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Alnylam, Collaborators Report on RNAi Enhancement of Dendritic Cancer Cell Vaccine


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals last week published preclinical data describing the development of a dendritic cell cancer vaccine enhanced with RNAi.

According to the company, its researchers and collaborators from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre designed siRNAs toward PD-L1 and PD-L2, which are “key co-inhibitory proteins expressed on antigen-presenting cells that strongly limit activation of T-cells needed for a potent immune response to the tumor.”

“Lipid nanoparticle-formulated siRNA targeting PD-L1 and PD-L2 mediated efficient and specific silencing of PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression on human monocyte-derived [dendritic cells] isolated from healthy donors,” Alnylam said in a statement. “Ex vivo treatment with siRNA was well tolerated by the isolated [cells], with no measurable effect on phenotype or migratory capacity.”

Dendritic cells treated with the siRNAs were loaded with mRNA encoding minor histocompatibility antigen to allow “long-lasting presentation of antigenic peptides expressed by malignant cells,” it added. “The resulting PD-L silenced, MiHA-expressing DCs were shown to have a significantly enhanced ability to stimulate antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses in cells from transplanted cancer patients ex vivo.”

The findings appeared online last week in Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy.

The Scan

Close Panel Vote on Califf Nomination

The New York Times reports there was a close committee vote to advance the nomination of Robert Califf to lead the US Food and Drug Administration to the full Senate.

Task Force Reports on Scientific Integrity

Nature News writes that that a new task force report recommends that the US establish a cross-agency scientific integrity council.

Across the Hall

Genetic testing, closed-circuit cameras, and more show how a traveler, without any contact, infected others at a New Zealand quarantine facility, CNN reports.

Science Paper Examines Influence of Chromatin Modifications on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In Science this week: genes regulating chromatin modification may contribute to OCD risk.