Drug development

Genomics has the potential to significantly improve the efficacy of drugs and develop targeted therapies.

Suicidal Mitochondria Could be the Cause of Multiple Neurogenerative Diseases

Self-destructing mitochondria could be the initiation step for a range of neurogenerative diseases, new research shows. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been observed in the early stages of ALS, a neurogenerative disease that affects voluntary muscle movement. The symptoms of ALS are caused by the disintegration of the upper motor neurons of the brain, which is often […]

Oxygen Starved Cancer Cells Recruit Immune Cells to Survive

  Pancreatic cancer cells can recruit immune cells to restore their oxygen supply in response to anti-angiogenesis therapies. To maintain their nutrient and oxygen supplies tumour cells initiate the formation of new blood vessels, in a process known as angiogenesis. Many cancer therapies work by blocking angiogenesis, as the process does not usually occur in […]

Biogen to Seek Approval for First Alzheimer’s Drug

In a major shake-up of the pharmaceutical market, Biogen announced that it intends to seek approval from the FDA for its Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab. This follows their earlier announcement that the two clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of the drug in patients had been discontinued. However, Biogen state that data from additional patients in the […]

Bacteria ‘Harpoon’ DNA to Gain Antibiotic Resistance

Bacteria are constantly evolving resistance to antibiotics, and it is estimated that over 23,000 people have died from resistant infections in the US. The multiple methods that bacteria use to acquire antibiotic resistant genes are not well understood. However, for the first time a ‘harpoon’ mechanism that bacteria use to gain resistance has been caught […]

Registration for the Festival of Genomics 2020 Now Open

Returning for its 5th consecutive year, the 2020 Festival promises to be a unique experience, a crossroads for the entire genomics ecosystem to discover, meet, learn, have fun and celebrate. It is the largest genomics event in the UK and the fastest growing genomics event in the world. The Festival delivers incredible talks, speakers, cutting-edge content, inspirational topics, […]

Alzheimer’s Could have Metabolic Cause

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease characterized by the build-up of amyloid protein plaques in the brain. There are two conflicting theories for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease – the first being that the build up of the amyloid plaques directly causes the disease, and the second being that metabolic defects initiate the build-up of protein. […]

Second Gene Mutation that Lets People Survive on Less Sleep

A new gene that enables people to survive on much less sleep has been identified. Most people require at least eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can lead to multiple negative health impacts, including heart diseases and depression. However, some people have genetic variants which allow them to feel fully rested after only […]

AI for Drug Repurposing- An Interview with Ian Roberts, Healx

The Digital DNA series explores the role of large-scale genetic testing in science, industry and society. We aim to understand both the benefits and risks of this emerging technology and see what the future may hold. In the finale of our Digital DNA series we talked to Dr Ian Roberts, the Chief Technology Officer of […]

Viagra Could Transform Bone Marrow Transplants

A combination of Viagra and Plerixafor, both clinically approved drugs, could improve the efficacy of bone marrow stem cell transplants. Haemopoietic Stem cell transplants are life-saving treatments for a range of blood cancers, including lymphoma and leukaemia. The cells can differentiate into all types of blood cells to replace the abnormal cancer cells and restore […]

Cell Death Blocker Could Aid Regenerative Medicine

A new drug molecule that can block cell death could hold the potential for a range of regenerative treatments. Apoptosis is a form of controlled cell death that is essential for normal development and body function. The BLC-2 family of proteins control the process, with some protein molecules promoting cell survival and others promoting cell […]

Common Fungi Drives Pancreatic Cancer

A microscopic fungus has been found to promote the growth of tumours in the pancreas. The microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live within the human body. The microbiome composition has been indirectly linked with a number of cancers, but this is the first time that fungi from the microbiome have been shown to […]

Psoriasis Drugs Could be Repurposed as Osteosarcoma Treatments

Psoriasis drugs could be repurposed as osteosarcoma treatments, as both diseases respond to inhibition of the same target. Osteosarcoma is a rare and difficult to cure bone cancer in children. Survival outcomes for children are poor, even with surgery and chemotherapy, as approximately 30% of patients die within five years of a diagnosis. However, increased […]

Fungus Eating Ants Could Provide Solution to Antibiotic Resistance

Fungus eating ants have inspired a novel approach to reduce antibiotic resistance. Attine ants grow ‘fungal gardens’ as their food source, however their fungus food supply is also fed on by a parasitic fungus. To counter this threat, the ants form an unlikely alliance. The ants host bacteria on their bodies that produce anti-microbials to […]

Muscular Dystrophy Oligonucleotide Treatment Shows Promise in Pre-Clinical Trials

An oligonucleotide treatment for muscular dystrophy has shown promising results in pre-clinical trials. It is estimated that the new treatment could be effective for over half of muscular dystrophy patients. Muscular dystrophy is a hereditary condition characterised by a progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles. It is caused by a malfunction in the gene […]

Cancer Cells can Connect with Neurons to Stimulate Brain Tumour Growth

Cancer cells in the brain can form connections with neurons to receive electrical impulses that stimulate tumour growth, new research has shown. These findings could both explain the rapid growth rate of brain tumours and provide a viable drug target by ‘jamming’ the electrical signals. Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive brain tumour that spreads in […]