University of Manchester - Articles and news items

New drug limits and then repairs brain damage in stroke

Industry news / 30 November 2016 /

A team of scientists found that a potential new stroke drug not only works in rodents by limiting the death of existing brain cells but also by promoting…

Biopotency signals demonstrated in Sanfilippo type A Gene therapy trial, provides Abeona Therapeutics

Stem cell gene therapy for Sanfilippo disease ready for human trial

Industry news / 11 May 2016 / Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

University of Manchester and CMFT researchers are to work with Orchard Therapeutics to test a stem cell gene therapy for Sanfilippo disease in a human trial…

Oxygen-enhanced MRI detects hypoxia within tumours

Industry news / 10 December 2015 / Victoria White

Teams at The University of Manchester and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, have described detailed development of oxygen-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to map areas of oxygen deprivation within tumours…

Eltrombopag shown to be effective in children with ITP

Industry news / 9 October 2015 / Victoria White

The study demonstrate that eltrombopag is well tolerated and effective, consistently stabilising the platelet count to over 50 X 109 per litre within 2-6 weeks for 40% of children…

AstraZeneca in bioinformatics collaboration with University of Manchester

Industry news / 9 September 2015 / Victoria White

AstraZeneca and The University of Manchester are teaming up to harness clinical bioinformatics to deliver personalised healthcare for cancer patients…

New test could predict biologic drug failure in patients with arthritis

Industry news / 3 July 2015 / Victoria White

A study has found that it may be possible to predict early which rheumatoid arthritis patients will fail to respond to the biologic drugs given to them…

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FIGURE 1The b5 ion is generated by CID which terminates at the C-terminus in an oxazolone ring structure. N-terminal nucleophilic attack of the oxazolone ring results in formation of a macrocyclic intermediate that undergoes ring opening at various positions to generate sequence scrambled b5 ions.

The Forgotten Fragments

Issue 5 2011, Proteomics / 19 October 2011 / Ross Chawner and Claire E. Eyers, Michael Barber Centre for Mass Spectrometry, University of Manchester

Identification of protein biomarkers and the evaluation of changes in protein expression following drug treatment rely on both the generation of peptides from cellular proteins, and the acquisition and interpretation of spectra generated by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Acquisition of MS/MS spectra in a datadependent manner means that a significant number of the protein fragments (peptides) generated are never actually subjected to MS/MS1. Moreover, only a small proportion of acquired MS/MS spectra are ever interpreted, despite the large number of tools for the automated analysis of such data. Furthermore, many fragment ions are simply ignored during data analysis, in large part because automated search engines do not ‘look’ for all potential fragmentation products, and also because we simply still do not sufficiently understand the mechanisms of gas-phase peptide fragmentation to fully interpret the spectra (most likely a combination of the two). The end result is that even though proteome coverage is increasing in large-scale analyses, we are still a long way from the ideal of ‘complete’ proteome analysis.

is it ever right to sue a client?

Issue 2 2011, Patents / 19 April 2011 / Jim Kinnier Wilson, Partner, Manches

Imagine that you are part of a small biotech company, BiotechCo, whose business is the development of delivery systems for pharmaceutical products. One of your team, who is in charge of developing sales with a large pharmaceutical company, Pharma Co, came to you three months ago with the possibility of a very interesting contract within that company. You went to a meeting where various things were discussed on a confidential basis. As a result of that, you now have a clearer idea of where the pharmaceutical company is aiming to take an important drug, which is approaching the end of its patent life. If BiotechCo can come up with a new improved delivery system, then you will assist Pharma Co in creating a significant market lead for their drug, and by so doing probably increase the chances of selling your portfolio of technologies to Pharma Co. You have set your best research brains on to the problem, and they have come up with a very clever device which uses technology that has been known outside the pharmaceutical sector for a non-medical purpose. Their developments have been reported to Pharma Co on a confidential basis and Pharma Co has been given a prototype. Pharma Co has done some tests on the device.

Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training (PIAT)

Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training (PIAT)

Issue 4 2010, Toxicology / 19 August 2010 / Brian Lockwood, Director of PIAT, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester

Toxicology is the study of the harmful interactions between chemicals and biological systems. Man, as well as other animals and plants, is increasingly exposed to a huge variety of chemicals. These range from metals to large complex organic molecules, all of which are potentially toxic. A toxicologist must understand pathology, biochemistry, chemistry and physiology as these disciplines all contribute to the impact of a given chemical’s toxicity. Indeed the multidisciplinary nature of toxicology makes the area of toxicology a challenging yet rewarding area for research and learning. To gain a true understanding of how a chemical can disrupt a biological system and cause toxic consequences is no easy matter.

Figure 1 Evolutionary systems biology for personalized medications. Over time, iterative cycles of experimentation and modelling facilitate a move from current understanding and therapeutic options, towards a more complete understanding of disease, with the possibility for personalised therapies. Inputs are needed in the form of system-wide data sets, which are highly anticipated to become increasingly detailed and accurate as analytical technologies improve. Interim benefits are also gained with each advancing cycle, in the form of continually evolving models that improve disease management and guide therapy (Figure produced with Jennifer Logan, University of Liverpool)

High-throughput PCR based diagnostics: Linking sample handling to molecular oncology risk groups

Genomics, Issue 3 2010, Past issues / 24 June 2010 / Ehsan G. Karimiani, Stephan Mohr & Philip J. R. Day, University of Manchester

Cancer molecular pathology broadly relies on the comparison between diseased and normal tissues, with statistically validated differences revealing cancerassociated pathways. This approach, although comparatively one-dimensional, has been remarkably successful, enabling identification of many types of malignant biomarkers and providing the means to develop pharmaceutical agents directed against pertinent biological targets. Most typically during the progression of malignancies, pathologists employ morphological screening of cancerous tissues. However, this form of monitoring has significant limitations, particularly in the early stages of pre-treatment or during the clinical remission.

Quantitative Proteomics for Systems Biology

Issue 3 2009, Past issues / 29 May 2009 /

The pharmaceutical industry continues to experience a high attrition rate during the latter stages of small molecule therapeutic development, most disappointingly during the late, and highly expensive stages of Phase II and Phase III trial1. If left unchecked, it is likely that this late-stage failure in drug development will only increase the already staggering cost of getting pharmaceuticals to market. The failure of drugs at this stage in development occurs primarily because of problems with toxicity and/or failure to produce a significant effect in whole animal models (lack of efficacy)1. The increasingly popular approach of systems biology is perceived by many as a potential solution for overcoming these problems, enabling the design of effective, safe therapeutics on a realistic R&D budget.

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