Research at Sunshine Lake Pharma Co. Ltd. has led to the identification of Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) agonists reported to be useful for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, allergy, cancer, influenza, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, herpes virus, and HIV infections, among others.
Lipids are “very diverse, but also vastly understudied,” Anne Brunet told the audience at the recent meeting on Aging Research and Drug Discovery. Advances in the ability to predict protein structures have fueled a much better understanding of the human proteome and its estimated 20,000 members. The lipidome is much larger, numbering maybe 100,000 total. And what those lipids do remains much more fuzzy. “Very little is known about their function, and especially their function during aging,” Brunet said. Slowly, however, technological advances are enabling researchers to understand the roles of lipids as well.
Regenerative tissue developer Humacyte Inc. has posted positive top-line phase II/III results for its Human Acellular Vessel, a tissue-engineered graft consisting entirely of decellularized extracellular matrix, for vascular trauma repair. The data showed higher rates of patency, a measure of the lack of vascular obstruction, when compared to synthetic graft benchmarks.
In multiple sclerosis (MS), macrophages and microglia play a dual role that could be used to treat this neurodegenerative disease. These cells promote inflammation that demyelinates neurons but also sweep away the debris of damaged myelin and produce neurotrophic factors that would allow its restoration. According to a group of scientists from the University of Hasselt in Belgium, damage or repair depends on a double switch that combines the action of two enzymes, one that desaturates and another that elongates fatty acids. By reducing the levels of these enzymes, phagocytic cells would replenish the myelin instead of engulfing it.
The interleukin-17 (IL-17) family is involved in innate immunity regulation and plays a crucial role in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders by sustaining inflammation during the onset and progression of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Researchers from the University of Naples have reported on a new biological entity, Ab-IPL-IL-17, that displays potent anti-inflammatory activity in preclinical testing.
It was believed that they did not exist, but they are a reality. Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute in London have discovered stem cells in the thymus for the first time. The last organ to have its role described in humans still has properties that researchers could explore to prevent the decline of the immune system throughout life.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) have announced a renewed collaboration to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.
For many multiple sclerosis patients, the approval over the past 30 years of a lengthy list of immunomodulatory therapies has helped to reduce the frequency of relapses and to slow disease progression. However, there has been little parallel progress in the development of remyelination therapies, to tackle the other key pathophysiological dimension of the disease. Patients still have no therapies that can help to repair at least some of the damage that results from flare-ups, and the resulting neuronal loss contributes to further disease progression and disability. Rewind Therapeutics NV, of Leuven, Belgium, is one of a small clutch of firms attempting to tackle this problem.