CAR-T in killing tumors; Amunix raises $73M; Autism findings in protein-targeted treatment

Posted on Mar 5, 2020 by Delveinsight

Pharma News

Killing brain tumors with the help of CAR-T

CAR-T cell therapy is a technique which involves modifying patients’ T cells to aim proteins associated with cancer that have revolutionized some of the blood cancers treatment. However, the technique has so far shown low potential in solid tumors like aggressive brain cancer- glioblastoma.

Now, researchers at the City of Hope have created a novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) based on chlorotoxin (CLTX), a toxin present in scorpion venom. T cells armed with that CAR positively killed tumors in mice with glioblastoma xenografts without stimulating any unwanted consequences, the team informed in a study published in Science Translational Medicine.

The City of Hope has launched a phase 1 clinical study in partnership with the National Cancer Institute to assess the safety of the novel CLTX-CAR T cells- along with estimating the therapy’s response rate—in glioblastoma (GBM) patients.

Amunix raises USD 73 Million to take T-cell engager into humans

Amunix Pharmaceuticals has raised USD 73 Million in series A funding. The Omega Funds-led round makes Amunix up to go ahead with its leading T-cell engager into the lab after years of licensing its half-life extension technology to lead drug developers for their candidates.

The giants, including Biogen, Celgene and Merck, turned to Amunix, California-based company, for technology to increase the half-lives of their medicines. The branded XTEN proffers hydrophilic, unstructured, biodegradable protein chains to drugs to lessen dose frequency.

Since 2019, Amunix began targeting its internal efforts on the tools’ application that covers a prodrug platform, to T-cell engagers and cytokines, which only become involved in the tumour microenvironment. The work has progressed till the point that Amunix has the proof to bolster a sizable series A round.

Autism findings hint potential protein-targeted treatments

Autism is a diverse disease, which is a severe developmental disorder that degrades the ability to communicate and interact. The disease that causes a wide range of symptoms, from repetitive behaviours to extreme sensitivity to noise.

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes paid heed to tau, a protein that is the most closely associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers were examining a link between Alzheimer’s and epilepsy when they made an astonishing discovery that decreasing levels of tau in mouse models of autism prohibited three of the main symptoms of the disease: repetition, difficulty socializing and impaired communication. It also inhibited seizures, which affect about one-third of autism patients, as they published in the journal-Neuron.  

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