autoimmune diseases

FDA approves Roivant drug, the first novel topical plaque psoriasis med in 25 years

Plaque psoriasis drug Vtama is now approved by the FDA, making it the first novel topical treatment for the chronic autoimmune disorder in a generation. Roivant Sciences subsidiary Dermavant Sciences acquired the drug from GlaxoSmithKline in 2018.

Flagship merges two of its biotechs to form cellular microenvironment-focused Sonata

Sonata Therapeutics is developing drugs that reprogram cellular microenvironments to send signals intended to have curative effects. Cancer is the initial focus of the biotech, which Flagship Pioneering formed by combining two of its preclinical portfolio companies.

Startup Nuvig Therapeutics gets $47M to bring immune system back into balance

Nuvig Therapeutics is developing drugs that tap into one of the body’s natural mechanisms for controlling inflammation. Co-founder and CEO Pamela Conley, a veteran of Portola Pharmaceuticals, says Nuvig’s approach could offer efficacy similar to currently available autoimmune drugs but with a better safety profile.

Topical Aloe Vera Gel for Lichen Planus

We shouldn’t ever swallow aloe vera, but how does using it topically for a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease compare to steroids? Lichen planus is a chronic autoimmune disease, typically of our moist membranes, such as the inside of our mouth, but it can also affect other body surfaces, like our “skin, hair, nails and genitalia.” …

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Seizing “magic moment” for machine learning, startup Seismic unveils $101M

Machine learning is core to the drug research of Seismic Therapeutic, a new biotech startup developing novel drugs for immunology indications. CEO Jo Viney said the company’s initial focus is addressing dysregulation of adaptive immunity.

Pfizer: $6.7B Arena buyout complements rather than replaces JAK drugs

Sales of blockbuster Pfizer drug Xeljanz are under pressure from a stronger safety warning placed across that drug’s entire class. In acquiring Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion, Pfizer gets a lead compound with a different and potentially safer approach to treating inflammatory conditions.

Synbio startup GRObio gets $25M to work with new building blocks for protein drugs

Harvard University spinout GRO Biosciences has technology offering the potential for protein therapies that are safer and more effective than currently available biologic drugs. The startup’s research is now backed by $25 million, a Series A financing round whose investors include the venture arm of Bayer.

Merck Entered into a WW Research Collaboration and License Agreement with Synthekine to Develop Novel Cytokine Therapeutics

Shots: Synthekine to receive up front along with an additional one-time payment, if selects a second target & will be eligible for ~$525M in development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones along with royalties on net sales for each target Merck to get exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize surrogate cytokine agonists for up to two …

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Curing Canker Sores with Diet

Does excluding dairy products, food additives, and gluten-containing grains from one’s diet help those with recurring canker sores (aphthous ulcers)? Recurring canker sores are the single most common inflammatory and ulcerative condition of the mouth, affecting as many as one in five people.  As I discuss in my video The Role of Dairy and Gluten …

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Xilio, Ventyx IPOs raise $269M to fuel plans to compete with big pharma drugs

Cancer drug developer Xilio Therapeutics and Ventyx Biosciences, a company with drug candidates in cancer and autoimmune diseases, are the latest life science companies to go public. They’ll use proceeds from their respective IPOs to continue clinical development of drugs being positioned as competitors to drugs from big pharmaceutical companies.

Already allied with Takeda, Egle raises €40M for its ‘starving’ immunotherapy

In less than two years, Egle Therapeutics launched, partnered with Takeda Pharmaceutical, and found its first cancer targets. Now the startup has €40M in Series A financing to further develop its new approach to modulating regulatory T cells as a way of treating autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Tentarix Bio unveils $50M for biologics with multiple functions, multiple targets

Biotech startup Tentarix Biotherapeutics has come out of stealth with $50 million and technology that develops biologic drugs endowed with multiple functions. The company aims to develop new multispecific biologic drugs for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

With FDA nod, ChemoCentryx pill stands out in a sea of injectable & infused meds

ChemoCentryx has spent decades developing oral alternatives to injectable and infused biologic drugs that treat chronic autoimmune conditions. The research finally paid off with FDA approval of Tavneos, a ChemoCentryx pill for a rare autoimmune disease.

Despite drug’s Phase 2 failure in ulcerative colitis, BMS keeps blockbuster hopes

Bristol Myers Squibb drug deucravacitinib missed the main and secondary goals of a Phase 2 study in ulcerative colitis. Despite the clinical trial failure, the drug previously posted positive Phase 3 results in plaque psoriasis and BMS still projects the molecule will become a blockbuster seller in multiple autoimmune conditions.

Dice’s IPO roll comes up with $204M for R&D of oral drugs to rival biologics

Dice Therapeutics raised $204 million from its IPO to support development of oral drugs that could compete against biologic drugs that are injected or infused. Also debuting on the public markets were Tyra Biosciences and Procept BioRobotics.

Leading Autoimmune Diseases to Undergo Robust Improvement in Treatment by Major Pharma Companies

As per the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), nearly 50 million people in the USA are affected by autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus. These diseases are the second leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. The prevalence is rising at a significant pace at par with heart disease …

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Apellis taps Beam’s base-editing tech to broaden autoimmune disease scope

Fresh off its first FDA approval, Apellis Pharmaceuticals is teaming up with Beam Therapeutics, a partnership that will use Beam’s base-editing technology to develop new therapies for complement system disorders. Apellis has committed to pay Beam $75 million to kick off the alliance.

What’s Best for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis): Coconut Oil vs. Mineral Oil vs. Vaseline

Natural topical remedies for eczema, including licorice root gel, St. John’s Wort cream, and emollients such as coconut oil, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly, are put to the test. Despite the availability of drugs with proven efficacy for eczema, like topical steroids, many patients seek out natural alternatives. Which plant, then, should be used for …

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Dietary Supplements for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Are there dietary supplements that can help with atopic dermatitis? Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, ranks “as the skin disease with the greatest health burden worldwide” because it’s just so common, affecting maybe one in ten kids and about 3 percent of adults, causing patches of red, itchy skin. Topical steroids, like cortisone …

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Biotech startup Repertoire adds $189M to expand array of immune medicines

With two cancer programs already making progress, Repertoire Immune Medicines will use the Series B financing to expand its immune synapse research to autoimmune disorders and infectious disease. CEO John Cox said his startup’s approach could advance immune medicines beyond the scope of currently available therapies.

Dietary Cure for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

What is the role of dairy- and yeast-exclusion diets on arresting and reversing an inflammatory autoimmune disease? A landmark study suggested that exposure to dietary yeast, like baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and nutritional yeast, may worsen the course of Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease. The reason the researchers even thought to do the …

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Is Nutritional Yeast Healthy for Everyone?

Those with certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease should probably not eat nutritional yeast. Thousands of years ago, some yeast floated down into our flour and drinks, pleasing our palates, and we’ve been regularly exposed to it ever since. Yeast isn’t a problem for most people, but even non-disease-causing microbes could potentially trigger autoimmune …

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Is Candida Syndrome Real?

Does the presence of Candida in stool correlate with “Candida-hypersensitivity” symptoms, such as headaches and tiredness? And what happens when people are placed on a high-sugar diet? Despite its extensive use in the brewing and baking industries, only about 5 percent of healthy people—1 in 20—have anti-yeast antibodies in their bloodstream, whereas that percentage is …

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Does Nutritional Yeast Trigger Crohn’s Disease?

Is the exaggerated reaction of many Crohn’s disease patients to baker’s, brewer’s, and nutritional yeast just a consequence of their inflamed leaky gut, or might the yeast be a contributing cause? “Baker’s Yeast in Crohn’s Disease—Can It Kill You?” is the inflammatory title (no pun intended) of a 1999 journal article. Crohn’s disease is an …

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One Way to Treat Asthma and Autoimmune Diseases with Diet

Cutting two teaspoons of salt’s worth of sodium from one’s daily diet can significantly improve lung function in asthmatics In the 1960s and 1970s, a mystery was emerging. Why were childhood asthma rates between 2 to 5 percent in the developed world but as low as 0.007 percent in the developing world? For example, in …

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How to Prevent the Infection that May Trigger Type 1 Diabetes

The compelling finding of Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) circulating disproportionately within the bloodstream of type 1 diabetics was subsequently confirmed by culturing it straight out of their blood. MAP infection and type 1 diabetes appear to go together, but we didn’t know which came first. Does the infection make kids more susceptible to diabetes? Might …

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The Role of Meat and Dairy in Triggering Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes “arises following the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing pancreatic β [beta] cells…[and] is most often diagnosed in children and adolescents, usually presenting with a classic trio of symptoms” as their blood sugars spike: excessive thirst, hunger, and urination. They need to go on insulin for the rest of their lives, since their …

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