ICBS Discovery
Dec. 23, 2014

Researchers report way to target hard-to-hit site in disease pathway
Medical Xpress
From Nov. 26: Researchers have successfully targeted an important molecular pathway that fuels a variety of cancers and related developmental syndromes called "Rasopathies." Reporting their results Nov. 20 in Chemistry & Biology, scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center say they identified a class of lead compounds that successfully recognize a key target in the Ras signaling pathway.More

The quest for new antibiotics turns back to nature, genetics
By Rosemary Sparacio
From Oct. 2: With antibiotic resistance becoming an increasing problem in medical treatment, the search is on for new antibiotics, new sources for those antibiotics and new mechanisms. For thousands of years people have used products found in nature for their medicinal properties. A return to nature may be the next area in which we find antibiotics. Smaller pharmaceutical companies are still pursuing research and manufacturing, and they are submitting regulatory documents for new antibiotics to the FDA for their approval. But perhaps more promising is the work being done to look for novel mechanisms and to explore different areas in the search.More

Researchers identify more than 80 new genes linked to schizophrenia
Medical News Today
From July 24: What causes schizophrenia has long baffled scientists. But in what is deemed the largest ever molecular genetic study of schizophrenia, a team of international researchers has pinpointed 108 genes linked to the condition — 83 of which are newly discovered — that may help identify its causes and pave the way for new treatments.More

Researchers use nanoparticles to enhance chemotherapy
R&D Magazine
From Oct. 2: University of Georgia researchers have developed a new formulation of cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug, which significantly increases the drug's ability to target and destroy cancerous cells. Cisplatin may be used to treat a variety of cancers, but it is most commonly prescribed for cancer of the bladder, ovaries, cervix, testicles and lung. It is an effective drug, but many cancerous cells develop resistance to the treatment.More

Researchers make giant leap forward in Type 1 diabetes treatment
Science Daily
From Oct. 16: Stem cell researchers have announced that they have made a giant leap forward in the quest to find a truly effective treatment for Type 1 diabetes. With human embryonic stem cells as a starting point, the scientists are for the first time able to produce, in the kind of massive quantities needed for cell transplantation and pharmaceutical purposes, human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in most every way to normally functioning beta cells.More

FDA allows 1st use of a novel cancer drug
The New York Times
From Sept. 18: The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first of an eagerly awaited new class of cancer drugs that unleashes the body's immune system to fight tumors. The drug, which Merck will sell under the name Keytruda, was approved for patients with advanced melanoma who have exhausted other therapies.More

New hope in treating African sleeping sickness
R&D Magazine
From Oct. 30: In early drug discovery, you need a starting point, says North­eastern University professor Michael Pollastri. In a new research paper published in PLOS-Neglected Tropical Diseases, Pollastri and his colleagues present hun­dreds of such starting points for potentially treating Human African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, a deadly dis­ease that affects thousands of people annually.More

Could a common blood pressure drug completely reverse diabetes?
Medical News Today
From Nov. 13: Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., raising risks for heart attack, blindness, kidney disease and limb amputation. But researchers who have shown that a common blood pressure drug totally reverses diabetes in mice are about to begin a new clinical trial to see if it can do the same for humans. If the trial is successful, it could herald the first "cure" for an incurable disease that affects 12.3 percent of Americans over the age of 20.More

Cancer therapy: Targeting in the field of metabolic rewiring
By Dr. Afsaneh Motamed-Khorasani
From July 10: Of more than 100,000 carcinogen point mutations, 350 are known to influence cancer phenotype. However, 30 years of intensive research on cancer biology and large amounts of grant money invested have translated into few novel treatments. This raises many questions regarding the true value of development of multiple potential new therapeutics just to prove they cannot provide effective treatment for cancer. Perhaps we have missed the point. Metabolic reprograming of cancer cells could be yet another key to a more effective treatment for cancer.More

Anthrax may deliver cancer drugs with efficient injection method
Science World Report
From Oct 2: Anthrax, also known as Bacillus anthracis bacteria, have a very efficient method when it comes to injecting toxic proteins into cells. Now, scientists are recruiting anthrax and its delivery system in order to administer cancer drugs. "Anthrax toxin is a professional at delivering large enzymes into cells," said Bradley Pentelute, one of the researchers. "We wondered if we could render anthrax toxin nontoxic, and use it as a platform to deliver antibody drugs into cells."More