21.06.2012 - Researchers have halted the growth of skin cancer with help of a DNA that acts like an enzyme
Dublin/New South Wales – A DNA-based enzyme can block the growth of two common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, an Australian-Irish team of researchers has demonstrated (Science Translational Medicine, 20 June). Dubbed Dz13, the DNAzyme could potentially be a safe and effective therapy for skin cancer in humans.
In animal models for both skin cancers as well as metastasis, the molecule stopped tumour spread and growth effectively by binding to and destroying the RNA of a key gene called c-Jun. The proliferation–related transcription factor controlled cancer growth by suppression of neovascularisation and increasing apoptosis of tumour cells. Phenotypically, the DNAzyme reduced lung nodule formation and an intratumour injection of 100 µg Dz13 led to complete tumour remission after 35 days.
Levon Khachigian and colleagues, who have filed an US patent on „vascular therapeutics“, also found that Dz13 probably triggers an immune response to inhibit tumour growth because it acts better in immunocompetent than in immunocompromised mice. In GLP-compliant toxicology tests, the researchers proved in monkeys, pigs and rats that Dz13 is safe and well tolerated. It did not interfere in more than 70 physiological relevant bioassays, suggesting a reduced propensity for off-target effects.
The authors suggest to test the compound in first-in-man trails. Up to now DNAzymes have not caught on as therapeutic agents partly due to the fact that delivery has been a challenge for DNAzyme therapeutic applications. Now, the researchers have formulated their c-jun mRNA–targeted DNAzyme in complex with a DOTAP/DOPE–based lipid carrier.
27.04.2016 More revenue, more jobs, more financing, more R&D expenditure – all signs point towards sustainable growth in the German biotech sector. These are the results of the most recent company survey 2016, published by biotechnologie.de. The report was once again conducted alongside the biotech standards defined by the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD).
21.04.2016 An expert panel’s final report on the fatal drug trial earlier this year in France states that the death of one of the participants was most likely caused by the drug’s toxicity and not by any violation of the rules.
21.04.2016 For up to US$685m (€606m), Dutch ArgenX has outlicensed its human antibody programme ARGX-115 to AbbVie. The pre-clinical immuno-oncology candidate targets a protein believed to contribute to immunosuppressive effects of T-cells.
19.04.2016 British drug developer Heptares Therapeutics and mAb maker Kymab Ltd have partnered up in yet another immuno-oncology collaboration. The companies plan to discover antibody meds targeting a superfamily of receptors.
15.04.2016 Not every company is put off by the current stock market climate. Swiss biopharma company GeNeuro has gone public at Euronext Paris, raising €33m in the process. Others, meanwhile, have to find different ways to raise money.
13.04.2016 Despite political disturbances, 2015 was a good year for the biotech scene in Switzerland. Net sales increased by 5.1% to CHF5,133m and 400 additional people found jobs in the sector. As usual, the new numbers were presented at the annual Swiss Biotech Day – which set new records as well.
12.04.2016 German-Dutch life science investment specialist Forbion Capital Partners has raised more than €180m for its venture capital fund Forbion Capital Fund III. Once more the money will primarily go to European start-ups.
08.04.2016 Do you win by being innovative?, was the question asked at this year’s DIA Euromeeting in Hamburg. In a relaxed and cooperative atmosphere, regulators, physicians and patients had ample opportunity to interact with the healthcare industry.
07.04.2016 Pfizer and Allergan have called off their merger, cancelling plans to relocate the US pharma giant to Ireland to avoid US taxation. The US government has put a spoke in Pfizer’s wheels - an unfair move, Allergan says.