Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Neon Therapeutics announced top-line results in its Phase Ib clinical trial of NEO-PV-01, its personal neoantigen vaccine candidate. NEO-PV-01 was being evaluated in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) in advanced or metastatic melanoma, smoking-associated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and bladder cancer. In all three cancer types, data showed prolonged and consistent improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) that is similar…
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New York-based real-estate development firm Tishman Speyer has partnered with Los Angeles-based private equity firm Bellco Capital LLC to launch a life sciences real estate arm named Breakthrough Properties. The partnership’s first project will be in South Boston, and Breakthrough plans a global expansion. The Business Journal was first to report last week that Tishman Speyer had acquired 105 W. First St.,…
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Harvard biochemistry professor Jack Strominger has published over 1,000 scientific papers. He discovered how penicillin kills bacteria. He helped solve the riddle of how our immune system can tell friend from foe. Get the latest health, medicine and science news sent to your inbox each week with CommonHealth’s newsletter. Subscribe here. He’s such a star that when his son, the renowned physicist Andrew Strominger, won…
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For decades, research has shown that our perception of the world is influenced by our expectations. These expectations, also called “prior beliefs,” help us make sense of what we are perceiving in the present, based on similar past experiences. Consider, for instance, how a shadow on a patient’s X-ray image, easily missed by a less experienced intern, jumps out at…
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When it comes to killing cancer cells, two drugs are often better than one. Some drug combinations offer a one-two punch that kills cells more effectively, requires lower doses of each drug, and can help to prevent drug resistance. MIT biologists have now found that by combining two existing classes of drugs, both of which target cancer cells’ ability to…
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For the first time researchers have deciphered the near-atomic structure of filaments, called ‘pili’, that extend from the surface of bacteria that cause traveler’s diarrhea. Without pili, these bacteria do not cause disease. Knowing this structural information may lead to the development of new preventive therapies for the disease. Traveler’s diarrhea is an inconvenience to many in the U.S., but worldwide it…
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HIV patients could one day replace a daily pill for one that would last a week or more, should a new drug development deal struck this week prove successful. California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) is enlisting Watertown startup Lyndra Therapeutics to develop one or more HIV drugs that could last a week, allowing patients to take fewer pills. Gilead…
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The New Trojan Horse: Using Tumor Cells to Kill Tumors

Our bodies have the natural ability to target and kill infected or malignant cells, and people have long sought to use our own immune system to treat difficult diseases, such as cancer. Such treatments are known as “immunotherapy” and have become one of the most promising advances in the field of modern cancer treatment. Specifically, our immune system uses a…
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MIT granted tenure to eight School of Science faculty members in the departments of Biology; Chemistry; Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Mathematics; and Physics. William Detmold’s research within the area of theoretical particle and nuclear physics incorporates analytical methods, as well as the power of the world’s largest supercomputers, to understand the structure, dynamics, and interactions of particles like protons…
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Nikolai Slavov, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Northeastern, has developed a data-driven technique to detect more than 2,000 proteins in a single cell. He says the new method could be used to help scientists develop therapies to treat cancer, diabetes, and other diseases with minimal side effects. Say you wanted to study how your smartphone works, and you grind…
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