Exploring the Origins of Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Scientists in Gothenburg, Sweden, reported they have traced back the evolutionary history of antibiotic resistance genes, by comparing bacterial genomes. In almost all cases where an origin could be determined, the gene started to spread from bacteria that, themselves, can cause disease.

Marine Natural Products Identified with Potential to Treat Lethal RNA Viruses

Systematic collection and analysis of natural marine compounds and the review of life histories and genomics of three families of RNA viruses reveal compounds that could disrupt viral spread and offers hope for developing new viral therapeutics.

Customized Glycoengineering in Plant-Based Expression Systems

iBio describes its FastPharming system, which promises to expedite process development.

Supercharge Antibody Discovery Workflows with High-Throughput SPR

By screening and characterizing antibodies at the same time, HT-SPR can help researchers identify the best drug candidates from a vast library of antibodies in just hours or days. Deducing which epitope each antibody binds, how strongly it binds, and its mechanism of action make the new techniques mandatory for any lab that wants to keep pace.

Shooting the Messenger: Locana Bio Writes a New Script for RNA...

Based in San Diego, Locana Bio is built on the concept that gene therapy can deliver RNA-directed proteins to prevent or treat disease by targeting and modifying dysfunctional RNA.

Bayer Joins CureVac to Develop mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccine

While CureVac will remain the EU Marketing Authorization Holder for CVnCoV, Bayer agreed to provide services for the vaccine that include clinical operations, regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, medical information, and supply chain performance.

SARS-CoV-2 Immune Memory Measurable for Months Post-Infection

A new study has increased the understanding of immune memory to SARS-CoV-2. First, researchers observed that different components of immune memory exhibited distinct kinetics. In addition, their data show that immune memory was measurable for months post-infection—hinting at protective immunity. Understanding immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 is critical for improving diagnostics and vaccines, and for assessing the likely future course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scientists Develop ON-OFF Switch for CAR T Cell Immunotherapy

Scientists led by teams at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Cancer Center created molecular ON-OFF switches that can regulate the activity of immunotherapeutic CAR T cells. Their reported studies demonstrated how the switchable CAR T cells can be turned either on or off, by exposure to the commonly used cancer drug, lenalidomide.

Smart Antibacterial Avoids Collateral Damage, Potential Blowback

Using a membrane-protein biomimicry strategy, scientists have engineered a peptide that specifically targets the tuberculosis pathogen without collateral toxicity toward host tissue or commensal bacteria that bolster the immune system. This biomimetic strategy may aid the design of other narrow-spectrum antimicrobial peptides.

Genentech Launches $1B+ RNA Collaboration with Ribometrix

Ribometrix’s platform uses structural analytic capabilities and other specialized technologies to identify 3D motifs in RNA molecules, then design small molecule candidates designed to bind to these motifs in order to produce a therapeutic effect.

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