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Anti-TNF-alpha treatment in viral infection - Use of anti-TNF-alpha strategies for the treatment of chronic viral infections

Chronic viral infections are characterized by a reduced responsiveness of T lymphocytes; a process also termed T cell exhaustion. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) has been shown to be critically involved in this exhaustion process. Consequently, our invention suggests the use of anti-TNFalpha strategies, i.e. either blockade of the TNF-receptor (TNFR) binding side or its enzymatic activity by existing drugs (e.g. Infliximab, Etanercept) for the general treatment of persisting viral infections with the aim to restore T cell function. Proof for the success of this approach has been delivered by the LCMV mouse model and the treatment of HIV patients, and is in addition supported by results from studies in systems biology. There is still an unmet need for improved treatment strategies for patients suffering from persisting viral infection. As mentioned above, the effectiveness of an anti-TNF-alpha strategy has been demonstrated on the example of the LCMV model and HIV patients. It is most likely that this new therapeutic approach also applies to the broad market of persisting viral infections in general, including herpes and Hepatitis. 13.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Induced Somatic Stem Cells - Reprogramming of somatic cells to neural stem cells

Since the pioneer work published by Takahashi & Yamanaka, the technique of reprogramming cells from a differentiated to an embryonic-like status has experienced an exploding development in regard to both techniques and applications. The most obvious application is the use in tissue regeneration. However, two key obstacles need to be overcome for clinical realization, i.e. risk of reprogrammed cells to develop neoplasiae as well as cumbersome and costly cell culture procedures. Therefore, it is imperative to develop cost-efficient methods with a lower the risk of cancer. The present invention has solved this problem by using a modification of the originally described method. Here, the transcription factors Sox2, cMyc and Klf4 are exogenously and stably expressed, whereas Oct4 is introduced with an exogenous transient expression system. This method is qualified to produce autologous neural stem cells that proliferate indefinitely and are able to re-differentiate into functional neural cells. The technology therefore applies to the tissue regeneration of neural tissue and disease modelling, especially in the central nervous system. 13.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

CAAI - Covalent-allosteric AKT inhibitors - Inhibitors of the AKT pathway with a new mode of binding

The development of new drugs in oncology has shifted from unspecific cytotoxic drugs to highly specific substances with known targets and modes of action. A prominent group of these target specific cancer drugs are the kinase inhibitors. The invented substances are inhibitors of the kinase AKT which is involved in several pathways regulating cell functions in cancer, e.g. survival and proliferation. The particular novelty of the invented compounds is based on their combined covalent-allosteric binding mode. These are first-in-class modulators of AKT with a novel mode of inhibition. Covalent-allosteric inhibitors show extended drug-target residence times. AKT is a serine/threonine kinase and oncogene that has already been identified and addressed as a target in cancer therapy by several pharma companies. The invented substances are of high interest for any pharma company with an oncology pipeline and are of special advantage for those who seek to improve, broaden or supplement their kinase inhibitor portfolio. 13.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

CirclSeq - Automatable and relibale preparation of a DNA library in a one-vial reaction for unbiased quantification of mRNA

The analysis of the mRNA content of a cell or a tissue via sequencing provides a method for functional analysis. In common protocols, prior to the sequencing procedure itself the mRNA has to be reverse transcribed into cDNA, followed by random shearing into cDNA fragments, linker ligation, and amplification via PCR. The library of PCR amplicons can then be sequenced by various methods of next generation sequencing (NGS). In many protocols, the primers used for the reverse transcription (RT) or ligation have to be removed before sequencing. Typically, this is achieved by performing a polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, which suffers from poor quantitative yield and poor discrimination between molecules of similar size. Additionally, PCR amplification can lead to biased quantification of rare mRNA species. The present invention allows overcoming these problems by using a new protocol, which consists of the following steps: 1) RT of mRNA into cDNA in presence of dUTP 2) RNA digestion and 3’ end blocking of RT primer with ddTTP 3) Enzymatic cleavage at positions of dUTP incorporation 4) cDNA circularization 5) NGS 12.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Parthenolide supports PNS repair - Parthenolide and its derivatives for use in the treatment of axonal damage

In general, injured peripheral nervous tissue possesses the capacity to regenerate severed axons and therefore the ability for repair. Mechanisms of so-called neuroregeneration may include generation of new glia, extension of axons, re-myelination or restoration of functional synapses. However, the ability for neuroregeneration differs strongly between the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS). However, although injured axons of the peripheral nervous system show generally greater potential for intrinsic axonal regrowth, functional regeneration is often limited, mainly due to a decline in neurotrophic support from Schwann cells over time and axonal misguidance. These aspects become particularly evident in cases of long distance regeneration, for example after sciatic nerve injury in legs or median nerve damage in arms. Therefore, the development of novel therapeutic measures aiming to accelerate axon regenera-tion and thereby improving functional recovery is highly desirable. It was found by the inventors of the present invention that the natural product parthenolide and its derivatives facilitate the axonal growth and guidance of injured peripheral nerves in cell culture and most significantly also in vivo. The inventors demonstrate that the intraneural injection of parthenolide at the regenerating nerve results in an improved functional motor recovery as well as in an improved sensory functional recovery. 12.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

RAD51C as a human cancer susceptibility gene

The present invention provides a novel susceptibility gene for hereditary cancers. RAD51C, which encodes for a protein involved in DNA repair, has been found to be mutated in families with breast and ovarian cancer, but not in healthy control subjects. In addition, the patients were all selected from pedigrees negative for mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 to particularly identify genetic mutations causing a cancer predisposition independently of already known determinants. All analyzed mutations were identified as mono-allelic germline mutations. Besides gynecological cancers, mutations of RAD51C were also detected in patients suffering from head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSSC). Thus, the presence of mutations in RAD51C is associated with an increased predisposition of developing cancer and positions RAD51C as a high-risk cancer susceptibility gene. Furthermore, an abnormal RAD51C gene status correlates with an increased probability for response to a DNA-damaging therapeutic agent and therefore represents an ideal companion diagnostic. 11.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Bile acids aid liver repair - Bile acids induce hepatic diffentiation

Hepatic failure is a terminal picture of many liver diseases such as hepatic steatosis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, and is treated by liver transplantation, but a lack of donor organs is a worldwide problem. Thus, there is a demand for a means for safe and rapid liver regeneration for small grafts. One possibility would be the generation of a patient’s own liver tissue using isolated stem cells. The inventors found that mesenchymal stem cells can reprogrammed into hepatocytes by treatment with bile acids. Already after 7 days of treatment in serum-free medium, the resulting cell population showed markers characteristic for hepatic differentiation like albumin expression. Bile acids exert their function via the farnesoid X receptor and the G protein-coupled bile acid receptor 1 (TGR5). Cells obtained by the protocol may be used in a tissue replacement therapy. 11.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Mutation Detection - Highly sensitive detection of gene modifications/mutations

This invention enables an easy and economical way for the stratification of patients (e.g. for treatment with tyrosine-kinase-inhibitors) with a state-of-the-art sensitivity, which might be even be more sensitive than mutation detection by next-generation-sequencing technologies. In addition this detection technology is based on the established and worldwide accessible RT-PCR-platform. It can even be used - in combination with suitable enrichment strategies - for the non-invasive analysis of CTCs or free DNA from plasma/serum samples to facilitate continuous monitoring of treatment response. Currently, the inventors are establishing strategies for detecting a panel of the most common oncogenic mutations with similar impressive sensitivities. 11.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Treatment of AML by inhibitors of NHR2 and/or RUNX1/ETO-tetramerization

The formation and onset of the prevalent form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML, FAB subtype M2) requires RUNX1/ETO, the product of the t(8;21) chromosomal translocation. Tetramerization through the nervy homology region 2 (NHR2) of ETO is essential for the RUNX1/ETO-mediated transformation. The inventors demonstrated that inhibition of NHR2 tetramerization by first-in-class small molecules is a viable entry point for the treatment of AML. Drug candidates have been identified by a small-molecule in silico screening and have been validated in cellular assays. Several compounds proved to be successful in inhibiting NHR2 tetramerization. Preferred compound 7.44 was able to slow tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model (SKNO 1 xenograft). The pending patent application covers claims directed to a variety of chemotypes that proved activity against AML. 11.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Metal borides, nitrogen-doped metal borides and boron containing metal nanoparticles for water splitting and oxygen reduction

Achieving economic and environmental viability of hydrogen production through water splitting especially using energy derived from green and sustainable sources is the hallmark of the hydrogen economy. In this invention non-precious metal containing catalysts replacing platinum group metal-based ones are introduced which is key to enable cost-effective water splitting and affordable fuel cells. 08.05.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lasers are the key to mastering challenges in lightweight construction

Many joining and cutting processes are possible only with lasers. New technologies make it possible to manufacture metal components with hollow structures that are significantly lighter and yet just as stable as solid components. In addition, lasers can be used to combine various lightweight construction materials and steels with each other. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is presenting a range of such solutions at the LASER World of Photonics trade fair from June 22 to 25, 2015 in Munich, Germany, (Hall A3, Stand 121).

Lightweight construction materials are popular: aluminum is used in the bodywork of cars, for example, and aircraft fuselages already consist in large part of...

Im Focus: Solid-state photonics goes extreme ultraviolet

Using ultrashort laser pulses, scientists in Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have demonstrated the emission of extreme ultraviolet radiation from thin dielectric films and have investigated the underlying mechanisms.

In 1961, only shortly after the invention of the first laser, scientists exposed silicon dioxide crystals (also known as quartz) to an intense ruby laser to...

Im Focus: Advance in regenerative medicine

The only professorship in Germany to date, one master's programme, one laboratory with worldwide unique equipment and the corresponding research results: The University of Würzburg is leading in the field of biofabrication.

Paul Dalton is presently the only professor of biofabrication in Germany. About a year ago, the Australian researcher relocated to the Würzburg department for...

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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