25.03.2013 - Italian researchers have tracked down the signalling pathway causing
polycystic kidney disease and identified a promising target.
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the most common life-threatening genetic diseases, affecting an estimated 12.5 million people worldwide. Due to multiple fluid-filled cysts, both kidneys enlarge and can also damage liver, pancreas and - more rarely - heart and brain. Currently no treatment exists for the autosomally and recessively inherited forms of PKD.
The PKD-1 gene is mutated in 85% of the autosomal dominant form. Italian researchers have now found that the disorder can be targeted by an existing diabetes drug in combination with a glucose analogon. The team headed by Alessandra Boletta from San Raffaele Institute in Milan found that the PKD-1 mutation caused a switch in sugar metabolism towards aerobic glycolysis due to the inactivation of the master regulator AMPK (liver kinase B1-AMP activated protein kinase).
Forced activation of AMPK either by rapamycin, the diabetes medicine metformin or the non-metabolised sugar analogon 2-deoxy-glucose (2-DG) triggered reduction of the number of cysts in a mouse model. AMPK activation revitalized the ERK signalling pathway which re-activated mTORC1 that in turn normalised glycolysis. The researchers believe that a combination therapy of 2-DG and metformin offers a treatment opportunity for the progressive disease.
25.08.2015 Oslo Cancer Cluster is inaugurating its NOK1bn (€107m) Innovation Park. None other than Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg officially opened the doors to the research park on August 24th.
21.08.2015 Novartis Pharma AG has secured all remaining rights to antibody hopeful ofatumumab. Seller GlaxoSmithKline is set to receive up to US$1bn (€919m) for the treatment for MS and other autoimmune indications.
11.08.2015 Biotech bug controllers Oxitec has been bought by US biotech Intrexon Corporation for $160m (€145m). The Oxford University spin-out specialises in environmentally friendly technology to control pests such as mosquitoes, which cause dengue fever and other diseases.
04.08.2015 In a deal worth US$65m upfront, AstraZeneca is again teaming up with long-time partner Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., this time to discover and develop RNA antisense drugs for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases.
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