Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALPN), a leading clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on developing innovative treatments for cancer and autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, announced today a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck. This collaboration will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Alpine’s ALPN-202, a first-in-class conditional CD28 costimulator and dual checkpoint inhibitor, in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), the first…
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Edward Holland, MD, has been named chief medical advisor of Aurion Biotech, whose mission is to cure blindness by developing a differentiated platform of advanced therapies to treat ocular diseases. Dr. Holland will work closely with the Aurion Biotech executive team in advancing its lead candidate, cell therapy for the treatment of corneal endothelial disease, and in helping to expand…
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BBI Faculty Conversations: Dr. Sarah Baxter

BBI: What is the focus of your work? How does it relate to BBI’s focus on precision medicine? Dr. Baxter: I study severe immunological illnesses in children, the same children whom I treat. Of course, I’m biased, but to me, the immunological illnesses of my pediatric patients are at the very heart of precision medicine. Over the past several years,…
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A change of instructions in a computer program directs the computer to execute a different command. Similarly, synthetic biologists are learning the rules for how to direct the activities of human cells. “Cells are intricate machines that have evolved many interacting circuits—sets of genes that coordinate functions like migration, metabolism, and cell division,” explains David Rampulla, PhD., director of the…
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In a cross-country collaboration that began a decade ago, cancer researchers have now found that inducing short-lived changes in bits of genetic material known as mRNA can make some tumors more susceptible to immunotherapy drugs. The team led by scientists at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are reporting their findings today…
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Intensive chemotherapy is the standard of care for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although the majority of patients show dramatic responses to these treatments, driving disease burden beneath the limits of detection, relapses are common and remain the major cause of mortality in this setting. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapies, pioneered and refined by researchers at Fred Hutch, can be…
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BRI President Dr. Jane Buckner Elected to Focis Leadership

Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) is pleased to announce the election of its president, Jane Buckner, MD, to the board of the national Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS). As an At Large Director of the FOCIS board, Dr. Buckner will serve a two-year term. According to its website, the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies exists to improve human health…
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Seal Rock Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a platform of first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutic kinase inhibitors for treatment of severe fibrotic and inflammatory diseases with limited or no available therapies, today announced dosing of the first healthy volunteer in a Phase 1 clinical trial of SRT-015, a next-generation, liver-selective inhibitor of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) for…
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Ask nearly any biologist, or any nature lover for that matter, and they’ll likely happily extol the incredible diversity of life on earth. Also amazing, though perhaps less appreciated, is the diversity contained within our own bodies. We possess muscle cells that contract. Brain cells that communicate with electrical signals. Immune cells that fight off invaders. Cells that sense light.…
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Gene Editing May Help Address Arrhythmia Challenges in Heart Regeneration

Nearly 18 million people die each year from heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the world. In the United States alone, the annual economic impact of heart disease exceeds $200 billion, a figure that is expected to rise dramatically. Patients with heart disease experience progressive, significant declines in quality of life marked by reduced activity and…
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