Treating COVID-19: Bipolar drug shows promise and other hopeful findings – Medical News Today

We continue our Hope Behind the Headlines series by exploring the most recent and most hopeful findings in the field of COVID-19 research.

Hopefully, the COVID-19 pandemic will not last forever. Every 2 weeks, we round up the recently published evidence that reminds us of this.

In our last installment, we reported on a vaccine candidate that showed promise in monkeys and a new trial that tested an existing drug, among other innovations.

In this feature, we discover another existing drug that could treat the infection. We also learn about T cells and how a new blood test could speed up vaccine development and mass screening.

Furthermore, we zoom in on a class of immune-modifying drugs that may be the most effective treatment for severe forms of the disease.

Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

Researchers have found that a drug that doctors currently use for treating conditions as varied as bipolar disorder and hearing loss also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties make it a good candidate for treating COVID-19.

The drug is called Ebselen, and the fact that it is already in use indicates its safety. Furthermore, previous evidence has shown that Ebselen can block enzymes that the new coronavirus needs for replicating within healthy host cells.

This enzyme is called Mpro, and researchers have described this protease as indispensable for the replication of SARS-CoV-2. As a result, Mpro is an excellent drug candidate.

In the new study, Prof. Juan de Pablo, from the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, IL, and his colleagues set out to test whether Ebselen can indeed inhibit the Mpro protease.

To find out, they created computer models of both the drug and Mpro to see how they interact. They found that the drugs action is two-pronged:

In addition to binding at the catalytic site of the enzyme, Ebselen also binds strongly to a distant site, which interferes with the enzymes catalytic function by relying on a mechanism in which information is carried from one region of a large molecule to another region far away from it through subtle structural reorganizations.

These findings highlight the promise of Ebselen as a repurposed drug against SARS-CoV-2.

The study authors

In an exclusive interview for Medical News Today, James Hindley, Ph.D., explained how he and his collaborator Martin Scurr, Ph.D. a research associate at Cardiff Universitys School of Medicine in the United Kingdom are working on a new test that measures a key component of the immune system: T cells.

Hindley, who is the Executive Director at Indoor Biotechnologies in Cardiff, told MNT that most of the existing tests focus on assessing antibodies to determine immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

However, another critical component of our immune response to viruses is the T cell. These also provide memory immune responses and may even be more sensitive than antibodies, said Hindley.

T cells are a type of lymphocyte, or white blood cell, that the bone marrow produces. Before neutralizing antibodies even come into play, different types of T cells have to collaborate to lead to antibody production.

The test we have developed can provide quantitative results measuring the magnitude of an individuals T-cell response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We can also run in parallel the same test for other human coronaviruses and viruses, such as influenza. This allows us to establish a persons immune status.

James Hindley, Ph.D.

The researcher went on to explain that the test will be useful for vaccine development; to determine whether a T-cell response to the vaccine has been generated and whether that is adequate to be protective from infection.

We also believe this test will enable public health bodies to perform much wider screenings of the population. [T]his would be carried out by laboratories in conjunction with antibody testing to determine what constitutes protective immunity.

Finally, the researcher also explained how this test is more effective than others.

Where we were innovative was looking at the minimum requirements to perform this test, to get the necessary data to answer the question of whether a person has specific T-cell responses.

By providing just these elements without the added complexity, we made this test much easier to perform in almost any lab.

New research spearheaded by Marcus Buggert, an immunologist at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, also has T cells at its heart.

Buggert and his team found that 30 out of 31 people who recovered from a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection had memory T-cell responses to the new virus.

Out of the same sample, 27 had antibodies against the coronavirus. Such findings add to the newly emerging direction in research that uses T cells as an alternative path to COVID-19 immunity.

In the new study, T cell responses were still visible months after a mild infection, sometimes even in the absence of antibodies.

In the absence of a protective vaccine, says Buggert, it is critical to determine if exposed or infected people, especially those with asymptomatic or very mild forms of the disease who likely act inadvertently as the major transmitters, develop robust adaptive immune responses against SARS-CoV-2.

Our findings suggest that the reliance on antibody responses may underestimate the extent of population-level immunity against SARS-CoV-2. The obvious next step is to determine whether robust memory T-cell responses in the absence of detectable antibodies can protect against COVID-19 in the long term.

Marcus Buggert

Finally, an observational study found a class of drugs called interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitors to be the most effective for treating severe forms of COVID-19.

In fact, the new study found that these drugs are even more effective than remdesivir or dexamethasone the other two treatments widely heralded as beneficial, based on clinical trial results.

Healthcare professionals typically prescribe IL-6 receptor inhibitors for conditions with an autoimmune component, such as rheumatoid arthritis, to dampen the immune systems excessive response.

IL-6 receptor inhibitors as their name suggests block the receptors of IL-6, which is an immune signaling molecule, or cytokine.

In COVID-19, this action helps calm down the phenomenon known as the cytokine storm, which can lead to potentially fatal outcomes in people with the disease.

In the new paper, for which Dr. Pranay Sinha from the Section of Infectious Diseases at Boston University School of Medicine, MA, was the first author, the researchers explain that the participants who received the 1L-6 inhibitors had considerably higher supplementary oxygen requirements, indicating more advanced disease, than patients in the remdesivir and dexamethasone trials and would have been expected to have a higher mortality rate.

However, the IL-6 inhibitor recipients had a lower mortality rate than patients in the intervention and control groups of those trials.

Furthermore, the mortality rate for the participants who required ICU care was 22.9%. This rate was considerably lower than the published 4550% mortality in other ICU cohorts.

The majority of patients (85.5%) were also discharged alive, which is higher than the reported rate with standard of care (3666%) over a similar time of follow-up. Overall, the authors conclude:

[IL-6 inihitor] use was associated with decreased mortality, decreased rate of intubation, higher likelihood of being discharged alive, and shorter length of stay.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.

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Treating COVID-19: Bipolar drug shows promise and other hopeful findings - Medical News Today

Piezoceramics Bring Precision and Reliability to Medical Technologies – Novus Light Technologies Today

Piezoceramic materials are used in actuation and sensing applications across a variety of markets, and are key to some of the leading-edge technologies now used in the medical sector. From molecular diagnostics and microdosing to ultrasonic tartar removal from teeth, medical technologies require components that are fast and reliable, with low energy consumption. Piezoceramics combine all these characteristics, giving much higher accuracy and precision and requiring less power compared to traditional mechanical actuators and sensors. They are also friction free, so are less susceptible to wear and tear, keeping ongoing costs to a minimum.

The direct piezoelectric effect is based on the generation of charges through the application of force by a crystal, and this piezo technology is used in a range of everyday objects. The most widely recognised application of the piezoelectric effect is probably to provide the spark for electronic cigarette or gas grill lighters, but it is just as frequently used in reverse applying a voltage to a piezo crystal to cause it to change shape. This ability to convert electrical signal into motion is, if anything, even more commonly used in consumer goods particularly for the speakers often used in cell phones and other compact devices and the rise of advanced piezoceramic materials has further expanded their use. With no mechanical parts, piezoceramic actuators offer exceptional precision and speed combined with excellent reliability and low power consumption. They do not create, and are not affected by, magnetic fields, and work reliably under extreme conditions, for example at cryogenic temperatures and in vacuums, making them easily adaptable to different environments.

In vitro diagnostics (IVD) offer numerous possibilities to diagnose and detect diseases and other conditions at an early stage from samples of blood, saliva, urine or tissue. IVD is increasingly important in the fight against virus pandemics, such as COVID-19, where fast, easy and widely accessible testing methods open up the possibility to adapt therapeutic interventions for a personalised medicine approach to help cure, treat, and prevent diseases. Laboratory-based and portable point-of-care IVD testing devices require nano- and picolitre-level liquid handling, as well as high precision, shock-free dosing, fast mixing or separation of fluids and particles, and the generation of perfect droplets, taking into account the viscosity and surface tension of the media and the dosing speed. Often, contactless execution is also necessary to avoid sample contamination.

Piezoelectric components and actuators are ideal for several of these challenging IVD applications, and many clinical instruments take advantage of the incredible speed and accuracy that these technologies offer down to the nanometre level. In a lab setting, devices are getting more compact as we try to cram more capabilities into the same space, while the density of sampling is getting higher, creating a need for very small and fast drivers for the pipetting process. At the same time, these mechanisms must produce enough force to move the pipettes vertically, but with the accuracy to aspirate or dispense the right amounts of fluid. Small footprint piezomotors are perfect for this application, operating as a direct linear drive that can generate high forces. A ceramic that oscillates at ultrasonic frequencies generates a controllable forward motion with uniform speed and unparalleled accuracy.

Highly reliable PICMA stack multilayer piezo actuators are available in numerous designs with different displacement modes.

Piezo elements are also commonly used in micropumps to reliably and precisely move extremely small volumes of liquid or gas, ranging from a few hundred millilitres to a few nanolitres. Different types of pumps, such as membrane or peristaltic pumps, are actuated by different drive principles. The piezo elements can be adapted perfectly to each specific application and environment, from miniaturised lab-on-a-chip solutions for mobile analytical instruments, to microdiaphragm pumps that create continuous and variable flow rates down to the picolitre range. Essentially, any application that needs reliable metering of minute amounts of liquids and gases from medical uses and biotechnology to chemical analytics and process engineering can benefit from powerful and versatile piezo technology, and the more it is applied to this sector, the more device manufacturers will realise its potential.

Another use of piezo motors is in conventional chip-on-the-tip video endoscopes. These instruments typically use fixed focus optics to provide imaging for a certain depth of field, but integration of a miniature piezo motor enables variable focusing, ensuring that an object can always be displayed optimally in sharp focus. Selection of the most appropriate drive technology for the specific task and boundary conditions will enhance the image quality and depth of focus without compromising reliability.

Piezo drives also offer benefits compared to traditional mechanical drives for ultrasound applications. By avoiding the need for mechanical components such as clutches or gearheads they offer lower weight, reduced costs and greater reliability. Oscillations of a piezoceramic actuator at ultrasonic frequencies are converted into linear motion along a moving rod, giving a uniform motion of theoretically unlimited travel range.

Miniaturised piezo elements can be used for many minimally invasive treatment procedures, such as ablation, intravascular lithotripsy, or even the controlled release of medication. For example, a non-contact ablation procedure using piezoceramics has recently been developed for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. The transcatheter technology uses tiny piezo elements to generate ultrasonic waves, and the mechanical energy that the target tissue area absorbs leads to heating, causing coagulation. Treatment can be monitored in real-time, allowing lesions to be created as seamless lines, an important criterion that is the basis for the success of the therapy. This technology, generated by ultrasound only, reduces the risk of injury during treatment, and solves the greatest limitations of current catheter ablation technologies.

As stated above, piezo elements are also used in intravascular lithotripsy, for minimally invasive reduction of atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels or heart valves, as well as life-threatening stenoses. Here, ultrasound waves increase the permeability of the blood vessel wall through sonoporation, enabling better penetration of the medication used to induce plaque dissolution.

As medical technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, the versatility of piezoceramics is becoming increasingly useful in providing solutions for more efficient instrumentation. The potential uses for piezoceramics is vast from minimally invasive treatment for atrial fibrillation to IVD testing platforms. The flexibility of piezoceramic materials mean that they can be adapted for multiple different applications, offering reliability and precision, and continuing to support instrumentation development as technology advances even further.

Written byAnnemarie Oesterle - Segment Marketing Manager Medical Technologies, PI Ceramic Marketing Manager.

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Piezoceramics Bring Precision and Reliability to Medical Technologies - Novus Light Technologies Today

Dr. Torry Tucker Receives Outstanding Teaching Award – East Texas Review

These awards demonstrate the Boards appreciation for exceptional educators at each of the 14 UT institutions, Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife said. Their dedication to teaching excellence and student success is instrumental to achieving our education, research and healthcare missions.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler(UTHSCT) Associate Professor Dr. Torry A. Tucker has been selected to receivethe 2020 Regents Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of TexasSystem Board of Regents to recognize extraordinary classroom performance andinnovation.

The honor reflects the great respect students, peers andpresidents have for a recipients teaching abilities and contributions.

This award is so well deserved, and we are so proud of Dr.Tucker, said UTHSCT President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun. Great faculty, like him,will lead and educate a new generation of scientists and healthcareprofessionals. We appreciate what Dr. Tucker does for our university every day,and I look forward to when we can have an in-person and safe celebration of hisaward.

Dr. Tucker is an associate professor of cellular andmolecular biology. He also serves as the associate dean for faculty andeducation initiatives. Dr. Tucker was trained as a cell biologist at theUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham with a focus on diseases of the lung,specifically cystic fibrosis. He came to The University of Texas Health ScienceCenter at Tyler as a postdoctoral fellow in 2007 and joined the faculty in2009. His current research investigates the causes of pleural scarring andsubsequent fibrosis. He also studies pathways involved in the development and progressionof idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Dr. Tucker receives a certificate, medallion and $25,000 inrecognition of his impact on students and the institution. Tucker was one of 27faculty members representing 14 UT academic and health institutions to receivethe 2020 Regents Outstanding Teaching Award.

These awards demonstrate the Boards appreciation forexceptional educators at each of the 14 UT institutions, Board of RegentsChairman Kevin P. Eltife said. Their dedication to teaching excellence andstudent success is instrumental to achieving our education, research andhealthcare missions.

Great teachers inspire, motivate and challenge theirstudents, UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said. We honor theseoutstanding educators for their service to Texas and Texans.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents establishedthe annual awards program in 2008 to honor exemplary classroom performance andinnovation. Since then, the Board has presented more than $20 million to over750 outstanding UT educators.

Nominees undergo a series of rigorous evaluations bystudents, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider arange of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidates teachingperformance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovativecourse development and student learning outcomes.

As part of the world-renowned University of Texas System,The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) is a graduateschool providing programs for those seeking careers in the medical field.UTHSCT offers Master of Science in Biotechnology, Master of Public Health andMaster of Health Administration degrees, as well as residency programs formedical school graduates in family medicine, general surgery, internalmedicine, occupational medicine, rural family medicine, general psychiatry andrural psychiatry. Psychology internships and fellowships are also available.

Graduate students, medical residents and other medicalprofessionals-in-training develop marketable skills and qualifications to excelin the medical field as they learn alongside innovative scientists, physiciansand other healthcare experts at UTHSCT and UT Health East Texas, a 10-hospitalhealth system throughout East Texas. Led by Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP, theuniversity will soon become the home to the first medical school in East Texas,pending regulatory and accreditation approval. For more information

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Dr. Torry Tucker Receives Outstanding Teaching Award - East Texas Review

Companion Diagnostic, Targeted Therapy Approvals Rise in Tandem – OncLive

In 2020, the rate of companion diagnostic approvals is keeping pace with that of targeted therapies, rapidly expanding the arsenal of novel tools available to identify actionable molecular markers across histologies.

Since January 2020, the FDA has approved 10 new single-agent and combination regimens for use with a specific companion diagnostic (Table).1,2

The agency also has given the go-ahead for the Ventana HER2 Dual ISH DNA Probe Cocktail assay, a new, faster method for detecting HER2 gene amplification status for trastuzumab (Herceptin) therapy.2

Additionally, on August 7, 2020, the agency approved Guardant360 CDx assay, a next-generation sequencing (NGS) test that utilizes circulating cell-free DNA from peripheral whole blood plasma, as a companion diagnostic to detect EGFR mutations in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who are candidates for osimertinib (Tagrisso) therapy. The test is the first liquid biopsy assay that also uses NGS technology, the FDA said.3

As precision medicine evolves in oncology, companion diagnostics are broadly and increasingly being adopted to guide treatment decisions, enabling clinicians to better and more precisely direct patients to therapies that best suit their unique genomic profiles. Specifically, companion diagnostics can be used to select the patients who are likely to respond to a given therapeutic intervention, as well as those who should not receive a specific treatment because of a high risk of adverse events. This latter insight is critical, considering that many oncology drugs are toxic and have a positive effect in only a fraction of patients with a particular malignancy.4

The profusion of targeted therapies approved with associated companion diagnostics in 2020 duly reflects oncologys growing emphasis on personalized methodologies of treatment selection and the fields continuous investigative efforts to advance precision medicine, according to Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, associate director for Translational Science and section chief of Molecular Oncology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick. What we are seeing is the result of a lot of investment in targeted therapeutics and approaches over the past decade now coming to fruition, Ganesan said.


The FDA has approved 43 in vitro and imaging-based diagnostic devices, including the Guardant360 CDx assay.2,3

This record of FDA-accepted companion diagnostics dates back to 1998, when Dako Denmarks immunohistochemical assay, HercepTest, developed to detect the HER2 protein in breast cancer tissue, was concurrently approved with trastuzumab (Herceptin).

The simultaneous approval represented the first step toward oncologys current practice of codeveloping drugs and corresponding diagnostics.5

In contrast to 1998, this model of companion diagnostic-guided therapeutics is now dominant in oncology, with several devices holding indications for multiple therapies across tumor types. For example, Foundation Medicines NGSbased in vitro diagnostic device, FoundationOne CDx, which detects substitutions, insertion and deletion alterations, and copy number alterations in 324 genes, is approved as a companion diagnostic test for 23 therapies. The assay uses DNA isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue specimens.

On April 17, 2020, Foundation Medicine announced that the comprehensive genomic profiling test received FDA clearance to aid the identification of candidates for pemigatinib (Pemazyre) monotherapy, which received an accelerated approval for adults with treatment-nave, unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma with an FGFR2 fusion or rearrangement.6

FoundationOne CDxs indication further expanded on May 6, 2020, when the FDA granted capmatinib (Tabrecta) an accelerated approval for adults with metastatic MET exon14 skippingmutated nonsmall cell lung cancer and designated the device as the agents corresponding companion diagnostic.7

The approval of FoundationOne CDx for multiple tumor types exemplifies Ganesans observation that companion diagnostic development does not always entail new technology and will not necessarily require frequent innovation as the usage and utility of these devices expands in oncology. Often, we are building on a platform diagnostic that is already FDA approved. In some cases, new diagnostic tools are not being invented; rather, existing assays are being validated for a new purpose, Ganesan said.

On May 19, 2020, FoundationOne CDx was approved to support the identification of patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic homologous recombination repair gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Patients with the biomarker who progress after prior treatment with enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) are eligible to receive olaparib (Lynparza).8

This decision expanded FoundationOne CDxs olaparib-specific indication: the diagnostic was previously approved to select patients with BRCA-mutant advanced ovarian cancer who would benefit from frontline maintenance olaparib monotherapy, on July 1, 2019.9

FoundationOne CDxs 2019 approval followed a 2016 announcement issued by AstraZeneca, olaparibs developer, and Foundation Medicine indicating that the companies had entered into a definitive agreement to develop a novel companion diagnostic assay for olaparib to support the global development of the PARP inhibitor.10

The cross-therapy companion diagnostic approvals that FoundationOne CDx received in the 4 years that followed AstraZeneca and FoundationOnes forging of this strategic partnership evidence the multiyear nature of the research efforts required to advance diagnostic-guided precision care. Ganesan emphasized that moving the needle in personalized medicine can be a slow process fraught with questions, even if the recent succession of 2020 companion diagnostic approvals makes it appear otherwise.

For example, it took us over 20 years to go from identifying HER2 amplification in a subset of breast cancer, to developing and validating HER2targeted theraputics, and f inally, development of combination treatment strategies that have changed the natural history of early and late-stage HER2amplified breast cancers, Ganesan said.

Nevertheless, the series of 2020 companion diagnostic indications that the FDA has issued in synchronization with targeted therapy approvals represents a very important series of developments that points to the importance of upfront molecular profiling for many cancers, both as part of their biologic classification and to guide optimal therapy, Ganesan added.


1. Hematology/oncology (cancer) approvals & safety notifications. FDA. Updated August 6, 2020. Accessed August 10, 2020.

2. List of cleared or approved companion diagnostic devices (in vitro and imaging tools). FDA. Updated August 3, 2020. Accessed August 10, 2020.

3. FDA approves first liquid biopsy next-generation sequencing companion diagnostic test. FDA. August 7, 2020. Accessed August 10, 2020.

4. Becker Jr R, Mansfield E. Companion diagnostics. Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2010;8(7):478-479.

5. Jan Trst Jrgensen, ed. Companion and Complementary Diagnostics: From Biomarker Discovery to Clinical Implementation. Academic Press; 2019.

6. Foundation Medicine receives FDA approval for FoundationOne CDx as the companion diagnostic for Pemazyre (pemigatinib), the first FDA-approved targeted therapy for adults with previously treated locally advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma. News release. Foundation Medicine, Inc; April 17, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020.

7. Foundation Medicine receives FDA approval for FoundationOne CDx as the companion diagnostic for Tabrecta (capmatinib), the only FDA-approved MET inhibitor for patients with metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer with METex14. News release. Foundation Medicine, Inc; May 6, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020.

8. Foundation Medicine receives FDA approval for FoundationOne CDx as the companion diagnostic for Lynparza to identify patients with HRR-mutated metastatic castrationresistant prostate cancer. News release. Foundation Medicine, Inc; May 20, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020.

9. Foundation Medicine expands indication for FoundationOne CDx as a companion diagnostic for Lynparza (Olaparib). News release. Foundation Medicine, Inc; July 1, 2019. Accessed July 13, 2020.

10. AstraZeneca and Foundation Medicine enter strategic collaboration for Lynparza companion diagnostic assay. News release. AstraZeneca; June 4, 2016. Accessed July 13, 2020.

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Companion Diagnostic, Targeted Therapy Approvals Rise in Tandem - OncLive

NeuBase Therapeutic’s CEO, Dietrich A. Stephan, Ph.D., to Present at Tribe Public’s Presentation and Q&A Webinar Event on August 26, 2020 – BioSpace

SAN FRANCISCO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 24, 2020 / Tribe Public announced today that Dietrich Stephan, Chief Executive Officer of NeuBase Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NBSE), a biotechnology company developing next-generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies using its scalable PATrOL platform to address genetic diseases, will present at Tribe Public's Presentation and Q&A Webinar Event at 8 am pacific/11 am eastern on Wednesday, August 26th, 2020. During this complimentary, 30-minute event, Dr. Stephan will introduce the NeuBase's next-generation gene silencing technology and discuss the company's progress with treatment candidates in Huntington's Disease (HD) and Myotonic Dystrophy (DM1). A question and answer session will follow the presentation. To register to join the complimentary event, please visit the Tribe Public LLC website:, or send a message to Tribe's management at to request your seat for this limited capacity Zoom-based event.

Dietrich A. Stephan, Ph.D. is an industry veteran who is considered one of the fathers of the field of precision medicine, having trained with the leadership of the Human Genome Project at the NIH and then going on to lead discovery research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute and serve as professor and chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Stephan has identified the molecular basis of dozens of genetic diseases and published extensively in journals such as Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Genetics, PNAS, and Cell. In parallel, Dr. Stephan has founded or co-founded more than ten biotechnology companies and has advised numerous other companies. These companies are backed by top-tier investors such as Sequoia Capital, KPCB, Thiel Capital, and Khosla Ventures as well as corporate partners such as Life Technologies, Pfizer, and Mayo Clinic. Notably, Dr. Stephan founded NeuBase Therapeutics in August 2018, took it public in 2019, and has since grown the company to market capitalization to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Dr. Stephan received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University.

ABOUT TRIBE PUBLIC LLCTribe Public LLC is a San Francisco, CA-based organization that hosts complimentary worldwide webinar & meeting events in the U.S. Tribe's events focus on issues that the Tribe members care about with an emphasis on hosting management teams from publicly traded companies from all sectors & financial organizations that are seeking to increase awareness of their products, progress, and plans. Tribe members primarily include Institutions, Family Offices, Portfolio Managers, Registered Investment Advisors, & Accredited Investors. Website:

ABOUT NEUBASE THERAPEUTICSNeuBase Therapeutics, Inc. is developing the next generation of gene silencing therapies with its flexible, highly specific synthetic antisense oligonucleotides. The proprietary NeuBase peptide-nucleic acid (PNA) antisense oligonucleotide (PATrOL) platform allows for the rapid development of targeted drugs, increasing the treatment opportunities for the hundreds of millions of people affected by rare genetic diseases, including those that can only be treated through accessing of secondary RNA structures. Using PATrOL technology, NeuBase aims to first tackle rare, genetic neurological disorders. NeuBase is continuing its progress towards developing treatment candidates in Huntington's Disease (HD) and Myotonic Dystrophy (DM1.)


Tribe Public, LLC.John F. Heerdink, Jr.Managing

SOURCE: NeuBase Therapeutics, Inc.

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NeuBase Therapeutic's CEO, Dietrich A. Stephan, Ph.D., to Present at Tribe Public's Presentation and Q&A Webinar Event on August 26, 2020 - BioSpace

Unusual four-stranded configuration of DNA plays a vital role in breast cancer – Tech Explorist

Four stranded DNA structures known as G-quadruplexes, form in regions of DNA that are rich in one of its building blocks, guanine (G).

In a new study, scientists from the University of Cambridge discovered that G-quadruplexes form in preserved tumor tissue/biopsies of breast cancer.

Scientists used their quantitative sequencing technology to study G-quadruplex DNA structures in 22 model tumors. The models were generated by taking biopsies from patients at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, then transplanting and growing the tumors in mice.

During the procedure of DNA replication and cell division that happens in cancer, large regions of the genome can be erroneously duplicated a few times, prompting alleged copy number aberrations (CNAs). The analysts found that G-quadruplexes are common inside these CNAs, especially inside genes and genetic regions that assume a vital job in transcription and, thus, in driving the tumors growth.

Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian said,Were all familiar with the idea of DNAs two-stranded, double helix structure, but over the past decade its become increasingly clear that DNA can also exist in four-stranded structures and that these play an important role in human biology. They are found in particularly high levels in cells that are rapidly dividing, such as cancer cells. This study is the first time that weve found them in breast cancer cells.

Dr. Robert Hnsel-Hertsch, who is now at the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, said,The abundance and location of G-quadruplexes in these biopsies gives us a clue to their importance in cancer biology and the heterogeneity of these breast cancers.

Importantly, it highlights another potential weak spot that we might use against the breast tumor to develop better treatments for our patients.

Professor Carlos Caldas from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute said:While we often think of breast cancer as one disease, there are actually at least 11 known subtypes, each of which may respond in different ways to different drugs.

Identifying a tumors particular pattern of G-quadruplexes could help us pinpoint a womans breast cancer subtype, enabling us to offer her a more personalized, targeted treatment.

By targeting the G-quadruplexes with synthetic molecules, it may be possible to prevent cells from replicating their DNA and so block cell division, halting the runaway cell proliferation at the root of cancer. Scientists identified two such molecules one known as pyridostatin and a second compound, CX-5461, which has previously been tested in a phase I trial against BRCA2-deficient breast cancer.

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Unusual four-stranded configuration of DNA plays a vital role in breast cancer - Tech Explorist

T-knife Completes 66 Million Series A Financing to Develop Next-Generation T-Cell Therapies – GlobeNewswire

BERLIN, Aug. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- T-knife GmbH, a next-generation adoptive T-cell company using its proprietary humanized T-cell receptor (HuTCR) mouse platform to treat solid tumors, announced today the closing of a 66 million Series A round of financing. The round was led by Versant Ventures and RA Capital Management, with significant participation from existing investors Andera Partners and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF).

The Company was spun out of Max-Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine with support of Charit University Hospital in Berlin in 2018, where its proprietary HuTCR transgenic mouse platform carrying the entire human TCR gene loci was established by the pioneering work of Prof. Thomas Blankenstein, T-knifes co-founder. Due to its natural in vivo selection of high-affinity TCRs, T-knifes TCR-T-cell platform has the potential to be a marked improvement over existing TCR technologies in treating solid tumors.

Having worked in stealth mode to create a powerful humanized mouse platform bearing the human TCR loci,it is especially gratifying to now receive the validation from esteemed healthcare dedicated funds like Versant Ventures and RA Capital, commented Elisa Kieback, Chief Executive Officer and scientific co-founder of T-knife. We are equally grateful for the continued support of our founding shareholders, Andera Partners andBoehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, two top-tier healthcare investors who have been our true partners since inception. Going forward, our goal is to become a transatlantic company by establishing a U.S. presence and expanding our management team accordingly.

T-knifes proprietary HuTCR mouse expresses only human TCRs that are restricted to human HLA. Due to their natural generation in mice without negative thymic selection, these TCRs are of high specificity and high affinity. The Company has generated a pipeline of patented, unique TCR candidates for clinical development. Proceeds from the Series A round will be allocated to advancing at least four programs into the clinic, ramping-up preclinical work for additional selected proprietary pipeline candidates and discovering TCRs against novel targets.

Moving forward, T-knifes Board of Directors will be comprised of Josh Resnick (RA Capital), Alex Mayweg (Versant Ventures), Olivier Litzka (Andera Partners), Frank Kalkbrenner (BIVF), Thomas Blankenstein and Elisa Kieback. The Company was advised by Blueprint Life Science Group on the fundraising and by CMS on all legal aspects of the transaction. The new investors were advised by Goodwin Procter. The transaction will close upon governmental and anti-trust clearance.

Alex Mayweg of Versant Ventures commented, While CAR-T-based therapieshave already demonstrated their power in the treatment of hematological cancers, their foray into solid tumors has proven to be less successful. T-knife has developed an exciting technology as its TCR-T cell therapy targets tumor antigens in an MHC-restricted manner, allowing it to be one of the few platforms that is able to target solid tumors. We are consequently thrilled to co-lead this round with RA Capital, a preeminent healthcare dedicated fund, as their investment mandate mirrors our own mission to identify and support game-changing therapies with curative intent.

We are delighted thatT-knife is now an RA Capital portfolio company and are especially pleased to partner with Versant Ventures on leading this financing round, commented Josh Resnick of RA Capital Management. With the Companys financial and strategic support now in place, we look forward to working alongside management and fellow investors bring T-knifes potentially transformative T-cell therapies to solid tumor patients.

Olivier Litzka of Andera Partners added, Together with our seed round co-investor BIVF and their representative Detlev Mennerich, who also served as the Companys Chairman over the past two years, we are extremely proud of T-knifes progress, culminating in this transformational, top quality Series A round. We commend Elisa, Thomas and the team for their accomplishments, and welcome our new partners who share the vision of making T-knife the premier leader in the cell therapy field.

About T-knife GmbHT-knife is a next-generation adoptive T-cell company utilizing its proprietary humanized T-cell receptor (HuTCR) mouse platform technology to treat solid tumors. It was founded as a spin-off from Max-Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine with support of Charit University Hospital in Berlin in 2018. Ascenion GmbH, technology transfer partner of MDC and Charit, accompanied the scientists from the beginning, continuously expanded the patent base, supported the acquisition of pre-seed funding and the negotiation of collaboration and license agreements in coordination with MDC and Charit.

T-knifes mission is to use its unique technology to bring highly effective and safe T-cell receptor-based therapeutics to market. Based on the unparalleled T-cell immunology expertise of its founders and the unique and proprietary HuTCR platform, the Company develops fully human TCRs which are expected to set new technology standards and to provide superior safety and efficacy. The Company has demonstrated pre-clinical proof-of-concept and its lead TCR has entered clinical development. In addition, T-knife has validated the platform for over 90 undisclosed cancer targets, with several follow-on drug candidates being already in preclinical development. The Company expects to bring three additional TCRs into the clinic by 2022. T-knife is executing a two-pronged corporate growth strategy: developing an internalpipeline of best-in-class therapeutics and in parallel,establishing external partnerships by out-licensing already patentedTCRs and/or providing the Company's HuTCR mouse for unbiased discovery of new epitopes. T-knife is backed by top tier investors Versant Ventures, RA Capital, Andera Partners, and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund.

Contact T-knifeT-knife GmbHElisa Kieback, CEORobert-Roessle-Str. 1013125 Berlin, GermanyTel.: +49 30

Media InquiriesakampionDr. Ludger Wess / Ines-Regina Buth Managing Partnersinfo@akampion.comTel. +49 40 88 16 59 64Tel. +49 30 23 63 27 68

Blueprint Life Science GroupJason WongJwong@bplifescience.comTel.: +1.415.375.3340 Ext. 4

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T-knife Completes 66 Million Series A Financing to Develop Next-Generation T-Cell Therapies - GlobeNewswire

New study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concludes that Epi proColon is the test of choice for the millions of individuals…

BERLIN and SAN DIEGO, Aug. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Epigenomics AG (Frankfurt Prime Standard: ECX, OTCQX: EPGNY; the "Company") announces that a study published by the NCI-sponsored cancer intervention and surveillance modeling network (CISNET) in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that by comparing the incremental cost-effectiveness of CTC, PillCam, mtSDNA (Cologuard) and mSEPT9 (Epi proColon), the study revealed that of these CRC screening alternatives annual screening with Epi proColon is cost-effective. Annual screening with Epi proColon had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $63,253 per QALYG. Other efficient strategies were CTC screening every 5 years (ICER: $1,092 per QALYG) and annual (but not every three years) mtSDNA screening (ICER: $214,974 per QALYG), which were not optimal given the willingness-to-pay threshold ($100,000 per QALYG).

Jorge Garces, President and CSO of Epigenomics AG: CISNET microsimulation models are the gold-standard by which the American Cancer Society (ACS), United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), and other clinical societies base their guideline recommendations for CRC screening. This study supports the findings from another recent study published in Cancer Medicine and adds to the mounting evidence indicating that Epi proColon administered annually can reduce the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer as effectively or better than other approved methods and most importantly highlights the opportunity for the Epi proColon blood test to serve as the test of choice for those currently resistant to colonoscopy and stool-based screening methods.

The JNCI publication analyzed the clinical effectiveness and performance of various screening strategies under five different scenarios:

Under all scenarios examined, annual Epi proColon was more cost-effective than Cologuard. The authors also conclude that ultimately, the best test is the one that gets done.

Greg Hamilton, CEO of Epigenomics AG: "This is an important publication as it further validates the clinical and cost-effectiveness of Epi proColon. It is also timely as we await the preliminary National Coverage Determination (NCD) from CMS later this month.

As the JNCI authors clearly state: A well-established microsimulation model demonstrates that for people who are unwilling to be screened with FIT or colonoscopy, annual screening with the mSEPT9 is the test of choice given its cost-effectiveness profile compared to CTC, PillCam and mtSDNA.

Epigenomics will hold a conference call on Tuesday August 11, 2020 at 9:30am ET (3:30pm CET) to discuss the publication in more detail and answer questions. Please use the link in the Financial Calendar on the website to join the conference call.

About Epigenomics

Epigenomics is a molecular diagnostics company focused on blood-based detection of cancers using its proprietary DNA methylation biomarker technology. The company develops and commercializes diagnostic products across multiple cancer indications with high medical need. Epigenomics' lead product, Epi proColon, is a blood-based screening test for the detection of colorectal cancer. Epi proColon has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently marketed in the United States, Europe, and China and selected other countries. Epi proLung, a blood-based test for lung cancer detection, and HCCBloodTest, a blood-based test for liver cancer detection in cirrhoticpatients, have received CE mark in Europe.

For more information, visit

Contact:CompanyEpigenomics AG, Geneststrasse 5, 10829 Berlin, Tel +49 (0) 30 24345 0, Fax +49 (0) 30 24345 555, E-Mail:

Investor RelationsIR.on AG, Frederic Hilke, Tel +49 221 9140 970, E-Mail: ir@epigenomics.com24345 386, Fax +49 (0) 30 24345 555, E-Mail:

Epigenomics legal disclaimer

This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Epigenomics AG and its business. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Epigenomics AG to be materially different from any expected results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Epigenomics AG is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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New study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concludes that Epi proColon is the test of choice for the millions of individuals...

Local researchers tracking COVID-19 through antibody testing project –

A Windber research program is expanding to help address questions nagging scientists and doctors studying the COVID-19 pandemic.

The antibody testing project is a collaboration of Chan Soon Shiong Medical Center at Windber and Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine.

At a Thursday morning press briefing to promote the states COVID-19 testing program, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine explained the differences between COVID-19 tests, including the antibody test that is being studied in Windber.

Unlike the diagnostic testing that has confirmed more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania, the antibody tests show previous exposure to the virus, Levine explained.

Those are the tests of our immune response to the virus, Levine said. The clinical utility of the antibody test for each individual is not really clear yet. We dont know as much about the antibodies as wed like to.

The antibodies are produced by the immune system to fight the virus, but scientists still dont know how long they last or how well they protect against future infections, Levine said.

Those are the questions that Windber is studying, said Stella Somiari, senior director of the molecular medicine institute.

Participants are being tested every three months for at least a year to track the antibodies, she said Thursday during a press event at Windber.

Maybe some negatives will become positives, Somiari said.

Do they still have that positive after three months? We want to understand how long this immunity lasts.

Windbers research project began in May with testing of hospital employees who volunteered. More than 200 have been tested.

On Thursday, Windbers leaders announced the program is expanding to cancer patients through the hospitals Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center.

Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out Foundation is funding the tests for cancer patients through Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center at the hospital.

Erin Goins, director of the Murtha center, said the initiative fits well with the Oechslin organizations mission of helping breast cancer patients.

Thats why they raise so much money every year for our patients, Goins said. If we can go ahead and do a study with our breast cancer patients, absolutely, its for the patients. Thats what theyre all about.

Levine said the antibody test could provide information in population-based studies, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing some research in that area.

Somiari said Windber is not currently part of the CDCs work, but expects future collaborations.

I think at some point, we all have to talk, she said. The data has to all come together so we can talk and compare.

The antibody testing will not replace the diagnostic testing, known as the polymerase chain reaction or PCR test, Levine stressed. The diagnostic tests looks for active coronavirus DNA in the patients respiratory system.

Until a vaccine or a cure is developed, PCR testing will remain key in controlling the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Tom Wolf said at the Thursday morning briefing.

We are continuing to build our testing capacity, Wolf said.

We need to do that because we know that rapidly identifying and isolating people who have been infected by COVID-19 is a key part of reducing the spread of this deadly disease.

He recognized Walmarts network of 13 testing sites, primarily in rural areas of the state.

Testing is key, Wolf said.

The issue is not just how many tests you have the capacity to do, its how accessible those tests are how easily people can get to them.

Statewide testing capacity has expanded from less than 8,000 tests a day in April to an average of almost 22,000 a day, currently. Wolf said the capacity allows for testing of about 4% of the state population each month.

Here in Pennsylvania, we are doing what we can everything we can to expand our testing capacity, and get test results in the hands of the patients as quickly as possible.

Wolf said state officials are pressing the federal government to enable commercial labs to turn around test results more quickly.

Wolf said the labs may be giving a higher priority to states with more significant surges, noting Pennsylanias COVID-19 cases have stabilized, somewhat.

Cambria County adds 10 new cases

Thursdays report showed the rolling seven-day average dropped for the eighth consecutive day to an average of 777 new cases a day. The seven-day average climbed through most of July, peaking at 974 cases a day on July 29.

Cambria, Blair and Indiana counties each showed double-digit increases in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 807 new cases statewide, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported.

The state also reported 38 additional deaths, bringing the state totals to 116,521 confirmed cases and 7,282 deaths related to COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic hit Pennsylvania in March.

Cambria Countys 10 new cases bring its COVID-19 totals to 322 cases and three deaths.

It was the countys second consecutive double-digit report, apparently driven by new cases at the federal prison in Loretto. The Bureau of Prisons website on Thursday reported 40 cases among inmates, up from 31 cases on Wednesday and 12 on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the region:

Somerset had no new cases and remains at 127 cases and three deaths.

Blair County added 14 cases to reach 255 cases and three deaths.

Indiana County also added 14 cases to reach 297 cases and six deaths.

Bedford County added two cases to reach 136 cases and four deaths.

Clearfield County added six cases to reach 150 cases and no deaths.

Westmoreland County added nine cases to reach 1,484 cases and 46 deaths.

We are making critical coverage of the coronavirus available for free. Please consider subscribing so we can continue to bring you the latest news and information on this developing story.

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Local researchers tracking COVID-19 through antibody testing project -

Suppression of c-Met-Overexpressing Tumors by a Novel c-Met/CD3 Bispec | DDDT – Dove Medical Press

Lei Huang,1 Kun Xie,1 Hongwen Li,1 Ruiqin Wang,1 Xiaoqing Xu,1 Kaiming Chen,1 Hua Gu,1 Jianmin Fang1 3

1Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Signaling and Disease Research, School of Life Sciences and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, Peoples Republic of China; 2Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China; 3Biomedical Research Center, Tongji University Suzhou Institute, Suzhou, Jiangsu, Peoples Republic of China

Correspondence: Hua Gu Tel +86-21-6598-2867Correspondence Email Fang Tel +86-21-6598-2878Email

Introduction: Overexpression of c-Met, or hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor, is commonly observed in tumor biopsies and often associated with poor patient survival, which makes HGF/c-Met pathway an attractive molecular target for cancer therapy. A number of antibody-based therapeutic strategies have been explored to block c-Met or HGF in cancers; however, clinical efficacy has been very limited, indicating that blockade of c-Met signal alone is not sufficient. Thus, an alternative approach is to develop an immunotherapy strategy for c-Met-overexpressing cancers. c-Met/CD3 bispecific antibody (BsAb) could bridge CD3-positive T lymphocytes and tumor cells to result in potent tumor cell killing.Materials and Methods: A bispecific antibody, BS001, which binds both c-Met and CD3, was generated using a novel BsAb platform. Western blotting and T cells-mediated killing assays were utilized to evaluate the BsAbs effects on cell proliferation, survival and signal transduction in tumor cells. Subcutaneous tumor mouse models were used to analyze the in vivo anti-tumor effects of the bispecific antibody and its combination therapy with PD-L1 antibody.Results: BS001 showed potent T-cell mediated tumor cells killing in vitro. Furthermore, BS001 inhibited phosphorylation of c-Met and downstream signal transduction in tumor cells. In A549 lung cancer xenograft model, BS001 inhibited tumor growth and increased the proportion of activated CD56+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. In vivo combination therapy of BS001 with Atezolizumab (an anti-programmed cell death protein1-ligand (PD-L1) antibody) showed more potent tumor inhibition than monotherapies. Similarly, in SKOV3 xenograft model, BS001 showed a significant efficacy in tumor growth inhibition and tumor recurrence was not observed in more than half of mice treated with a combination of BS001 and Pembrolizumab.Conclusion: c-Met/CD3 bispecific antibody BS001 exhibited potent anti-tumor activities in vitro and in vivo, which was achieved through two distinguished mechanisms: through antibody-mediated tumor cell killing by T cells and through inhibition of c-Met signal transduction.

Keywords: c-Met, bispecific antibody, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, checkpoint antibody

This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License.By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

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Suppression of c-Met-Overexpressing Tumors by a Novel c-Met/CD3 Bispec | DDDT - Dove Medical Press

Targeted Protein Degradation Represents a Promising Therapeutic Strategy – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Despite enormous efforts to advance traditional pharmacology approaches, more than three quarters of all human proteins remain beyond the reach of therapeutic development, according to scientists from the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. They maintain that targeted protein degradation (TPD) is a novel approach that could overcome this and other limitations, and thus represents a promising therapeutic strategy.

TPD is based on small molecules (known as degraders), which can eliminate disease-causing proteins by causing their destabilization. Mechanistically, these degrader drugs repurpose the cellular protein quality control system, tweaking it to recognize and eliminate harmful proteins. In detail, they re-direct members of the protein family of E3 ubiquitin ligases (E3s) towards the disease-causing target protein. This leads to a molecular earmarking of the harmful protein via ubiquitination, says CeMM principal investigator Georg Winter, PhD, who adds that subsequently, the ubiquitinated protein is recognized and degraded by the proteasome, which serves as the cellular garbage disposal system.

Researchers in Europe, led by Winter and his CeMM team, focused on a subset of degraders called molecular glue degraders. This class of small molecules that has been shown to induce the degradation of target proteins that could not be blocked using traditional pharmacology approaches. Consequently, these proteins had been termed undruggable. The best characterized examples are the clinically approved thalidomide analogs, effective for the treatment of different blood cancers. Unfortunately, the discovery of the few described molecular glue degraders has historically been a process entirely driven by serendipity and no rational discovery strategies existed, notes Winter.

To overcome this limitation, Georg Winters group at CeMM set out to innovate a scalable strategy towards the discovery of novel molecular glue degraders via phenotypic chemical screening. To this end, first author and CeMM postdoctoral fellow Cristina Mayor-Ruiz, PhD, and colleagues engineered cellular systems widely impaired in E3 activity. Differential viability between these models and E3-proficient cells was used to identify compounds that depend on active E3s and were potential molecular glue degraders.

Researchers integrated functional genomics with proteomics and drug-interaction strategies, to characterize the most promising compounds. They validated the approach by discovering a new RBM39 molecular glue degrader, structurally similar to others previously described. Importantly, they discovered a set of novel molecular glues that induce the degradation of the protein cyclin K, known to be essential in many different cancer types. These novel cyclin K degraders function via a molecular mechanism of action that involves the E3 CUL4B:DDB1 and that has never been therapeutically explored before.

The researchers published their study Rational discovery of molecular glue degraders via scalable chemical profiling in Nature Chemical Biology.

Targeted protein degradation is a new therapeutic modality based on drugs that destabilize proteins by inducing their proximity to E3 ubiquitin ligases. Of particular interest are molecular glues that can degrade otherwise unligandable proteins by orchestrating direct interactions between target and ligase. However, their discovery has so far been serendipitous, thus hampering broad translational efforts. Here, we describe a scalable strategy toward glue degrader discovery that is based on chemical screening in hyponeddylated cells coupled to a multi-omics target deconvolution campaign. This approach led us to identify compounds that induce ubiquitination and degradation of cyclin K by prompting an interaction of CDK12cyclin K with a CRL4B ligase complex, write the investigators.

Notably, this interaction is independent of a dedicated substrate receptor, thus functionally segregating this mechanism from all described degraders. Collectively, our data outline a versatile and broadly applicable strategy to identify degraders with nonobvious mechanisms and thus empower future drug discovery efforts.

This study provides the first framework towards the discovery of molecular glue degraders that can be highly scaled, but also strongly diversified, says Winter.

I truly believe that we are only scratching the surface of possibilities. This study is chapter one of many chapters to follow. We will see a revolution in the way researchers perceive and execute therapeutic strategies for previously incurable diseases by crafting glue degrader strategies that will enable them to eliminate therapeutic targets that could not be explored with traditional pharmacologic approaches, he explains.

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Targeted Protein Degradation Represents a Promising Therapeutic Strategy - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

They discover that this mineral protects against the coronavirus – Checkersaga

All experts agree that the coronavirus will not slow down until there is a vaccine, seeing the recklessness that people do and the numerous outbreaks everywhere. But there are other ways to combat it. For example, strengthening our immune system. And scientists have discovered that there is a mineral, present in some foods, that is especially effective for this.

He Covid-19 It is a virus, and as such there are no effective medications to stop the spread. When we catch it, it must be our immune system that defeats it.

As TICbeat tells us, a team of researchers from Sechenov University in Moscow, in collaboration with experts from Germany, Greece, Norway and the United States, has carried out a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, which shows that Zinc helps to prevent contagion by respiratory viruses, and to reduce inflammation, allowing this contagion to be less severe.

Yuka is an app that analyzes the quality of food and cosmetics. Its popularity is so high that it is starting to put manufacturers and establishments like Mercadona and Carrefour in check.

He zinc is a mineral that acts as catalyst in the operation of more than 300 enzymes, in addition to being essential in metabolic processes and guaranteeing the functioning of the reproductive, cardiovascular and nervous systems.

It also favors the production of white blood cells, which are the ones that generate the antibodies of our immune system, fighting viruses and infections.

The study concludes that zinc strengthens the immune system, and therefore protects against Covid-19. Even after being infected, it has been proven that reduces inflammation when you get pneumonia, thus reducing damage to the lung tissue.

Is it possible to get coronavirus through water? Lets see what the odds are, and the measures to take when we go to the pool or to a beach.

The study also found specific evidence for coronaviruses. Zinc blocks the enzyme responsible for replicating the coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002.

Despite this, he acknowledges that there is still insufficient data to conclude that it is effective against Covid-19, and recalls that consuming an excess of zinc is also bad for health.

But since this mineral is present in many foods, it never hurts to include them in our diet. Foods rich in zinc include beef, oysters, chickpeas, beans, prawns, pumpkin seeds, spinach, chicken, mushrooms, or cashews.

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They discover that this mineral protects against the coronavirus - Checkersaga

Breaking News: Todos Medical Appoints Dr. Jorge Leon as Consulting Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Infectious Disease and Oncology -…

Todos Medical Ltd. (OTCQB: TOMDF), anin vitrodiagnostics company focused on distributing comprehensive solutions for COVID-19 screening and diagnosis, and developing blood tests for the early detection of cancer and Alzheimers disease, today announced that it has appointed Jorge Leon, Ph.D. as consulting Chief Medical and Scientific Officer (CMSO) for Infectious Disease and Oncology. Dr. Leon has served as Todos medical advisor since July 2019.

As medical advisor I have been able to follow Todos progress over the last year as theyve continued to build their exciting pipeline of diagnostics for cancer and Alzheimers disease, said Dr. Leon. The approach Todos has taken to enter COVID-19 testing has been spot on, by focusing on an accurate, scalable and diverse product portfolio, coupled with reliable access to the key instrumentation needed to equip a large number of labs and supply them with the reagents and consumables needed to make a meaningful increase to PCR testing capacity in the United States.

As we now have a clear framework from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to gain Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID+influenza A/B and COVID pool testing, we believe we are entering the fall with the right portfolio to become a significant player in the space, he added. We intend to begin to establish combined screening and reflex testing strategies using antigen, antibody and PCR pooling testing to screen patients and ultimately confirm the suspected COVID-19 cases with PCR testing. Todos is also developing an innovative saliva-based molecular test that could deliver point-of-care results in under five minutes, using a smartphone camera and software, which would represent a major advancement for the field. We expect to initiate clinical validation of that test in August in Israel with the hopes of gathering sufficient data to submit an EUA.

Dr. Leon is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in molecular diagnostics. He holds a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from New York University, and completed his postdoctoral studies at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and Columbia University in New York. Dr. Leons subsequent academic research at Columbia University focused on developing monoclonal antibody-based tumor marker assays and radio-immuno imaging devices, which are currently in wide use.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Leon played an integral role in establishing and leading the molecular diagnostics laboratories at Quest Diagnostics. As Director of Molecular Diagnostics, Senior Director of Biotechnology Development and Vice President of Applied Genomics, Dr. Leon spent 12 years developing Quests molecular diagnostics strategy, which is now the worlds largest molecular diagnostics service laboratory. In 2003, Dr. Leon founded Leomics Associates, Inc., a consulting firm committed to helping prestigious, successful companies and academic institutions develop molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine in the United States and globally. Dr. Leon specializes in identifying breakthrough opportunities and industry trends, and helps start-up businesses, academic centers and established companies successfully build and commercialize innovative business strategies, product pipelines and test menus.

Dr. Leon is significantly increasing his day-to-day role with Todosmanagement team, adding significant intellectual capacity to develop the protocols to use available testing tools in combination to solve the testing challenges in the United States, said Gerald E. Commissiong, President & CEO of Todos Medical. We look forward to bringing Jorge into key discussions with our partners to deploy COVID-19 testing nationwide.For information related to Todos Medicals COVID-19 testing capabilities, please

For testing and PPE inquiries, please

About Todos Medical Ltd.

Headquartered in Rehovot, Israel, Todos Medical Ltd. (OTCQB: TOMDF) engineers life-saving diagnostic solutions for the early detection of a variety of cancers. The Companys state-of-the-art and patented Todos Biochemical Infrared Analyses (TBIA) is a proprietary cancer-screening technology using peripheral blood analysis that deploys deep examination into cancers influence on the immune system, looking for biochemical changes in blood mononuclear cells and plasma. Todos two internally-developed cancer-screening tests, TMB-1 and TMB-2, have received a CE mark in Europe. Todos recently entered into an exclusive option agreement to acquire U.S.-based medical diagnostics company Provista Diagnostics, Inc. to gain rights to its Alpharetta, Georgia-based CLIA/CAP certified lab and Provistas proprietary commercial-stage Videssa breast cancer blood test. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

Todos is also developing blood tests for the early detection of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimers disease. The Lymphocyte Proliferation Test (LymPro Test) is a diagnostic blood test that determines the ability of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and monocytes to withstand an exogenous mitogenic stimulation that induces them to enter the cell cycle. It is believed that certain diseases, most notably Alzheimers disease, are the result of compromised cellular machinery that leads to aberrant cell cycle re-entry by neurons, which then leads to apoptosis. LymPro is unique in the use of peripheral blood lymphocytes as a surrogate for neuronal cell function, suggesting a common relationship between PBLs and neurons in the brain. The Company recently completed the acquisition of Breakthrough Diagnostics, Inc., which owns the rights to LymPro Test in July 2020 from Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. (OTC: AMBS).

Additionally, Todos has entered into distribution agreements with companies to distribute certain novel coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits. The agreements cover multiple international suppliers of PCR testing kits and related materials and supplies, as well as antibody testing kits from multiple manufacturers after completing validation of said testing kits and supplies in its partner CLIA/CAP certified laboratory in the United States. Todos has formed strategic partnerships withMeridian Health,Moto-Para Foundationto deploy COVID-19 testing in the United States.

For more information, please visit

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Breaking News: Todos Medical Appoints Dr. Jorge Leon as Consulting Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Infectious Disease and Oncology -...

Myriad to Announce Fiscal Fourth-Quarter and Full Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results on August 13, 2020 – GlobeNewswire

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN), a leader in molecular diagnostics and precision medicine, announced that it will hold its fiscal fourth-quarter 2020 sales and earnings conference call with investors and analysts at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 13, 2020. During the call, R. Bryan Riggsbee, interim president and CEO and chief financial officer, and Scott Gleason, senior vice president of Investor Relations and Corporate Strategy, will provide an overview of Myriads financial performance for the fiscal fourth-quarter and provide a business update.

To listen to the earnings call, interested parties in the United States may dial 1-800-381-7839 or +1-212-239-2905 for international callers. All callers will be asked to reference reservation number 21966478. The conference call also will be available through a live webcast and a slide presentation pertaining to the earnings call also will be available under the investor section of our website at A replay of the call will be available two hours after the end of the call for seven days and may be accessed by dialing 800-633-8284 within the United States or +1 402-977-9140 for international callers and entering reservation number 21966478.

About Myriad GeneticsMyriad Genetics, Inc. is a leading molecular diagnostic and precision medicine company dedicated to being a trusted advisor transforming patient lives worldwide with pioneering molecular diagnostics. Myriad discovers and commercializes molecular diagnostic tests that determine the risk of developing disease, accurately diagnose disease, assess the risk of disease progression, and guide treatment decisions across six major medical specialties where molecular diagnostics can significantly improve patient care and lower healthcare costs. Myriad is focused on three strategic imperatives: transitioning and expanding its hereditary cancer testing markets, diversifying its product portfolio through the introduction of new products and increasing the revenue contribution from international markets. For more information on how Myriad is making a difference, please visit the Company's website:

Myriad, the Myriad logo, BART, BRACAnalysis, Colaris, Colaris AP, myPath, myRisk, Myriad myRisk, myRisk Hereditary Cancer, myChoice, myPlan, BRACAnalysis CDx, Tumor BRACAnalysis CDx, myChoice CDx, Vectra, Prequel, Foresight, GeneSight, riskScore and Prolaris are trademarks or registered trademarks of Myriad Genetics, Inc. or its wholly owned subsidiaries in the United States and foreign countries. MYGN-F, MYGN-G.

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Myriad to Announce Fiscal Fourth-Quarter and Full Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results on August 13, 2020 - GlobeNewswire

Large International Study Pinpoints Impact of TP53 Gene Mutations on Blood Cancer Severity – On Cancer – Memorial Sloan Kettering


A large international study led by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering has immediate clinical relevance for risk assessment and treatment of people with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.

Considered the guardian of the genome, TP53 is the most commonly mutated gene in cancer. TP53s normal function is to detect DNA damage and prevent cells from passing this damage on to daughter cells. When TP53 is mutated, the protein made from this gene, called p53, can no longer perform this protective function, and the result can be cancer. Across many cancer types, mutations in TP53 are associated with worse outcomes, like disease recurrence and shorter survival.

As with all our genes, TP53 exists in duplicate in our cells. One copy we get from our mothers, the other we get from our fathers. Up until now, it has not been clear whether a mutation was needed in one or both copies of TP53 to affect cancer outcomes. A new study led by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering definitively answers this question for a blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a precursor to acute myeloid leukemia.

Our study is the first to assess the impact of having one versus two dysfunctional copies of TP53 on cancer outcomes, says molecular geneticist Elli Papaemmanuil, a member of MSKs Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department and the lead scientist on the study, published August 3 in the journal Nature Medicine. From our results, its clear that you need to lose function of both copies to see evidence of genome instability and a high-risk clinical phenotype in MDS.

The consequences for cancer diagnosis and treatment are immediate and profound, she says.

The study analyzed genetic and clinical data from 4,444 patients with MDS who were being treated at hospitals all over the world. Researchers from 25 centers in 12 countries were involved in the study, which was conducted under the aegis of the International Working Group for the Prognosis of MDS whose goal is to develop new international guidelines for the treatment of this disease. The findings were independently validated using data from the Japanese MDS working group led by Seishi Ogawas team in Kyoto University.

Currently, the existing MDS guidelines do not consider genomic data such as TP53 and other acquired mutationswhen assessing a persons prognosis or determining appropriate treatment for this disease, says Peter Greenberg, Director of Stanford Universitys MDS Center, Chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Practice Guidelines Panel for MDS, and a co-author on the study. That needs to change.

Using new computational methods, the investigators found that about one-third of MDS patients had only one mutated copy of TP53. These patients had similar outcomes as patients who did not have a TP53 mutation a good response to treatment, low rates of disease progression, and better survival rates. On the other hand, the two-thirds of patients who had two mutated copies of TP53 had much worse outcomes, including treatment-resistant disease, rapid disease progression, and low overall survival. In fact, the researchers found that TP53 mutation status zero, one, or two mutated copies of the gene was the most important variable when predicting outcomes.

Our findings are of immediate clinical relevance to MDS patients. Going forward, all MDS patients should have their TP53 status assessed at diagnosis.

Our findings are of immediate clinical relevance to MDS patients, Dr. Papaemmanuil says. Going forward, all MDS patients should have their TP53 status assessed at diagnosis.

As for why it takes two hits to TP53 to see an effect on cancer outcomes, the studys first author Elsa Bernard, a postdoctoral scientist in the Papaemmanuil lab, speculates that one normal copy is enough to provide adequate protection against DNA damage. This would explain why having only one mutated copy was not associated with genome instability or any worse survival rates than having two normal copies.

Given the frequency of TP53 mutations in cancer, these results make a case for examining the impact of one versus two mutations on other cancers as well. They also reveal the need for clinical trials designed specifically with these molecular differences in mind.

With the increasing adoption of molecular profiling at the time of cancer diagnosis, we need large, evidence-based studies to inform how to translate these molecular findings into optimal treatment strategies, Dr. Papaemmanuil says.

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Large International Study Pinpoints Impact of TP53 Gene Mutations on Blood Cancer Severity - On Cancer - Memorial Sloan Kettering

Cannabinoid therapies aim to address unmet medical needs – Health Europa

Dr Valentino Parravicini, PhD will be joining as Chief Scientific Officer to help with the development of cannabinoid-based prescription medicine for indications in oncology, pain, immunology, and neurology.

Dr Parravicini will oversee OCTs ongoing drug discovery and development studies, including preclinical development of OCT461201, the highly selective and potent CB2 agonist, which could have the potential to effectively treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other diseases.

Dr Parravicini will work closely with OCTs lead business and research partners, while developing new research partnerships with other leading academic and commercial institutions around the world. He has a distinguished career in the fields of oncology, inflammation, and immunology, and has led groundbreaking in vitro and in vivo projects, as well as having undertaken award-winning work in pharma and biotech, focussed on small molecule and cell therapy approaches to autoimmunity and haematological malignancies.

He is also an extensively published author on his discoveries and innovations with high impact peer-reviewed publications in the fields of immunology and molecular virology.

Valentino Parravicini said: I am delighted to be joining the team at Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies whose reputation precedes them. OCTs search for transformative therapies to meet currently unmet medical needs is a perfect match with my past professional experience and my unquenchable desire to see how we can best harness cannabinoids to transform the lives of millions of people so that they live longer, more active lives.

John Lucas, Chief Commercial Officer of OCT, said: We are thrilled to have Valentino come on board. He has exactly the right kinds of skillsets that we need to help take OCT on the next stage of its exciting journey. This is a time of extraordinary and dynamic change and innovation in our sector and we are delighted to have him at our side to help us be that change and make it come alive for millions of sufferers around the world.

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Cannabinoid therapies aim to address unmet medical needs - Health Europa

HTG Molecular Diagnostics to Announce Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results and Host Conference Call on Tuesday, August 11 – Stockhouse

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HTGM), a diagnostic company whose mission is to advance precision medicine, today announced that it will report its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020 after the market close on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. Management will also host a conference call with investors to discuss financial results and provide a corporate update at 4:30pm Eastern Time.

About HTG HTG is focused on NGS-based molecular profiling. The company’s proprietary HTG EdgeSeq technology automates complex, highly multiplexed molecular profiling from solid and liquid samples, even when limited in amount. HTG’s customers use its technology to identify biomarkers important for precision medicine, to understand the clinical relevance of these discoveries, and ultimately to identify treatment options. Its mission is to empower precision medicine.

Contact: Ashley R. Robinson LifeSci Advisors, LLC Phone: (617) 430-7577 Email:

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HTG Molecular Diagnostics to Announce Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results and Host Conference Call on Tuesday, August 11 - Stockhouse

Reusable face mask capable of inactivating virus launched in Portugal – Fall River Herald News


LISBON - A group of Portuguese companies and research institutes announced they have launched a reusable face mask capable of inactivating the new coronavirus.

Credited with reducing the viral rate by 99 percent, the cloth mask passed tests carried out by the Joo Lobo Antunes Institute of Molecular Medicine.Creators claimed the mask has an innovative coating which helps to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, when it comes into contact with the fabric.In a statement released to journalists, the scientists say it remains the same even after 50 washes.In a simplified manner, these tests consist of tissue analysis after contact with a solution containing a certain amount of virus, the viability of which is measured over time, said Pedro Simas, a researcher and virologist at the Joo Lobo Antunes Institute of Molecular Medicine.Manufactured in Portugal, the masks sold for 10 euros are being marketed in Portugal and throughout the European Union.

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Reusable face mask capable of inactivating virus launched in Portugal - Fall River Herald News

Dr. Khong on Endocrine Therapy Combinations in ER+/HER2- Breast Cancer – OncLive

Hung Khong, MD, discusses antiestrogen and immunotherapy combinations in ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

Hung Khong, MD,a breast oncologist within the Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program atMoffitt Cancer Center, discusses antiestrogen and immunotherapy combinations in ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

When immunotherapy is combined with a different drug in breast cancer, it is typically paired with chemotherapy, says Khong. The phase 2I-SPY 2 study combined pembrolizumab (Keytruda) with paclitaxel, or other chemotherapies, followed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, for patients with ER-positive disease in the neoadjuvant setting.

However, it is known that in this setting, endocrine therapy works just as well, if not better than, chemotherapy in this patient population.In the United States, there is a great deal of comfort with combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting, says Khong, but many studies are demonstrating that endocrine therapy works just as well and with less toxicity.

Different types of endocrine therapies are available, and the 2 major therapies are tamoxifen and the aromatase inhibitors. Tamoxifen has been shown to shift the T cells from a Th1 to Th2 phenotype and that will be impactful for a cancer treatment combinations, concludes Khong.

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Dr. Khong on Endocrine Therapy Combinations in ER+/HER2- Breast Cancer - OncLive

Delivering on the promise of precision cancer medicine and why it matters even more during a pandemic – MedCity News

While many of us have avoided exposure to Covid-19 by sheltering in place, patients with advanced cancer have faced difficult choices about moving ahead with immune-compromising, but potentially life-saving treatments, and leaving the safety of their homes to receive infusions at hospitals or treatment centers.

Even more challenging, for many patients, the pandemic has altered the landscape of practically available treatment options. The best treatment for many patients with advanced cancer is often available only through a clinical trial. Trials traditionally have taken place at leading academic medical centers, which means patients often must travel long distances to participate and receive novel treatment.

Precision medicine has always been about getting the right drug to the right patient at the right time. I would argue not only do we in the oncology community need to embrace the promise of precision medicine more fully but also that the definition should be expanded to, the right drug to the right patient at the right time and in the right place. We need to make promising treatments, including the latest clinical trials, available locally.

Advancing Precision Medicine through Tumor Molecular ProfilingComprehensive tumor molecular profiling is foundational to precision medicine. While patients may have the same cancer type, variations within individual genomes may determine how well one patient responds to a certain treatment compared to another. Oncologists must have access to actionable molecular information to select the right treatment for their patients.

Since the human genome was mapped for the first time in 2003, a number of technological and scientific advances have made it possible for patients with cancer to receive comprehensive tumor molecular profiling results in less than two weeks, with costs increasingly covered by payers. Biomarkers are now widely used to identify patients for treatment with a specific therapeutic agent. Increasingly, cancer therapies are developed in tissue-agnostic indications, meaning they are approved based on molecular changes rather than the site of tumor. In June of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved pembroluzumab (Keytruda) for the treatment of any solid tumor that is tumor mutational burden (TMB) high.

With these advances, one would think that every patient with advanced disease would receive tumor molecular profiling as a standard of care. However, this is not the case. Only about 15% of patients with advanced cancer receive comprehensive tumor profiling. Widespread deployment of tumor molecular profiling is emerging as a rate-limiting factor for how rapidly we can drive better outcomes for all patients with cancer.

Practical Challenges to Widespread Precision Oncology AccessWhy are patients not able to fully benefit from the promise of precision medicine? There are a several key barriers to access, including:

Addressing the ChallengeHow precision medicine companies, providers and health systems work together to develop and deploy solutions will determine how successfully we can deliver on the promise of precision cancer care. Some precision medicine companies are developing blood tests, called liquid biopsies, that identify potential tumor cells circulating in the blood with the goal of reducing reliance on tumor tissue biopsies. Others are undertaking educational campaigns to encourage broader uptake of comprehensive genomic testing. And there are companies that deliver a comprehensive precision oncology program to health systems, providing widespread and routine access to comprehensive tumor molecular profiling paired with local access to a portfolio of biomarker-guided clinical trials. A study presented by Kaiser Permanente Northern California at the 2020 ASCO meeting demonstrated how industry partnerships can enable health systems to implement and deliver a large-scale comprehensive precision oncology program.

Knowing which treatment is right can mitigate risk in unexpected ways as well. In a recent anecdote from our lab, tumor tissue from a 70-year old patient with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer was sequenced and found to have a rare, but highly actionable, gene fusion that could be treated with an orally available targeted therapy. Instead of having to attend multiple infusion visits for chemotherapy and immunotherapy that would result in substantial exposure risk to Covid-19, the patient can now receive a targeted therapy that can be taken at home with an expected dramatic response.

A Better FutureThis pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, and patients with advanced cancer have faced unique challenges. However, the opportunity before us is one to create the future we should all be working toward: a future where the right patient receives the right treatment, at the right time and in the right place. As we continue to work our way through this current pandemic, lets envision a future where every patient with cancer has access to the latest in precision medicine by implementing broad-scale genomic testing and democratizing access to clinical trials so that whatever environment we face, cancer patients will always receive the best care.

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Delivering on the promise of precision cancer medicine and why it matters even more during a pandemic - MedCity News