Coya Therapeutics Expands Sponsored Research Collaboration with Houston Methodist Research Institute Along with Funding from the Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics to Advance Regulatory T Cell Exosome Platform into the Clinic

Joint effort to leverage existing collaboration and non-dilutive grants to advance development of proprietary Treg exosome technology towards a first-in-human clinical study, continue work on validating biomarkers in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, and explore novel synergistic drug combinations with COYA 301 (proprietary Low Dose Interleukin-2, or LD IL-2)

On June 20, 2024, Coya Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: COYA), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing biologics intended to enhance regulatory T cell (Treg) function, announced the expansion of its research collaboration with the Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI) through a sponsored research agreement (SRA) covering multiple initiatives. The development and production of exosomes from patients’ regulatory T cells will be funded by the Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics with participation of the SRA from Coya to Dr. Stanley Appel, Director of the Johnson Center and Chair of Coya’s Scientific Advisory Board. Coya and HMRI will advance the development of multiple patented modalities of exosomes, including full characterization of the nanovesicles, and GMP manufacturing to enable a first-in-human academic clinical study.

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SOLVE Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (SOLVE M.E.) Executives Visit Yale University School of Medicine to Present Award to Dr. Akiko Iwasaki

Akiko Iwasaki, PhD
SOLVE M.E. President and CEO Emily Taylor, Chief Scientific Officer H. Timothy Hsiao, and Director of Advancement Ilise Friedman recently visited Yale School of Medicine’s Center for Infection & Immunity (CII), the Center Director, Sterling Professor Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, and her research team, as coordinated by Dr. Nicole Darricarrère, CII’s Scientific Program Director, in New Haven, CT. The SOLVE delegation honored Professor Iwasaki with an award to recognize her contributions to the study of infection-associated chronic conditions and illnesses, and delivered an invited talk to the Iwasaki Lab to elaborate the power of the SOLVE Together Real-World Platform to accelerate biomedical research for post-acute infection syndromes, such as ME/CFS and Long Covid. Watch a video of the presentation here.

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How Ketogenic Diet Improves Healthspan and Memory in Aging Mice

The insight into mechanisms provides new targets for improving memory that may not even require a ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet has its fanatics and detractors among dieters, but either way, the diet has a scientifically documented impact on memory in mice. While uncovering how the high fat, low carbohydrate diet boosts memory in older mice, Scientists at Buck Institute for Research on Aging and a team from the University of Chile identified a new molecular signaling pathway that improves synapse function and helps explain the diet’s benefit on brain health and aging. Published in the June 5, 2024 issue of Cell Reports Medicine, the findings provide new directions for targeting the memory effects on a molecular level, without requiring a ketogenic diet or even the byproducts of it. The open-access article is titled “Ketogenic Diet Administration Later in Life Improves Memory by Modifying the Synaptic Cortical Proteome Via the PKA Signaling Pathway in Aging Mice.”

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Pew Supports 22 Researchers Leading Scientific Innovation; 2024 Class of Early-Career Scientists Draws Praise from Nobelist

On June 18, 2024, Pew Charitable Trusts announced the 22 researchers who have been selected to join the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. These early-career scientists will receive four years of funding to explore some of the most pressing questions in human health and medicine. “Pew believes that supporting promising early-career researchers is key to scientific innovation, and for nearly 40 years our scholars have helped change the world—creating lifesaving therapies and responding to emerging health crises around the globe,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Pew’s Senior Vice President for Philadelphia and Scientific Advancement. “This class of Pew scholars is no different. We are proud to support these scientists and look forward to watching where their research takes them.”

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Rochester’s Allison Lopatkin Named 2024 Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences

Lopatkin is one of 22 early-career scientists selected nationwide to explore some of the most pressing questions in human health and medicine.

Assistant Professor Allison Lopatkin is one of 22 scientists selected to join the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences this year. Her lab will explore the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (Credit: University of Rochester photo / Matt Wittmeyer).

Allison Lopatkin, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Chemical EngineeringBiomedical Engineering, and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester, Is one of 22 scientists selected to join the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences this year. The program provides early-career scientists four years of funding to explore some of the most pressing questions in human health and medicine. The funding will help Lopatkin’s lab explore how changes in bacterial metabolism contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance. She says that decades of antibiotic overuse—in both clinical and agricultural settings—have led to an alarming rise in bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics, contributing to a major public health concern.

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Columbia’s Chi-Min Ho Selected One of 22 Pew Biomedical Scholars in 2024

Chi-Min (Mimi) Ho, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, has been selected by the Pew Charitable Trusts to be a member of the 2024 Class of Pew Biomedical Scholars. The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides four years of funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level. Ho, who joined the Columbia faculty in 2020, is one of 22 scientists selected to receive this year’s honor, chosen from among 198 nominations submitted by leading U.S. academic and research institutions. 

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New “Smart Bandages” Hold Potential for Revolutionizing Treatment of Chronic Wounds

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC are co-leading an effort to develop advanced electronic bandages and other tools to improve chronic wound monitoring and healing.

This wearable bioelectronic system, tested in animal models, may eventually improve monitoring and administer treatments such as controlled drug release and electrical stimulation for people with chronic wounds. (Credit: Wei Gao, California Institute of Technology).

Chronic wounds, which include diabetic ulcers, surgical wounds, pressure injuries, and other problems, are deadlier than many people realize. Patients with chronic wounds have a five-year survival rate around 70%, worse than that of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other serious diseases. Treating wounds is also expensive, costing an estimated $28 billion each year in the U.S. alone. A team of researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is developing a series of cutting-edge technologies to revolutionize wound care, including smart bandages that would automatically sense and respond to changing conditions inside a wound. These high-tech dressings would provide continuous data on healing and potential complications, including infections or abnormal inflammation, and could deliver medications or other treatments in real time.

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Blood Test for 8 Proteins Could Predict Parkinson’s Seven Years Before Symptoms

A team of researchers, led by scientists at UCL and University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany, has developed a simple blood test for eight blood-based biomarkers that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict Parkinson’s up to seven years before the onset of symptoms

Parkinson’s disease is the world’s fastest growing neurodegenerative disorder and currently affects nearly 10 million people across the globe. The condition is a progressive disorder that is caused by the death of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra, which controls movement. These nerve cells die or become impaired, losing the ability to produce an important chemical called dopamine, due to the build-up of a protein alpha-synuclein. Currently, people with Parkinson’s are treated with dopamine replacement therapy after they have already developed symptoms, such as tremor, slowness of movement and gait, and memory problems. But researchers believe that early prediction and diagnosis would be valuable for finding treatments that could slow or stop Parkinson’s by protecting the dopamine-producing brain cells.

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Stanford’s Leanne Williams Receives $18 Million NIH Grant to Diagnose and Treat Depression

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Dr. Williams will lead a project to define depression’s cognitive biotypes and create tools for clinicians to diagnose and treat patients.

Leanne Williams, PhD

Leanne Williams, PhD, a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has been awarded a five-year, $18.86 million grant, part of the National Institute for Health’s Individually Measured Phenotypes to Advance Computational Translation in Mental Health initiative, to develop a diagnosis and treatment tool for depressive disorders. Williams, the Vincent V.C. Woo Professor and the Director of the Stanford Center for Precision Mental Health and Wellness, will be the project leader; the co-principal investigators are Jun Ma, MD, PhD, and Olu Ajilore, MD, PhD, of the University of Illinois, Chicago. Additional Stanford Medicine investigators include Laura Hack, MD, PhD, Trevor Hastie, PhD, Booil Jo, PhD, Ruth O’Hara, PhD, Peter van Roessel, MD, PhD, and Alan Schatzberg, MD.

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