A Podcast Series produced for and with LifeScience ORG
Molecular Microbiologist and Podcast Producer, Dr David Kirk, talks to the people behind early-stage translational life science across Europe whose innovative research today may be the blockbusters and game-changing technologies of tomorrow.
Episode length: 12-15 Minutes
Fighting Viruses with Precision Protein Inhibition with Bernd van Buuren of Protinhi
Humankind's greatest infectious threats are posed by viruses. Even before COVID-19 made a global impact on health and economies, Dengue and West Nile Virus have long been endemic threats in warmer parts of the world and Zika emerged as a local threat in South America. As climate change drives insect migration, these viruses may soon pose a threat outside their current ranges.
https://www.protinhi.com/ (Protinhi) have a new approach to developing treatments for these viral diseases, with a program leading on Dengue. Viruses replicate within a host cell after infection using a virally encoded protease. These proteases present a target for Protinhi's innovative small molecule compounds that inhibit this process, blocking viral replication.
Protinhi is currently in the discovery phase and preclinical phase for their compounds. Their work is supported by https://www.health-holland.com/ (Health Holland) and https://oostnl.nl/nl (Oost NL).
Quantifying Epigenetic Modifiers with Mass Spectrometry, with Moritz Voelker-Albert of EpiQMAx
Epigenetics is the study of the changes that occur on top of the DNA without changing the genome sequence. These still affect the expression of our genes, and thereby shape our phenotype. Like the genome, epigenetic traits can be inherited. But unlike the genes, epigenetic traits are flexible and can be lost or regained and are influenced by our lifestyle. This makes them a tantalizing pharmaceutical target.
EpiQMAx is a spin-out from https://www.lmu.de/en/ (LMU University) based on an idea from Prof. Axel Imhof, Dr. Moritz Voelker-Albert and Dr. Victor Solis who have worked in the Histone Modifications group at the https://www.en.bmc.med.uni-muenchen.de/index.html (BioMedical Center in Munich). Backed up by their knowledge and experience on mass spectrometry and epigenetic modifications, their goal is to contribute to the development of epigenetic drugs, together with the pharmaceutical industry.
In this episode of BioInnovation Spotlight, we talk to Moritz Voelker-Albert about how EpiQMAx came about, how epigenetics can be used to inform us on our health, and his future plans for the company.
Bioinformatics for Exploring Neoantigens with Cedric Bogaert of MyNEO
Neoantigens are new proteins that form on cancer cells when certain mutations occur in tumour DNA. These proteins may play an important role in helping the body make an immune response against cancer cells.
https://myneo.me/en (MyNEO) has developed a bioinformatic platform for identifying, exploring and validating alterations leading to neoantigens on cell surfaces which can be used in personalised immunotherapy and target discovery applications, as well as diagnosis and prognosis of patients.
In this episode of BioInnovation Spotlight @ LifeScience ORG, we speak to MyNEO founder Cedric Bogaert and discuss his vision to transform personalised immunotherapy for cancer as well as help researchers discover new targets and aid in clinical diagnosis.
The myNEO technology has been in development since 2017. In late 2018, the platform was incorporated into the myNEO company by http://noval.is/ (Novalis Biotech Incubation).
Smarter Protein Crystallization with Serghei Glinca of CrystalsFirst
Access to chemical matter is a major bottleneck in drug discovery. Established industry standards and screening methods often fail to deliver molecular starting points for drug design. Despite accumulating large collections of compounds and screening millions of molecules, the industry struggles to unlock chemical matter.
Serghei Glinca founded https://www.crystalsfirst.com/ (CrystalsFirst) as a spin-out from https://agklebe.pharmazie.uni-marburg.de/ (Prof. Dr Gerhard Klebe's group at the University of Marburg), Germany, leveraging the lab's recently developed Smart Soak technology.
In this episode of BioInnovation Spotlight, Serghei talks about how CrystalsFirst aims to revolutionize the drug discovery process by targeting previously undruggable targets using the power of their protein crystallization technology and data-driven modelling.
Regenerative Medicine for Muscular Disease with Verena Schoewel of MyoPax
Muscle diseases come in a variety of forms. Among the more common conditions are muscle wasting, which can occur in cancer patients and the elderly. But there are also hundreds of genetically caused muscle diseases as well as local muscle defects that altogether affect more than 15 million in Europe.
MyoPax is a muscle stem cell-producing platform for the treatment of muscle defects and genetic muscular dystrophies. It combines its proprietary first-in-class muscle stem cell manufacturing technology with CRISPR/Cas9-based gene repair. The first muscle stem cell product will enter a clinical trial soon (beginning of 2022). The founding of MyoPax as spin-off of the Charité University Medicine and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin is planned for this year.
The group is a pre-spinout group at the Max Delbrueck Center and Charité – Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, Germany, whose work is suppored by https://www.spark-bih.de/ (SPARK Berlin). In this episode of https://www.lifescienceorg.com/bioinnovation (BioInnovation Spotlight @ LifeScience ORG) Verena talks about the impact of muscle disease, MyoPax's technology and how it works, and their plans to spin out.
Reversing Ageing with Daniel Ives of Shift Bioscience
The ageing process afflicts all of us and is the underlying cause of many diseases, creating a significant social and economic impact. Despite humanity's increased longevity in recent decades, the quality of life in our twilight years does not often match up.
Dr Daniel Ives is the CEO of https://shiftbioscience.com/ (Shift Bioscience), based at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, UK. They have identified a list of genes involved in the ageing process and seek to reinstate cellular functional states that support us in earlier life.
By targeting stressors and pathways linked to the abrupt bioenergetic, epigenetic and transcriptional state changes observed in aging cells and tissues, Shift aims to modulate these changes with small molecules, guided by powerful technologies including the epigenetic aging clock.
In this episode of https://www.lifescienceorg.com/bioinnovation (BioInnovation Spotlight @ LifeScience ORG) Daniel talk about the motivations behind his research and the age-related conditions it may help. Shift Bioscience is supported by https://www.babraham.com/accelerate-babraham/ (Accelerate@Babraham).