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.
20.01.2015 Ebola research projects are set to receive €215m in funding from the European Commission’s IMI2 Ebola+ programme. Among the project partners are vaccine developers Glaxosmithkline, Johnson&Johnson and Merck.
13.01.2015 Shire beefs up its rare disease portfolio after acquiring NPS Pharma with the aim of becoming a leading biotech in a US$5.2bn deal. Part of the deal is the US biotech's lead portfolio of gastrointestinal and hormone replacement therapies.
09.01.2015 The excitement surrounding CRISPR genome editing shows no sign of abating. This month, Novartis and US biotech Intellia Therapeutics became the first ever biotech-pharma collaboration to use the groundbreaking technology.
06.01.2015 With the aim to utilise Ireland’s many natural resources and keep abreast of the latest EU developments in bioeconomy, a multi-disciplinary team has been funded to maximise national income, exports and job creation related to Ireland’s bioeconomy.