News

Naturally occurring antibiotic found in human bacterial colony

Scientists have discovered a natural antibiotic within a community of bacteria in the vagina, a finding that could point the way toward other human therapeutics.

Google's Calico acquires UT Southwestern compounds for neurodegenerative disorders

A new class of compounds discovered by investigators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that could treat a range of neurodegenerative disorders has caught the eye of Google's new biotechnology venture Calico.

Notable academic-pharma alliances of 2014

Pharma companies are increasingly relying on academic and nonprofit collaborations for basic science and drug discovery research, and some big players have formed some notable unions in 2014.

Protein stops bone loss in arthritic mice

Researchers have pinpointed a small protein that may offer protection against bone loss associated with arthritis, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for the condition, which affects nearly one in 5 Americans.

Geneva Foundation gets $3M NIH grant for Ebola drug work

The Geneva Foundation, along with partner BioFactura, received a grant of more than $3 million from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to develop an antibody drug to combat the Sudan strain of the ebolavirus.

$64M NIH initiative will catalog cell responses to drugs

The U.S. National Institutes of Health is launching a 6-year, $64 million program that will catalog human cell responses to drugs and genetic factors with the goal of aiding the development of new therapies for a range of diseases.

Human stem cells can be 'reset' to their earliest state

European and Japanese scientists have figured out how to "reset" human pluripotent stem cells, turning back the clock on cells so that they revert to their original state at the height of their development potential.

More improperly stored pathogens found in government labs

The U.S. government hasn't seen the last of its laboratory safety woes. Following a handful of accidents involving the mismanagement of highly infectious pathogens at federal facilities in recent months, the National Institutes of Health revealed on Sept. 5 that it uncovered small amounts of other improperly stored pathogens--including the toxin ricin and plague-causing bacteria.

Compound inhibits both MERS, SARS

Researchers have identified a compound that inhibits an enzyme crucial to the lifecycle of coronaviruses, which cause the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Experimental C. difficile drugs could be more effective than current therapy

As the threat of superbugs rise amid growing resistance to antibiotics, Clostridium dificile infections are becoming more common in healthcare settings across the U.S. To combat this serious infection, two small biotechs have unveiled positive preclinical data backing potential new therapies.

'Disease in a dish' aids Huntington's drug discovery

Scientists from Emory University School of Medicine and Yerkes National Primate Research Center have developed a new "disease in a dish" model using induced pluripotent stem cells to help assess potential therapies for Huntington's disease.

Glaxo's Ebola vaccine effective in monkeys but may require booster shot

A vaccine under development by GlaxoSmithKline to prevent Ebola infection showed protection in monkeys that were exposed to the deadly pathogen. But if given to people, the preventive method would likely require a booster shot after the initial inoculation, according to a new study.

Scientists find way to expand blood stem cell production in lab

Researchers have found a molecular process that prompts blood stem cells to self-renew while retaining their stem cell-like properties, a discovery that could allow scientists to regrow enough cells in a lab for transplantation.

HIV gut-hiding ability revealed

In a finding that could help scientists develop better therapies against HIV, investigators at the University of California, Davis, have discovered how HIV hides out in reservoirs in the human gut to avoid eradication.

Japanese institute to cut back stem cell research in wake of scandal

Following controversy over irreproducible results in a paper that detailed an easy way to create embryonic-like stem cells by shocking adult cells with an acid bath, the Japanese RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology said it is scaling down its stem cell research.

Gene therapy prevents botulism in mice

A gene therapy method tested in mice may eventually be able to replace the current form of treatment for toxin exposures that cause ailments such as botulism.

ZMapp antibody therapy prevents Ebola infection in monkeys

The drug, a combination of three monoclonal antibodies, has so far been given to 7 patients in the current Ebola outbreak.

On-off switch found for natural antibiotics maker

Scientists have identified a switch in soil-dwelling bacteria that turns on a process to make naturally derived antibiotics--a mechanism that may be useful in creating more effective antibiotics to combat increasingly resistant superbugs.

Canadian Immunovaccine reports positive preclinical data for Ebola vaccine

As the Ebola outbreak continues to claim victims in West Africa, governments and industry alike are racing toward a therapeutic or preventive drug that could help halt its deadly spread and avert future human crises involving the virus.

Tuberculosis biomarker predicts protection against disease symptoms

Scientists have pinpointed a protein that plays a role in protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in people who are infected with the pathogen.