Arming antibiotics with a vaccination-like immune response

Harnessing the ability of the body’s immune system has already well-tried to be effective in treating cancer. Marcos Pires, Ph.D., a Lehigh associate professor of biochemistry performed a test on it. To make it worse, these microorganism perpetually evolve, rendering antibiotics inefficient. Some scientists are making an attempt to tackle the additional protecting layer on gram-negative microorganisms. In their recent analysis, they recruited an antibody to focus on BamA, a protein that builds the outer wall of gram-negative microorganism.

PIRE’s experiment on immune response

Pires’ team assembles its therapy by combining polymyxin B to the lipid A in the surface of Gram-negative pathogens—with antigenic epitopes that attract antibodies. Lehigh Prof. Wonpil Im’s lab, which uses computational biophysics to understand antibiotics’ interaction with bacterial membranes, the team was also able to model how the bacteria’s surface could affect immune system activation. The result? “[A] compound that both directly kills bacteria and at the same time induces an immune response. “With this one-two punch against these difficult to kill bacteria, we believe there is great potential for in vivo testing to evaluate them further”.

Finnish drugmaker orion pharma’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug

Finnish drugmaker Orion Pharma is pressing ahead with a pivotal trial for its amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug ODM-109, despite mixed results in a phase 2 trial.Orion said it plans to enroll 450 subjects in the placebo-controlled trial at sites in Europe, North America and Australia, with patients taking the drug for a year to see if it can slow down the respiratory difficulties that are the usual cause of death in ALS.

European experiments on lateral sclerosis drug

European biotech, France’s AB Science provisionally turned down its masitinib drug for ALS in Europe in April, phase 2/3 trial that showed efficacy at the highest dose used wasn’t sufficient to support approval. Other players in the field include Biogen and Ionis, which have a SOD1-targeting antisense drug called BIIB067 in phase 1/2 trials, Amylyx with AMX0035 in phase 2 & new startup QurAlis. Another company active in this area is Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, which has stem cell-based NurOwn in phase 3 for ALS after showing a benefit in mid-stage testing.