Telomerase study points researchers to targeted cancer drugs

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the University of California, San Francisco, have been delving into the mechanisms by which mutations result in elevated expression of the protein called telomerase.

Liverpool scientists point to a new heart therapy for deadly pneumonia toxin

Last fall Texas investigators demonstrated how infections triggered by Streptococcus pneumoniae could damage the heart, explaining why older adults hospitalized for pneumonia were at a high risk for often lethal complications. Now Liverpool researchers say the likely culprit--the toxin pneumolysin--can be neutralized by engineered fat bodies called liposomes.

UC Irvine researchers use transplanted neurons to rejuvenate mouse brains

As you get older, your brain grows less nimble, much like the rest of your body. But researchers at UC Irvine say that they completed an intriguing mouse study that demonstrated there may be a way to rejuvenate the brain, restoring its ability to make quick changes in neural pathways and synapses that would help fight brain disorders.

Prothena's university collaborators tout the success of a preclinical MS therapy

A research team at the University of Montreal has come up with some preclinical data to support a development program--now underway at the Irish biotech Prothena--which is targeting a new approach for halting the progression of multiple sclerosis.

UIC team spurs fresh hope for an islet-cell cure for Type 1 diabetes

Researchers have been experimenting with islet cell transplantation as a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes for decades. These insulin-producing cells are destroyed by Type 1 diabetes, but various transplant methods that worked in animals--including using tiny capsules to deliver the cells in a way that guards against an immune response--have failed to make the grade in humans.

Researchers turn cancer cells dormant with toxic drug analogs

What if, instead of killing cancer cells, you could make them dormant? Making analogs of a highly toxic cell killer, pactamycin, investigators at Oregon State University say they have done just that. And while they're still working on a targeted delivery vehicle needed to make it safe, they add that this new approach has the potential for becoming a new class of cancer therapy that would be far "gentler" than the chemotherapies used today.

Moderna tops CNBC's list of most disruptive new technologies

Promising preclinical work on messenger RNA therapies has provided Moderna Therapeutics with the number one spot on CNBC's list of the most disruptive new technologies now in the spotlight.

VCU scientist preps gene therapy/drug combo for PhI prostate cancer study

A group of investigators at Virginia Commonwealth University's Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine say that a new animal study highlights the promise of a gene therapy tied to an experimental cancer drug in hitting metastatic prostate cancer.

Berkeley's aging experts use gene therapy/drug combo to rescue cell signaling

A group of UC Berkeley investigators engaged in slowing down the aging process say they obtained some promising results in targeting a key culprit implicated in weakening tissues throughout the body.

Garvan team spotlights role of rogue cells in autoimmune diseases

The human body naturally produces antibodies to ward off invaders like bacteria. But when the process goes awry, rogue antibodies are directed at the body itself, causing autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. And now a group of researchers at Australia's Garvan Institute of Medical Research say they believe that they have identified at least part of what can go wrong, highlighting some potential targets for drug developers.

Swift setback: A preclinical success in hep B is followed by safety woes

A few weeks ago, TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals touted a preclinical program demonstrating that its drug birinapant could play a major role in swiftly erasing hepatitis B. Soon after, the Malvern, PA-based biotech announced that it had struck a deal to put the blood cancer drug into a combination study with Merck's PD-1 star Keytruda, setting the stage for a plan to raise money through the sale of stock.

Biopharma companies jump into big data stampede for genetic triggers of disease

Since Regeneron signed on with Geisinger Health System early last year, the biotech has amassed sequencing data on dozens of promising genetic targets for a slate of ailments, including some common ones like high cholesterol. One new discovery could lay the foundation for a new drug to treat a cause of severe obesity in children, the company tells Reuters.

Ebola outbreak spurs a new antibody screening project at Theraclone

Seattle-based Theraclone Sciences has struck a deal to hunt down therapeutic antibodies for the lethal ebolavirus using its I-Star screening platform. And the biotech is gaining a $4.4 million C round to fund the project, with the Wellcome Trust joining forces with the company's existing investors.

Scientists highlight link between diabetes and Alzheimer's

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are highlighting the role that diabetes can play in spurring development of amyloid beta, a protein that many believe is responsible for causing Alzheimer's.

UNC researchers hijack natural 'bubbles' to transport Parkinson's med

Getting drugs into the brain is one of the biggest challenges in medical research. Now a group of investigators at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill say they found an ideal method, hijacking tiny "bubbles" produced by cells and turning them into a delivery vehicle for a potent Parkinson's medication.

Johns Hopkins team finds a new drug target for diabetes

Scientists at Johns Hopkins say they've identified a link between high blood sugar and an interference with mitochondria that could make for a prime new target in the field of diabetes drug research.

Microparticles amp up the effect of breast cancer vaccines

Cancer vaccines have had a long and troubled history in the clinic, often proving safe but relatively ineffective in killing cancer cells. Now a team at Houston Methodist says that a tiny porous silicon microparticle could prove a key tool in amping up the efficacy of cancer vaccines.

Rodent study once again spotlights role of arginase in hypertension

A new project at the University of Missouri has added a fresh set of animal data to back up earlier studies that spotlighted the enzyme arginase as a likely trigger for hypertension.

Sleep apnea therapy linked to lower risk for diabetes

An investigator at McGill University in Montreal says there's evidence to suggest that sleep apnea therapy can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Yale collaborators use gene editing tech to fix a cystic fibrosis mutation

A project at Yale successfully adapted gene editing technology to correct the genetic mutation that is most commonly linked to cystic fibrosis.