aalidrus Thu, 02/23/2017 - 11:47
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

BMJ warns of global impact of Trump on R&D, regulation
BMJ warns of global impact of Trump on R&D, regulation nick.paul.taylor Thu, 02/23/2017 - 03:27
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

Cyclacel AML drug fails phase 3, wiping 30% off stock
Cyclacel AML drug fails phase 3, wiping 30% off stock nick.paul.taylor Thu, 02/23/2017 - 08:46
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

Takeda to trial depression-monitoring Apple Watch app
Takeda to trial depression-monitoring Apple Watch app nick.paul.taylor Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:23
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

Evotec and Oxford University hand out first drug discovery awards
Evotec and Oxford University hand out first drug discovery awards badams Thu, 02/23/2017 - 04:15
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

Incyte pens cancer I-O pact with University of Pennsylvania’s cancer center
Incyte pens cancer I-O pact with University of Pennsylvania’s cancer center badams Thu, 02/23/2017 - 09:20
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

EuroBiotech Report: The Trump effect, Cancer buyout talk, Merck KGaA reject advances and TiGenix cell therapy data
EuroBiotech Report: The Trump effect, Cancer buyout talk, Merck KGaA reject advances and TiGenix cell therapy data nick.paul.taylor Thu, 02/23/2017 - 06:41
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

EuroBiotech:​​​ ​​​More​​​ ​​​Articles​​​ ​​​of​​​ ​​​Note
EuroBiotech:​​​ ​​​More​​​ ​​​Articles​​​ ​​​of​​​ ​​​Note nick.paul.taylor Thu, 02/23/2017 - 05:57
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

Chutes & Ladders: FDA’s personalized medicine head leaves for Grail
Chutes & Ladders: FDA’s personalized medicine head leaves for Grail aliu Thu, 02/23/2017 - 15:46
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

Aveo takes baby step forward for once-rejected tivozanib
Aveo takes baby step forward for once-rejected tivozanib phil Thu, 02/23/2017 - 09:05
02/23/17, Fierce Biotech

New approach for the capture of tumor-derived exosomes from a prostate cancer cell line
Figure a shows captured exosomes on ligand-baited nanosprings, the exosomes are indicated by the arrows. Figure b shows a TEM image of captured exosomes following negative staining with phosphotungstic acid (PTA) PH = 7.1. In a new paper in Springer’s Journal of Materials Science, researchers at Washington State University report a new approach for the ...
02/23/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

Manipulating exosomal content by genetic transfection
Exosomes are responsible for intercellular communication between tumor cells and others in the tumor microenvironment. These microvesicles promote oncogensis and can support towards metastasis by promoting a pro-tumorogenic environment. Modifying the exosomal content and exosome delivery are emerging novel cancer therapies. However, the clinical translation is limited due to feasibility of isolating and delivery of ...
02/23/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

Respiratory syncytial virus vaccine enters clinical testing
NIH-led trial to evaluate RSV vaccine’s safety in healthy adults.
02/22/17, National Institutes of Health

Rare Disease Day at NIH event features advances in rare diseases research
Rare diseases affect an estimated 25 million Americans.
02/22/17, National Institutes of Health

NIH consortium takes aim at vascular disease-linked cognitive impairment and dementia
MarkVCID brings team science approach to small vessel disease biomarkers in the brain.
02/22/17, National Institutes of Health

Itch Neurons in Mouse Spinal Cords Can Sense Pain
Neurons in the spinal cord thought to be itch-specific also act as a braking mechanism for intense pain, scientists show.
02/22/17, The Scientist

RNA-Seq Reveals An Aging-Related Effect on the Circadian Clock
Some genes controlled by the body’s circadian clock are more active in older fruit flies compared to younger ones. And oxidative stress can induce the expression of these genes in young flies, according to a study published today (February 21) in Nature Communications. Disruption of the 24-hour circadian clock has previously been shown to be ...
02/22/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

RNA-Seq 2017 – Full Event Guide Now Available
Hear from 18+ world class scientists from the likes of Mayo Clinic, Pfizer, Stanford University, Bristol Myers Squibb and more. Discover how they are successfully applying RNA-Seq technology to supercharge discovery and development of new drugs, targets and biomarkers. You will hear from leaders in the RNAseq community. Presentations will explore the implications of using different methods, both lab ...
02/22/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

DRAP – compacting and correcting Trinity and Oases RNA-Seq de novo assemblies
De novo transcriptome assembly of short reads is now a common step in expression analysis of organisms lacking a reference genome sequence. Several software packages are available to perform this task. Even if their results are of good quality it is still possible to improve them in several ways including redundancy reduction or error correction. ...
02/22/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

Priority review for Pfizer’s ALL drug
US regulators have agreed to undertake a speedy review of Pfizer's experimental drug inotuzumab ozogamicin as a treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
02/22/17, PharmaTimes

MSD, Wayra unveil Velocity Health winners
Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and Wayra UK have unveiled the 2017 winners of Velocity Health, a ground-breaking preventative digital healthcare accelerator programme designed to address key care challenges.
02/22/17, PharmaTimes

Final NICE yes for Amicus’ Fabry disease drug
Cost regulators for NHS therapies in England and Wales have now published final guidelines endorsing the use of Amicus Therapeutics' Galafold for treating the rare genetic disorder Fabry disease.
02/22/17, PharmaTimes

EU nod for Roche’s lung cancer drug Alecensa
European regulators have given the go-ahead to Roche's Alecensa as a treatment for people with previously treated ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
02/22/17, PharmaTimes

Relish2 mediates bursicon homodimer-induced prophylactic immunity in the mosquito Aedes aegypti

02/22/17, Nature

Testicular Dnmt3 expression and global DNA methylation are down-regulated by gonadotropin releasing hormones in the ricefield eel Monopterus albus

02/22/17, Nature

Deep sequencing and transcriptome analyses to identify genes involved in secoiridoid biosynthesis in the Tibetan medicinal plant Swertia mussotii

02/22/17, Nature

Methylated-antibody affinity purification to improve proteomic identification of plant RNA polymerase Pol V complex and the interacting proteins

02/22/17, Nature

Blood-based omic profiling supports female susceptibility to tobacco smoke-induced cardiovascular diseases

02/22/17, Nature

Biomolecular condensates: organizers of cellular biochemistry

02/22/17, Nature

DNA G-quadruplexes in the human genome: detection, functions and therapeutic potential

02/22/17, Nature

An epigenetics gold rush: new controls for gene expression

02/22/17, Nature

Reconstitution of the tubular endoplasmic reticulum network with purified components

02/22/17, Nature

Intragenic DNA methylation prevents spurious transcription initiation

02/22/17, Nature

Editing and methylation at a single site by functionally interdependent activities

02/22/17, Nature

The RNA code comes into focus

02/22/17, Nature

Molecular biology: RNA editing packs a one-two punch

02/22/17, Nature

Bacterial physiology: Wrapping the cell in a CozE shell

02/22/17, Nature

The short ASCC3 RNA isoform functions as a long non-coding RNA
Researchers from the Francis Crick Institute analyzed the transcription-related DNA damage response on a genome-wide scale with great spatial and temporal resolution. Upon UV irradiation, a slowdown of transcript elongation and restriction of gene activity to the promoter-proximal ∼25 kb is observed. This is associated with a shift from expression of long mRNAs to shorter ...
02/22/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

CRISPR-Mediated Interference (CRISPRi) of Long Non-Coding RNA (lncRNA)
by Jerry Zon More Methodology from CRISPR Mania lncRNA Function Blocked by CRISPRi Mysteries of lncRNA Can Now be Deciphered by CRISPRi This blog is about yet another example of a powerful new methodology spawned by intense scientific interest in using CRISPR-related technologies. This near mania for all things CRISPR is reflected by there being ...
02/22/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Vaccine Efficiency and Limited Autoimmunity May Be Enhanced by Plasma Cell Discovery
A research team led by investigators at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine says it has come to a better understanding of how plasma cells—long-lived B cells that reside in the bone marrow and churn out antibodies against previously encountered vaccines or pathogens—are maintained by the body. While plasma cells are vital components of the immune system, they can also be a contributor to disease, as is the case in autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and in certain cancers, such as multiple myeloma. Using a specialized type of microscope that captures the movement and interaction of cells in living organisms, the scientists observed that, in the bone marrow, regulatory T cells closely interact with plasma cells and support them. When the T cells aren't there, plasma cells vanish. "This interaction was completely unanticipated," said senior author Christopher A. Hunter, Ph.D., Mindy ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Smallest CRISPR So Far Comes from Food Poisoning Bacteria
Being able to package the genome-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 into a delivery system that can readily target a vast number of tissues in the body has been the goal of molecular biologists since the editing technique as discovered a few years ago. Now, scientists at the Center for Genome Engineering, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in Korea, in collaboration with ToolGen, and Seoul National University have engineered the smallest CRISPR/Cas9 to date, delivered it to the muscle cells and in the eyes of mice via adeno-associated viruses (AAV), and used it to modify a gene causing blindness. The new, small Cas9 enzyme, expected to become a useful therapeutic tool against common and undruggable disease targets, originated from the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni —a common cause of food poisoning.   The findings from this study were published recently in Nature Communications in an article entitled “ In Vivo Genome ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

New Icahn Stake Causes BMS Stock to Rise
Carl Icahn is reported to have taken a stake in Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) yesterday, the same day the pharma giant announced plans to satisfy another activist investor by adding three directors to its board and buying back $2 billion of its stock. News of Icahn’s reported stake in BMS sent shares higher at the close of trading yesterday, with the stock climbing to $57.21 before sliding to a closing price of $54.78, up 0.35% from $54.59 at the close of the previous trading day Friday. Icahn’s undisclosed stake was reported by The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources in also attributing to him the view that BMS’ pipeline would make the company attractive enough to be a takeover target. Icahn is the second activist investor to emerge at BMS since the fourth quarter of last year, when Jana Partners became a shareholder in the company. ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Lantheus and GE Healthcare Propose Global Deal for CAD Imaging Agent
GE Healthcare and Lantheus Medical Imaging signed a term sheet for the continued Phase III development and global commercialization of Lantheus’s flurpiridaz F 18, a positron emission tomography (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) agent for diagnosing coronary artery disease. The proposed deal, which the firms announced late yesterday, would see GE Healthcare take over all funding for the program, including a second Phase III study, and global commercialization. Priority territories include the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan. If the deal is ratified as detailed, Lantheus will receive $5 million upfront and potentially another $60 million in regulatory and sales milestones, plus sales royalties. The Lantheus Holdings subsidiary would also retain an option to co-promote flurpiridaz F 18 in the U.S. “We are excited about the prospect of GE Healthcare being our global partner to complete the development of flurpiridaz F 18 and bring this next-generation agent to ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

FDA Clears SeptiCyte™ LAB for Suspected Sepsis Patients
The FDA granted 510(k) clearance to Immunexpress for the use of its SeptiCyte™ LAB as an aid in differentiating infection-positive (sepsis) from infection-negative ( systemic inflammatory response syndrome, or SIRS) systemic inflammation in critically ill patients on their first day of intensive care unit admission. SeptiCyte LAS is the first RNA-based clinical diagnostic tool, direct from whole blood, to aid medical providers in the early identification of infection in suspected sepsis patients, according to the company. “Sepsis is a medical emergency. When recognized and treated early, lives are saved and costs are reduced,” said Roy Davis M.D., Ph.D., Immunexpress’ CMO. “Standardized, rapid and objective diagnostics are needed for better clinical agreement in these patients. The SeptiCyte LAB blood test aids in differentiating infection in 100% of suspected sepsis patients in as few as 4.5 hours from sample draw.” Sepsis is a complication caused by a patient’s ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Drug Combo Can Regenerate Hair Cells, May Restore Hearing Loss
Each of us has just 15,000 cochlear hair cells, which is a problem because our hearing wanes a little bit every time one of these cells is lost or damaged. Ordinarily, we cannot regenerate these cells, so when we lose large numbers of them due to noise exposure, toxic drugs, or aging, we’re out of luck. But hair cells have been regenerated in the laboratory, raising hopes that treatments could be developed to restore full hearing to those who have suffered hearing loss due to hair cell reductions. For any new treatment to be effective, it must not only regenerate hair cells, it must also produce them in abundance. Until recently, attempts to regenerate hair cells have failed to produce the luxuriant growth that would be needed to combat hearing loss. A fresh attempt, however, is looking more promising. In a study published online February 21 in ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Celltrion's Rituximab Biosimilar Truxima Approved in Europe
The European Commission cleared Celltrion Healthcare’s rituximab biosimilar Truxima™ for all approved indications of its reference drug, Roche’s blockbuster MabThera/Rituxan, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and microscopic polyangiitis. Truxima is the first biosimilar approved for a cancer indication in Europe. “We are excited to offer the first biosimilar monoclonal antibody in oncology,” stated Jung-Jin Seo, chairman of Celltrion Group. “With our partners across Europe, we will work together to ensure that Truxima is available to the many patients who can benefit from this treatment.” MabThera/Rituxan is Roche’s biggest selling drug and will now have to compete with the cheaper Truxima across multiple indications. Global sales of the Swiss drugmaker's MabThera/Rituxan were CHF 7.3 billion (approximately $7.2 billion) in 2016, up 3% on 2015 sales. 2016 sales in the U.S. were up 2% at CHF 3.911 billion (roughly $3.86 billion), ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Argos Says Lead Candidate Likely to Fail Phase III Trial
Argos Therapeutics said today that its lead product candidate rocapuldencel-T is likely to fail a Phase III trial assessing the cancer immunotherapy in combination with Pfizer’s Sutent ® ( sunitinib malate) and standard-of-care for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Argos said its disclosure followed a planned interim data review from the Phase III ADAPT trial by the trial’s Independent Data Monitoring Committee. The committee recommended that the study be halted, concluding that it was unlikely to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in the study’s primary endpoint of overall survival in the combination treatment arm using the intent-to-treat population. “We are extremely disappointed with these results, which included 75% of the targeted events needed to permit the primary analysis and assessment of overall survival in the study,” Argos president and CEO Jeff Abbey said in a statement. The company added that it was analyzing the preliminary ...
02/22/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Pfizer, Merck, Lilly execs urge tax code revamp in letter to Congress
Pfizer, Merck, Lilly execs urge tax code revamp in letter to Congress chelfand Wed, 02/22/2017 - 10:43
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

Icahn has snapped up a Bristol-Myers stake. Could megamerger pressure be far behind?
Icahn has snapped up a Bristol-Myers stake. Could megamerger pressure be far behind? tracy Wed, 02/22/2017 - 07:31
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

Bayer's hefty 2016 pharma growth underlines danger of neglecting R&D for Monsanto buy
Bayer's hefty 2016 pharma growth underlines danger of neglecting R&D for Monsanto buy tracy Wed, 02/22/2017 - 09:59
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

Amgen strikes Enbrel 'outcomes' contract with Harvard Pilgrim
Amgen strikes Enbrel 'outcomes' contract with Harvard Pilgrim epalmer Wed, 02/22/2017 - 10:47
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

Johnson & Johnson tops its peers in the 'most-admired' department—again
Johnson & Johnson tops its peers in the 'most-admired' department—again beth.bulik Tue, 02/21/2017 - 19:48
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

FDA slaps Chinese manufacturer in warning letter for obstructing inspection
FDA slaps Chinese manufacturer in warning letter for obstructing inspection aliu Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:58
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

Dr. Reddy's API plant stays on probation with an FDA Form 483
Dr. Reddy's API plant stays on probation with an FDA Form 483 epalmer Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:47
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

Shire and Pfizer aside, pharma took an M&A break last year to await U.S. election results: report
Shire and Pfizer aside, pharma took an M&A break last year to await U.S. election results: report esagonowsky Wed, 02/22/2017 - 10:07
02/22/17, Fierce Pharma

Medrobotics raises $20M to expand robotic surgery system
Medrobotics raises $20M to expand robotic surgery system nick.paul.taylor Wed, 02/22/2017 - 09:45
02/22/17, Fierce Biotech

Icon to validate PROs as measurement of clinical endpoints for the FDA
Icon to validate PROs as measurement of clinical endpoints for the FDA aliu Wed, 02/22/2017 - 09:43
02/22/17, Fierce Biotech

FDA clears Immunexpress’ RNA-based, whole-blood sepsis Dx
FDA clears Immunexpress’ RNA-based, whole-blood sepsis Dx aalidrus Wed, 02/22/2017 - 10:23
02/22/17, Fierce Biotech

FDA clears 7SBio's 'virtually painless' blood collection device
FDA clears 7SBio's 'virtually painless' blood collection device aalidrus Wed, 02/22/2017 - 15:59
02/22/17, Fierce Biotech

PPD in nephrology collab with field expert Frenova
PPD in nephrology collab with field expert Frenova aliu Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:56
02/22/17, Fierce Biotech

ImmusanT's celiac disease immunotherapy passes first clinical test
ImmusanT's celiac disease immunotherapy passes first clinical test phil Wed, 02/22/2017 - 09:30
02/22/17, Fierce Biotech

The Role of Exosomes in Cancer Metastasis
Exosomes are small membrane vesicles with a size ranging from 40-100nm. They can serve as functional mediators in cell interaction leading to cancer metastasis. Most studies of the pathogenesis of metastasis focus on genetic or phenotypic changes of the cancer cell itself, however, there is growing evidence that cancer cells communicate with each other and ...
02/22/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

New Data Shows Caris Life Sciences’ ADAPT Platform Detects Breast Cancer via Liquid Biopsy of Circulating Exosomes
Caris Life Sciences®, a leading innovator in molecular science focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced the results of a study that demonstrates the ability of the company’s ADAPT Biotargeting System™ to detect and classify women with or without breast cancer based on a minimally-invasive liquid biopsy of circulating exosomes from blood ...
02/22/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

NIH-supported trials of testosterone therapy in older men report mixed results
Hormone treatment improved bone strength and hemoglobin levels; may increase cardiovascular risk; had no effect on cognition.
02/21/17, National Institutes of Health

NIH begins study of vaccine to protect against mosquito-borne diseases
Experimental vaccine targets mosquito saliva.
02/21/17, National Institutes of Health

Experimental PfSPZ malaria vaccine provides durable protection against multiple strains in NIH clinical trial
Earlier research found the vaccine to be safe, well-tolerated and protective for more than a year.
02/21/17, National Institutes of Health

Opinion: Is a Clone Really Born at Age Zero?
More lessons from Dolly the sheep
02/21/17, The Scientist

An Aging-Related Effect on the Circadian Clock
Stress-related genes may be preferentially and rhythmically expressed as part of the circadian rhythms of older fruit flies, researchers report.  
02/21/17, The Scientist

Science Policy: Anxiety and Resolve at AAAS Conference
A panel discussion on channeling science into policy served as a forum for debating the role of scientists under the current administration. 
02/21/17, The Scientist

?Waviness? Protects Nerves When Whale Mouths Stretch
Rorqual whales’ mouths can stretch to more than double their length without causing damage, thanks to two layers of neuronal coiling. 
02/21/17, The Scientist

Binarized analysis of isomiR profiles from RNA-Seq data can discriminate among cancers
Isoforms of human miRNAs (isomiRs) are constitutively expressed with tissue- and disease-subtype-dependencies. Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University studied 10 271 tumor datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to evaluate whether isomiRs can distinguish amongst 32 TCGA cancers. Unlike previous approaches, they built a classifier that relied solely on ‘binarized’ isomiR profiles: each isomiR is ...
02/21/17, Transcriptome Research & Industry News

NICE draft guidelines reject Ipsen’s Cabometyx
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued its first draft guidelines on Ipsen's Cabometyx, recommending against the drug's routine use on the National Health Service as a treatment for pre-treated advanced renal cell carcinoma.
02/21/17, PharmaTimes

NHS books £886m year-to-date deficit
The NHS provider sector has generated a year-to-date deficit of £886 million, with the sector forecasting a year-end deficit of £873 million, show figures published by NHS Improvement.
02/21/17, PharmaTimes

BMA report highlights NHS bed crisis
The number of overnight hospital beds available to patients in England has decreased by a fifth in a decade, according to research by the British Medical Association.
02/21/17, PharmaTimes

Trevena's Oliceridine Analgesic Meets Primary Endpoints in Two Phase III Studies
Trevena confirmed that it remains on track to file an NDA with the FDA later this year for its intravenous analgesic oliceridine (TRV130) on the back of positive topline data from two placebo-controlled Phase III studies. The pivotal APOLLO-1 and APOLLO-2 studies evaluated three doses of oliceridine in the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain following bunionectomy (APOLLO-1) and abdominoplasty, (APOLLO-2). Data reported today confirmed that both trials met their primary responder rate endpoints and also demonstrated efficacy comparable with that of morphine, based on responder rates. Additional trial data indicated that oliceridine therapy may demonstrate improved respiratory safety and gastrointestinal tolerability when compared with morphine. “We believe the data for all three dose regimens will support FDA approval of IV oliceridine with a broad indication of management of moderate-to-severe acute pain,” commented Maxine Gowen, Ph.D., Trevena CEO. “These successful trials cap a development program that has shown ...
02/21/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Scientists Create Active Controllable Electronic DNA Switch
DNA has unique electrical properties that have for years interested pioneering engineers trying to advance the development of tiny, low-cost electronic devices. Now, a research team led by scientists at Arizona State University (ASU) have developed the first controllable DNA switch to regulate the flow of electricity within a single, atomic-sized molecule—much like flipping your light switch at home, only on a scale 1000 times smaller than a human hair. "It has been established that charge transport is possible in DNA, but for a useful device one wants to be able to turn the charge transport on and off. We achieved this goal by chemically modifying DNA," explained senior study investigator Nongjian Tao, Ph.D., professor of electrical engineering and director of the Center for Biosensors and Bioelectronics within the Biodesign Institute at ASU. "Not only that, but we can also adapt the modified DNA as a probe to ...
02/21/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Sarepta Sells Priority Review Voucher to Gilead for $125M
Sarepta Therapeutics said today it will sell its Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher (PRV) to Gilead Sciences for $125 million upfront. Sarepta obtained the voucher when the FDA in September approved the company’s Exondys 51™ (eteplirsen) as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) amenable to exon 51 skipping. Gilead’s identity as the buyer was disclosed by Sarepta in a regulatory filing. Gilead emerged from “multiple pharmaceutical and biotech companies” to which Sarepta said it reached out during an “extensive sales process” overseen by Credit Suisse. “The sale of the PRV provides an important source of nondilutive capital to support the rapid advancement of our follow-on exon-skipping candidates and next-generation RNA-targeted antisense platform,” Sarepta CEO Edward Kaye, M.D., said in a statement. Sarepta’s pipeline includes potential treatments for DMD amenable to exon 53 skipping (the Phase II candidate SRP-4053) and amenable to exon ...
02/21/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Roche/Chugai's Alecensa Wins Conditional EC Approval for ALK-Positive NSCLC
Roche and Chugai’s oral anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor Alecensa ® (alectinib) was granted conditional approval by the European Commission as monotherapy for treating ALK-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adult patients who have previously been treated with crizotinib. Alecensa was originally discovered by Roche’s majority-owned Japanese drugmaker Chugai. Roche has developed the drug in markets including the U.S. and Europe. Conditional approval of Alecensa in the EU is based on data from the pivotal Phase II NP28673 and NP28761 trials. The studies demonstrated that Alecensa therapy shrank tumors in up to 52.2% of patients in the target population and increased progression-free survival by up to 8.9 months. “We believe that the approval of Alecensa by the EC will bring great hope for patients in the EU living with this disease,” said Dr. Yasushi Ito, Chugai’s svp, Head of Project & Lifecycle Management Unit. “We are ...
02/21/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Marine Snail Venom May Serve as Opioid Alternative for Pain Relief
Researchers at the University of Utah reportedly have found a compound that blocks pain by targeting a pathway not associated with opioids. Work with rodents indicates that the benefits continue long after the compound has cleared the body, notes the study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Opioids are highly addictive and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The medical community is in need of alternative therapies that do not rely on the opioid pathways to relieve pain. "Nature has evolved molecules that are extremely sophisticated and can have unexpected applications," begins Baldomera Olivera, Ph.D., professor in biology at the University of Utah. "We were interested in using venoms to understand different pathways in the nervous system." Conus regius , a small marine cone snail common to the Caribbean ...
02/21/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Encouraging Progress toward Reproducibility Reported
At AAAS 2017, a pair of panel discussions addressed the reproducibility crisis in science, particularly biomedical science, and suggested that it is manageable, provided stakeholders continue to demonstrate a commitment to quality. One panel, led by Leonard P. Freedman, Ph.D., president of Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI), was comprehensive. It prescribed a range of initiatives: Drive quality and ensure greater accountability through strengthened journal and funder policies. Create high-quality online training and proficiency testing and make them widely accessible. Engage the research community in establishing community-accepted standards and guidelines in specific scientific areas. Enhance open access to data and methodologies. The other panel, led by Rochelle Tractenberg, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center, and chair of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the American Statistical Association, focused on good practices in data analysis. Dr. Freedman followed ...
02/21/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

BioSense, Neovacs Agree €65M Deal for Therapeutic SLE Vaccine in China
BioSense negotiated an option to license Neovacs’ Phase II-stage IFN α- Kinoid therapeutic vaccine candidate for treating systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in China and selected territories. Under terms of the deal, Neovacs could receive up to €65 million (approximately $68.5 million) in up-front and milestone payments, not including any future sales royalties. The deal is the second signed by Neovacs for the IFN α -Kinoid candidate. During late 2015, the firm inked a strategic partnering agreement with Chong Kun Dang (CKD) Pharmaceuticals for the South Korean market. “While we have been able to retain rights for the rest of the world, especially the valuable U.S. and European markets, for which we have other discussions ongoing, we recognize that China is the world's second largest pharmaceutical market, where close to 1 million patients are suffering from lupus,” commented Miguel Sieler, Neovacs CEO. “This transaction, as well as the commercial ...
02/21/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Flu vaccines 48% effective so far this season, CDC says
Flu vaccines 48% effective so far this season, CDC says esagonowsky Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:31
02/21/17, Fierce Pharma

Gilead's hep C pain helps the rest of pharma on drug spending: analyst
Gilead's hep C pain helps the rest of pharma on drug spending: analyst esagonowsky Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:08
02/21/17, Fierce Pharma

An all-in-one mosquito-borne diseases vaccine? NIH is testing a candidate
An all-in-one mosquito-borne diseases vaccine? NIH is testing a candidate aliu Tue, 02/21/2017 - 15:45
02/21/17, Fierce Pharma

New Patent Application Published – Diagnostic Test for Early Stage Cancer
Disclosed are methods of identifying tumor-derived exosomes as an early cancer diagnostic, as well as for staging, Publication number WO2016201064 A1 Publication type Application Application number PCT/US2016/036629 Publication date Dec 15, 2016 Filing date Jun 9, 2016 Priority date Jun 9, 2015 Inventors Alan Schroit, Adi Gazdar, Ober E. Sally Ward Applicant The Board Of ...
02/21/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

MVP-mediated selective sorting of tumour suppressor miRNA into exosomes promotes tumour progression
Exosomes are emerging mediators of intercellular communication; whether the release of exosomes has an effect on the exosome donor cells in addition to the recipient cells has not been investigated to any extent. Here, researchers from the University of Louisville examine different exosomal miRNA expression profiles in primary mouse colon tumour, liver metastasis of colon ...
02/21/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

Marching for Science, from Berlin to Sydney
Satellite marches across the globe aim to stand in solidarity with US scientists and highlight issues in their home countries. 
02/20/17, The Scientist

lncRNA co-expression network model for the prognostic analysis of acute myeloid leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a highly heterogeneous hematologic malignancy with great variability of prognostic behaviors. Previous studies have reported that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play an important role in AML and may thus be used as potential prognostic biomarkers. However, thus use of lncRNAs as prognostic biomarkers in AML and their detailed mechanisms of ...
02/20/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Featured lncRNA Job – Technical Scientist
Position available One opening for either a Technical Scientist or Technical Staff Job description We are seeking a highly motivated individual to elucidate the molecular function of long non-coding RNA based on functional genomics strategy (e.g. high-throughput screening). The ideal candidate should have a strong background in managing and executing automation system such as automated ...
02/20/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Post-doc position available – cardiac regeneration
Job: Faculty Organization: SOM Clinical Departments Title: Postdoctoral Fellow Research Associate-Surgery Location: null Requisition ID: 17000060 The major focus of our research projects is to determine the mechanism for cardiac regeneration using different cell-based preparations, including exosomes, condition media, and the stem cells themselves and testing these cell-based products in a variety of regenerative assays. In ...
02/20/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

Liquid Biopsy for Cancer – Circulating Tumor Cells, Circulating Free DNA or Exosomes?
Precision medicine and personalized medicine are based on the development of biomarkers, and liquid biopsy has been reported to be able to detect biomarkers that carry information on tumor development and progression. Compared with traditional ‘solid biopsy’, which cannot always be performed to determine tumor dynamics, liquid biopsy has notable advantages in that it is ...
02/20/17, Exosome RNA Research & Industry News

Powerful optical imaging technology catches DNA naturally fluorescing
Biomedical engineers have developed imaging technology that is the first to see DNA 'blink,' or fluoresce. The tool enables researchers to study individual biomolecules (DNA, chromatin, proteins) as well as important global patterns of gene expression, which could yield insights into cancer.
02/17/17, ScienceDaily

A panel of four-long noncoding RNA signatures predicts prostate cancer survival
Growing evidences showed that lncRNAs abnormally expressed in cancer tissues and played irreplaceable roles in tumorigenesis, progression and metastasis. In present study, researchers from Yangzhou University aimed to identify lncRNA expression signature that can predict biochemical recurrence-free (BCR-free) survival of prostate cancer (PCa) patients. A total of 291 patients with pathologic confirmed PCa in The ...
02/17/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Sartorius Joins EMBL Program to Support Academic Training
Sartorius has joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s (EMBL) Corporate Partnership Program of initiatives, designed to offer industrial support to academic training and education. Sartorius will in addition fund travel bursaries for teachers attending courses run by EMBL’s Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences, or ELLS. The EMBL Corporate Partnership Program includes training courses, conference sponsorship, and workshops for young scientists at the EMBL International Center for Advanced Training (EICAT). “By focusing on professional training at all levels, and ensuring that the next generation of young talent has access to the latest knowledge, we aim to support the scientific community to reach its maximum potential,” commented Karen Storm, vp for marketing at Sartorius’s Lab Products & Services Division. Yesterday, EMBL and GSK announced a 5-year collaboration to develop new technologies to help scientists understand and predict how drugs impact on the body at the molecular cellular and ...
02/17/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Eye Study Advances Ability to Improve Clinical Measurement of Retinal Degeneration
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers studying rod cell proteins GARP1 and GARP2, or glutamic acid-rich proteins 1 and 2, to learn how they function in normal phototransduction in the eye have found that GARP2 accelerates retinal degeneration in mice that lack another rod cell protein, cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-gated cation channel β-subunit, involved in producing the electrical signal. The knockout genetic background they used allows the potentially detrimental effect of GARP1 and GARP2 to be amplified, and also allows the possible roles of GARP1 and GARP2 to be distinguished. The goal, as described in a study ("GARP2 Accelerates Retinal Degeneration in Rod cGMP-Gated Cation Channel β-Subunit Knockout Mice") published in Scientific Reports, is dissecting the roles of GARP protein structure and function in the light-sensing rod cells. Marci DeRamus, Ph.D., Steven Pittler, Ph.D., and colleagues in the UAB School of Optometry, say they also have ...
02/17/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Capricor Drops Cenderitide to Focus on Cell and Exosome Therapies
Capricor Therapeutics is dropping further development of its Phase II-stage heart failure drug Cenderitide and is terminating its license agreement with the Mayo Clinic for the natriuretic peptide receptor agonist program. "Our decision to return these rights is a strategic move as we prioritize our efforts to advance our core cell and exosome-based therapeutic development programs," said Linda Marbán, Ph.D., Capricor president and CEO. Capricor said it expects to reach key clinical milestones with both the cell and exome therapy programs during 2017. Topline data from the Phase I/II HOPE clinical study with lead cell therapy candidate CAP-1002 (allogeneic cardiosphere-derived cells) is expected during Q2 2017. The trial is evaluating CAP-1002 in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)-associated heart disease. The firm said it is separately planning a clinical trial, anticipated to start during 2017, to investigate whether CAP-1002 therapy can boost skeletal muscle function in men and ...
02/17/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Cancer Runs Slower When Its Clock Is Ticking
Most of us work more quickly when we’re “on the clock,” but the same cannot be said of cancer cells, which never proliferate more hastily than after they “punch out,” that is, after they lose any sense of circadian rhythm. Cancer cells spin out of control not only if their internal biological clocks stop entirely, but also if they simply malfunction. Although circadian disruption has long been associated an increased pace of carcinogenesis, scientists had never demonstrated that directly targeting the biological clock of cancer cells could slow tumor development. A team of scientists at McGill University, however, recently investigated circadian clock function in a mouse model of cancer. They found, essentially, that putting cancer back on the clock could reduce tumor growth. "There were indications suggesting that the malfunctioning clock contributed to rapid tumor growth, but this had never been demonstrated,” noted Nicolas Cermakian, Ph.D., a ...
02/17/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

ArQule, Daiichi Sankyo Say Cancer Candidate Tivantinib Fails Phase III Trial
Daiichi Sankyo and ArQule acknowledged today that ArQule’s lead product, the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) candidate tivantinib (ARQ 197), has failed the Phase III METIV-HCC trial. Tivantinib did not meet its primary endpoint in METIC-HCC of improving overall survival, the companies said. Their statement did not include details of the results, saying those would be presented at an unspecified “upcoming scientific forum.” METIV-HCC—which stands for MET-high patients receiving tivantinib in advanced HCC—is a biomarker-selected, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized Phase III trial comparing tivantinib (2:1) to best supportive care in patients with MET-overexpressing, inoperable HCC intolerant to, or previously treated with, systemic therapy. A total of 340 patients with MET-overexpressing HCC analyzed by a validated immunohistochemical assay were randomized in the trial’s intent-to-treat population. Beyond overall survival, the trial measures several secondary endpoints, including progression-free survival and safety. Tivantinib is an oral inhibitor of the MET receptor tyrosine ...
02/17/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Amygdala Acquires Phase II-Ready Addiction Candidate from Gilead
Amygdala Neurosciences has acquired the mid-stage behavior and substance addictions candidate GS-6637 from Gilead Sciences for an undisclosed price. “Completion of this transaction launches Amygdala Neurosciences with a Phase-II ready asset that we believe has the potential to become a treatment for addiction,” Peter Strumph, Amygdala's co-founder and CEO, said yesterday in a statement. “In 2017, we look forward to initiating clinical trials for the treatment of both cocaine and alcohol use disorders.” GS-6637 is a highly selective aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) inhibitor that, according to Amygdala, has the potential to treat behavior and substance addictions based on a mechanism of action that prevents pathophysiologic dopamine surges and associated craving without changes to basal dopamine. The company says GS-6637 uses a novel pathway to modify dopaminergic tone. GS-6637 showed promising pharmacokinetics and safety profile in three Phase I trials assessing the candidate in 95 human patients. ...
02/17/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Modifying fat content in soybean oil with the molecular scissors Cpf1
Successful inactivation of two genes in soybean using CRISPR-Cpf1.
02/16/17, ScienceDaily

Investigational PfSPZ malaria vaccine demonstrates considerable protection in Malian adults for duration of malaria season
In 2015, 212 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, and 429,000 people with malaria died.
02/16/17, National Institutes of Health

Wael Al-Delaimy: An American Scientist Born in Iraq
The 49-year-old epidemiologist immigrated to the U.S. in 2000 for a postdoc position. He’s now a professor of family medicine and public health.
02/16/17, The Scientist

Abundant Sequence Errors in Public Databases
A new algorithm reveals hoards of preparation-induced DNA mutations in publicly available human sequences.
02/16/17, The Scientist

Indian Funding Agency Releases List of Journals Used to Evaluate Researchers
While the University Grants Commission’s system prioritizes peer-reviewed papers, experts not involved in the initiative express concern that it could incentivize cheating.
02/16/17, The Scientist

Vedanta Teams with Stanford and Leiden Universities for Microbiome Therapeutics
Microbiome therapeutics firm Vedanta Biosciences has established separate partnerships with researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and at Leiden University Medical Center. The collaboration with Stanford University’s Kari Nadeau, M.D., Ph.D., will analyze connections between the gut microbiome and responses to oral immunotherapies in children with food allergies. Professor Nadeau is director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research. Vedanta’s partnership with professor Ed Kuijper M.D., Ph.D., professor of medical microbiology at Leiden University Medical Center, will derive clinical data from interventional studies of fecal transplantation in Clostridium difficile patients, from Netherlands Donor Feces Bank donors, and from studies in patients with graft-versus-host disease. Dr. Kuipjer is co-chair of the Netherlands Donor Feces Bank. Vedanta said it will feed clinical data into its in house discovery, development, and GMP manufacturing platform for rationally designed bacterial consortia treatments. Vedanta is developing a ...
02/16/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Valeant Psoriasis Drug Gets FDA Nod with Boxed Warning
The FDA approved Valeant Pharmaceuticals’s injectable plaque psoriasis therapy Siliq TM (brodalumab), but with a black box warning of suicidal ideation and behavior. Siliq availability will also be restricted through a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. "Patients and their health care providers should discuss the benefits and risks of Siliq before considering treatment,” said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of FDA’s Office of Drug Evaluation III, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Siliq is an interleukin-17 (IL-17) receptor-targeting monoclonal antibody that is designed to block inflammatory signals. The drug is indicated for patients who have failed to respond or have stopped responding to other systemic therapies. FDA approval was based on data from the AMAGINE program, which included three pivotal trials in 4373 adult patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who were candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. Siliq was originally developed at Amgen, and partnered with ...
02/16/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Rare Muscle Disease Treated Successfully with Gene Therapy
Work on gene therapy is showing significant progress for restoring muscle strength and prolonging lives in dogs with a previously incurable, inherited neuromuscular disease, according to scientists at the University of Washington (UW) Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. The disease arises from a mutation in genes that normally make myotubularin, a protein essential for proper muscle function. Puppies with this naturally occurring mutation exhibit several features of babies with the same defective gene. The rare disorder, called X-linked myotubular myopathy, or XLMTM, affects only males. It causes fatal muscle wasting. Both dogs and boys with the disease typically succumb in early life due to breathing difficulties.  For decades, researchers have struggled to find suitable treatments for genetic muscle diseases like this one. Collaborating research groups in the United States and France found a way to safely replace the disease-causing MTM gene with a ...
02/16/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Major Malaria Vaccine Breakthrough
The findings from two new studies have just been released describing the efficacy of a malaria vaccine, provided by the biotech company Sanaria. In the small, controlled clinical trials, the vaccine proved to be extremely efficacious and sustained effectiveness over a number of weeks. The new vaccine—called Sanaria ® PfSPZ-CVac—is composed of live, attenuated, and purified malaria sporozoites and the antimalarial drug chloroquine. Results from the two studies were published in Nature in an article  entitled “Sterile Protection against Human Malaria by Chemoattenuated PfSPZ Vaccine” and in The Lancet Infectious Diseases in an article entitled “Progress with the PfSPZ Vaccine for Malaria.”   In the Nature study, PfSPZ-CVac was administered to nine subjects three times over 8 weeks—the research demonstrated the three doses were also safe and effective when administered over just 10 days. Amazingly, the researchers report reported that all nine immunized subjects (100%) were protected against ...
02/16/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Lonza to Manufacture Selecta Gene Therapy Candidate for MMA
Lonza’s viral-based therapeutics unit Lonza Houston has agreed to manufacture an Anc80-AAV–based gene therapy product for Selecta Bioscience’s proprietary program for the treatment of methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) and may produce other Anc80-based products for which Selecta holds exclusive options, the companies said today. The companies said their strategic manufacturing agreement—whose value was not disclosed—will apply to Selecta’s program Lonza’s expertise in developing robust and industry-scale manufacturing platforms for viral-based products. “Lonza will utilize our extensive cGMP manufacturing knowledge and world-class quality systems to help Selecta Biosciences develop promising novel therapeutics for patients impacted by MMA and other devastating diseases,” Andreas Weiler, Ph.D., head of the Emerging Technologies Business Unit for Lonza’s Pharma & Biotech segment, said in a statement. Anc80-AAV, an in silico -designed synthetic gene therapy vector, has generated preclinical data suggesting its potential to provide what the companies termed superior gene expression levels in ...
02/16/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Epithelial Cells Put on the Rack to Extract Turnover Secrets
It was a stretch, but an investigation into epithelial cell turnover has revealed how cell division keeps pace with cell death. By subjecting epithelial cells to opposing mechanical tensions, scientists based at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and at the University of Utah discovered that stretching causes cell division. Also, the scientists learned that crowding causes cell expulsion and death. The rate of cell division must match the rate of cell death if cell populations are to maintain healthy densities. If the division/death balance is off, inflammatory diseases or cancers can arise. “If too many epithelial cells die, you can lose their organ barrier function, and inflammatory diseases like asthma and colitis can result,” explained Jody Rosenblatt, Ph.D., an investigator at HCI, an associate professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah, and the leader of the current study. “On the other hand, if too many ...
02/16/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Survival rate may be improving for extremely preterm infants
NIH-funded study also observes less neurological impairment among surviving infants.
02/15/17, National Institutes of Health

NIH research helps explain how antibody treatment led to sustained remission of HIV-like virus
Research presents a new target for HIV prevention and treatment, and sheds light on how HIV develops.
02/15/17, National Institutes of Health

International study suggests Nodding syndrome caused by response to parasitic protein
NIH-funded study also identifies potential new mechanism for some forms of epilepsy.
02/15/17, National Institutes of Health

Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case
The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board has ruled in favor of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard retaining intellectual property rights covered by its patents for CRISPR gene-editing technology.
02/15/17, The Scientist

In Silico identification and annotation of non-coding RNAs by RNA-seq and De Novo assembly of the transcriptome
The complexity of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) transcriptome has not yet been fully elucidated. To gain insights into the diversity and features of coding and non-coding RNA molecules of tomato fruits, researchers from the University of Naples Federico II generated strand-specific libraries from berries of two tomato cultivars grown in two open-field conditions with different soil ...
02/15/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Biophysics of lncRNA Symposium – interview with Gregor Neuert
The Chair of this symposium, Gregor Neuert, PhD, Vanderbilt University, talks to Biophysical Society TV about the emerging trends of long noncoding RNA – and what the future holds for the research.
02/15/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

X-Chem, Janssen Expand Inflammatory Disease Collaboration
X-Chem said today it has expanded its more than 2-year-old collaboration with Johnson & Johnson entity Janssen Biotech focused on discovering new treatments for inflammatory disease. Under the expanded collaboration—whose value was not disclosed—the partners said they will use X-Chem’s DEX™ platform to identify novel modulators for “challenging” disease targets. The multitarget expansion follows the licensing by Janssen last year of multiple series of X-Chem-discovered small molecules. Johnson & Johnson Innovation facilitated the expansion, X-Chem said, through which it will receive an up-front payment and research funding, and could receive additional payments and royalties tied to achieving clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones. The deal structure is similar to that of the original collaboration, launched in December 2014 and announced the following month . Last year, Janssen exercised a licensing option for a protein inhibitor program of inflammatory disease, triggering a milestone payment to X-Chem. The program ...
02/15/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

One Step Closer to Predicting Baldness
Will the future of genomics lead to the abolishment of the male combover, spray-on hair, or adverse side effects of preventative medicine for hair loss? Men around the world can only hope. Yet, results from a new study by researchers at The University of Edinburgh could allow some men to let their hair down, as the findings will allow scientists to make better predictions as to who may go bald. While previous work on male pattern baldness had uncovered a handful of genes related to the condition, in the current work, investigators identified more than 200 genetic regions associated with the condition.         “We identified hundreds of new genetic signals,” explained co-lead study investigator Saskia Hagenaars, a doctoral candidate at The University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology. “It was interesting to find that many of the genetics signals for male pattern baldness came from ...
02/15/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Judges Side with Broad Institute in CRISPR Patent Dispute
A three-judge panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has ruled in favor of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the bitter legal battle royal with University of California (UC), Berkeley, over who invented CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene-editing technology. The PTAB panel found “no interference in fact” between 12 patents related to CRISPR technology that list as inventor Feng Zhang, Ph.D., of the Broad Institute, and a patent application by Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. As a result, the application can be returned to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiner who previously determined it allowable for review. The Doudna/Charpentier application states claims covering the use of CRISPR in a bacterial system, while the Broad's patents focus on the use of CRISPR in eukaryotic systems, ...
02/15/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Designer Babies Yes, Superbabies No
If King Solomon had a science advisory group, it might have floated the idea of a baby-splitting policy, helping him anticipate which action he might take should he ever have to decide which of two women was a baby’s true mother. As things turned out, Solomon delivered a famously wise ruling. But today we’re less inclined to rely on seat-of-the-finery policy deliberations. Instead, we ask bodies such as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to help us anticipate difficult issues, such as deciding when germline engineering should be attempted. Germline engineering, the use of gene-editing technology to alter heritable characteristics, is sometimes loosely referred to as the creation of designer babies. It’s a touchy issue, and in the United States at least, it’s treated as something that can be discussed sometime in the indefinite future. Let the science fiction writers have ...
02/15/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

BTG and Society to Study Minimally Invasive Therapies in Immuno-Oncology
BTG said today it will partner with the Society of Interventional Oncology (SIO) to study the potential of minimally invasive therapies in immuno-oncology, through a collaboration whose value was not disclosed. The specialty drug developer and interventional oncology member organization reason that an expanded number of cancer patients could benefit from combinations of immuno-oncology agents with minimally invasive, loco-regional therapies of interventional oncology. “Our portfolio includes embolic beads, radioactive microspheres, and cryotherapy solutions, and this research will answer important questions about whether these minimally invasive therapies can expand the benefits of immuno-oncology drugs,” BTG CSO Melanie Lee, Ph.D., said in a statement. While checkpoint inhibitors turn off signals that can inhibit the ability of T cells to kill cancer cells, responses differ based on the different immunological challenges of different tumors, as well as factors in the local tumor microenvironment. Loco-regional therapies are designed to debulk ...
02/15/17, Genetic Engineering & Biotech News

Duplicated Genes May Reduce Resilience in Yeast
Researchers find that some duplicated yeast genes develop dependency—the loss of one copy leads to the failure of the other.
02/14/17, The Scientist

Sulfide-sensing mechanisms in purple bacteria
Scientists have uncovered a sulfide-responsive protein that helps control photosynthesis in the purple bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus.
02/13/17, ScienceDaily

Science Policy in 2017
The Scientist’s coverage of key science agencies, the early days of the Trump administration, and the March for Science
02/13/17, The Scientist

Opinion: Sometimes, Scientists Must March
Lessons learned from the “Death of Evidence” demonstration in Canada
02/13/17, The Scientist

Challenges of CRISPR/Cas9 applications for long non-coding RNA genes
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent a large subgroup of RNAs that are over 200 nucleotides long and have a limited protein-coding potential. They play an important role in diverse cellular processes by regulating the gene expression at transcriptional or post-transcriptional levels. This ability of lncRNAs to modulate gene expression renders them indispensable for normal development ...
02/13/17, lncRNA Research and Industry News

Cytoskeletons Direct Hydra Regeneration
Although hydra are known for regenerating even under the most dire circumstances, disrupting their cytoskeletal structures can interfere with the process, scientists show.
02/10/17, The Scientist

Bacteria fed synthetic iron-containing molecules turn into electrical generators
The bacterial world is rife with unusual talents, among them a knack for producing electricity. In the wild, 'electrogenic' bacteria generate current as part of their metabolism, and now researchers have found a way to confer that ability upon non-electrogenic bacteria. This technique could have applications for sustainable electricity generation and wastewater treatment.
02/09/17, ScienceDaily

Science Teaching Standards up for Revision in Texas
Despite a committee of educators recommending the removal of language challenging evolution in science curricula, state education board members vote to reintroduce controversial concepts. 
02/09/17, The Scientist

Next Generation: Ingestible Device Powered by Stomach Acid
An ingestible, electronic capsule can harvest energy from stomach acid for up to a week in a pig model system.
02/09/17, The Scientist

Pardis Sabeti: An American Scientist Born in Iran
When she entered the U.S. shortly before the Iranian revolution of 1979, the now 41-year-old geneticist was a refugee toddler. 
02/09/17, The Scientist

Toward Killing Cancer with Bacteria
Researchers employ an engineered microbe to destroy tumor cells in mice.
02/08/17, The Scientist

Non-Chromosomal DNA Drives Tumor Evolution
Researchers discover that short pieces of DNA harboring oncogenes are relatively widespread in cancer.
02/08/17, The Scientist

Opinion: Should Scientists Engage in Activism?
Scientists who accept funding with the tacit agreement that they keep their mouths shut about the government are far more threatening to an independent academy than those who speak their minds.
02/07/17, The Scientist

Q&A: William Happer, Possible Science Advisor to the President
The Princeton physicist told The Scientist that then-President–elect Donald Trump last month agreed with his position that climate change research has become a “cult movement.” Happer also shared his thoughts on federal research funding, demonstrators marching for science, and more.
02/06/17, The Scientist

Q&A: David Gelernter, Possible Science Advisor to the President
The Yale computer scientist last month met with then-President–elect Donald Trump and key advisors to discuss, among other things, the position of Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In a conversation with The Scientist, Gelernter shared his thoughts on climate change, the impacts of immigration on science, and more.
02/06/17, The Scientist

Bacterial Biosensor IDs Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
Using freeze-dried E. coli and disposable electrodes, scientists engineer a sensor that can quickly detect EDCs. 
02/03/17, The Scientist

RNA Vaccine for Zika Shows Promise
Researchers use modified messenger RNA to produce a vaccine that protected mice and nonhuman primates from infection.
02/02/17, The Scientist

Will a March Help Science?
As scientists and science advocates plan demonstrations in Washington, DC, and around the world, some question the ability of such activism to enact change. 
02/02/17, The Scientist

NIH to expand critical catalog for genomics research
Bethesda, Md., Wed., February 1, 2017 - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to expand its Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project, a fundamental genomics resource used by many scientists to study human health and disease. Funded NHGRI, a part of the NIH, the ENCODE Project strives to catalog all genes and regulatory elements - the parts of the genome that control whether genes are active or not - in humans and select model organisms. Four years of additional support will build on a long-standing commitment to developing freely available genomics resources for use by the scientific community.

02/02/17, National Human Genome Research Institute

Genetically modified insects could disrupt international food trade
Genetically modified organisms for pest control could end up as contaminants in agricultural products throughout the globe.
02/01/17, ScienceDaily

Scientists Offer Lab Space for Stranded Peers
Researchers in Europe and Canada are offering temporary bench and desk spaces to host scientists denied entry into the U.S. as a result of the President’s executive order on immigration.
02/01/17, The Scientist

Opinion: Improving FDA Evaluations Without Jeopardizing Safety and Efficacy
What can be done to lower development costs and drug prices?
02/01/17, The Scientist

Researchers explore essential cell behavior with crystal sensor
A team of scientists has developed a new tool to monitor under a microscope how cells attach to an adjacent substrate. Studying adhesion events can help researchers understand how tissues grow, how diseases spread, and how stem cells differentiate into more specific cell types.
01/31/17, ScienceDaily

Restoring a Native Island Habitat
Removal of non-native vegetation from an island ecosystem revives pollinator activity and, in turn, native plant growth. 
01/30/17, The Scientist

Unique Antibodies Open Path Toward New HIV Vaccines
A family of broadly neutralizing antibodies from a chronically infected donor provides a schematic for designing vaccines and treatments that target multiple strains of the virus.
01/27/17, The Scientist

Scientists Create First Human-Pig Chimeric Embryos
While the hope is to one day grow organs for transplantation into people, several technical and ethical challenges remain.
01/26/17, The Scientist

Monitoring Post-Mortem Gene Transcription in Mice and Zebrafish
Genes linked to embryonic development, stress, and cancer are increasingly transcribed into RNA after these animals die.
01/26/17, The Scientist

Opinion: Preparing for Potential Disasters
How to increase the resiliency of biotechnology organizations in the face of emergency risks
01/25/17, The Scientist

First stable semisynthetic organism created
Scientists have announced the development of the first stable semisynthetic organism.
01/24/17, ScienceDaily

Toward Breaking the Cold Chain
Research efforts aim to obviate the need for vaccine refrigeration.
01/24/17, The Scientist

Marijuana Research Still Stymied by Federal Laws
US scientists continue to have a hard time getting funding to study the health impacts of the drug. But cannabis research in Canada—where medical marijuana is legal nationwide—is different story.
01/23/17, The Scientist

Improved Semisynthetic Organism Created
Researchers generate an organism that can replicate artificial base pairs indefinitely.
01/23/17, The Scientist

New genetic engineering technique could help design, study biological systems
A new technique will help biologists tinker with genes, whether the goal is to turn cells into tiny factories churning out medicines, modify crops to grow with limited water or study the effects of a gene on human health. The technique allows scientists to precisely regulate how much protein is produced from a particular gene. The process is simple yet innovative and, so far, works in everything from bacteria to plants to human cells.
01/20/17, ScienceDaily

Lipids Take the Lead in Metastasis
Researchers find diverse ways that the molecules can regulate cancer’s spread.
01/20/17, The Scientist

Genome Digest
What researchers are learning as they sequence, map, and decode species’ genomes
01/20/17, The Scientist

Toward a Virus-Free Polio Vaccine
Researchers are developing polio vaccines based on the viral capsid alone. When produced in recombinant systems, these could eliminate the need to propagate live poliovirus for vaccine production. 
01/19/17, The Scientist

Unknown Protein Structures Predicted
Metagenomic sequence data boosts the power of protein modeling software to yield hundreds of new protein structure predictions.
01/19/17, The Scientist

Seal Whiskers Can Detect Weak Water Currents
The marine predators may use the mechanosensory hairs to detect fish that are hiding motionless on the seafloor.
01/18/17, The Scientist

How Traffic Noise Affects Tree Frogs
Constant exposure to the sounds of a busy road can impact a male European tree frog’s stress levels, immune system, and vocal sac coloration, scientists show.
01/18/17, The Scientist

Journals Seek Out Preprints
With its recruitment of dedicated “preprint editors,” PLOS Genetics makes official the practice of soliciting non-peer–reviewed manuscripts posted online. 
01/18/17, The Scientist

Replication Complications
An initiative to replicate key findings in cancer biology yields a preliminary conclusion: it’s difficult.
01/18/17, The Scientist

Next Generation: Mobile Microscope Detects DNA Sequences
A cell phone–based microscope can identify mutations in tumor tissue and image products of DNA sequencing reactions.
01/17/17, The Scientist

Opinion: Reuse and Reduce
Sharing leftover samples from preclinical experiments is one way biomedical researchers can make the most of animal models.
01/16/17, The Scientist

Pig gene advance could boost sperm stocks from prized animals
Gene-editing techniques could help to improve stocks of farmed pigs by boosting supplies of sperm from prized sires. Scientists have created male pigs that could be used as surrogates capable of producing sperm that contains the genetic blueprint of sought-after pigs. Researchers say the breakthrough will allow farmers to preserve sperm from prized animals in perpetuity.
01/13/17, ScienceDaily

Study: MicroRNA, Retroviruses Coordinate to Influence Pluripotency
Removing a specific miRNA from stem cells may induce the expression of endogenous retroviruses that enable the cells to form extra-embryonic lineages.
01/13/17, The Scientist

How Plant-Soil Feedback Affects Ecological Diversity
Researchers examine how underground microbes and nutrients affect plant populations.
01/13/17, The Scientist

Oliver Smithies, Technologist Behind Knockout Mice, Dies
The Nobel laureate and Lasker awardee developed tools that facilitated decades of genetics research, including starch gel electrophoresis and gene targeting.
01/13/17, The Scientist

Catching CRISPR in action: First all-atom simulation of genome editing in action
Scientists have performed the first all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of Cas9-catalyzed DNA cleavage in action. The simulations shed light on the process of Cas9 genome editing and helped resolve controversies about specific aspects of the cutting.
01/11/17, ScienceDaily

For viral predators of bacteria, sensitivity can be contagious
Scientists have shown for the first time how bacteria with resistance to a viral predator can become susceptible to it after spending time in the company of other susceptible or 'sensitive' bacteria. This 'contagious' sensitivity, enabling bacteriophage invasion into previously resistant cells, could have a major impact on the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria.
01/10/17, ScienceDaily

Scientists learn how to ramp up microbes' ability to make memories
Researchers have identified a mutation that prompts bacterial cells to acquire genetic memories 100 times more frequently than they do naturally. This discovery provides a powerful research tool and could bring scientists one step closer to developing DNA-based data storage devices.
01/05/17, ScienceDaily

Visualizing gene expression with MRI
A cellular gatekeeper for water molecules finds new use in magnetic resonance imaging, a new report explains.
12/23/16, ScienceDaily

An anti-CRISPR for gene editing
Researchers have discovered a way to program cells to inhibit CRISPR-Cas9 activity. 'Anti-CRISPR' proteins had previously been isolated from viruses that infect bacteria, but now scientists report three families of proteins that turn off CRISPR systems specifically used for gene editing. The work offers a new strategy to prevent CRISPR-Cas9 technology from making unwanted changes.
12/08/16, ScienceDaily

Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
As a plant extends its roots into the soil, the cells that form at their tips assume different roles, from transporting water to sensing gravity. A study points to one way by which these newly-formed cells take on their special identities, despite containing the same DNA. Researchers have identified a set of DNA-binding proteins in Arabidopsis roots that help precursor cells selectively read different parts of the same genetic script.
12/07/16, ScienceDaily

Highly efficient genome engineering in flowering plants
Plant biologists have developed a genome editing method to knockout target genes in a model plant with high efficiency. The team reports a new CRISPR/Cas9 vector for the model plant that can strongly induce inheritable mutations. This method is expected to become a powerful molecular tool for genome engineering in various plant species.
12/05/16, ScienceDaily

Sun Sentinel: Ocean Ridge Biosciences expands to 5,400-square foot facility
12/05/16, ORB Company News

Modifying a live virus in a vaccine to be just strong enough
By genetically tweaking the constituent live virus, scientists have created a vaccine against influenza in which the virus is capable of activating the immune system but cannot replicate in healthy cells -- an approach that may become more widely used for generating live virus vaccines adapted to other viruses.
12/01/16, ScienceDaily

Pelican Newspaper: Gene profiling at Ocean Ridge Biosciences to unlock mysteries of the human body
11/25/16, ORB Company News

Researchers create synthetic cells to isolate genetic circuits
Encapsulating molecular components in artificial membranes offers more flexibility in designing circuits, report researchers.
11/14/16, ScienceDaily

Biologists give bacteria thermostat controls
A new helper in the fight against cancer and other diseases of the gut may be genetically altered bacteria that release medicines to tumors or the gut, report scientists.
11/14/16, ScienceDaily

People who know about genetically modified food agree with science: They're safe
People who know about genetically modified food agree with science, that they're safe. On the other hand, those who know plenty about global warming are cautious about the science that says humans cause the phenomenon, a new study shows. Furthermore, the study showed some people still make what researchers call "illusionary correlations," such as "genetically modified foods cause autism."
11/09/16, ScienceDaily

Model predicts elimination of GMO crops would cause hike in greenhouse gas emissions
A global ban on genetically modified crops would raise food prices and add the equivalent of nearly a billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, a study shows.
11/08/16, ScienceDaily

Changing cell behavior could boost biofuels, medicine
A computer scientist has developed a way to coax cells to do natural things under unnatural circumstances, which could be useful for stem cell research, gene therapy and biofuel production. A research team has designed an algorithm, called NetSurgeon, that recommends genes to surgically remove from a cell’s genome to force it to perform a normal activity in a different environment or circumstance.
11/07/16, ScienceDaily

Palm Beach Post: ORB Leaves Palm Beach County for New Lab Space
11/07/16, ORB Company News

Chemists create clusters of organelles by mimicking nature
Scientists have succeeded in organizing spherical compartments into clusters mimicking the way natural organelles would create complex structures. They managed to connect the synthetic compartments by creating bridges made of DNA between them. This represents an important step towards the realization of so-called molecular factories.
11/02/16, ScienceDaily

Scientists flip molecular switches to distinguish closely related immune cell populations
The cornerstone of genetics is the loss-of-function experiment. In short, this means that to figure out what exactly gene X is doing in a tissue of interest—be it developing brain cells or a pancreatic tumor—you somehow cut out, switch off or otherwise destroy gene X in that tissue and then watch what happens. That genetic litmus test has been applied since before people even knew the chemical DNA is what makes up genes. What has changed radically are the tools used by biologists to inactivate a gene.
11/01/16, ScienceDaily

NIH researchers unveil new wound-healing role for protein-folding gene in mice
Bethesda, Md., Thur., October 27, 2016 - National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a novel role for a gene known as heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60), finding that it is critical in tissue regeneration and wound healing. Researchers found that topical treatment of an Hsp60-containing gel dramatically accelerates wound closure in a diabetic mouse model. The study was published online today, October 27, in the journal npj Regenerative Medicine.

10/27/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1�
Bethesda, Md., Wed., October 26, 2016 - or the first time, National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have demonstrated in mice that gene therapy may be the best method for correcting the single faulty gene that causes Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 (NPC1). The gene therapy involved inserting a functional copy of the NPC1 gene into mice with the disease; the treated animals were then found to have less severe NPC1 symptoms. The study, led by researchers at NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, was published Oct. 26, 2016, in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

10/26/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

Celebration to Commemorate Ocean Ridge Biosciences Re-Opening at New Facility
Friday, November 18th, 2016 from 5:00PM to 8:00PM at 394 SW 12th Avenue, Deerfield Beach, FL.
Full Press Release...

10/25/16, ORB Company News

Tobacco plants engineered to manufacture high yields of malaria drug
In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded in part for the discovery of artemisinin, a plant-derived compound that's proven to be a lifesaver in treating malaria. Yet many people who need the drug are not able to access it, in part because it's difficult to grow the plant that is the compound's source. Now, research has shown that tobacco plants can be engineered to manufacture the drug at therapeutic levels.
10/20/16, ScienceDaily

Antifungal RNA spray could help fight barley crop disease
Spraying barley crops with RNA molecules that inhibit fungus growth could help protect the plants against disease, according to a new study. Plant diseases caused by fungi that grow on crops seriously threaten the world's food supply, and fungi can develop resistance to traditional pesticides.
10/13/16, ScienceDaily

Researchers modify yeast to show how plants respond to a key hormone
Researchers have developed a novel toolkit based on modified yeast cells to tease out how plant genes and proteins respond to auxin, the most ubiquitous plant hormone. Their system allowed them to decode auxin's basic effects on a diverse family of plant genes.
09/27/16, ScienceDaily

New switch decides between genome repair, death of cells
The genetic information of every cell is encoded in the sequence of the DNA double helix. Double strand breaks in the DNA, which can be induced by radiation, are a dangerous threat to the cells, and if not properly repaired can lead to cancer. Damaged cells need to decide whether the breaks can be fixed or whether they should be removed by a cellular suicide program called “apoptosis” before initiating cancer.
09/27/16, ScienceDaily

Shedding light on the limits of the expanded genetic code
In 2014, scientists made a huge news splash when they reported the ability to grow bacteria with an expanded genetic code. Critics feared the rise of unnatural creatures; others appreciated the therapeutic potential of the development. Now, researchers have found that the expanded code might have an unforeseen limitation. A study reports that these novel components can damage cells when they are exposed to light.
09/15/16, ScienceDaily

Researcher calls for animal-human embryo research to proceed, but with strong animal protections
A researcher calls for animal-human embryo research to proceed – but only with strong animal protections in place. So-called "chimera" research raises the hope of producing human organs in genetically modified large animals, such as pigs and sheep, offering a potential solution to the persistent shortage of human organs for transplantation.
09/14/16, ScienceDaily

Breakthrough in genetic modification of grains
Genetic modification of plants might be controversial in commercial applications, but it is undeniably useful for research purposes. Despite years of effort, it has been remarkably difficult to develop efficient methods for transformation of grain crops. New work reports on a method to genetically modify maize and other grains.
09/12/16, ScienceDaily

Study reveals how ionising radiation damages DNA and causes cancer

For the first time, researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have been able to identify in human cancers two characteristic patterns of DNA damage caused by ionising radiation. These fingerprint patterns may now enable doctors to identify which tumours have been caused by radiation, and investigate if they should be treated differently.


Human kidney progenitors isolated, offering new clues to cell renewal

In a first-of-its-kind look at human kidney development, researchers at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have isolated human nephron progenitor (NP) cells. Their results, published online in the journal Stem Cell Translational Medicine, will help scientists understand how these progenitor cells become renal cells in the developing fetus, and possibly offer a future way to foster renal regeneration after chronic kidney failure or acute injury.


Protein found that initiates DNA repair
A research team has discovered a protein that may serve as a first responder that sets in motion a cascade of molecular activity to repair damaged DNA.
09/09/16, ScienceDaily

Giraffes more speciose than expected

Scientists from the Senckenberg and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have analysed the genetic relationships of all major populations of giraffe in the wild. The large study on the genetic makeup of giraffe, published today in Current Biology, shows that there are four distinct giraffe species. Until now, only one giraffe species had been recognized. The unexpected results are based on analyses using several nuclear marker genes of more than 100 animals. The new insights are set to improve protection efforts of these endangered animals in Africa.


New 'Trojan horse' antibody strategy shows promise against all Ebola viruses

In research published online today in Science, a team of scientists describe a new therapeutic strategy to target a hidden Achilles' heel shared by all known types of Ebola virus. Two antibodies developed with this strategy blocked the invasion of human cells by all five ebolaviruses, and one of them protected mice exposed to lethal doses of Ebola Zaire and Sudan, the two most dangerous. The team included scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Integrated Biotherapeutics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and The Scripps Research Institute.


Was a researcher just served a world first CRISPR meal?
For (probably) the first time ever, plants modified with the "genetic scissors" CRISPR-Cas9 has been cultivated, harvested and cooked. D professor in Plant Cell and Molecular Biology served pasta with "CRISPRy" vegetable fry to a radio reporter. Although the meal only fed two people, it was still the first step towards a future where science can better provide farmers and consumers across the world with healthy, beautiful and hardy plants.
09/05/16, ScienceDaily

Brain circuit that drives sleep-wake states, sleep-preparation behavior is identified

Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have identified a brain circuit that's indispensable to the sleep-wake cycle. This same circuit is also a key component of the reward system, an archipelago of interconnected brain clusters crucial to promoting behavior necessary for animals, including humans, to survive and reproduce.


Biochemists' discovery could lead to vaccine against 'flesh-eating' bacteria

Biochemists at the University of California San Diego have uncovered patterns in the outer protein coat of group A Streptococcus that could finally lead to a vaccine against this highly infectious bacteria--responsible for more than 500,000 deaths a year, including toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis or "flesh-eating disease."


New genus of bacteria found living inside hydraulic fracturing wells

Ohio State University researchers and their colleagues have identified a new genus of bacteria living inside hydraulic fracturing wells.
Researchers analyzing the genomes of microorganisms living in shale oil and gas wells have found evidence of sustainable ecosystems taking hold there--populated in part by a never-before-seen genus of bacteria they have dubbed "Frackibacter."


Forensic DNA analysis checks the origin of cultured cells
Cell lines are cultured cells that are commonly used in medical research. New results show that such cells are not always what they are assumed to be. Using genetic analyses, the researchers showed that a commonly used cell line that was established almost 50 years ago does not originate from the patient it is claimed to stem from.
08/31/16, ScienceDaily

More tomatoes, faster: Accelerating tomato engineering
While looking for ways to make tomatoes and other crop plants more productive, researchers developed a way to cut the time required to modify a tomato's genes by six weeks. The improvement will save on money and resources while accelerating tomato research.
08/30/16, ScienceDaily

More tomatoes, faster: Accelerating tomato engineering

A researcher transfers tomato plantlets from a plate of regeneration medium.
Tomatoes are already an ideal model species for plant research, but scientists at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) just made them even more useful by cutting the time required to modify their genes by six weeks.


New species of pterosaur discovered in Patagonia

This is a paleoartist's reconstruction of a ptesosaur.
Scientists today announced the discovery of a new species of pterosaur from the Patagonia region of South America. The cranial remains were in an excellent state of preservation and belonged to a new species of pterosaur from the Early Jurassic. The researchers have named this new species 'Allkauren koi' from the native Tehuelche word 'all' for 'brain', and 'karuen' for 'ancient'.


Study finds shark fins & meat contain high levels of neurotoxins linked to Alzheimer's disease

Cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and Mercury are detected in sharks from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
In a new study, University of Miami (UM) scientists found high concentrations of toxins linked to neurodegenerative diseases in the fins and muscles of 10 species of sharks. The research team suggests that restricting consumption of sharks can have positive health benefits for consumers and for shark conservation, since several of the sharks analyzed in the study are threatened with extinction due to overfishing.


Artificial intelligence expedites breast cancer risk prediction

Researchers at Houston Methodist have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) software that reliably interprets mammograms, assisting doctors with a quick and accurate prediction of breast cancer risk. According to a new study published in Cancer (early online Aug. 29), the computer software intuitively translates patient charts into diagnostic information at 30 times human speed and with 99 percent accuracy.


Purest yet liver-like cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells

This image shows induced pluripotent stem cells expressing a characteristic cell surface protein called SSEA4 (green).
A research team including developmental biologist Stephen A. Duncan, D. Phil., SmartStateTM Chair of Regenerative Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), has found a better way to purify liver cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Their efforts, published August 25, 2016 in Stem Cell Reports, will aid studies of liver disease for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)'s $80 million Next Generation Genetic Association Studies (Next Gen) Program. The University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) and the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) contributed to the study.


Yale team discovers how Zika virus causes fetal brain damage

Infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly, a team of Yale scientists reported Aug. 24 in the journal Cell Reports.


In some genetic cases of microcephaly, stem cells fail to launch

In a very severe, genetic form of microcephaly, stem cells in the brain fail to divide, according to a new Columbia University Medical Center study that may provide important clues to understanding how the Zika virus affects the developing brain.


NIH researchers discover otulipenia, a new inflammatory disease
Bethesda, Md., Mon., August 22, 2016 -�National Institutes of Health researchers have discovered a rare and sometimes lethal inflammatory disease - otulipenia - that primarily affects young children. It is caused by the malfunction of OTULIN, a single gene on chromosome 5. They also identified anti-inflammatory treatments to ease some of the patients' symptoms: fever, skin rashes, diarrhea, joint pain and overall failure to grow or thrive. Read more in the Aug. 22, early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

08/22/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

Synthetic biology: Engineering a chemical switch into a light-driven proton pump
Synthetic biology is an emerging and rapidly evolving engineering discipline. Now scientists have engineered a chemically switchable version of the light-driven proton pump proteorhodopsin -- an essential tool for efficiently powering molecular factories and synthetic cells.
08/09/16, ScienceDaily

Scientists program cells to remember and respond to series of stimuli
Engineers have programmed cells to remember and respond to events. This approach to circuit design enables scientists to create complex cellular state machines and track cell histories.
07/21/16, ScienceDaily

Synthetic biology used to limit bacterial growth and coordinate drug release
Researchers have engineered a clinically relevant bacterium to produce cancer drugs and then self-destruct and release the drugs at the site of tumors. The approach enables continual production and release of drugs at disease sites in mice while simultaneously limiting the size, over time, of the populations of bacteria engineered to produce the drugs. The strategy represents the use of synthetic biology in therapeutics.
07/20/16, ScienceDaily

Malaria: A genetically attenuated parasite induces an immune response
With nearly 3.2 billion people currently at risk of contracting malaria, scientists have experimentally developed a live, genetically attenuated vaccine for Plasmodium, the parasite responsible for the disease. By identifying and deleting one of the parasite's genes, the scientists enabled it to induce an effective, long-lasting immune response in a mouse model. These findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine on July 18, 2016.
07/18/16, ScienceDaily

Gas sensors 'see' through soil to analyze microbial interactions
Researchers use programmed bacteria as gas sensors that help them 'see' into soil to learn about the behavior of the microbial communities within.
07/18/16, ScienceDaily

Proteins team up to turn on T cells
Scientists are learning how cells make the decision to become T cells.
07/15/16, ScienceDaily

Stem cells feel the force
Scientists have gained new insights into how stem cells feel and respond to external mechanical forces by changing the way DNA is organized in the nucleus, and thereby the expression of genes that are required for stem cell differentiation.
07/12/16, ScienceDaily

Researchers advance treatment possibilities for Gaucher, Parkinson's
Bethesda, Md., Mon., July 12, 2016 - NIH researchers have identified and tested a molecule that shows promise as a possible treatment for the rare Gaucher disease and the more common Parkinson's disease. These findings demonstrate how insights from a rare disorder can have direct relevance to the treatment of more common disorders. The findings were published July 12, 2016 in The Journal of Neuroscience.

07/12/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

<em>Media Availability</em>: Genetics of type 2 diabetes revealed in unprecedented detail
Bethesda, Md., Mon., July 11, 2016 - A comprehensive investigation of the underlying genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes has unveiled the most detailed look at the genetic differences that increase a person's risk for disease development. The findings, published July 11 in the journal Nature, reveal the complexity of the disease in more detail than previously appreciated and also identify several promising targets for new treatments.

07/11/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

Researchers harness DNA as the engine of super-efficient nanomachine
Researchers have established a way to harness DNA as the engine of a microscopic 'machine' they can turn on to detect trace amounts of substances that range from viruses and bacteria to cocaine and metals.
07/07/16, ScienceDaily

E. coli: The ideal transport vehicle for next-gen vaccines?
Researchers have developed an E. coli-based transport capsule designed to help next-generation vaccines do a more efficient and effective job than today's immunizations. The research highlights the capsule's success fighting pneumococcal disease, an infection that can result in pneumonia, sepsis, ear infections and meningitis.
07/01/16, ScienceDaily

Individual mycobacteria respond differently to antibiotics based on growth and timing
Scientists have identified factors that linked to why individual mycobacteria of the same genetic background can respond differently to antibiotics. The findings shed light on the complexity of antibiotic tolerance and may improve the future design of drug regimens.
07/01/16, ScienceDaily

Unsilencing silenced genes by CRISPR/Cas9
Scientists have developed a new technique to unleash silenced genes and change cell fates using CRISPR/Cas9.
07/01/16, ScienceDaily

Fix for 3-billion-year-old genetic error could dramatically improve genetic sequencing
Researchers found a fix for a 3-billion-year-old glitch in one of the major carriers of information needed for life, RNA, which until now produced errors when making copies of genetic information. The discovery will increase precision in genetic research and could dramatically improve medicine based on a person's genetic makeup.
06/23/16, ScienceDaily

A new bio-ink for 3-D printing with stem cells
Scientists have developed a new kind of bio-ink, which could eventually allow the production of complex tissues for surgical implants. The new stem cell-containing bio ink allows 3-D printing of living tissue, known as bio-printing.
06/23/16, ScienceDaily

Virus uses 'stolen' CRISPR to hack its host's immune system
Microbiologists have discovered that the Cyanophage N1 virus carries a DNA sequence -- a CRISPR -- that is generally used by bacteria to fight off viral infection. The virus appears to use the stolen bits of immune system DNA to highjack their hosts' immune response.
06/14/16, ScienceDaily

Gene-drive modified organisms are not ready to be released into environment, experts say
The emerging science of gene drives has the potential to address environmental and public health challenges, but gene-drive modified organisms are not ready to be released into the environment and require more research in laboratories and highly controlled field trials, says a new report.
06/08/16, ScienceDaily

Gene circuits in live cells can perform complex computations
Researchers have developed a technique to integrate both analogue and digital computation in living cells, allowing them to form gene circuits capable of carrying out complex processing operations.
06/03/16, ScienceDaily

Genetically modified golden rice falls short on lifesaving promises
Heralded on the cover of Time magazine in 2000 as a genetically modified (GMO) crop with the potential to save millions of lives in the Third World, Golden Rice is still years away from field introduction and even then, may fall short of lofty health benefits still cited regularly by GMO advocates, suggests a new study.
06/03/16, ScienceDaily

New CRISPR system for targeting RNA
Researchers have characterized a new CRISPR system that targets RNA, rather than DNA. The new approach has the potential to open a powerful avenue in cellular manipulation.
06/02/16, ScienceDaily

New 'genetic barcode' technique reveals details of cell lineage
By using the gene editing tool CRISPR to create unique genetic 'barcodes,' it's possible to track the lineage of cells in a living organism, a new study reveals.
05/26/16, ScienceDaily

Consumer knowledge gap on genetically modified food
While consumers are aware of genetically modified crops and food, their knowledge level is limited and often at odds with the facts, according to a newly published study.
05/25/16, ScienceDaily

New tools to manipulate biology
Chemistry has provided many key tools and techniques to the biological community in the last twenty years. We can now make proteins that Mother Nature never thought of, image unique parts of live cells and even see cells in live animals. Biologists now take these accomplishments a step further, reporting advances in both how proteins are made and how you can see their expression patterns in live animals.
05/24/16, ScienceDaily

A path away from reliance on oil, with the help of bacteria
Adding genes to bacteria offers sustainable routes to make compounds currently obtained from petrochemicals.
05/19/16, ScienceDaily

Biologists find how plants reconstitute stem cells
Stem cells are typically thought to have the intrinsic ability to generate or replace specialized cells. However, a team of biologists has shown that regenerating plants can naturally reconstitute their stem cells from more mature cells by replaying embryogenesis.
05/19/16, ScienceDaily

Genetically engineered crops: Experiences and prospects
An extensive study has found that new technologies in genetic engineering and conventional breeding are blurring the once clear distinctions between these two crop-improvement approaches.
05/17/16, ScienceDaily

Chance finding could transform plant production
An almost entirely accidental discovery by researchers could transform food and biofuel production and increase carbon capture on farmland. By tweaking a plant’s genetic profile, the researchers doubled the plant’s growth and increased seed production by more than 400 per cent.
05/17/16, ScienceDaily

NIH funds new studies on ethical, legal and social impact of genomic information
Bethesda, Md., Tues., May 17, 2016 - Four new grants from the National Institutes of Health will support research on the ethical, legal and social questions raised by advances in genomics research and the increasing availability of genomic information. The awards will fund researchers at interdisciplinary centers through the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Centers of Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research (CEER) program.

05/17/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

NIH creates Atlas of Human Malformation Syndromes in Diverse Populations
Researchers with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have collaborated with physicians and medical geneticists around the world to create the Atlas of Human Malformation Syndromes in Diverse Populations. Health care providers can use the new atlas to diagnose diverse patients with inherited diseases by comparing physical traits (called phenotypes) and written descriptions of their symptoms with photos and descriptions of people with the same condition and ancestry. Previously, the only available diagnostic atlas featured photos of patients with northern European ancestry, which often does not represent the characteristics of these diseases in patients from other parts of the world. The free electronic atlas was announced online in Genetics in Medicine.

04/29/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

Media Availability: NHGRI celebrates National DNA Day with events that promote genomic literacy
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will celebrate its fourteenth annual National DNA Day on Monday, April 25, 2016. National DNA Day commemorates the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953. NHGRI, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), began celebrating this day annually on April 25, 2003, after the 108th Congress passed concurrent resolutions designating it as "National DNA Day." To mark this historic day, NHGRI is hosting events in the week leading up to and on National DNA Day.

04/11/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

NIH researchers identify striking genomic signature shared by five types of cancer
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer. They also found evidence that this methylation signature may be present in many more types of cancer. The specific signature results from a chemical modification of DNA called methylation, which can control the expression of genes like a dimmer on a light switch. Researchers hope to spur development of a blood test that can be used to diagnose a variety of cancers at early stages. The study appears today, February 5, 2016, in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

02/05/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

NIH Scientists Discover Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy to Vibration
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Human Genome Research Institute have identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibration, also known as vibratory urticaria. Running, hand clapping, towel drying or even taking a bumpy bus ride can cause temporary skin rashes in people with this rare disorder.

02/03/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

NIH genome sequencing program targets the genomic bases of common, rare disease
The National Institutes of Health will fund a set of genome sequencing and analysis centers whose research will focus on understanding the genomic bases of common and rare human diseases. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH, today launched the Centers for Common Disease Genomics (CCDG), which will use genome sequencing to explore the genomic contributions to common diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and autism. NHGRI also announced the next phase of a complementary program, the Centers for Mendelian Genomics (CMG), which will continue investigating the genomic underpinnings of rare, typically inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.

01/14/16, National Human Genome Research Institute

Individualized Medicine at Ocean Ridge Biosciences featured in The Palm Beach Post
Individualized Medicine at Ocean Ridge Biosciences featured in The Palm Beach Post...
06/17/15, ORB Company News

Identification of Circulating Biomarkers in Patients with Active Inflammatory Bowel Disease
ORB Contributes to New Findings in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Implications for the Development of a Non-Invasive Diagnostic Panel
Full Press Release...

03/09/15, ORB Company News

ORB Contributes to New Study Examining the RNA Content of Human Seminal Exosomes
Ocean Ridge Biosciences (ORB) is pleased to announce its contribution to a recent publication in volume 42 issue 11 of Nucleic Acids Research, entitled “Exosomes in human semen carry a distinctive repertoire of small non-coding RNAs with potential regulatory functions”. The article reveals potential mechanisms by which semen interferes with immune responses in the recipient fem...
07/23/14, ORB Company News

Ocean Ridge Contributes to Discovery of Biomarkers of Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer
Ocean Ridge Biosciences is honored to announce its contribution to a landmark study to discover biomarkers of early-stage pancreatic cancer....
03/18/14, ORB Company News

ORB Contributes to Recently Published Study on Mechanisms of Aortic Valve Calcification
Ocean Ridge Biosciences (ORB) is honored to announce its contribution to a recently published, well respected publication titled, "Increased Dietary Intake of Vitamin A Promotes Aortic Valve Calcification In Vivo". ...
04/01/13, ORB Company News

Toxikon Forms Partnership with Ocean Ridge Biosciences
Preclinical CRO will globally market services and capabilities together with genomics services provider for development novel drugs and medical devices...
10/26/11, ORB Company News

ORB awarded grant for development of prognostic biomarkers of Emphysema
Ocean Ridge Biosciences, LLC (ORB) today announced that it has been awarded a $69,435 grant under the Therapeutic Discovery Tax Credit program that was enacted under the U.S. government's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act....
11/02/10, ORB Company News

Contact Us

Ocean Ridge Biosciences, LLC
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Deerfield Beach, Florida 33442
Phone: 754-600-5128
Fax: 561-427-7845