I must be getting lazy in my old age - I can't be bothered to break the following up, so am posting in bulk (five articles). My effort should get me employee of the week.
Should keep you busy over the weekend Lyon!
Argos Therapeutics Awarded U.S. Patent for CD83 Protein for Use in Immunological Disorders
Argos Therapeutics today announced the issuance of United States Patent 7,169,898, which covers soluble forms of the protein CD83. Soluble forms of CD83 can be used to treat a variety of disease indications resulting from unabated cellular immune responses, including autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, as well as for transplantation rejection.
"CD83 has shown promising activity as an efficient immunosuppressant and Argos is leveraging its expertise in immune system function and dendritic cells in the development of this compound," said John Bonfiglio, Ph.D., President and CEO of Argos. "This patent further extends our CD83-related intellectual property portfolio and protects our continued development of this exciting, novel asset."
CD83 is a glycoprotein expressed on the cell surface of mature dendritic cells (DCs), the most potent stimulators of immune responses. The strong upregulation of this protein during DC maturation suggests that it plays an important functional role in the induction of immune responses. Experimental data demonstrate that soluble CD83 can potently down-regulate immune responses, indicating that it can be developed to treat transplantation rejection and variety of autoimmune disorders. Importantly, data from animal models demonstrate that soluble CD83 exerts its effects without a requirement for chronic administration and does not leave the subject globally immunosuppressed. In April 2006, Argos obtained exclusive therapeutic use rights for CD83 from Beckman Coulter.
"Argos plans to build on this positive data and has planned additional studies in transplantation and autoimmune models, the results of which will help drive our clinical development strategy for this candidate," said Dr. Charles Nicolette, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Research and Development of Argos.
About Argos Therapeutics, Inc.
Argos Therapeutics is developing breakthrough immunotherapies that target the unique features of a patient's disease. This new generation of personalised cancer and infectious disease therapeutics trains the immune system to recognise and attack the disease. Argos' scientific leadership in RNA-loaded dendritic cells and advanced manufacturing processes provide a platform to tackle virtually all forms of cancers and infectious diseases. www.argostherapeutics.com
Argos is a private biotechnology company headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC. The Company has clinical trial programs in cancer and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and has an ongoing co-development and commercialisation alliance with the Pharmaceutical Division of Kirin Brewery Company, Limited.
Source: Argos Therapeutics
Nutra Pharma Announces Publication of Research on Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
Nutra Pharma Corp, a biotechnology company that is developing drugs for HIV and Multiple Sclerosis has today announced that its drug discovery division, ReceptoPharm, has received notification of acceptance of its paper for publication in the Critical Reviews in Immunology special conference issue.
The article, entitled "Alpha-Cobratoxin as a possible therapy for Multiple Sclerosis; a review of the literature leading to its development for this application," discusses the background and reasoning behind ReceptoPharm's research on its treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The Company has completed Phase I studies and is preparing to begin its Phase II human clinical trials.
"We are honoured to have our paper accepted for publication in such a well respected journal," commented Paul Reid, CEO of ReceptoPharm, Inc. "Alpha-Cobratoxin could play an important role in treating Multiple Sclerosis and we believe it is important to disseminate our research throughout the scientific community," he added.
Recently, ReceptoPharm announced it received a letter of intent to create a joint venture in China aimed at developing the Company's antiviral drug, RPI-MN, for the Chinese market. RPI-MN is ReceptoPharm's lead drug candidate being researched for the treatment of HIV/AIDS and other viral disorders.
About Critical Reviews in Immunology
The great advances in immunology in recent years make this field one of the most rapidly growing in biological sciences. Critical Reviews(TM) in Immunology presents a balanced overview of contemporary immunology and melds together molecular immunology and immunobiology. The Journal is published six times each year.
Source: Nutra Pharma Corp.
Inhibiting Blood to Save the Brain
A fibrous protein called fibrinogen, found in circulating blood and important in blood clotting, can promote multiple sclerosis (MS) when it leaks from the blood into the brain, triggering inflammation that leads to MS-related nerve damage. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have identified a fibrin-derived peptide that inhibits this specific inflammation process in mouse models of MS, reducing MS symptoms.
“Current strategies to develop therapies to fight MS primarily target T cells,” said Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., assistant professor in UCSD’s Department of Pharmacology, whose study was published in the March 19 issue of Journal of Experimental Medicine. “Blood proteins have been neglected as a therapeutic target, but this research shows that a blood clotting factor is an important player in MS.”
MS is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system, causing symptoms such as loss of balance and muscle coordination, and changes in cognitive function. The disease is marked by loss of myelin, a material that coats nerve fibres. Past studies showed that the destruction of the myelin sheath is associated with the accumulation of fibrinogen deposits in the brain of human MS patients. In this study, Akassoglou and colleagues showed that fibrinogen is not merely associated with the damage in MS, but an active participant. Fibrinogen activates macrophage cells in the brain called microglia, causing inflammation which damages myelin.
The scientists sought to design a therapeutic strategy that would block the damaging effects of fibrinogen without affecting its beneficial blood coagulation. Studying a mouse model, the researchers identified a specific receptor called Mac-1 that is expressed by microglial cells and binds to fibrinogen. Mice expressing a mutant form of fibrinogen that failed to bind Mac-1 had fewer inflammatory lesions and less severe MS symptoms. Blocking the interaction between Mac-1 and fibrinogen after the first episode of paralysis using the fibrin peptide prevented subsequent relapses. It also prevented further microglia activation and damage to myelin in the diseased mice, allowing them to survive with improved motor function.
“Importantly, this approach blocks fibrin’s interaction with microglia, but not with platelets, so clotting wouldn’t be impacted,” said Akassoglou, adding that this potential MS therapy might also have applications to other blood-brain barrier diseases where blood leakage and microglia activation is present such as spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.
Additional contributors to the paper include Ryan A. Adams, Shoana L. Sikorski and Tal Nuriel of UCSD’s Department of Pharmacology; Jan Bauer and Hans Lassmann, Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna; and Matthew J. Flick and Jay L. Degen, Children’s Hospital Research Foundation and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Funding for the study was provided in part by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, and by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Source: Newswise © 2007 Newswise. All Rights Reserved.
MultiCell Technologies Announces a New Class of Patented Therapeutics Eradicates Disease and Prevents Death in Animal Studies -- Targets Multibillion Dollar Worldwide Market for Immune Disorders and Cancer.
MultiCell Technologies, Inc, developing first-in-class drugs based on advanced immune system modulation technologies, has announced its patented recombinant immunoglobulin peptide (IgP) technology creates a highly specific and superior antibody therapeutic. MultiCell's patented IgP antibody therapeutics are a new class of human antibody therapeutics engineered using recombinant DNA technology to contain disease-associated, T-cell responsive, therapeutic peptides.
MultiCell's IgP antibody therapeutics have shown a superior ability to more specifically target key immune system regulators, and elicit cytokine production compared to traditionally administered peptide therapeutics. In preclinical animal models for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and juvenile diabetes, MultiCell's IgP antibody therapeutics eradicated the disease and prevented death in the treated population, while all of the control animals died as a result of the disease. In preclinical animal models, MultiCell's IgP antibody therapeutics have been shown to eradicate cancer and prevent recurrence when co-administered with MCT-465, MultiCell's Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist.
"When a person's T-cells are activated in autoimmune disease, they produce antibodies which attack specific targets such as pancreatic islet cells, or the protective myelin sheath surrounding nerves resulting in diabetes or multiple sclerosis,'' explained Dr. Stephen Chang, President and CEO of MultiCell Technologies. "Our IgP antibody therapeutics contain T-cell responsive therapeutic peptides that bind only to the autoimmune disease-producing T-cells, causing the cells to self destruct and the disease to be eradicated,'' added Dr. Chang. "In cancer, our IgP antibody therapeutics work synergistically with our TLR agonist, MCT-465, to kill tumor cells by immune system activation, specific cellular targeting, and cell death,'' said Dr. Chang. "In both autoimmune disease and cancer, our IgP antibody therapeutics prevent recurrence of the disease by sensitising the immune system in a manner similar to how a vaccine immunises against future attack.''
"T-cells are only responsive to small peptides, so the antibody therapeutic must be engineered with the therapeutic peptide portion displayed in the most optimal location for maximum efficacy,'' stated Dr. Chang. "Taken together, we believe we have developed the next-generation antibody therapeutic having the best attributes of today's therapeutic antibodies such as specificity and the ability to modulate the immune system. At the same time, our IgP antibody therapeutics minimise the short in vivo half-life and non-specific targeting of traditional peptide therapeutics.''
MultiCell is an innovator in the science of modulating the human immune system, focusing on the development of breakthrough drugs to treat serious diseases, including chronic fatigue-associated with multiple sclerosis, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, influenza, and cancer.
Source: MultiCell Technologies Inc.
Medistem Laboratories Announces Tolerostem(TM) Platform as Second Pipeline Product for Potential U.S. Commercialisation
Product Aims to Reprogram Immune System, Providing New Therapy for Autoimmune Diseases and Transplant Rejection.
Medistem Laboratories, Inc. announced today its second pipeline candidate, Tolerostem(TM), a cellular therapy platform aimed at controlling harmful immunological responses through the use of adult stem cells undergoing a proprietary modification.
If approved for human use, the Tolerostem(TM) platform could make a significant contribution in the treatment of multiple autoimmune diseases ranging from rheumatoid arthritis, to multiple sclerosis, to Type I diabetes. Additionally, Tolerostem(TM) offers the possibility of "tricking" the immune system of transplant recipients, so as to prevent the need for chronic immune suppression, which has been shown to cause significant adverse effects.
The Tolerostem(TM) platform is based on the fundamental concept that the regulatory T cell, a type of anti-inflammatory cell in the immune system is activated by stem cells of specific lineages. Regulatory T cells subsequently home to areas of pathological inflammation and "teach" the inflammatory cells to stop attacking the host's tissue. If successful, Tolerostem(TM) opens the door to a therapeutic approach whereby the body regulates itself without the need for other types of medical intervention.
"Proof-of-principle that stem cells are capable of controlling harmful immune responses is being demonstrated by companies such as Osiris Therapeutics who are in Phase III clinical trials" said Neil Riordan Ph.D, President and CEO of Medistem. "Our Tolerostem(TM) platform leverages these prior successes with the aim of introducing a simple, patient-specific solution that could be widely commercialised."
Thomas Ichim, Medistem's Chief of Scientific Development, added, "While circumstantial evidence of stem cell mediated immune modulation has been suspected for some time, we believe based on clinical data from our licensees, that we have identified a completely novel use for manipulated stem cells. This application is covered directly and indirectly in several Medistem patent applications."
Currently Medistem is in discussions with immunology laboratories for performing preclinical safety and efficacy experiments to hopefully enable Investigational New Drug (IND) filing with the FDA in the last quarter of 2007. If accepted by the FDA, the company will then work towards initiating U.S. clinical trials.
Source: Medistem Laboratories