This week in drug discovery (4-8 October) 

News round-up by DDW’s Megan Thomas for 4-8 October 

For this week’s drug discovery round up, DDW’s Megan Thomas focuses on stories that provide answers to previously unanswered questions, or news that enables researchers and scientists to find those answers quickly. 

1. Novel therapy could be effective against paediatric leukaemia 

Mount Sinai researchers have developed a therapy that shows promise against a fatal paediatric leukaemia. The small-molecule therapy was highly effective in fighting a type of acute myeloid leukaemia in both in vitro and in vivo experiments, according to research published in Science Translational Medicine in September 2021. 

2. Why some people have stronger natural defences against SARS-COV-2 

A team of scientists at the MRC University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research has revealed key research into the natural human antiviral defences against SARS-CoV-2. In the study, the scientists reveal that some people have a version of a gene, called OAS1, that potently inhibits SARS-CoV-2 and that while some people can express a more protective ‘prenylated’ version of the OAS1 gene, other people express a version of this gene which does not detect SARS-CoV-2. 

3. SME files patent for ‘game-changing’ lateral flow test technology 

Nano Biosols, an SME based at Liverpool Science Park, UK, has filed a patent for novel technology it has developed to enhance the sensitivity of lateral flow tests, enabling use across a much broader range of diseases. 

4. First patients dosed in Phase I study for Alzheimer’s 

AlzeCure Pharma has dosed the first patient in the company’s next clinical Phase I study (multiple ascending dose, MAD) with the candidate drug ACD856, focused on Alzheimer’s disease. 

5. Novel analgesic drug is based on Nobel prize-winning discoveries 

AlzeCure Pharma says its novel clinical candidate drug ACD440 for peripheral neuropathic pain is based on the seminal discoveries of TRPV1 by Professor David Julius, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2021. 

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