Molecular stratification can improve the management of advanced cancers, but requires relevant tumor samples. Metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) is poised to benefit given a recent expansion of treatment options and its high genomic heterogeneity. We profile minimally-invasive plasma circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) samples from 104 mUC patients, and compare to same-patient tumor tissue obtained during invasive surgery. Patient ctDNA abundance…
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UBC Pharm Sci professor Dr. Helen Burt, PhD’80, has been appointed an Officer (O.C) of the Order of Canada together with 61 other new appointees across Canada, many of whom are current, emeritus, and former UBC faculty members. The announcement on December 30, 2020 includes 1 Companion (C.C.), 13 Officers, and 47 Members (C.M.). Dr. Burt is a Professor at…
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Molecular Subtypes of Common Pancreatic Cancers Can Be Predicted from Tumour Characteristics

Gene expression analysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumours enables clinicians to stratify patients into molecular subgroups and select treatments that are best suited to each type; however, molecular subtyping remains cost-prohibitive and is not yet part of routine cancer care. In a new study, researchers used prior gene expression data to show that tumour characteristics can predict molecular subtypes, extending…
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A pilot study has shown that an experimental vaccine for cat allergy can reduce the systemic immune response and symptoms of allergic rhinitis – nasal congestion, sneezing, nasal itching and runny nose – in allergic individuals. The vaccine, called Cat-PAD (Adiga Life Sciences Ltd.), uses peptide immunotherapy to train the immune system not to overreact to the cat allergen Fel d1 –…
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Challenging the Dogma of Innate Lymphoid Cell Development

Have you ever wondered how your body knows to respond to an infection appropriately?  When infected with a virus, why does your body immediately make an anti-viral response, and not an anti-bacterial or an allergic response? Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a relatively new sub-set of immune cells 1. They are on the front lines of your body’s response to infection…
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Bold Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing BOLD-100, is pleased to announce that it is one of only four companies selected to receive advisory services and research and development funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to support the company’s development of its antiviral asset, BOLD-100, as a novel antiviral therapy for SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19).…
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Secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) interacts with intestinal microbiota and promotes mucosal homeostasis. IgA-bacteria interactions are altered during inflammatory diseases, but how these interactions are shaped by bacterial, host, and environmental factors remains unclear. In this study, we utilized IgA-SEQ to profile IgA-bound fecal bacteria in 48 recurrent Clostridioides difficile patients before and after successful fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to gain further insight.…
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A Burnaby biotech company is partnering with a global pharmaceutical giant on research into advancing delivery of oral vaccines, including for COVID-19. Symvivo Corporation, a clinical-stage biotechnology company that has a proprietary bacTRL gene delivery platform, announced Tuesday that it has entered into a research collaboration with Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck receives…
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Prostate cancer is the second most common malignancy diagnosed in men and the sixth highest contributor to cancer-related mortality worldwide (1). Advanced prostate cancer initially responds to androgen deprivation therapy before progression to an incurable state termed metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). mCRPC is typically treated with taxanes or androgen receptor (AR) pathway inhibitors, but the survival benefit is…
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iCo Therapeutics (“iCo” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: ICO) (OTCQB: ICOTF), iCo Therapeutics, Inc. (“iCo”) and Skymount Medical, Inc. (“Skymount”) announced today that they have entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding to develop iCo-019, iCo’s oral Amphotericin B formulation. Skymount will initially commit up to $US 550,000 for pre clinical work targeting the use of iCO-019 as a therapeutic product…
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