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Daily news and top headlines for drug research professionals

NIH Awards SBIR Grant for Epigenetic Database

July 7, 2014 2:25 pm | News | Comments

Reaction Biology Corp. (RBC) announced that it has been awarded a Phase 1 SBIR grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to create a database of epigenetic drug interactions. Read more...           

Pseudogenes May Help in the Discovery of Biomarkers

July 7, 2014 11:06 am | News | Comments

Alas, the thankless pseudogene: dysfunctional, unloved and seemingly of little use, these poor-cousin relatives of genes have lost their protein-coding abilities, contain material not essential for an organism’s survival and are the “last stop” for removal of genomic waste. Read more...

Some 500 Genes Differ in Bipolar Patients’ Neurons

July 2, 2014 3:16 pm | by Cynthia Fox, Science Editor | Articles | Comments

Neurons of patients with bipolar disorder (BP) differ from the norm in a “striking” 500 or so genes, according to preliminary data generated using the Nobel-Prize-winning iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) approach, by Salk Institute neuroscientist Fred Gage. Read more...


Scientists Reconstruct Life History of a Single Cell

June 30, 2014 10:50 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed new methods to trace the life history of individual cells back to their origins in the fertilized egg by looking at the copy of the human genome present in healthy cells and building a picture of each cell's development from the early embryo to part of an adult organ. Read more...

Scientists Use Cancer Drug in Gene Therapy

June 27, 2014 1:28 pm | News | Comments

Scientists working to make gene therapy a reality have solved a major hurdle - how to bypass a blood stem cell’s natural defenses and efficiently insert disease-fighting genes into the cell’s genome - with rapamycin, which is commonly used to slow cancer growth and prevent organ rejection. Read more...

Human Longevity Supports Innovation to Advance Treatment of Cancer, Other Diseases

June 26, 2014 11:10 am | News | Comments

Human Longevity Inc., a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human life span, called on physicians, the insurance industry and political leaders to support promising new avenues of medical discovery on behalf of patients with life-threatening diseases including cancer. Read more...

MicroRNA Offers Target for Osteoporosis and Bone Metastases Drugs

June 26, 2014 11:04 am | News | Comments

UT Southwestern cancer researchers have identified a promising molecule - miR-34a from a family of small molecules called microRNAs - that blocks bone destruction and, therefore, could provide a potential therapeutic target for osteoporosis and bone metastases of cancer. Read  more...

FDA Committee Rejects Cancer Drug Accelerated Approval

June 26, 2014 10:37 am | News | Comments

AstraZeneca announced that the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 11 to 2 that current evidence does not support an accelerated approval for use of olaparib as a maintenance treatment for women with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer with germline BRCA (gBRCA) mutation, and who are in complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy. Read more...


Researchers Link Brain Gene to Kidney Cancer

June 25, 2014 1:32 pm | News | Comments

A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida are reporting in Cancer Research. Read more...

Researchers Find Fatal Cellular Malfunction in Huntington’s

June 24, 2014 11:16 am | by Michael C. Purdy | News | Comments

Researchers believe they have learned how mutations in the gene that causes Huntington’s disease kill brain cells, a finding that could open new opportunities for treating the fatal disorder, which affects five to seven people out of every 100,000. Read more...

Bayer, Dimension Collaborate on Hemophilia Gene Therapy

June 24, 2014 11:05 am | News | Comments

Bayer HealthCare and Dimension Therapeutics, a company focused on developing novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy treatments for rare diseases, have entered into a collaboration for the development and commercialization of a novel gene therapy for the treatment of hemophilia A. Read more...

Scientists Discover Molecular ‘Yin-Yang’ of Blood Vessel Growth

June 19, 2014 7:05 pm | News | Comments

Biologists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a crucial process that regulates the development of blood vessels, which could lead to new treatments for disorders involving abnormal blood vessel growth, including common disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and cancer. Read more...

Researchers Map Mouse Brain to Understand Brain Disorders

June 19, 2014 6:54 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have mapped the development of the mouse brain from the embryo to the adult, creating a preliminary genetic key that allows them to pinpoint the age and location of regions of the developing brain. Read more...


Research Reveals Gene’s Role in Diabetes

June 19, 2014 6:37 pm | News | Comments

New research described details of how a diabetes-related gene functions on a biological pathway that affects the release of insulin. The study authors say that finding drugs that act on that pathway may eventually lead to a new treatment for type 1 diabetes. Read more...

Gene Mutations Protect Against Heart Disease

June 19, 2014 11:40 am | by Broad Communications | News | Comments

By scouring the DNA of thousands of patients, researchers at the Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and their colleagues have discovered four rare gene mutations that not only lower the levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, but also significantly reduce a person's risk of coronary heart disease — dropping it by 40%. Read more...

Microbial 'Assembly Line' Makes Antibiotics, Other Drugs

June 19, 2014 11:15 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Michigan have obtained for the first time three-dimensional snapshots of the “assembly line” within microorganisms that naturally produces antibiotics and other drugs, but the structure was not what the scientists had anticipated. Read more...

Horizon Licenses CRISPR Gene Editing Technology from Broad Institute

June 13, 2014 11:22 am | News | Comments

Horizon Discovery Group plc announced it has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with the Broad Institute to access intellectual property related to the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system.  Read more...          

Researchers Discover Enzyme’s Role in DNA Repair

June 9, 2014 2:20 pm | News | Comments

Twelve years ago, UNC School of Medicine researcher Brian Strahl, Ph.D., found that a protein called Set2 plays a role in how yeast genes are expressed, specifically, how DNA gets transcribed into messenger RNA, and now his lab has found that Set2 is also a major player in DNA repair. Read more...

Researchers Discover Three Possible Autism Treatment Targets

June 6, 2014 2:38 pm | News | Comments

A large new analysis of DNA from thousands of patients has uncovered several underlying gene networks with potentially important roles in autism. These networks may offer attractive targets for developing new autism drugs or repurposing existing drugs that act on components of the networks. Read more...

Scientists Find New Breast Cancer Targets

June 6, 2014 2:19 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have found new targets for potential intervention in breast cancer using an advanced technology known as hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to measure the intricate interactions between the AF1 and AF2 domains of the progesterone receptor. Read more...

Huntington's Mutant Protein Spreads from Sick to Healthy Cells

June 5, 2014 2:35 pm | News | Comments

A recent study published in Annals of Neurology reported that healthy human tissue grafted to the brains of patients with Huntington's disease in the hopes of treating the neurological disorder also developed signs of the illness, several years after the graft. Read more...

ImStem Advances MS Treatment with Embryonic Stem Cells

June 5, 2014 2:30 pm | News | Comments

ImStem Biotechnology Inc. announced it has successfully treated an animal model of multiple sclerosis - a chronic neuroinflammatory disease with no cure - using human embryonic stem cells (hESC) derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), called hES-MSCs. Read more...

Ventana, MedImmune Collaborate on Custom Assay for Clinical Trials

June 4, 2014 2:47 pm | News | Comments

Ventana Medical Systems Inc. and MedImmune announced they are jointly developing a PD-L1 (SP263) immunohistochemistry assay to enroll patients in clinical trials for MedImmune's MEDI4736 anti-PD-L1 therapy for non-small cell lung carcinoma. Read more...

EGFR Inhibitor Looks Promising in Lung Cancer

June 4, 2014 2:39 pm | News | Comments

Data from the ongoing Phase 1 AURA study in patients with EGFRm+, advanced NSCLC, demonstrate that the overall disease control rate was 94% for patients with EGFR T790M+ tumors - meaning that their tumors shrank or became stable - following treatment with the investigational drug AZD9291. Read more...

Personalized Cancer Therapies Come of Age

June 3, 2014 8:44 am | by Sean Harper, M.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Amgen | Articles | Comments

For many decades, scientific advances in cancer treatment were characterized by a slow, non-linear progress that resulted in treatments with a less than stellar ability to target cancer cells. Now, the advent of biomarker-driven drug development and the drive toward personalized medicine have provided a new approach to the treatment of advanced cancer. Read more...

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