This week in drug discovery (31 January – 4 February) 

News round-up by DDW’s Megan Thomas for 31 January – 4 February, 2022 

This week, DDW’s Megan Thomas has rounded up five stories that highlight the impact of research, breakthroughs, agreements and trials in the drug discovery world. 

1. Researchers discover way to disarm potentially deadly Listeria bacteria 

University of Queensland researchers have discovered a way to block Listeria from making the proteins that allow bacteria to survive and multiply in immune cells, which can cause severe illness in pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems. The study has been published in the journal PLOS Pathogens. 

2. Dompé and Engitix tackle fibrosis and liver-associated solid tumours 

Dompé Farmaceutici has entered a strategic collaboration with and investment in Engitix as part of Engitix’s $54m Series A financing to support identification of new treatments against fibrosis and liver-associated solid tumours. 

3. First patient dosed in advanced liver cancer clinical trial 

MiNA Therapeutics has dosed the first patient in a global Phase II clinical trial (OUTREACH-2) of MTL-CEBPA in combination with second line standard of care sorafenib (a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)) in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC or liver cancer). 

4. Leukaemia patients granted early access to investigational treatment 

Novartis UK has announced that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has given a positive scientific opinion for the investigational treatment asciminib to be made available to appropriate patients under the UK Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS). 

5. Study profiles side-effects linked to common immunosuppressant 

New research led by scientists from the UK’s University of Manchester and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has profiled the side effects of methotrexate – a common drug used to treat arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.   

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