Marburg virus persisted in the testes of crab-eating macaques, suggesting that Marburg and other filoviruses, such as Ebola, might also persist in human testes after the body clears the virus from other organs, researchers reported in Cell Host & Microbe. Marburg virus caused the breakdown of the blood-testes barrier that protects Sertoli cells, but the presence of the virus did not appear to affect sperm generation or reproductive function.
The Argonaute 2 protein silences RNA and slows liver metabolism, impeding the organ's ability to process fat, and blocking AGO2 prevented obesity, diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice fed a high-fat diet. The findings, published in Nature Communications, might have implications for treating chronic metabolic disorders in humans.
Clovis Oncology along with CEO Patrick Mahaffy and former Chief Financial Officer Erle Mast agreed to pay more than $20 million to settle allegations that they overstated the efficacy of cancer drug Roci, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Imperial College London researchers have determined which compounds among the 70,000 they screened are capable of preventing mosquitoes from becoming infected with malaria parasites, as reported in the journal Nature Communications. The investigators used high-throughput methodologies and found six compounds with the potential to block disease transmission.
The FDA has granted Contego Medical 510(k) clearance for its Paladin carotid percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon system, an embolic protection device that comes with an angioplasty balloon and integrated 40-micron filter. The device is indicated for use in percutaneous transluminal angioplasty in carotid arteries with embolic material capture and removal.
To reduce the prevalence of e-cigarette use among almost 10.7 million at-risk US adolescents ages 12 to 17, the FDA has unveiled a nearly $60 million ad campaign that will educate youths about the harms of e-cigarettes through messages on social media and the FDA's campaign website and in high school bathrooms. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids President Matthew Myers applauded the ad campaign but urged the FDA to restrict e-cigarette manufacturers from using social media marketing and flavorings.
The European Commission granted orphan drug designation to Corbus Pharmaceuticals' lenabasum, being developed to treat patients with dermatomyositis.
Almirall's Ilumetri, or tildrakizumab, subcutaneous injection was approved by the European Commission as a treatment for adult patients with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy. The decision was backed by data from Resurface 1 and 2 studies, in which use of Ilumetri led to 75% skin clearance in 63% of patients on average after 12 weeks and 78% after three doses at 28 weeks.
Fate Therapeutics and Ono Pharmaceutical agreed to work together to develop and market two off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies for cancer treatment incorporating Fate's induced pluripotent stem cell technology. Under the deal, Fate will get $10 million upfront and additional research funding plus milestone and option exercise fees.
A Series B funding round brought in over $33 million for biotech firm Immune-Onc Therapeutics, which has preclinical immuno-oncology programs in development. The company plans to use the financing to support its pipeline programs, which include IO-202 and an undisclosed program as treatments for hematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia and solid tumors.
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