Posts Tagged skin
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
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on April 9, 2015
Neel Fofaria, PhD candidate at Texas Tech University, talked on “Identification of Mechanism of Resistance to Current Melanoma Therapy” at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
Melanoma is a devastating form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, or pigment containing cells in the skin. It is not restricted to the skin but also occurs in eyes and intestinal mucosa. Mutation of BRAF gene is implicated in 40-60% of melanoma development. This mutation is believed to activate mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and BRAF has been validated as an important target, said Fofaria.
Vemurafenib (marketed as Zelboraf) is a commonly prescribed treatment for advanced metastatic melanoma. However, only about 50% of cancers with BRAF mutation, respond to this line of therapy. Resistance to apoptosis is a common challenge in many malignancies that result is both aggressive progress of the cancer and resistance to conventional regimens. Certain abnormalities in a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic molecular mechanisms of the cell lines that promote the tumor formation have lately generated a lot of focus. Mcl-1 from a family of Bcl-2 proteins, has been implicated in aggressive melanoma that does not respond to traditional therapy. Mcl-1 is a highly expressed pro-survival protein in these cancers.
Studies have indicated that Vemurafenib treatment induces Mcl-1 expression in certain melanoma cells, said Fofaria. Vemurafenib is an effective line of treatment in about 50% patients with certain BRAF mutation, but in others the drug stimulates normal BRAF and possibly promotes tumor growth. Fofaria shared that studies at their lab at Texas Tech indicated this to be the case. Therefore, they further hypothesized that combination targeted therapy with Vemurafenib and Mcl-1 inhibitor (like TW-37), might overcome this resistance and lead to a better outcome.
This was confirmed in several studies. Combination targeted therapy of Mcl-1 inhibitor (TW-37) and Vemurafenib increased apoptosis and resistance to Vemurafenib was overcome with this combination. Additionally, involvement of Mcl-1 was confirmed in the resistance to the recent FDA approved combination of Dabrafenib (BRAF inhibitor) and Trametinib (MEK1/2 inhibitor). Further studies confirmed that only Mcl-1 was playing a crucial role and no other protein was implicated in a signficant subset of resistant tumors. Additionally, TW-37 is a small molecule, can be easily administered orally, and was found to be safe in mice studies. These results were further confirmed in patient tumor biopsy samples obtained from collaboration with Mass General, said Fofaria.
Indeed, one size fits all is no more a workable solution in case of malady like cancer. Administering more personalized medicine and combining agents that target different mechanisms in divergent cancers, may be the way of the future. The talk was followed by Q&A.