This week in drug discovery (3-7 January)

News round-up by DDW’s Megan Thomas for 3-7 January, 2022 

With the new year comes new discoveries, results, research, data and collaboration in the drug discovery industry. This week, DDW’s Megan Thomas has selected her top five news stories which have emerged in the sector. 

1. Experimental mRNA HIV vaccine is safe and shows promise in animals 

An experimental HIV vaccine based on mRNA shows promise in mice and non-human primates, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. 

2. Scientists find that the way tumours grow impacts their genetics 

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, UCL, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, London have developed a computer model to analyse how the way in which tumours grow affects their genetic makeup. Using this new model, they have identified links between tumour growth and shape, and how quickly a patient’s cancer might progress.   

3. Data says T-cell lymphoma patients will be underserved over the next decade   

Not only is there is a severe lack of effective T-cell lymphoma (TCL) treatments, according to GlobalData, but the data and analytics company does not expect any significant solutions to appear in the next decade. 

4. Early data for multivariant Covid-19 vaccine booster shows promise 

The first results of an early trial of a multivariant Covid-19 vaccine booster, launched in Manchester in September 2021, has shown it is driving a comprehensive immune response. 

5. Pfizer and BioNTech develop first mRNA-based shingles vaccine 

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced a new research, development and commercialisation collaboration to develop a potential first mRNA-based vaccine for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster virus, or HZV), which impacts about one in three people in the US during their lifetime. 

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