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News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

iTeos Therapeutics S.A, together with ChemCom S.A., ImmunXperts S.A., the de Duve Institute and IRIBHM have been awarded 1,6 million euro grant through a BioWin project called IT-Targets. The aim of this collaboration is to identify innovative drug candidates and biomarkers for immunotherapy of various types of cancer, starting from patient tumor derived material. The IT-Targets project will focus on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which will be selected by profiling the most important immune cell types purified from clinical samples. Despite the fact that GPCRs are the largest signal-conveying receptor family and mediate many physiological processes, their role in tumor biology is underappreciated. GPCRs and their downstream signaling are involved in cancer growth and development by controlling many features of tumorigenesis, including immune cell-mediated functions, proliferation, invasion and survival at the secondary site. The project associates the expertise of IRIBHM in GPCR discovery and validation, the unique technology on sensory GPCRs developed by ChemCom, the in-depth tumor immunology expertise of de Duve with the drug discovery capabilities of iTeos and the expertise of ImmunXperts with human primary cells in immuno-oncology. “We are honored and pleased to be a recipient of this Grant Award, an integral part of our Bedside to Bench translation medicine strategy and its application to the identification of innovative targets for the treatment of cancer” said Christophe Quéva, CSO, iTeos Therapeutics. “This collaboration will focus on the exploration of the well -characterized class of GPCR drug targets that has been so far underexploited for immune therapy of cancer. This strategy will allow a fast progression from targets to therapeutic applications. About iTeos Therapeutics S.A. (http://www.iteostherapeutics.com) Based in Gosselies, Belgium, iTeos, a spin-off of Ludwig Cancer Research (LICR) and de Duve Institute (UCL), expands the benefits of immunotherapy to cancer patients. The company develops a proprietary pipeline targeting A2A, immune checkpoints and non-immunogenic tumors, and has licensed its IDO1 program, now in Phase 1, to Pfizer. iTeos’ competitive edge is in the combination of expertise in drug discovery and translational tumor immunology. The company uses a unique platform to identify rationale combination of immunotherapies and novel targets. The company is supported in part by the Walloon Region of Belgium and the FEDER (European Fund for Economic and Regional Development). About ChemCom S.A. (http://www.chemcom.be) Based in Brussels in the Medical Campus of the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles), ChemCom is the leading discovery company for products and services related to chemical communications mediated by human sensory receptors (GPCRs). ChemCom, relying on its scientific excellence and its patented technological platform, expresses the whole repertoire of human olfactory receptors. This enables a large scale deorphanization and characterization of human sensory receptors and allows the discovery of new products acting through activation (agonism or positive allosterism) or blockade (antagonism) of those sensory GPCRs. ChemCom activities are focused on new products for consumer’s needs in the area of Flavors & Fragrances, but also, by the use of ectopic sensory receptors, to pharmaceutical applications. The company is supported in part by the Brussels Region of Belgium (Innoviris) About ImmunXperts S.A. (http://www.immunxperts.com) Founded in 2014, ImmunXperts provides immunogenicity and immune-oncology screening services, assessing all aspects of the immune responses in donors and patients, supporting its partners in the full development cycle of novel drugs, biotherapeutics and stem cell therapies. Through its ImmunAcademy, the company supports biopharma companies to set up and build out immunology screening tools. About the de Duve Institute at the Université catholique de Louvain (https://www.deduveinstitute.be). The de Duve Institute is a multidisciplinary biomedical research institute hosting several laboratories of the faculty of medicine of UCL, as well as the Brussels branch of the Ludwig Institute. Several research groups of the Institute focus on tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. The IT-Targets project provides a unique opportunity to explore the roles of G protein-coupled receptors in human tumor immunology. We will combine our expertise on anti-cancer T cell responses with those of IRIBHM and ChemCom on the physiology of GPCRs, of ImmunXperts on cell purification and of iTeos on the development of innovative immune modulators for cancer immunotherapy. About (IRIBHM) Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Biologie Humain et Moléculaire from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (https://www.iribhm.org). IRIBHM has a long standing expertise in the functional characterization of G protein-coupled receptors in physiological processes and diseases. Amongst other topics, the Institute has pioneered the description of olfactory receptors and their function in other organs than the olfactory mucosa and is presently studying the role of receptors expressed in leukocyte populations in mouse models of carcinogenesis. About BioWin (http://www.biowin.org). Created in 2006, BioWin, the Health Cluster of Wallonia (Belgium), is the reference player for all the stakeholders (companies, research centers and universities) involved in innovative R&D projects and/or skills development in the field of health biotechnology and medical technologies. The cluster carries out a variety of actions designed to promote Wallonia’s scientific and industrial excellence at the international level. More information is available at http://www.biowin.org and the blog page http://www.win-health.org.


WALNUT CREEK, Calif. and OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bay Commercial Bank (OTCBB:BCML) ("BCB”) and First ULB Corp. (“FULB”) and it’s wholly owned subsidiary United Business Bank, FSB (“UBB”), announced today the signing of a definitive agreement for the merger of the respective companies. Under the definitive agreement FULB will merge with and into a bank holding company presently being formed by BCB under the name BayCom Corp. (“BayCom”) and UBB will be merged with and into BCB. Under the terms of the definitive agreement FULB shareholders will receive a combination of cash and stock for each outstanding share of FULB.  FULB shareholders will receive in the transaction $13.50 in cash and 0.9733 shares of BayCom common stock.  The total transaction value is approximately $38.1 million.  The total assets of the combined banks on a pro forma basis at September 30, 2016 are approximately $1.1 billion.  The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of BayCom, BCB, FULB and UBB.  Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, and other customary closing conditions.  Following the successful completion of these steps, it is anticipated the transaction will close in the early second quarter of 2017. George Guarini, President and CEO of Bay Commercial Bank, stated “Let me start by welcoming the United Business Bank staff. At the end of the day, our business is only good as our people and we are looking forward to having them join the Bay Commercial Bank family. Additionally, we are pleased to partner with an institution which, like ourselves, navigated safely through the most difficult downturn in the last 80 years.” Guarini further stated “This merger represents a transformational point in the history of both institutions. The combined institution will include 18 offices extending our market reach to new markets of San Francisco, Sacramento, Long Beach, Glendale, Los Angeles, Seattle and Albuquerque as well as increasing our presence in Oakland and San Jose. Existing clients we serve in the Northern California Counties of Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Napa, and San Joaquin will also benefit by our ability to deliver competitive products given our reduced funding costs. We are very excited to have the opportunity to achieve scale while setting the stage for taking advantage of additional partner opportunities available in the marketplace. We look forward to serving the UBB clients and welcoming the shareholders of First ULB.” Malcolm Hotchkiss, President and CEO of FULB stated “Bay Commercial Bank is an excellent partner for our customers, and our shareholders will benefit by becoming part of the BCB vision.” More information on UBB is available at www.unitedbusinessbank.com. Bay Commercial Bank began business in July 2004 and trades on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol “BCML.”  At September 30, 2016, Bay Commercial Bank had total assets of approximately $653 million with ten banking offices in Northern California.  More information on BCB is available at www.baycommercialbank.com. BCB was assisted by Gary Steven Findley and Associates and The Findley Group for legal and investment banking services and Vining Sparks, LP provided a fairness opinion. FULB and UBB were assisted by Hogan Lovells LLP for legal services and FIG Partners for investment banking services and the issuance of a fairness opinion. Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this press release contain forward-looking statements that are based on management’s expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “scheduled,” “estimates” and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what is forecast in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to either Bay Commercial Bank or United Business Bank or any person acting on their behalf are qualified by the cautionary statements in this press release. Bay Commercial Bank and United Business Bank do not undertake any obligation to update or publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or changes in expectations after the date of this press release. This press release may be deemed to be solicitation material in respect of the proposed merger of United Business Bank with Bay Commercial Bank. United Business Bank intends to send its shareholders a proxy statement regarding the proposed merger. Before making any voting or investment decision, investors and security holders of United Business Bank are urged to carefully read the entire proxy statement, when its becomes available, because it will contain important information about the proposed transaction.


Reynier P.-A.,Aix - Marseille University | Servais F.,ULB
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2011

This paper presents the Monotone-Pruning algorithm (MP) for computing the minimal coverability set of Petri nets. The original Karp and Miller algorithm (K&M) unfolds the reachability graph of a Petri net and uses acceleration on branches to ensure termination. The MP algorithm improves the K&M algorithm by adding pruning between branches of the K&M tree. This idea was first introduced in the Minimal Coverability Tree algorithm (MCT), however it was recently shown to be incomplete. The MP algorithm can be viewed as the MCT algorithm with a slightly more aggressive pruning strategy which ensures completeness. Experimental results show that this algorithm is a strong improvement over the K&M algorithm. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Tondreau G.,ULB | Deraemaeker A.,ULB
Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing | Year: 2013

The motivation of the paper is to develop a fully automated data-based technique for damage localization using in-service ambient vibrations. The idea is an extension of the modal filtering technique previously developed for damage detection. A very large network of dynamic strain sensors is deployed on the structure to be monitored and split into several independent local sensor networks. Simple and fast signal processing techniques are coupled to statistical control charts for efficient and fully automated damage localization. The efficiency of the method is demonstrated using time-domain simulated data on a simply supported beam and a three-dimensional bridge structure. The method is able to detect and locate very small damages (2% stiffness reduction in an area corresponding to 1/100th of the length of the structure) even in the presence of noise on the measurements and variability of the baseline structure. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Sausse Lhernould M.,ULB | Delchambre A.,ULB
Microsystem Technologies | Year: 2011

Hypodermic injections give the best results in terms of drug administration efficiency, but benefit from a negative image among patients due to the fear of pain linked to needles. Transdermal drug delivery (TDD) has thus been greatly developed in the past ten years in order to be able to by-pass the skin protective layers in a minimally invasive way. With the advent of micro electro mechanical systems, opportunities have appeared, particularly in the area of microneedles. In this paper we present a new design of hollow polymeric microneedles aimed at being used for TDD by allowing injection of a liquid in the non-innerve part of the dermis. The design has been studied in order to be able to manufacture these microneedles arrays using techniques that may be applicable to industrial production at low cost. The envisioned microfabrication processes and their stacking are presented which involve injection micromolding and excimer laser ablation. Microneedles are also numerically characterized in terms of mechanics and microfluidics showing that the design also involves interesting features in terms of needles resistance and microfluidic. Due to the innovative double-molding technique, the micro-needles are indeed emptied leaving a cavity. An outlet channel on the side of the needle allows fluid flowing out of the needles. The characteristics of this outlet channel contribute to flow homogenization when several needles are placed in an array pattern. This microneedle design thus combines interesting characteristics in terms of ease of fabrication at large scale, mechanical resistance and fluid dynamics. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Lhernould M.S.,ULB
Microsystem Technologies | Year: 2013

Microneedles as a means of transdermal drug delivery is a very promising technology that has been under development in recent years. Much research has been undertaken on the subject, but the quantity of available information makes determining crucial factors for their optimization difficult. This review article gathers available information concerning the mechanics and fluidics of microneedles and provides the reader with important summarized information to take into consideration when designing microneedles systems intended for transdermal drug delivery. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Currently, in Belgium, photovoltaic systems coupled with lead-acid batteries do not ensure the electrical self-sufficiency of a residence at a reasonable cost. This is the summary conclusion of the study two ULB researchers: their simulations reveal that the maximum rate of self-sufficiency of solar panels would only be about 40%, while the addition of complementary lead-acid batteries would result in a considerable increase of the energy prices. Today, the use of solar panels and energy storage in homes is a much discussed subject. As countries push for renewables and new technologies such as solar panels or electric cars become ever more accessible, it seems as if the house of the future is set to be self-sufficient, independent from the grid, feeding its inhabitants' needs with green energy from the sun. At the Université libre de Bruxelles, Faculty of Sciences, Aero Thermo Mechanics, researchers led by Guilherme Silva and Patrick Hendrick have been focusing on the problematic of home energy self-sufficiency for a long time and have come up with interesting results, recently published on the Applied Energy journal under the title "Lead-acid batteries coupled with photovoltaics for increased electricity self-sufficiency in households". They started by crunching up-to date Belgian data from the Royal Meteorological Institute, energy suppliers and installers and then ran these numbers through their simulation models. The conclusion is that energy self-sufficiency in homes with solar panels and batteries may come with an expensive price tag and that there may be better solutions out there to go green. The problem starts with the bad timing of solar energy and energy consumption: while the sun shines at its maximum around midday, most homes consume the most in the morning and in the evening. Add to that the fact that in many countries most of the solar energy is available in the summer months and you're set for dark times. No matter how many solar panels are added up, the maximum attainable self-sufficiency will be around 40%. The good news is that 40% self-sufficiency is achievable at prices close to the grid ones, given the recent strong reduction in the cost of solar panels and their long lifetime. To go beyond 40% self-sufficiency, energy storage seems the natural answer. The researchers coupled the solar panels with lead-acid batteries and the results are striking: all of a sudden, the energy consumed becomes really expensive. Trying to reach a self-sufficiency of 60% can easily cost twice as much as using the grid. And the batteries' short lifetime and high price are not the only ones to blame: installation costs and extra required electrical equipment also play an important role. The lack of a long term energy policy keeps homeowners and installers cautious, afraid to invest and bear all the risks, a problem that recently granted Belgium a public reprimand from the International Energy Agency. The researchers also took a look at the impact on the power grid of solar panels and home energy storage and the results seem grim. Homes equipped with such systems place a greater strain on the power grid. Also, power plants will need to be able to answer to quicker variations in demand. All this will impact power grid prices, a field where research is still lacking. Fortunately, all is not lost. The paper points out that a hybrid approach must be taken for a sustainable energy use. Using several energy sources helps to balance out each one's disadvantages. Consumption can also be adapted through intelligent appliances that can adjust to the conditions available, as can the energy storage system work in a more intelligent way. Recent energy storage technologies, such as li-ion batteries, continue to enjoy strong price reductions while the share of electric vehicles continues to increase. The field is evolving fast and research continues but, in the meanwhile, there is no magic bullet, the best option is to keep some solar panels and continue to play along with the grid. Explore further: Some suggest it's time to rethink which direction we point our solar panels More information: Guilherme de Oliveira e Silva, Patrick Hendrick. Lead-acid batteries coupled with photovoltaics for increased electricity self-sufficiency in households. Applied Energy 178: 856-867 (2016)


News Article | January 15, 2016
Site: phys.org

DNA is made up of 4 letters or nucleotides (A, T, G, C), the sequence of which determines our genome. We know that there is a fifth letter completing the genome: DNA methylation (mC). This helps in cell specialisation through controlling the expression of certain genes. When these genes are not correctly methylated, there is a risk of their expression being altered, leading to the emergence of such diseases as cancer. Therapies correcting such methylation faults are already being used to treat cancer. RNA is the other molecule of life. For several years now, we have been witnessing a paradigm change, with RNA now seen as being just as important as DNA in understanding the book of life. Indeed, it would seem that RNA is not just an intermediary between DNA and protein, but is capable of explaining several major mysteries in the study of life, such as the origin of life and the "junk DNA" paradox. Through putting the spotlight on RNA, a completely new research path emerges: the complex RNA alphabet (or RNA epigenetics). Just as with DNA, in addition to the 4 well-known letters (A, U, G, C), there are further letters defining the chemical properties of RNA. Yet the importance of RNA epigenetics for cell development remains unexplored ... The recent work of the team led by Prof. François Fuks, head of the ULB Faculty of Medicine's Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics and of the ULB Cancer Research Center, U-CRC, has revealed the key role played by one of these RNA letters, hydroxymethylation (hmC). Using fruit flies, one of the most common model organisms in biology, the ULB researchers have shown that hmC promotes the translation of RNA into proteins. In addition, following the introduction of a new high-performance sequencing technology, they have fully mapped the epigenetics of hmC. Last but not least, François Fuks and his colleagues have demonstrated the essential role played by hmC in cell development: when hmC production was impeded, the flies died. Details of this work, part of the quickly growing body of research into RNA, are published in the 15 January 2016 issue of the prestigious Science journal. These discoveries are set not just to start a new chapter in our understanding of life, but should also greatly help us in understanding such diseases as cancer. Explore further: Researchers discover new aspect of gene regulation and possible target for cancer drugs More information: B. Delatte et al. Transcriptome-wide distribution and function of RNA hydroxymethylcytosine, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aac5253


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IBA Selected to Install New Proton Therapy Center in Charleroi, Belgium New Proteus®One installation to be dedicated to research and development in collaboration with the Wallonia Region government and four leading Belgian universities Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, February 20, 2017 - IBA (Ion Beam Applications SA), the world's leading provider of proton therapy solutions for the treatment of cancer, announces today that it has been selected as the preferred vendor by four leading universities of Brussels (ULB), Liège (Ulg), Mons (UMons) and Namur (UNamur), alongside the Wallonia Region government, to install a Proteus®ONE* solution, IBA's single-room compact proton therapy system, in Charleroi, Belgium. IBA was selected following a comprehensive European public tender process and expects to sign a final contract in the coming weeks, after expiration of the applicable waiting period. The new center will be dedicated primarily to the research and development of new proton therapy applications and techniques in order to extend the range of proton therapy used in the treatment of cancer. The center, which will also treat patients, will be located in Charleroi and is expected to be operational in 2020. The Wallonia Region will invest a total of EUR 47 million in this research project, which will include the IBA technology, research program, maintenance contract as well as related equipment. Olivier Legrain, Chief Executive Officer of IBA commented: "We are delighted to have been selected to build a proton therapy center dedicated to R&D, demonstrating that Belgium has all the scientific, clinical and technological expertise required to advance this significant technology in the fight against cancer. Not only will this research and development center enable IBA and the Belgian universities to test and develop new generation technologies to fight cancer, it will also develop and anchor industrial expertise shared by a network of local companies. We are committed to supporting these universities in providing high-quality cancer treatment to more patients in Belgium." About IBA IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is a global medical technology company focused on bringing integrated and innovative solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The company is the worldwide technology leader in the field of proton therapy, considered to be the most advanced form of radiation therapy available today. IBA's proton therapy solutions are flexible and adaptable, allowing customers to choose from universal full-scale proton therapy centers as well as compact, single room solutions. In addition, IBA also has a radiation dosimetry business and develops particle accelerators for the medical world and industry. Headquartered in Belgium and employing about 1,500 people worldwide, IBA has installed systems across the world. IBA is listed on the pan-European stock exchange NYSE EURONEXT (IBA: Reuters IBAB.BR and Bloomberg IBAB.BB). More information can be found at: www.iba-worldwide.com *Proteus®ONE is a brand name of Proteus 235 For further information, please contact:


News Article | November 9, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Enzymes called kinases manage a wide range of cell processes, from metabolism, cell signaling, nutrient transport, and many others. Because they can affect so many different cell activities, kinases are tightly regulated within cells to make sure that the enzymes only act when necessary. Improperly activated kinases are linked to illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease. A group of scientists from VIB, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) led by Prof. Tom Lenaerts (VUB-ULB) and prof. Nico van Nuland (VIB-VUB) has uncovered a new mechanism for controlling the activation of a kinase implicated in Alzheimer's disease, generating novel insights into how to control this protein's activity. The research was published in the high-profile journal Structure, a Cell Press periodical. To make sure that the activities of kinase proteins are well-managed, proteins have evolved different methods to toggle them on and off by disrupting their interactions on a molecular level. Side chains are chemical groups directly attached to a protein's main chain or backbone that affect both the shape and function of a protein. In their new research on the activation of a specific enzyme called Fyn, Prof. Lenaerts and his team were able to identify the specific toggling mechanism that this protein uses to ensure its own regulation, revealing for the first time the role that side chains play in the process. Their observations may be important to the development of Alzheimer-treatment therapies, as Fyn interacts with the protein Tau, which has been identified as a cause of the disease. How cells switch their enzymes on and off Just like the thermostats in our homes, which turn the heat on and off based on temperature changes, changes in the interactions between the modules defining protein structures activate and deactivate kinases. Using both experimental and predictive techniques, the multidisciplinary team uncovered a network of communicating protein residues inside cells that control Fyn's activation. Research has shown that toggling off Fyn in mice with Alzheimer's disease reduces memory problems in these mice. Prof. Tom Lenaerts (VUB-ULB) said, "The insights presented by our research may provide important mechanistic knowledge of kinase regulatory systems, which could be used to develop new drugs that regulate Fyn's activity in Alzheimer's patients." This research is especially poignant to the Belgian scientific community, as Prof. Nico van Nuland, co-author and a pioneer in this research field, was diagnosed only a few years ago with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He has been fighting this disease with courage and optimism, providing crucial support to the entire research team. He possesses expert knowledge of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which was crucial in the reported research. "Without his contributions, these results would have never been realized," says Prof. Lenaerts.

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