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Optical Imaging Facilitates Key Neurological Disease Research

As the global population is progressively becoming older, we are seeing an increase in the prevalence of neurological diseases. Many of these conditions disable patients long before they become fatal, meaning the burden of these diseases is likely to be huge in years to come. Despite vast amounts of research into neurological diseases, most cannot …

Central Nervous System Drug Discovery Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology

Developing drugs to target the central nervous system (CNS) is challenging as a result of the bloodbrain barrier (BBB) acting as an anatomical blockade, preventing many therapeutic candidates from reaching neuronal tissue directly. There are several models used in drug discovery to determine whether a therapeutic agent is fit for purpose in targeting neurological diseases. …

Epigenetic Therapy Shows Promise as a Companion for Immunotherapy

The use of immunotherapies to treat certain types of cancer has expanded greatly over the last 25 years. Today, there are many approved therapies that use immune checkpoint inhibitors to activate T-cell killing. Despite the successes, many patients are still found to be unresponsive to immunotherapy alone or develop resistance over time. Epigenetic therapy is …

The Four Pillars of Critical Quality Attributes

Cell and gene therapies (CGT) have changed the landscape of precision medicine and continue to emerge at a rapid pace. These therapeutic strategies are both specific and precise compared to prior conventional medicines, and offer tremendous potential for the treatment of syndromes and diseases caused by genetic mutations. The personalized nature of CGT approaches requires …

Not Just a Respiratory Disease - The Cardio-COVID Link

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, evidence emerged that COVID-19 was not just a disease of the respiratory system as initially thought. It became clear that people with underlying cardiovascular problems, such as prior heart failure, coronary artery disease, or hypertension, were more susceptible to severe infection with SARS-CoV-2. There was also evidence to suggest that …

GPCRs as Therapeutic Targets

Despite G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) being one of the oldest drug-target classes, they continue to offer scope for new therapeutics, with many people believing that the GPCR drug discovery landscape still has many untapped opportunities. With one third of all FDA-approved therapeutics acting on GPCR targets, these receptors constitute the largest family of proteins targeted by …

Cell and Gene Therapy: A Multifaceted Approach

Cell and gene therapies are promising treatment strategies for many diseases. A multifaceted in vitro and in vivo approach is applicable in treatments ranging from cancer to genetic diseases. These therapies rely on transgenes being delivered into specific cell types, therefore identification of cell types and effective use of delivery vehicles is critical. The active …

Improving Productivity and Relevance in Early Drug Discovery

Drug discovery is an expensive, slow, and risky endeavor, with many clinical trials failing at the final hurdle. Maintaining R&D productivity at a sustainable level is therefore one of the main challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry. Clinical trials can fail for many reasons, but the two main causes of high failure rates are issues …

Improving Our Understanding of Biofilm Formation on Indwelling Medical Devices

While the benefits of indwelling medical devices, such as contact lenses, urinary catheters, and pacemakers, arguably outweigh the risks, medical device-associated infections still account for a large proportion of hospital-acquired infections. These infections are often linked to colonization of a device by microbes, which might originate from the skin of a patient, visitor, or healthcare …

the next hurdle in the race to beat cancer

Every patient has an immune system, which exists to protect the body from infection. We generally think about the immune system protecting us from threats like influenza, pertussis, or most recently, the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But a number of years ago, researchers came to the realization that traditional cancer therapies – which include chemotherapy, radiation, and …

Big Possibilities for Small RNAs in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are conditions that reduce the integrity of the nervous system. Scientists expect these diseases to become more common in the global population as the world ages and people live longer. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease are just a few of the diseases in this category. Many people are familiar with at …

Visualizing SARS-CoV-2 Interactions in 3D

Since the first reported case of COVID-19 in December 2019, researchers around the world have been working to improve their understanding of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Determining the mechanisms by which the virus interacts with the host system is key to developing effective treatments for patients. A team of researchers in Austria are combining their …

Virus Vaccine Research and Development—Accelerated Workflows

“This is not a race between manufacturers. It is us against the virus.” There is a saying in science that “anything is possible.” The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic proved it. In the U.S., two messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines went from bench to bedside in months, not years, with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) …

Gene Therapies Vs. Cancer: Insights from an Industry Leader

PerkinElmer recently discussed next-generation cancer therapies with one of the founders of the field, Dr. Sunil Chada. The complexity of cancer continues to pose significant challenges for researchers in the development of novel therapeutic agents. Historic treatment approaches including chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapies such as antibody therapies have failed to deliver curative outcomes for most …

Cell Model of Huntington’s Disease for In Vitro Screening

To accelerate their discovery of new treatments for Huntington’s disease (HD), researchers at the University College of London developed a human neuronal cell model of the disease for use in high-throughput screening of potential therapies. Existing HD cellular models, which are mostly non-human and non-neuronal, fail to recapitulate the disease’s biochemical milieu. Dr. Sarah Tabrizi …

In Vitro 3D Cellular Model Shows Promise in Understanding Rare Pediatric Neurodegenerative Disease

The complexity of neurodegenerative diseases, and the associated challenges of modeling the development and function of the human brain, have made many disorders difficult to study experimentally. While animal models can aid our understanding of disease mechanisms and pathology – and are relevant for biomarker research and therapeutic testing – reliable and predictive human cellular …

Accelerating the Drug Discovery Timeline

Improving lives has always been the ultimate goal for PerkinElmer’s Life Sciences-and we do this by delivering innovative, advanced solutions to those developing treatments and drugs. Drug development can take years from the beginnings of basic research into understanding disease pathophysiology to the commercialization of a new medicine, and the right tools can make all …

Physiopathology Creates New Optimism for Alzheimer's Disease Treatment

Close to two decades have passed since a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been approved in the US. In August of 2020, a new anti-amyloid treatment by Biogen received an expedited review, albeit with some skepticism in the field, which resulted in a setback for the IgG1 monoclonal antibody (aducanumab) in November. Despite …

Offsetting COVID-19 Staffing Limitations in a Laboratory: Improving Workflow Efficiency via Shorter Assay Workflows

To implement social distancing for COVID-19, many organizations and companies require fewer staff members to be in the laboratory simultaneously. Researchers may evaluate alternatives to widely used but tedious assay workflows. One example would be conventional techniques such as ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), which is used to detect and screen biomarkers, protein targets, and their …

COVID-19’s Influence on Neurological Symptoms

Research of neurological symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2 presents an opportunity to further understand COVID-19 molecular functioning as well as its implications in the clinic. Symptoms of COVID-19 typically affect the respiratory system, including fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. On the other hand, observations of secondary complex symptoms affecting the central nervous system may …

Identifying Antivirals and Vaccines with the Power of High Content Screening

Researchers worldwide are working around the clock to develop effective drugs and vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Their efforts are focused on three key approaches: Repurposing of existing drugs Development of new therapeutics Development of vaccines High content screening (HCS), with its wide range of applications, is an important part of each of these strategies. …

Alpha CETSA® Offers a Unique Look at Target Engagement

Introduction During the drug discovery process, it is important to demonstrate that a small molecule compound can bind with sufficient affinity and duration to the protein target of interest to exert its pharmacological effect. This is known as target engagement and mitigates some of the risks associated with advancing a small molecule towards the clinic. …

Why Live-cell imaging enables researchers to study dynamic cellular processes, behaviour and function in real time and over time, giving a more complete and realistic view of biological function. Rather than having to prepare one sample for every time point and fixing the cells at that point, researchers can analyze a single sample over time, …

We’ve all had our blood pressure taken; however, blood pressure measurement isn’t just related to your heart. There is more than one type of hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is caused by high pressure in the arteries that supply blood to your lungs. When the blood vessel walls thicken, blood flow is restricted in a manner similar …

Background To A Cancer Breakthrough When most of us encounter bacteria, we reach for a sanitizer. Researchers at the Cork Cancer Research Centre in Cork, Ireland, have a much different reaction. They view these single-cell microorganisms as literal torchbearers in advancing new therapies for infectious diseases especially as it relates to cancer. Why is that …

A Major Research Breakthrough A group of scientists at the Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (CeMM) have developed a new microscopy technique for blood cells that saves time, money, and, most importantly, is already helping to uncover new immunotherapy treatments for cancer. The patent application pending technique, termed “Pharmacoscopy,” has …

When we see the word biome, many of us are not even sure how to pronounce it (hint: the e is silent). What it reminds us of varies too. Environmentalists may think of tropical forests, rolling prairies, deserts oceans, or even frozen tundra. Yes, they are all biomes known as the major environments for life …

Background Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) has been killing humans since the beginning of recorded history.1 Recent estimates claim the disease is responsible for 1.8 million deaths and another 10 million people becoming infected with tuberculous every year.2 Despite our long association with one of the most lethal diseases in history, scientists still have only a …

Staph Infections Are On The Rise Most of us know someone with an about orthopedic implant. News of hip, knee, and even elbow replacements are common. But these are just a few of the more than two dozen orthopedic implants now available to replace or support bones ravaged by time, injuries, trauma, or disease. Over …

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