This week in drug discovery (31 October – 4 November)

News round-up for 31 October – 4 November by DDW Digital Content Editor Diana Spencer 

In a week that saw magic mushrooms making the headlines in the UK, we also reported on exciting potential new therapies for geographic atrophy and malaria prevention. Meanwhile, the quest to understand Covid-19 continues, as study findings reveal how the virus affects the brain and the effectiveness of vaccines in those with compromised immunity. 

The top stories: 

Covid-19 vaccine less effective in the immunocompromised 

A new study in the US has revealed that the Covid-19 vaccine is less effective in people with weakened immune systems. 

Green light for potential AAV gene therapy 

Complement Therapeutics’ lead asset CTx001, an AAV-based gene therapy for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA), has been awarded an Innovation Passport by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

Monoclonal antibody could transform malaria prevention 

One dose of an antibody drug safely protected healthy, non-pregnant adults from malaria infection during an intense six-month malaria season in Mali, Africa.   

Covid-19 triggers inflammation in the brain 

Research led by The University of Queensland has found that Covid-19 activates the same inflammatory response in the brain as Parkinson’s disease. 

Study shows ‘magic mushrooms’ could treat depression 

Psilocybin, a psychedelic derived from mushrooms, has been proven effective as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in the largest study of its kind. 



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