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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

AAN 2017

The approval of Roche Holding AG's Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) last month made it the first FDA-approved multiple sclerosis (MS) drug that provided benefit to patients with primary progressive MS. (See BioWorld Today, March 30, 2017.)

MORE IS MORE

A dendritic cell vaccine against a viral antigen induced long-term survival in three out of 11 treated glioblastoma patients, scientists reported in the April 15, 2017, issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

ALSO METASTASIS TARGET

A collaborative study by Chinese and U.S. researchers has for the first time identified a critical new regulator of tumor growth, metastasis and immune response, which they showed to be an effective therapeutic target for triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) and potentially other cancers resistant to conventional treatments.

FINDING WHAT'S NOT THERE

Exome sequencing of more than 10,000 individuals from an area of Pakistan with a high rate of cousin marriage has enabled researchers to identify more than 1,300 genes that were functionally absent in at least one person.

ATAXIN ATTACK

Reducing expression of the protein ataxin-2 improved symptoms in mouse models of both spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA-2) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scientists reported this week. Their findings appeared in two back-to-back papers in the April 13, 2017 issue of Nature.

DRAWING FROM LIFE'S ATM

Korean researchers at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) have discovered a new mechanism through which senescence is controlled at the cellular level and identified a means by which that mechanism's function is modulated, offering the potential to reverse the aging process.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH 2017

WASHINGTON – “Hallmarks and enabling characteristics should be not special cases, but rather reasonably broad across the spectrum of human cancers,” Robert Weinberg told BioWorld Today. He acknowledged that such generality is a “high bar.”

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH 2017

WASHINGTON – Researchers at Yale University have received conditional approval for a clinical trial that will test whether isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-mutated tumors might respond better to poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors than to IDH inhibitors.

The small molecule PF-06446846 selectively blocked the translation of PCSK9 messenger RNA, showing that the ribosome can be targeted in a protein-specific manner. Researchers from the University of California Berkeley and Pfizer Inc. reported the findings in the March 21, 2017, online issue of PLoS Biology.

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