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Bortesi L.,RWTH Aachen | Fischer R.,RWTH Aachen | Fischer R.,Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2015

Targeted genome editing using artificial nucleases has the potential to accelerate basic research as well as plant breeding by providing the means to modify genomes rapidly in a precise and predictable manner. Here we describe the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system, a recently developed tool for the introduction of site-specific double-stranded DNA breaks. We highlight the strengths and weaknesses of this technology compared with two well-established genome editing platforms: zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). We summarize recent results obtained in plants using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, discuss possible applications in plant breeding and consider potential future developments. © 2015. Source


De Bruin N.M.W.J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology | Kruse C.G.,University of Amsterdam
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2015

5-hydroxytryptamine6 receptor (5-HT6R) antagonists have shown efficacy in animal models for cognitive impairment in multiple cognitive domains relevant for schizophrenia. Improvements were found with 5-HT6R antagonists in preclinical tests for episodic memory, social cognition, executive function, working memory and several other tests for both learning and memory. In contrast, there is little evidence for efficacy on attention. It will be interesting to further investigate 5-HT6R antagonists in neurodevelopmental animal models which are based on prenatal exposure to specific environmental insults, and are characterized by a high level of face, construct and predictive validity for cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia. It is also important to do more add-on preclinical studies of 5-HT6 antagonists with antipsychotics. Possible mechanisms of action to improve cognition have been described. 5- HT6R antagonists decrease GABA release and GABAergic interneuron excitability, which subsequently disinhibits glutamate and/or acetylcholine release and results in enhancement of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, cognition could be improved by 5-HT6R antagonists, because these compounds increase the number of NCAM PSA-immunoreactive neurons in the dendate gyrus, inhibit mTOR and Fyntyrosine kinase and interact with DARPP-32. Interestingly, there is increasing preclinical evidence that could support additional benefits of 5-HT6R ligandson comorbid conditions in schizophrenia such as drug abuse, depression, anxiety, obesity andantipsychotic-induced EPS. Finally, we briefly give an overview of the 5-HT6R compounds that are currently in clinical development for the treatment of cognitive impairment in both schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. © 2015, Bentham Science Publishers. Source


Stoger E.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Fischer R.,Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology | Moloney M.,Rothamsted Research | Ma J.K.C.,St Georges, University of London
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2014

Plant molecular pharming has emerged as a niche technology for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products indicated for chronic and ectious diseases, particularly for products that do not fit into the current industry-favored model of fermenter-based production campaigns. In this review, we explore the areas where molecular pharming can make the greatest impact, including the production of pharmaceuticals that have novel glycan structures or that cannot be produced efficiently in microbes or mammalian cells because they are insoluble or toxic. We also explore the market dynamics that encourage the use of molecular pharming, particularly for pharmaceuticals that are required in small amounts (such as personalized medicines) or large amounts (on a multi-ton scale, such as blood products and microbicides) and those that are needed in response to emergency situations (pandemics and bioterrorism). The impact of molecular pharming will increase as the platforms become standardized and optimized through adoption of good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards for clinical development, offering a new opportunity to produce inexpensive medicines in regional markets that are typically excluded under current business models. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. Source


Buyel J.F.,RWTH Aachen | Buyel J.F.,Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Protein-based biopharmaceuticals are often produced in mammalian cell cultures, which are more expensive than microbial systems but capable of authentic post-translational modifications. The costs are lower if plants are used as an alternative platform to produce complex proteins such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines and enzymes. This review highlights recent advances that have been achieved in plant-based biopharmaceutical production platforms in terms of expression strategies, product yields and process development. The first generation of plant-derived pharmaceuticals now entering the market is also discussed. Finally, the review considers the downstream processing of plant-derived pharmaceuticals which can account for up to 80% of the production costs. In this context, recent improvements in clarification and integrated process methods will have a strong impact on the economic feasibility of production, especially if supported by and combined with process analytical technology as part of the quality-by-design initiative. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers. Source


Wacker M.G.,Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2014

Nanomaterials have become part of formulation development in the pharmaceutical industry and offer exciting opportunities in the area of targeted drug delivery. But they may also exert unexpected toxicities and potentially pose a threat to human health and the environment. Since the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks recommended a definition of "nanomaterials" for implementation into the existing and upcoming regulatory framework in the European Union, a discussion about safety requirements of new nanoscale products has emerged. At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States still observes recent developments in this area. Although the impact on the pharmaceutical product chain is still uncertain, guidelines on risk assessment in food products and cosmetics are available and offer a preview of future developments in the regimens of pharmaceuticals. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association. Source

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