DNAvaccine.com Presents: ‘Antibody Development for Human Therapy with DNA Immunisation’

Presentation Overview:
Dr. John Thompson will be discussing some of the key factors of antibody development for human therapy. For immunotherapeutic development, generating promising antibodies is a critical step as these must specifically recognise their target proteins in their native conformation. Aldevron proposes its proprietary GENOVAC Antibody Technology as an important tool to generate specific custom-made antibodies against native proteins. Several examples of the success of this technology will be shown including the recent collaboration with OMT to directly generate human antibodies. The presentation will be roughly 30 minutes in length and will include an open Q&A session for all attendees.

Title: Antibody Development for Human Therapy with DNA Immunisation
Date: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM CDT
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Broad Institute Gets Patent on Revolutionary Gene-Editing Method

One of the most important genetic technologies developed in recent years is now patented, and researchers are wondering what they will and won’t be allowed to do with the powerful method for editing the genome. On Tuesday, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard announced that it had been granted a patent covering the components and methodology for CRISPR—a new way of making precise, targeted changes to the genome of a cell or an organism. CRISPR could revolutionize biomedical research by giving scientists a more efficient way of re-creating disease-related mutations in lab animals and cultured cells; it may also yield an unprecedented way of treating disease.
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Immunotherapy Data Marks New Era for Treating Lung Cancer

A new era of lung cancer therapy is close to dawning, using drugs that can prevent tumor cells from evading the immune system, experts said at the Fourth European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. For decades, scientists and doctors thought immunotherapy, which uses treatments that harness the immune system to fight a disease, was of marginal benefit in lung cancer, said Jean-Charles Soria, MD, PhD, Institute Gustave Roussy in Paris, France. However, Soria explained that a new class of drugs, known as “immunocheckpoint regulators,” has shown huge potential. New data on several of these drugs were presented at the conference.
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Plasmid DNA Vaccines: Tissue Distribution and Effects of DNA Sequence, Adjuvants and Delivery Method on Integration into Host DNA

This interesting research article was used in Dr. Richard Stout's October webinar 'Delivering Your DNA Vaccine Without a Needle'. During the study, the team developed a sensitive assay for the detection of integration in vivo, which involves separation of high-molecular-weight genomic DNA from extrachromosomal plasmid by gel electrophoresis, followed by detection of potentially integrated plasmid in the gel-purified genomic DNA by polymerase chain reaction. They demonstrated that intramuscular injection of three different plasmid DNA vaccines in mice did not result in a significant level of detectable integration in the injected muscle.
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AAVLife Gets $12M to Bring Gene Therapy to Rare Ataxia

Today, AAVLife is emerging from stealth with the help of a $12 million Series A round led by San Francisco-based Versant Ventures and the Inserm Transfert Initiative, a venture arm of the French Institute of Health and Medical Research. The funds will help Paris and New York-based AAVLife build on an animal study just published in Nature in which researchers used gene therapy to curb the cardiological dysfunction associated with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a rare, often fatal, genetic neuromuscular disorder that causes a progressive loss of motor function, among other things. AAVLife has been built to advance that work into clinical trials and hopes to get its first human study up and running in early- to mid-2015, according to CEO Amber Salzman.
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Resource: ‘Prevention and reversal of severe mitochondrial cardiomyopathy by gene therapy in a mouse model of Friedreich’s ataxia’

Abstract:
Cardiac failure is the most common cause of mortality in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), a mitochondrial disease characterized by neurodegeneration, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and diabetes1, 2, 3. FRDA is caused by reduced levels of frataxin (FXN), an essential mitochondrial protein involved in the biosynthesis of iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, bioenergetics imbalance, deficit of Fe-S cluster enzymes and mitochondrial iron overload occur in the myocardium of individuals with FRDA9, 10, 11, 12. No treatment exists as yet for FRDA cardiomyopathy13, 14. A conditional mouse model with complete frataxin deletion in cardiac and skeletal muscle (Mck-Cre-FxnL3/L– mice) recapitulates most features of FRDA cardiomyopathy, albeit with a more rapid and severe course15, 16. Here we show that adeno-associated virus rh10 vector expressing human FXN injected intravenously in these mice fully prevented the onset of cardiac disease.
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Gene Therapy Successfully Regenerates an Old Organ Inside a Living Animal

In a landmark study sure to provoke interest, researchers from the University of Edinburgh have regenerated an aged organ — in vivo, inside a living animal — to its youthful state though noninvasive manipulation of genes. It’s a breakthrough that not only brings hope for a wide variety of age-related ailments, but which fundamentally challenges our idea of what aging is. This study treats the natural impacts of of time like symptoms of a disease — and by treating those symptoms it seems to have tracked the cells back to their pre-disease (youthful) state.
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Friedreich’s Ataxia: An Effective Gene Therapy in an Animal Model

The team led by Hélène Puccio, director of research for Inserm at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in close collaboration with Patrick Aubourg's team has demonstrated, in the mice, the efficacy of gene therapy for treating the heart disease associated with Friedreich's ataxia, a rare hereditary neuro-degenerative disorder. The transfer, via a viral vector, of a normal copy of the gene deficient in patients, allowed to fully and very rapidly cure the heart disease in mice. These findings are published in Nature Medicine on 6 April, 2014.
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Clinical Trial Uses Gene Therapy to Target Mutations in Mitochondrial Genes

A multidisciplinary research team of scientists, clinicians and biostatisticians led by John Guy, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and director of the ocular gene therapy laboratory at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has pioneered a gene therapy approach for Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON), an inherited genetic disorder that causes rapid, permanent, and bilateral loss of vision in people of all ages, but primarily men ages 20-40. Guy’s preclinical research has been funded since 2007 by National Institutes of Health and National Eye Institute (NEI) grants totaling $6.1 million. A similar amount will fund a new five-year clinical trial that started April 1.
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Erasing a Genetic Mutation: Researchers Reverse a Liver Disorder in Mice by Correcting a Mutated Gene

Using a new gene-editing system based on bacterial proteins, MIT researchers have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation. The findings, described in the March 30 issue of Nature Biotechnology, offer the first evidence that this gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, can reverse disease symptoms in living animals. CRISPR, which offers an easy way to snip out mutated DNA and replace it with the correct sequence, holds potential for treating many genetic disorders, according to the research team.
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