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Fighting Lupus

MIT's Technology Review reports on a new approach to treating lupus that could reverse the autoimmune disease's effects on the immune system. Two companies — ImmuPharma in London and Cephalon in Pennsylvania — are collaborating to develop an experimental drug called Lupuzor, which has just ended Phase II trials with some promising data, the Review's Arlene Weintraub says. Instead of shutting down the immune system the way chemotherapy does, Lupuzor targets T and B cells. When a person has lupus, these cells generate antibodies against proteins that a healthy body would ignore, Weintraub adds. "Scientists at France's National Center for Scientific Research split those proteins into smaller fragments and tested whether they might reverse the wayward immune response," she says. "One peptide was particularly effective in vitro, and in mouse models of lupus it significantly extended life."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.