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J&J collaborates with BARDA; Virus kills pancreatic cancer cells; ALX raises USD 105 million for CD47 drug

PHARMA NEWS

J&J collaborates with BARDA to accelerate coronavirus vaccine program

Johnson & Johnson has collaborated with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to produce a vaccine against novel coronavirus. J&J is attempting to pool money and resources with BARDA in order to quick the progress of the drug into phase 1 development.  

J&J had joined the biopharma companies that are working to halt the coronavirus, now radiating out from Wuhan, China. The giant had sketched out a multipronged approach against the virus that positioned it to proffer antivirals for use in China while giving its AdVac and PER.C6 technologies to the development of a vaccine.  

Presently, J&J has extended its alliance with BARDA, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to lift the vaccine development program. The Janssen unit of and BARDA will co-fund R&D on the vaccine, and both make their capital and resources available for the project.

The virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease in cows helps in attacking pancreatic cancer. 

The scientists at the Queen Mary University of London, AstraZeneca and ADC Therapeutics had identified an ally while questing to tackle the deadly tumour- pancreatic cancer that is still difficult to treat.

The unexpected ally is the virus, which causes foot-and-mouth disease in cows. The researchers discovered that a peptide taken from the foot-and-mouth virus could search for pancreatic cancer cells. According to a new study reported in the journal Theranostics, the peptide guide is armed with a toxic warhead that killed pancreatic tumors in mice and significantly prolonged the animals’ lifespans.

The peptide was taken from the VP1 coat protein of the foot-and-mouth virus. It can aim integrin αvβ6, a protein that is overexpressed in most pancreatic cancers but is low or absent in the normal pancreas. 

ALX increases USD 105 Million for CD47 cancer drug

ALX Oncology has increased USD 105 million for CD47 cancer drug during mid-phase trials. The Series C round will bolster phase 2 trials of CD47 myeloid checkpoint inhibitor ALX148 with other anti-cancer therapies.

The multiple drug developers had pursued after CD47 when got confirmed of its role in the associations between cancer cells and the immune system. The evidence proposed tumors to avoid immune attacks by upregulating CD47 that lead researchers to block the signal that will expose cancer cells.  
Though, attempts have made to realize the therapeutic potential of anti-CD47 antibodies that had been dented by haematological adverse events emerging from the fact that the target is present on host cells like red blood cells.  

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