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.
12.02.2016 The promise of the microbiome as the basis of new treatments has caught the attention of many. Now, UK biotherapeutics maker 4D pharma plc has padded its microbiome pipeline with the acquisition of Irish Tucana Health.
05.02.2016 It is not yet clear why a man died during a first-in-man clinical trial in January. A preliminary report found several “major shortcomings” by responsible CRO Biotrial. However, all regulations were complied with.
04.02.2016 After having dodged multiple takeover attempts by Monsanto last year, agrobusiness giant Syngenta has now agreed to be acquired by chemical corporation ChemChina. The Swiss company also announced plans to go public within a few years.
01.02.2016 Altering human DNA with the efficient gene editing method CRISPR/Cas9, especially germline modifications, was long considered a taboo. Now, however, UK scientists have received official approval to tinker with embryo DNA.
27.01.2016 Three UK universities have teamed up with three pharma companies to create the Apollo Therapeutics Fund. With the tech transfer fund, the consortium aims to develop scientific research into medicines.
25.01.2016 Affimed means to put a promising drug combination to the test. With support from MSD, the German biopharma will carry out clinical trials for an immunotherapy combining treatments of both companies.
21.01.2016 Stop squandering antibiotics and make research profitable again: at the World Economic Forum in Swiss Davos, 83 pharmaceutical companies have called for a unified approach towards the threat of antimicrobial resistance.