Researchers zero in on immune system's role in Alzheimer's

Researchers at Brigham & Women's Hospital have been exploring the links between the immune system and Alzheimer's, looking for new insights that could help guide drug development.

Looking for an alternative to pricey Daraprim? You may be in luck

Now that Turing CEO Martin Shkreli has stirred a global frenzy over his move to jack up the price of toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim by more than 5,000%, investigators say they found that the high blood pressure drug guanabenz is effective against the latent cyst state of the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. And as it's already approved, it could be quickly repurposed.

FDA's 'breakthrough' endorsement carries real weight with the public

Make no mistake. If a patient has a choice between a "breakthrough" drug and a rival therapy described in simple clinical terms, the breakthrough will win every time. That's the conclusion of a new study that tested out the impact that words like "breakthrough" and "promising" have when they're linked to a drug.

The contentious gene editing field gets a tech upgrade. What now?

Back when the patent war was brewing over CRISPR/Cas9, the Broad Institute's Feng Zhang made it clear that he believed the big innovations in gene editing still lay ahead. And in the last few days he set out to prove he was right, pointing to an alternative to Cas9 that could wind up serving as a much better tool to use to perform surgery on a gene.

A molecule isolated from the depths of the ocean shows promise in treating AML

Matthew Shair, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard, and his team have isolated and synthesized a molecule from sea sponges that prevents cancerous growth.

Industry and academia join sides to test DART therapy in HIV-infected cells

Scientists at Duke University Medical Center, the University of North Carolina, and the biotech MacroGenics have teamed up to design a molecule with the capacity to bind HIV-infected cells and unite them with the immune system's killer T cells.

Stanford team creates a better viral vector to deliver drug payloads

The fact that neutered viruses can be safely used as vectors to deliver drugs and genes has helped inspire a huge new wave of R&D in biopharma. And now investigators say they were able to create a new-and-improved viral vector that could one-up everything now in the clinic.

Uppsala's 'smart' robot tests new cancer drug combos

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have developed a robot that can assess various combination therapies for cancer, analyzing the results and flagging their potential as new therapies.

Epigenomic combo shows promise in mouse model of pancreatic cancer

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have found that combining two drugs that target the epigenome of cancer cells may be effective in killing off pancreatic tumor cells.

An arthritis drug demos potential to help reverse Alzheimer's disease

A drug called salsalate, commonly used in treating rheumatoid arthritis, has been found to have beneficial effects in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease.

Experimental drug amps up Afinitor's punch against pancreatic cancer

A two-drug combo that matches Afinitor with an experimental compound proved effective in killing pancreatic cancer cells and blunting tumor growth in cell lines and mouse models for the lethal disease.

Imperial team targets a key culprit involved in Parkinson's

One of the last measures of defense used against Parkinson's is deep brain stimulation aimed at amping up nerve cells in the brain. But the treatment method is imprecise and has an erratic and often limited impact on patients. Now researchers say they were able to target a particular set of brain cells with a new therapy that demonstrated real promise for eventually treating Parkinson's.

Caltech IDs an antibody that can thwart HIV

Caltech investigators have identified a broadly neutralizing antibody that may be particularly effective in thwarting HIV.

Adding iridium may offer a new approach to antibiotic resistance

Virginia Tech researchers say that they have developed a new antibiotic that includes iridium, a "transition metal" that keeps them from breaking down and improving delivery to fight infections. And that added ingredient, they say, can offer a new solution for patients who become resistant to currently available antibiotics.

Stanford team spotlights a new target for childhood brain tumors

Erivedge (vismodegib) has been shown to be effective--at least temporarily--against a subtype of a common form of childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma, although the brain tumor constantly mutates, eventually becoming resistant to the drug. But by using another approved COPD drug, researchers say they were able to target a new mechanism of action that can effectively fight the drug-resistant tumor.

Controversial resveratrol triggers new headlines--this time for Alzheimer's

Georgetown's Dr. R. Scott Turner tested a therapeutic grade formulation of resveratrol in Alzheimer's patients, looking at two suspected biomarkers for the disease, the soluble proteins amyloid beta 42 and Abeta 40. Abeta 40 levels remained level among the group getting purified resveratrol, while the control group registered telltale declines as their dementia worsened.

U.K. investigators say diabetes drug may target pancreatic cancer stem cells

Most cancer cells rely on glycolysis to provide energy for the cell, which doesn't use oxygen. Now scientists have discovered that pancreatic cancer stem cells, which they term PancSCs, mostly undergo oxidative phosphorylation, which not only requires oxygen but is a more efficient form of metabolism.

UNC Parkinson's team develops smart immune cells to deliver neuroprotective proteins

Scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have genetically modified white blood cells (known as macrophages) to make glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor--GDNF. The research was published in PLoS ONE, and the downstream effect of such work could benefit patients with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's.

Anti-inflammatory nanoparticle could treat sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast claim to have developed a new treatment for sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. There is currently no effective treatment, and it remains a life-threatening disease in the U.K.

Researchers zero in on tau, a prime culprit in Alzheimer's disease

Investigators at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have zeroed in on a target that drives the toxic accumulation of tau in the brains of people with a variety of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's.