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.
12.05.2015 US pharma is coming to European biotech to fill their pipeline. Pfizer is paying €77.5m for an option on Dutch AM-Pharma, while Juno Therapeutics acquired German biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics for around €72m.
26.05.2015 The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea has joined the Dutch MEB in its stance on the interchangeability of biosimilars. The Fimea now sees physician-driven switching of biologics as unproblematic.
02.06.2015 After disappointing Phase III results for immunotherapy tasquinimod and the subsequent discontinuation of the prostrate cancer drug, Swedish Active Biotech is now severely downsizing its operations.
20.05.2015 The Scottish Government has announced it will double the amount of funds for rare diseases. The New Medicines Fund that was created last year for this purpose will be increased to £80m (€112m).
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