Lauren Feldman 11/03/2023 at 4:11 pm
Fierce Biotech (November 3, 2023) AstraZeneca’s failed cancer drug gets new lease on life thanks to positive kidney disease data
More than a decade after AstraZeneca appeared to give up hope of using zibotentan to treat prostate cancer, the endothelin receptor antagonist has received a new lease on life as a combo treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.
Labiotech (November 3, 2023) Is quantum computing the future of drug discovery?
In this podcast, Beyond Biotech explores the synergy of quantum computing and drug discovery with the chief scientific officer and co-founder of Qubit Pharmaceuticals, Jean-Philip Piquemal. Qubit Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2020 with the vision of co-developing, with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, new, more effective, and safer drugs. The company uses its Atlas platform to discover new drugs through simulation and molecular modeling. The company uses a supercomputer, Gaia, created in collaboration with artificial intelligence provider Nvidia. Piquemal said the company is a digital pharma, meaning it doesn’t have wet labs and instead uses computers to predict new drugs. By doing this, Piquemal said the company hopes to discover new drugs for various diseases more quickly.
Technology Networks (November 2, 2023) Intestinal Organoids Shed Light on Causes of Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and collaborating institutions working with human intestinal organoids, also called mini guts, have shed new light on the potential causes of Cronkhite-Canada syndrome, a rare condition characterized by abundant non-cancerous growths or polyps in the intestine and other symptoms such as hair and nail loss and changes in skin pigmentation. Published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study is the first to show a connection between high polyp proliferation and increased levels of serotonin produced by the intestinal epithelium.
Drug Target Review (November 2, 2023) New understanding of early breast cancer development
Mammary organoid cultures show the effects of BRCA2 mutations on breast tissue cells, increasing the likelihood of early, targeted treatment. Researchers have made crucial insights into the effects of BRCA2 mutations on breast tissue cells which explain early breast cancer development in people with BRCA2 mutations. The study was led by Professor Ashok Venkitaraman, Director of the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore and Dr Mona Shehata from the University of Cambridge (UK).
Medgadget (November 1, 2023) Lung Chip Mimics Radiation Injury
Researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have developed a microfluidic chip that can recreate some of the features of radiation-induced lung injury. The lungs are very sensitive to radiation, and this can limit the application of radiotherapy to treat cancer. Accurately modeling radiation-induced lung injury could assist in developing new methods to prevent and treat the phenomenon, but it has been difficult to study this before the advent of advanced organ-on-a-chip models. The lung chip presented here contains human lung alveolar epithelial cells interfacing with lung capillary cells. The goal is to recreate the alveolar-capillary interface, and then by exposing the chip to radiation, the researchers can monitor the effects on these cellular populations in detail, as well as trying new treatments to reduce the effects of radiation.
News Medical &Life Sciences (October 31, 2023) UniSA seeks public support for vital research on deadly brain cancers
Two projects currently in the pipeline are a pediatric brain cancer biobank and new immune-based therapies for glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain cancer. The pediatric brain cancer biobank is expected to improve treatment outcomes for 120 Australian children diagnosed with the deadly disease each year. UniSA Research Professor Stuart Pitson, Head of the Molecular Therapeutics Laboratory at the CCB, says the living biobank will enable researchers to find better therapies with fewer side effects for children. “While some brain tumors are incurable (diffuse midline glioma), others can be treated, but the harsh side effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy often lead to lifelong issues for the young patients,” Prof Pitson says. The biobank contains fresh tumor material resected from the affected children, as part of their normal therapy, into patient-specific cell lines and organoids.
Medical Xpress (October 31, 2023) Tiny model organs detect liver toxicity of new drugs
Recently, a University of Michigan-led study provided evidence of the efficacy of a new drug-induced liver injury screening platform using human liver organoids, or tiny 3D models of organs developed from patients’ stem cells that grow in petri dishes. The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Hepatology. Through their study, the research team demonstrated that human liver organoids can be produced by collecting peripheral blood from patients, converting the cells to induced pluripotent stem cells and then nudging the cells into the lineage of a liver cell. Stem cells can be used to produce additional batches of organoids from the same donor, allowing for a more robust and reproducible source of cells for testing. Results showed that human liver organoids are metabolically active and can demonstrate an injury from a drug, while providing highly reproducible results.
Technology Networks (October 30, 2023) Human Organoids Aid Identification of Key Regulator in Cell Differentiation
The different cell types of the human gut develop from stem cells through a process of differentiation. Researchers from the Organoid group (Hubrecht Institute), together with researchers at the Princess Máxima Center and Maastricht University, used gut organoids to perform a systematic CRISPR screening of 1800 human transcription factors and identified ZNF800 as a key regulator of the differentiation of a specific gut cell type, the enteroendocrine cells. The results of the study were published in Science on 26 October 2023 and could have implications for our understanding of gastrointestinal diseases and endocrine disorders, as well as pancreatic development and diabetes.
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