Big Pharma Just Bet $10 Billion On A Cancer Drug Startup. Here's Why.

Question: What do WhatsApp and a little-known (until recently) cancer research startup named Stemcentrx have in common? Answer: They're the top two largest private venture-backed acquisitions in history, after pharmaceutical giant AbbVie acquired the drug company earlier this month in a deal that values it at as high as $10 billion. (Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion.) Not bad for a company that has yet to bring a product to market. What Stemcentrx (pronounced "stem-centrix") does have, however, is a unique -- and somewhat controversial -- approach to treating several forms of cancer. While most of today's treatments view cancer as a result of unchecked cell growth, wherein any cell is capable of becoming cancerous, Stemcentrx believes that cancer primarily sprouts from only one cell type: cancer stem cells. Cells in our bodies are constantly dying and being birthed anew. This process relies on stem cells, which are basically just cells that can grow into many other different types of cells. Over time, Stemcentrx's Chief Science Officer Dr. Scott Dylla told HuffPost, those stem cells -- like any other cell -- can accumulate genetic mutations. Given enough mutations, says Dylla, they may begin "to act abnormally and no longer play nice with their neighbors." In other words, they become cancerous. The stem cell theory of cancer posits that rogue stem cells are responsible for growing and perpetuating cancer, and that, unless the stem ce...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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In this study, we compared the long-term side effects of proton radiation to equivalent doses of X-rays in the initiation and progression of premalignant lesions in a lung cancer susceptible mouse model (K-rasLA1). We show proton irradiation causes more complex DNA damage that is not completely repaired resulting in increased oxidative stress in the lungs both acutely and persistently. We further observed K-rasLA1 mice irradiated with protons had an increased number and size of initiated and premalignant lesions and adenomas that were often infiltrated with inflammatory cells. Proton irradiated mice had a lower median surv...
Source: Life Sciences in Space Research - Category: Biology Source Type: research
In this study, we have shown that NOL8, a binding protein of beta-catenin, enhanced the interaction between beta-catenin and TCF4, and activated beta-catenin/TCF signaling. NOL8 is up-regulated in the prostate cancer, and promoted the growth, migration and colony formation of cancer cells. Knocking down the expression of NOL8 inhibited the growth, migration and colony formation of prostate cancer cells. The molecular mechanism study demonstrated that NOL8 promoted the migration and colony formation of cancer cells by activating beta-catenin/TCF signaling. Taken together, this study demonstrated the oncogenic roles of NOL8 ...
Source: Chemico Biological Interactions - Category: Biochemistry Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 18 August 2018Source: Chemico-Biological InteractionsAuthor(s): Seon-A. Jang, Dae Won Park, Eun Hwa Shon, Sung Ryul Lee, Se Chan KangAbstractVascular inflammation has been suggested to play a key role in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. Hyperoside (HPS) is a plant-derived quercetin 3-d-galactoside reported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-coagulant, and cardioprotective activities. However, the effects of HPS on vascular inflammation have not been studied. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the suppressive effect of HP...
Source: Chemico Biological Interactions - Category: Biochemistry Source Type: research
Publication date: September 2018Source: Chinese Chemical Letters, Volume 29, Issue 9Author(s): Chao Yang, Jing Xu, Dandan Yang, Xiaoxiao Wang, Bin Liu, Nongyue He, Zhifei WangAbstractHow to fabricate zeolitic imidazole framework-8 (ZIF-8) based therapeutic nanoplatform will be of significance in biomedicine considering its good biocompatibility. Herein, we report a one-step encapsulation of indocyanine green (ICG) in ZIF-8 nanoparticles (NPs). The as-prepared ICG@ZIF-8 NPs possess an absorption band in the near infrared region and have the good photothermal conversion efficiency. The in vivo and in vitro studies show that,...
Source: Chinese Chemical Letters - Category: Chemistry Source Type: research
Publication date: September 2018Source: Chinese Chemical Letters, Volume 29, Issue 9Author(s): Huibo Li, Changmai Chen, Qin An, Guoyan Huo, Mingtao RunAbstractDrug efficiency delivery and release to target site play an important role in the treatment of cancer. To achieve these goals, developing drug delivery systems is the key step. The common materials used for drug delivery like liposomes, micelles, dendrimers cannot control the delivery and releasing by spatial and temporal. In this paper, we design a photoresponsive drug delivery system to reduce the side effects of traditional chemotherapy on normal cells and improve...
Source: Chinese Chemical Letters - Category: Chemistry Source Type: research
Authors: Zhang S, Cai J, Xie W, Luo H, Yang F Abstract MicroRNA (miR)-202 has been reported to be involved in the regulation of human cancer progression including bladder cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. However, the function of miR-202 in prostate cancer remains largely unknown. The present study demonstrated that miR-202 was downregulated in human prostate cancer tissues and cell lines. And overexpression of miR-202 significantly inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells, but induced cell apoptosis. Moreover, miR-202 s...
Source: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine - Category: General Medicine Tags: Exp Ther Med Source Type: research
Authors: Hao B, Chen X, Cao Y Abstract Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) is overexpressed in a number of human cancer types as an oncogene and takes part in processes of tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis and metastasis. The Notch pathway also has an important role in tumorigenesis and progression. However, the possible association between YAP1 and Notch signaling in glioma has remained to be determined. The present study verified the high expression of YAP1, Jagged 1 (JAG1), NOTCH1 and HES1 in the U251 glioma cell line via reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. The e...
Source: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine - Category: General Medicine Tags: Exp Ther Med Source Type: research
Effect of TGF-β1 on blood CD4+CD25high regulatory T cell proliferation and Foxp3 expression during non-small cell lung cancer blood metastasis. Exp Ther Med. 2018 Aug;16(2):1403-1410 Authors: Hu Y, Qi W, Sun L, Zhou H, Zhou B, Yang Z Abstract Metastatic circulating tumor cells in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) metastasis have been reported to be associated with an immune response. The present study aimed to provide a theoretical basis for the immunomodulatory processes during NSCLC blood metastasis. NSCLC blood and normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected. The quantity ...
Source: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine - Category: General Medicine Tags: Exp Ther Med Source Type: research
Authors: Yan X, Zhou Z, Guo L, Zeng Z, Guo Z, Shao Q, Xu W Abstract Bone fractures are a worldwide public health concern. Previous studies have demonstrated that bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP7) gene transfer or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation may be a promising novel therapeutic approach. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to observe the effect of bone BMP7 transfer to MSCs on fracture healing. Bone marrow-derived MSCs (BMSCs) from New Zealand white rabbits were isolated and identified using flow cytometry. A recombinant BMP7 overexpressing adenovirus vector (Adv) was constructed and tran...
Source: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine - Category: General Medicine Tags: Exp Ther Med Source Type: research
Authors: Wu Z, Liu X, Yuan D, Zhao J Abstract Venous lower limb ulcers are very common and affect ~1% of the general population. The human acellular amniotic membrane (HAAM), which is isolated from the amniotic membrane (AM) via excluding the majority of cellular components, has lower antigenicity than the AM. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the HAAM, adopted to treat venous ulcers (VUs) of the lower extremities. The HAMM was isolated from the AM by the Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering laboratory at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University (Chengdu, China). HAMMs w...
Source: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine - Category: General Medicine Tags: Exp Ther Med Source Type: research
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