→ Private university Case Western Reserve and Sangamo Therapeutics $SGMO have scored an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study gene-edited T cells that would completely wipe out HIV. The grant will fund a clinical trial testing the hypothesis that treating patients with their own gene-edited T cells may lead to a sustained boost in T cell counts and the eradication of latent HIV reservoirs. Current treatments for HIV don’t cure infected people due to the persistence of a latent HIV population, the companies said in a joint statement. Sangamo Therapeutics will be contributing materials, equipment, and manufacturing expertise for the study, which is expected to begin in 2018.
→ Sage Therapeutics $SAGE has long touted the blockbuster potential of SAGE-217 in depression; now it has a breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA to back that up. The decision was based primarily on a Phase II trial of the oral drug, which involved 89 patients with major depressive disorder.
→ The FDA has granted breakthrough therapy designation to the meningitis B vaccine GlaxoSmithKline is developing, this time for use in children 2 to 10 years of age. This is the second BTD the vaccine, Bexsero, has received: It had garnered that status for the same indication but a different age group in 2014, then swiftly approved in 2015. According to the pharma giant, this new breakthrough is important because 35% of all meningitis B cases in the US occur in children under 11 years old.
The best place to read Endpoints News? In your inbox.
Comprehensive daily news report for those who discover, develop, and market drugs. Join 25,000+ biopharma pros who read Endpoints News by email every day.Free Subscription