Better treatments for ischaemic stroke have come a step closer thanks to research presented at the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC 2022) in Lyon, France in May. It has been appreciated for some time that there is a link between the intestinal microbiome and neurological development and aging, and some studies have suggested that impaired intestinal microflora can be a risk factor for stroke. Equally, an ischaemic stroke is believed to alter the composition on the intestinal microflora.
Research & University News
The European Commission has created a web portal for researchers based in Ukraine as well as those who have left the country through which they can find employment, locate housing and gain recognition of their academic credentials by institutions across the EU. The ERA4Unraine portal connects more than 600 centres and 43 national portals across the union as well as countries that are not members of the EU but participate in the Horizon European research programme. The information is in English and will soon be available in Ukrainian as well.
A woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and subsequently developed acute myeloid leukaemia, has reportedly seen her HIV go into remission four years after receiving a transplant of stem cells obtained from an infant’s umbilical cord blood. The case, reported by US media on 15 February, was described by scientists at the annual meeting of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection. It is the third time a patient with HIV has been reportedly cured of an HIV infection.
Hal Barron, the chief scientific officer at GlaxoSmithKline Plc, is to become chief executive of a new regenerative medicine company that will seek to understand the process of cellular rejuvenation with the goal of slowing or even reversing the effects of disease. The company, Altos Labs Inc, will combine basic science with translational medicine across two institutes in the US and one in the UK. It is being launched with $3 billion of start-up capital, according to a statement issued on 19 January.
A new study by researchers from the University of Oxford has shown that the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has the potential to increase infections among the population, including individuals who have already been vaccinated. However there is no evidence thus far that the variant can cause severe disease, hospitalisation or deaths in vaccinated populations.
A venture capital company backed by Swedish and Danish institutions has closed its first fund at €122.3 million. Designed to support promising life science companies in the Nordic region, Eir Ventures I AB has already invested in nine companies, two of which have completed initial public offerings (IPOs) on the US Nasdaq market.
The scientists Benjamin List and David MacMillan have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery that small organic molecules are suitable as mediators of chemical reactions. Working independently of one another, Drs List and MacMillan showed that organic molecules constitute a third type of catalyst that can accelerate chemical reactions and lead them to a desired goal. Previously, scientists assumed that only enzymes and metals could perform this task.
The Swedish biotech Modus Therapeutics Holding AB has entered into a partnership with a team at Imperial College London, UK to investigate the compound sevuparin in patients with severe malaria. Modus is currently developing sevuparin for sepsis and septic shock, life-threatening conditions caused by the body’s reaction to an infection. The company has now extended its research to do more work in malaria.
Preclinical work being undertaken by STORM Therapeutics Ltd has shown that targeting RNA modifying enzymes with small molecule drugs is a credible new strategy for treating acute myeloid leukaemia, as well as solid tumours. A second paper outlining this strategy was published on 26 April 2021 in the journal Nature.
A small molecule drug that activates a component of the innate immune system could play a role in enhancing radiation therapy for the treatment of cancers, according to a study published in Nature Communications on 19 April 2021. The study, conducted by Yale University in the US and F-star Therapeutics Ltd, co-located in the UK and US, looked at the role of STING (stimulator of interferon genes) in regulating tumour cell survival.