NIAID Trial Examines Remdesivir, Antibody Candidates vs. COVID-19

ACTIV-5/BET (NCT04583969) will evaluate Skyrizi® (risankizumab-rzaa), the Boehringer Ingelheim/AbbVie monoclonal antibody now marketed for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, with remdesivir, compared to a placebo plus remdesivir. The trial will also test Humanigen’s monoclonal antibody candidate lenzilumab with remdesivir, compared to placebo and remdesivir.

Wasp Venom Used to Potentially Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Novel antibiotics are urgently needed to treat the ever-increasing number of drug-resistant infections. Now, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report they engineered bacteria-killing molecules from wasp venom.

Bacterial Toxin Found to Stimulate Tissue Regeneration

A research team has discovered that a bacterial toxin stimulates tissue regeneration in the planarian animal model. Besides harming the host, the toxin may exert beneficial functions by stimulating SPM production to promote the resolution of infectious inflammation.

Rapid Development of Multitagged Cell Lines for Drug Discovery

In this GEN webinar, sponsored by Tecan, we will discuss the development of the FAST-HDR vector system (patent pending)—a novel set of plasmids to be used in combination with CRISPR for the rapid development of multi-tagged cell lines for drug discovery. These plasmids allow the insertion of protein tags in genes of interest for downstream applications such as high-content imaging or luminescence detection on live cells. We will present examples of the use of these enhanced cellular models for high-throughput screening, target characterization, and live-cell microscopy.

J&J’s Janssen Pauses COVID-19 Vaccine Trials, Including 60,000-Patient Phase III Study

It is not known—and “is not always immediately apparent,” J&J added—if the ill participant was among participants randomized to JNJ-78436735, or to placebo. The company offered no details about the participant’s illness.

Regeneron’s Antibodies Prevent and Treat SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Monkeys

Regeneron’s antibodies, used to treat President Trump upon his COVID-19 diagnosis, were found to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection in rhesus macaques and hamsters. The antibodies, targeting non-overlapping epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, greatly reduced virus load in lower and upper airways in monkeys. The new findings highlight the therapeutic potential of this approach to both protect from and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Neuronal NMDAR-TRPM4 “Death Complex” Disabled by Interface Inhibitors

Conventional NMDA receptor antagonists have failed as therapeutics against neurodegenerative diseases, largely because NMDA receptors contribute to synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Only extrasynaptic NMDA receptors promote neuronal death. A new means of curbing this sort of cell death has been found. It doesn’t interfere with calcium flow. Instead, it inhibits a physical interaction between the NMDA receptor and another membrane element, TRPM4.

SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Persist for Months after Infection

Two studies find that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 persist for months after serious COVID-19 cases. One team found the long-lived antibodies in both blood and saliva of patients. The other demonstrated that measuring antibodies can be an accurate tool for tracking the spread of the virus in the community.

Universal Influenza Vaccine Designed by MIT Researchers

Every year, influenza vaccines need to be redesigned due to new strains that may arise or changes because of various mutations and other characteristics. Now, scientists at MIT and the Ragon Institute of MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard report they are working on strategies for designing a universal flu vaccine that could work against any flu strain.

NVIDIA Powers Up in Drug Discovery

Kimberly Powell, NVIDIA’s Vice President of Healthcare, told GEN that the new partnership with GSK and development of Cambridge-1 reflected a “natural evolution for Nvidia.”

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