Posts Tagged inflammation
Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: Disease focus: infectious diseases, metabolic syndrome, skin & more
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship, Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on December 26, 2017
Biotech Showcase taking place concurrently with the J P Morgan event in San Francisco in January 2018, is an investor and networking conference. Many partnerships and collaborations will be forged with over over 7000 one on one meetings, with opportunities for eager innovators to seek out enthusiastic investors. Besides one on one meetings, general sessions will focus on a number of disease areas that are significantly expected to impact the healthcare arena. More blogs to follow and will highlight focus on new treatment modalities.
A panel led by Jennifer Goldstein from Silicon Valley Bank will focus on body’s largest organ that is often misunderstood and frequently underrated, the skin. Panelists Alan Dunton from Purdue Pharma, David Giljohann from Exicure, Jennifer Good from Trevi Therapeutics, Shelley Harman from Aegle and Mark Wilson from MatriSys will discuss early signs and symptoms on the skin that often signal infectious and internal diseases.
Antimicrobial resistance or (AMR) is increasingly a prominent public health concern and has been highlighted by both WHO and CDC. Since the discovery of first antibiotic penicillin in 1928, more than 100 compounds have been created but no new class has been found. In panel moderated by Bibhash Mukhopadhyay at New Enterprise Associates, leading anti-microbial drug development experts, Alan Carr of Needham, Julia Gregory from Contrafect, Kenneth Hillan from Achaogen, Gregory Mario from Taxis Pharma, John Rex from F2G, and Chris Stevens from Arsanis will discuss the tailwinds and headwinds in this space that is getting a fresh second look from both experts and investors.
Current epidemic of metabolic syndrome will be the focus in a panel moderated by Philip Kenner from ClearView with panelists Deborah Dunsire from DTuit, Tomas Landh from Novo Nordisk, Harith Rajagopalan from Fractyl Labs, and Wendye Robbins from Blade Therapeutics. Having any one of the risk factors like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides can greatly increase health risk. However having a cluster of these conditions together indicate metabolic syndrome and vastly increase health risk. Metabolic syndrome is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions according to some health experts.
While JPM conference is by invitation only event, registration is open for Biotech Showcase at email@example.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1
Treating ALS – The Story of Neuraltus
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on August 4, 2014
Rich Casey, President and CEO of Neuraltus (formerly Chairman and CEO of Scios), talked about treatment option for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder of unknown etiology, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
Typically, the age of onset of ALS is anywhere between 40 and 70 years. Life expectancy after the diagnosis is between 2 and 5 years, although in very rare cases (e.g. in case of Stephen Hawking), it could be an extremely slow progression. No effective treatments for the disease exist. Motor neurons degenerate and early symptoms include muscle weakness, specifically involving arms and legs, lack of hand grip, deep tiredness and it progresses to difficulty in swallowing, breathing, and garbled speech.
Neuraltus’s lead product, NP001 is in clinical development, targeted for the treatment of ALS. While the exact cause of the disease is unknown, there is fair amount of evidence that points to increasing levels of inflammation in the macrophages. This increased inflammatory activity results in the release of factors in the central nervous system that leads to damage of motor neurons. Macrophages are cells produced by differentiation of monocytes in the tissues. Macrophages are highly specialized in removal of dead cells or debris. Additionally, macrophages also “present” antigen that plays a crucial role in initiating an immune response. There is an increasing evidence implicating neuroinflammation with the progression of ALS.
Neuraltus’s novel, proprietary drug, NP001 regulates macrophage activation and converts the activated inflammatory macrophages from activated, neurotoxic inflammatory state to a neuroprotective state. It thus normalizes the critical cellular environment. Phase I, single dose study indicated that that there are no safety concerns and the drug is well tolerated. Further, in a Phase II safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy study, after administration of NP001, there occurred a close dependent reduction of inflammatory macrophages.
The dosing regimen is somewhat cumbersome, said Casey. First time, the patients come in the hospital and need to stay for 5 days and subsequently for 3 days. At low dose, phase II study results indicated positive trends in the ability of NP001 to slow the rate of disease progression but did not reach statistical significance. But at high dose, the drug freezes the disease in a 3rd of the patients. Additionally, the drug is found to be safe and well tolerated. This clearly looks like a very exciting potential treatment for a devastating disorder, ALS. The company is currently looking for funding. The talk was followed by Q&A.
Rapid Non-Invasive Treatment for Stroke
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on April 14, 2014
Dr. Mark Borsody, Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Nervive Inc, spoke about stroke healthcare, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
Stroke has been a #1 cause of severe disability, #2 cause of death in the world (responsible for more than 5 million deaths, each year), and it is 4th leading cause of death in the US. About 800,000 people in the US have stroke, each year. One American dies from stroke, about every 4 minutes. In fact, stroke is responsible for putting the biggest healthcare burden, worldwide and the burden is likely to increase in the foreseeable future, said Dr. Borsody. Stroke results from “plumbing problem”, in the brain. Ischemic stroke is caused by blockage of a blood vessel due to reasons like thrombosis or arterial embolism. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding of blood vessels of the brain, either directly into the brain or into the surrounding brain tissue.
While treatment options for hemorrhagic stroke are limited, current treatment options for ischemic stroke include intravenous “clot busting” through tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or through endovascular catheter devices for blood clot retrieval. Worldwide, an estimated 180,000 tPA treatments are done every year and 22,000 clot retrieval treatments are done.
Honing in on the major problem, Dr. Borsody discussed why do so few patients with stroke receive timely treatment. Timely intervention is the key for treatment of stroke. Like all cells in the body, neurons and other brain cells require oxygen and glucose delivered through the blood in order to function and survive. A few minutes of oxygen deprivation can kill millions of neurons. Additionally, stroke can provoke inflammation, swelling (edema), and other processes that can continue the damage for hours or days after the initial attack. However, often treatment of stroke within 60 minutes is very rare due to the time required for patient transportation and in-hospital evaluation. Effective treatment for stroke can be simple, but it needs to be immediate. So how come there aren’t many innovations to bring the treatment to the patient, even to buy them some time?
Nervive’s Vital Flow Stimulator is a simple device that is aimed at targeting the facial nerve behind the middle ear. The objective is to control the cerebral arteries through the facial nerve, which regulates the function of the arteries. It is comprised of 3-4 cm coil placed over the ear. Magnetic fields readily penetrate any tissue and creates electrical currents in neural tissues, leading to axonal and soma depolarization. Early indications are that it is effective in treating ischemic stroke and it is safe in ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. This device is moreover, simple enough to use without any special training. Vital Flow complements other therapies and bring exponential benefits of rapid treatments. The device will be inexpensive, portable, and extremely easy to transport in the ambulance. The treatment can be administered within a few minutes. Animal studies show increased blood flow after facial nerve stimulation and improvement in several measures after stroke.
Ending his talk, Dr. Borsody said, Nervive has a strong IP position, the technology is targeting a market with huge potential, and it is substantiated by preclinical and clinical science. They are starting fund raising for series A round. To emerge from the dark ages of stroke healthcare, we need some disruptive, out of box (out of hospital) thinking, said Dr Borsody.
Mark your calendars for following events……..
May, 6 – EPPIC will host Dr. Sarvajna Dwivedi, Founder, Pearl Therapeutics that was acquired by Astra Zeneca for $1.15B, last year. Register at http://www.eppicglobal.org, @EPPIC_GLOBAL
May 16, 17 – #TiEcon 2014 will feature Healthcare Track to showcase and discuss new innovative technologies in Life Science and healthcare industries, @TiEcon
May, 2014 – Healthcare Code-a-thon will be hosted by http://www.healthtechnologyforum.com @HealthTechForum
May 20, 2014 – “Pathways to Sustainable Health” conference hosted by http://www.healthtechnologyforum.com
You can follow me on Twitter at @DarshanaN
Every Tuesday exciting speaker – http://www.bio2devicegroup.org