26.03.2013 - British researchers have found that one single protein seems to control resistance against multiple herbicides of cereal crops weeds.
Multiple-herbicide resistance (MHR) in black-grass and annual rye-grass is a global threat for agriculture, leading to loss of chemical weed control in cereal crops. Until now, it was only poorly understood why MHR is associated with an enhanced ability to detoxify xenobiotics. Assuming an analogy with multiple drug resistance, which occurs in human tumours, researchers from York University and Syngenta now report they have found a possible explanation.
When they searched in black-grass and annual rye-grass for a plant homologue to the MDR causing phi glutathione S transferase (GSTP1) they found an enzyme that also showed both detoxification and signalling. When expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana, the protein termed GSTF1 led to multiple herbicide resistance in the model organism and showed a similar secondary metabolism pattern as the weeds. Those were not associated with a differential gene expression pattern but directly caused by GSTF1.
When they applied the GSTP1 blocker 4-chloro-7-nitro-benzoxadiazole to the weeds, the MHR masterswitch was blocked. They conclude that overexpression of GSTF1 orchestrates multi-herbicide resistance in grass weeds and that targeting the protein is a promising approach to regain weed control in cereal crops.
24.05.2016 One of the pioneering companies developing pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, Enterome Bioscience, has raised €14.5m in a Series C financing round. Among the investors were Seventure and Lundbeckfond as well as Nestlé.
20.05.2016 The long awaited global review on antimicrobial resistance by economist Lord Jim O’Neill has been published. It sets out an action plan to defeat superbugs with a huge awareness campaign and rapid diagnostics to be used before antibiotics are prescribed.
18.05.2016 Bayer is deepening its involvement in CRISPR with a licensing agreement for genome editing patents. Irish partner ERS Genomics holds the rights to the CRISPR/Cas9 tech from Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the inventors.
11.05.2016 Newly spun out company OxStem has raised £16.9m (€21.5m) to develop regenerative meds for the treatment of age-related disease. It is the largest financing for an Oxford spin-out – or any UK academic spin-out – to date.
09.05.2016 Swiss Genentech partner AC Immune has raised CHF42.7m (€38.6m) in order to advance its therapeutic and diagnostic product pipeline in Alzheimer’s disease. The news follows a recently announced R&D collaboration with Biogen.
04.05.2016 Barcelona-based epigenetics expert Oryzon Genomics has closed a debt funding round of €10.5m, bringing the total money raised since last year to €27m. The funds will serve to advance the company’s two LSD1 inhibitors in cancer and neurodegeneration.
03.05.2016 Ipsen is strengthening its ties to long-time development partner Oncodesign, a Dijon-based cancer treatment biotech. The French pharma is handing over the pre-clinical pharmacology for its oncology research programmes to Oncodesign.
29.04.2016 Swiss bank Group UBS has raised US$471m (€412m) for the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, which was set up to invest in early-stage cancer treatments. The money raised by the fund, nearly half of which comes from investors in Asia, is the largest amount ever raised for such a cancer investment fund.
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).