03.12.2012 - French researchers have identified how the body’s immune systems triggers therapy resistance to the cancer drugs gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil.
The researchers, headed by François Ghiringhelli from INSERM in Dijon, found that in mice, the drugs activate a protein complex, termed Nlrp3 inflammasome, in myeloid derived suppressor cells. This activation leads to the release of the immune cell interleukin (IL)-1 beta, which then skews T immune cells to produce protumorigenic IL-17 and results in enhanced growth of tumours in mice (Nature Medicine, doi: 10.1038/nm.2999).
The chemotherapeutics were more efficacious at inhibiting tumour growth in mice lacking Nlrp3 or IL-17, or treated with an IL-1 receptor antagonist. The findings suggest that targeting the inflammasome pathway in conjunction with chemotherapy may improve its tumour killing efficacy by preventing the induction of protumorigenic immune responses.
05.03.2015 The IPO wave in the biotech sector shows no signs of slowing down. An Irish life sciences fund set up by former Elan executives plans to raise €325m with its IPO, whilst Summit Therapeutics has announced its IPO pricing of US$34m on Nasdaq.
03.03.2015 After weeks of speculation, AstraZeneca has announced its plans to spin out its early-stage antibiotic R&D. The decision marks the company’s aims to “sharpen its focus on three main therapy areas”.