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Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Digital Therapeutics (DTx) have been defined by the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA) as “delivering evidence based therapeutic interventions to patients, that are driven by software to prevent, manage or treat a medical disorder or disease”. They might come in the form of a smart phone or computer tablet app, or some form of a cloud-based service connected to a wearable device. DTx tend to fall into three groups. Firstly, developers and mental health researchers have built digital solutions which typically provide a form of software delivered Cognitive-Behaviour Therapies (CBT) that help patients change behaviours and develop coping strategies around their condition. Secondly there are the group of Digital Therapeutics which target lifestyle issues, such as diet, exercise and stress, that are associated with chronic conditions, and work by offering personalized support for goal setting and target achievement. Lastly, DTx can be designed to work in combination with existing medication or treatments, helping patients manage their therapies and focus on ensuring the therapy delivers the best outcomes possible.

 

Pharmaceutical companies are clearly trying to understand what DTx will mean for them. They want to analyze whether it will be a threat or opportunity to their business. For a long time, they have been providing additional support services to patients who take relatively expensive drugs for chronic conditions. A nurse-led service might provide visits and telephone support to diabetics for example who self-inject insulin therapies. But DTx will help broaden the scope of support services because they can be delivered cost-effectively, and importantly have the ability to capture real-world evidence on patient outcomes. They will no-longer be reserved for the most expensive drugs or therapies but could apply to a whole range of common treatments to boost their efficacy. Faced with the arrival of Digital Therapeutics either replacing drugs, or playing an important role alongside therapies, pharmaceutical firms have three options. They can either ignore DTx and focus on developing drug therapies as they have done; they can partner with a growing number of DTx companies to develop software and services complimenting their drugs; or they can start to build their own Digital Therapeutics to work with their products.

 

Digital Therapeutics will have knock-on effects in health industries, which may be as great as the introduction of therapeutic apps and services themselves. Together with connected health monitoring devices, DTx will offer a near constant stream of data about an individuals’ behavior, real world context around factors affecting their treatment in their everyday lives and emotional and physiological data such as blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Analysis of the resulting data will help create support services tailored to each patient. But who stores and analyses this data is an important question. Strong data governance will be paramount to maintaining trust, and the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry may not be best-placed to handle individual patient data. Meanwhile, the health sector (payers and healthcare providers) is becoming more focused on patient outcomes, and payment for value not volume. The future will say whether pharmaceutical firms enhance the effectiveness of drugs with DTx, or in some cases replace drugs with DTx.

 

Digital Therapeutics have the potential to change what the pharmaceutical industry sells: rather than a drug it will sell a package of drugs and digital services. But they will also alter who the industry sells to. Pharmaceutical firms have traditionally marketed drugs to doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals, based on the efficacy of a specific product. Soon it could be paid on the outcome of a bundle of digital therapies, medicines and services with a closer connection to both providers and patients. Apart from a notable few, most pharmaceutical firms have taken a cautious approach towards Digital Therapeutics. Now, it is to be observed that how the pharmaceutical companies use DTx to their benefit as well as for the benefit of the general population.

 

References:

 

https://eloqua.eyeforpharma.com/LP=23674?utm_campaign=EFP%2007MAR19%20EFP%20Database&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&elqTrackId=73e21ae550de49ccabbf65fce72faea0&elq=818d76a54d894491b031fa8d1cc8d05c&elqaid=43259&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=24564

 

https://www.s3connectedhealth.com/resources/white-papers/digital-therapeutics-pharmas-threat-or-opportunity/

 

http://www.pharmatimes.com/web_exclusives/digital_therapeutics_will_transform_pharma_and_healthcare_industries_in_2019._heres_how._1273671

 

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/our-insights/exploring-the-potential-of-digital-therapeutics

 

https://player.fm/series/digital-health-today-2404448/s9-081-scaling-digital-therapeutics-the-opportunities-and-challenges

 

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Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

There are many considerations in the cancer immunoediting landscape of defense and regulation in the cancer hallmark biology. The cancer hallmark biology in concert with key controls of the HLA compatibility affinity mechanisms are pivotal in architecting a unique patient-centric therapeutic application. Selection of random immune products including neoantigens, antigens, antibodies and other vital immune elements creates a high level of uncertainty and risk of undesirable immune reactions. Immunoediting is a constant process. The human innate and adaptive forces can either trigger favorable or unfavorable immunoediting features. Cancer is a multi-disease entity. There are multi-factorial initiators in a certain disease process. Namely, environmental exposures, viral and / or microbiome exposure disequilibrium, direct harm to DNA, poor immune adaptability, inherent risk and an individual’s own vibration rhythm in life.

 

When a human single cell is crippled (Deranged DNA) with mixed up molecular behavior that is the initiator of the problem. A once normal cell now transitioned into full threatening molecular time bomb. In the modeling and creation of a tumor it all begins with the singular molecular crisis and crippling of a normal human cell. At this point it is either chop suey (mixed bit responses) or a productive defensive and regulation response and posture of the immune system. Mixed bits of normal DNA, cancer-laden DNA, circulating tumor DNA, circulating normal cells, circulating tumor cells, circulating immune defense cells, circulating immune inflammatory cells forming a moiety of normal and a moiety of mess. The challenge is to scavenge the mess and amplify the normal.

 

Immunoediting is a primary push-button feature that is definitely required to be hit when it comes to initiating immune defenses against cancer and an adaptation in favor of regression. As mentioned before that the tumor microenvironment is a “mixed bit” moiety, which includes elements of the immune system that can defend against circulating cancer cells and tumor growth. Personalized (Precision-Based) cancer vaccines must become the primary form of treatment in this case. Current treatment regimens in conventional therapy destroy immune defenses and regulation and create more serious complications observed in tumor progression, metastasis and survival. Commonly resistance to chemotherapeutic agents is observed. These personalized treatments will be developed in concert with cancer hallmark analytics and immunocentrics affinity and selection mapping. This mapping will demonstrate molecular pathway interface and HLA compatibility and adaptation with patientcentricity.

References:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/immunoediting-cancer-landscape-john-catanzaro/

 

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31609-9

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309432057_Circulating_tumor_cell_clusters_What_we_know_and_what_we_expect_Review

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190561/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5840207/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5593672/

 

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00414/full

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5593672/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190561/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4388310/

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cancer-hallmark-analytics-omics-data-pathway-studio-review-catanzaro/

 


Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor in adults and is associated with poor survival. But, in a glimmer of hope, a recent study found that a drug designed to unleash the immune system helped some patients live longer. Glioblastoma powerfully suppresses the immune system, both at the site of the cancer and throughout the body, which has made it difficult to find effective treatments. Such tumors are complex and differ widely in their behavior and characteristics.

 

A small randomized, multi-institution clinical trial was conducted and led by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles involved patients who had a recurrence of glioblastoma, the most common central nervous system cancer. The aim was to evaluate immune responses and survival following neoadjuvant and/or adjuvant therapy with pembrolizumab (checkpoint inhibitor) in 35 patients with recurrent, surgically resectable glioblastoma. Patients who were randomized to receive neoadjuvant pembrolizumab, with continued adjuvant therapy following surgery, had significantly extended overall survival compared to patients that were randomized to receive adjuvant, post-surgical programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade alone.

 

Neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade was associated with upregulation of T cell– and interferon-γ-related gene expression, but downregulation of cell-cycle-related gene expression within the tumor, which was not seen in patients that received adjuvant therapy alone. Focal induction of programmed death-ligand 1 in the tumor microenvironment, enhanced clonal expansion of T cells, decreased PD-1 expression on peripheral blood T cells and a decreasing monocytic population was observed more frequently in the neoadjuvant group than in patients treated only in the adjuvant setting. These findings suggest that the neoadjuvant administration of PD-1 blockade enhanced both the local and systemic antitumor immune response and may represent a more efficacious approach to the treatment of this uniformly lethal brain tumor.

 

Immunotherapy has not proved to be effective against glioblastoma. This small clinical trial explored the effect of PD-1 blockade on recurrent glioblastoma in relation to the timing of administration. A total of 35 patients undergoing resection of recurrent disease were randomized to either neoadjuvant or adjuvant pembrolizumab, and surgical specimens were compared between the two groups. Interestingly, the tumoral gene expression signature varied between the two groups, such that those who received neoadjuvant pembrolizumab displayed an INF-γ gene signature suggestive of T-cell activation as well as suppression of cell-cycle signaling, possibly consistent with growth arrest. Although the study was not powered for efficacy, the group found an increase in overall survival in patients receiving neoadjuvant pembrolizumab compared with adjuvant pembrolizumab of 13.7 months versus 7.5 months, respectively.

 

In this small pilot study, neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade followed by surgical resection was associated with intratumoral T-cell activation and inhibition of tumor growth as well as longer survival. How the drug works in glioblastoma has not been totally established. The researchers speculated that giving the drug before surgery prompted T-cells within the tumor, which had been impaired, to attack the cancer and extend lives. The drug didn’t spur such anti-cancer activity after the surgery because those T-cells were removed along with the tumor. The results are very important and very promising but would need to be validated in much larger trials.

 

References:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/02/11/immunotherapy-may-help-patients-with-kind-cancer-that-killed-john-mccain/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e1b2e6fffccc

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30742122

 

https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/neoadjuvant-anti-pd-1-immunotherapy-promotes-immune-responses-in-recurrent-gbm/79742/37/12/1

 

https://www.esmo.org/Oncology-News/Neoadjuvant-PD-1-Blockade-in-Glioblastoma

 

https://neurosciencenews.com/immunotherapy-glioblastoma-cancer-10722/

 


2018 CEO’s Compensation in Health Companies – Highest $99 Million to mid range $20 Million

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

First look at health CEOs’ 2018 pay

My colleague Bob Herman has been busy digging through newly filed proxy documents for large health care corporations, which provide a glimpse into how much top executives made in 2018.

Between the lines: CEO pay in this analysis is based on actual realized gains of stock. Bob compared those numbers, as well as the average median employee compensation, to 2017’s results. Here’s how it stacks up:

Intuitive Surgical

  • CEO Gary Guthart: $99.2 million (up 210% from 2017)
  • Median employee: $163,552 (up 4% from 2017)

Johnson & Johnson

  • CEO Alex Gorsky: $46.4 million (up 55% from 2017)
  • Median employee: $75,000 (up 14% from 2017)

AbbVie

  • CEO Richard Gonzalez: $28.5 million (down 62% from 2017)
  • Median employee: $148,823 (down 5% from 2017)

Humana

  • CEO Bruce Broussard: $27.2 million (down 20% from 2017)
  • Median employee: $70,498 (up 23% from 2017)

Centene

  • CEO Michael Neidorff: $21.1 million (down 15% from 2017)
  • Median employee: $66,021 (down 1% from 2017)

SOURCE

From: Sam Baker <baker@axios.com>

Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 6:18 AM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Axios Vitals: CRISPR babies — FDA releases vaping proposal — CEOs’ pay


Lesson 5 Cell Signaling And Motility: Cytoskeleton & Actin: Curations and Articles of reference as supplemental information: #TUBiol3373

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

Cell motility or migration is an essential cellular process for a variety of biological events. In embryonic development, cells migrate to appropriate locations for the morphogenesis of tissues and organs. Cells need to migrate to heal the wound in repairing damaged tissue. Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) migrate to form new capillaries during angiogenesis. White blood cells migrate to the sites of inflammation to kill bacteria. Cancer cell metastasis involves their migration through the blood vessel wall to invade surrounding tissues.

Please Click on the Following Powerpoint Presentation for Lesson 4 on the Cytoskeleton, Actin, and Filaments

CLICK ON LINK BELOW

cell signaling 5 lesson

This post will be updated with further information when we get into Lesson 6 and complete our discussion on the Cytoskeleton

Please see the following articles on Actin and the Cytoskeleton in Cellular Signaling

Role of Calcium, the Actin Skeleton, and Lipid Structures in Signaling and Cell Motility

This article, constitutes a broad, but not complete review of the emerging discoveries of the critical role of calcium signaling on cell motility and, by extension, embryonic development, cancer metastasis, changes in vascular compliance at the junction between the endothelium and the underlying interstitial layer.  The effect of calcium signaling on the heart in arrhtmogenesis and heart failure will be a third in this series, while the binding of calcium to troponin C in the synchronous contraction of the myocardium had been discussed by Dr. Lev-Ari in Part I.

Universal MOTIFs essential to skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, cardiac syncytial muscle, endothelium, neovascularization, atherosclerosis and hypertension, cell division, embryogenesis, and cancer metastasis. The discussion will be presented in several parts:
1.  Biochemical and signaling cascades in cell motility
2.  Extracellular matrix and cell-ECM adhesions
3.  Actin dynamics in cell-cell adhesion
4.  Effect of intracellular Ca++ action on cell motility
5.  Regulation of the cytoskeleton
6.  Role of thymosin in actin-sequestration
7.  T-lymphocyte signaling and the actin cytoskeleton

 

Identification of Biomarkers that are Related to the Actin Cytoskeleton

In this article the Dr. Larry Bernstein covers two types of biomarker on the function of actin in cytoskeleton mobility in situ.

  • First, is an application in developing the actin or other component, for a biotarget and then, to be able to follow it as

(a) a biomarker either for diagnosis, or

(b) for the potential treatment prediction of disease free survival.

  • Second, is mostly in the context of MI, for which there is an abundance of work to reference, and a substantial body of knowledge about

(a) treatment and long term effects of diet, exercise, and

(b) underlying effects of therapeutic drugs.

Microtubule-Associated Protein Assembled on Polymerized Microtubules

(This article has a great 3D visualization of a microtuble structure as well as description of genetic diseases which result from mutations in tubulin and effects on intracellular trafficking of proteins.

A latticework of tiny tubes called microtubules gives your cells their shape and also acts like a railroad track that essential proteins travel on. But if there is a glitch in the connection between train and track, diseases can occur. In the November 24, 2015 issue of PNAS, Tatyana Polenova, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and her team at the University of Delaware (UD), together with John C. Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, California, reveal for the first time — atom by atom — the structure of a protein bound to a microtubule. The protein of focus, CAP-Gly, short for “cytoskeleton-associated protein-glycine-rich domains,” is a component of dynactin, which binds with the motor protein dynein to move cargoes of essential proteins along the microtubule tracks. Mutations in CAP-Gly have been linked to such neurological diseases and disorders as Perry syndrome and distal spinal bulbar muscular dystrophy.

 


2019 Koch Institute Symposium – Machine Learning and Cancer, June 14, 2019, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM ET MIT Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

Announcement

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN,

Founder and Director of LPBI Group will be in attendance covering the event in REAL TIME

@pharma_BI

@AVIVA1950

 

Machine Learning and Cancer

The 18th Annual Koch Institute Summer Symposium on June 14, 2019 at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium will focus on Machine Learning and Cancer.

Both fields are undergoing dramatic changes, and their integration holds great promise for cancer research, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Cancer treatment and research have advanced rapidly with an increasing reliance on data-driven decisions. The volume, complexity, and diversity of research and clinical data—from genomics and single-cell molecular and image-based profiles to histopathology, clinical imaging, and medical records—far surpasses the capacity of individual scientists and physicians. However, they offer a remarkable opportunity to new approaches for data science and machine learning to provide holistic and intelligible interpretations to trained experts and patients alike. These advances will make it possible to provide far better diagnostics, discover possible chemical pathways for de novo synthesis of therapeutic compounds, predict accurately the risk of individuals for development of specific cancers years before metastatic spread, and determine the combination of agents that will stimulate immune rejection of a tumor or selectively induce the death of all cells in a tumor.

The symposium will address these issues through three sessions:

  • Machine Learning in Cancer Research: the Need and the Opportunity
  • Machine Learning to Decipher Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms in Cancer
  • Machine Learning into the Clinic

Sessions will be followed by a panel discussion of broadly informed experts moderated by MIT President Emerita Susan Hockfield.

Introductory remarks will be given by symposium co-chairs and Koch Institute faculty members Regina Barzilay, Aviv Regev and Phillip Sharp.

 

Keynote Speakers | Machine Learning in Cancer Research: the Need and the Opportunity

James P. Allison, PhD

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Regina Barzilay, PhD

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Aviv Regev, PhD

Broad Institute, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

 

Session Speakers

Michael R. Angelo, MD, PhD

Stanford Unviersity

Andrew Beck

PathAI

Stephen H. Friend, MD, PhD

Sage Bionetworks

Tommi Jaakkola, PhD

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab

Dana Pe’er, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Peter Sorger, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Olga Troyanskaya, PhD

Princeton University

Brian Wolpin, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

 

Panel Discussion | Big Data, Computation and the Future of Health Care

James (Jay) Bradner, MD

Novartis

Clifford A. Hudis, MD

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Constance D. Lehman, MD, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

Norman (Ned) Sharpless, MD

National Cancer Institute

 

Moderator: Susan Hockfield, PhD

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

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SOURCE

From: 2019 Koch Institute Symposium <ki-events@mit.edu>

Reply-To: <ki-events@mit.edu>

Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 11:30 AM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Invitation to the 2019 Koch Institute Symposium – Machine Learning and Cancer


Mitralign and Corvia, Tewksbury, Mass – Investment and Acquisition by Edwards Lifesciences

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Edwards LifesciencesEdwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) said today that it made a pair of strategic bets on the structural heart space, paying $35 million for the right to acquire Corvia Medical and paying an unspecified amount for some of mitral valve repair device maker Mitralign‘s assets.

Tewksbury, Mass.-based Corvia is developing an interatrial shunt to treat heart failure by creating a small opening between the left and right atria to lower blood pressure in the left atrium and lungs. The device has CE Mark approval in the European Union and a pivotal U.S trial aimed at winning a nod from the FDA is under way, Edwards said.

“We are extremely pleased to have the support of the global leader in patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease as we continue to advance this novel treatment for heart failure,” Corvia president & CEO George Fazio said in prepared remarks. “We are proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to completing the pivotal study with the support of our global clinical investigators.”

The Irvine, Calif.-based company also said it bought “certain” Mitralign assets, including intellectual property and associated clinical and regulatory experience. Mitralign, also based in Tewksbury, is developing an annuloplasty system for treating functional mitral and tricuspid regurgitation.

Edwards said the transactions are not expected to affect its financial outlook for 2019.

SOURCE

https://www.massdevice.com/edwards-lifesciences-gets-in-on-corvia-mitralign/?spMailingID=1958&puid=370787