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Biologics, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 5 articles

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10 pages, 579 KiB  
Review
Unveiling the Potential of JAK Inhibitors in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
by Shahed Kamal, Sheng Wei Lo, Samantha McCall, Beverly Rodrigues, Andrew H. Tsoi and Jonathan P. Segal
Biologics 2024, 4(2), 177-186; https://doi.org/10.3390/biologics4020012 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Background: Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors represent a novel class of oral therapies showing efficacy in treating ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), challenging conventional treatment paradigms. Summary: This review provides an overview of the potential novel uses of JAK inhibitors, focusing on [...] Read more.
Background: Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors represent a novel class of oral therapies showing efficacy in treating ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), challenging conventional treatment paradigms. Summary: This review provides an overview of the potential novel uses of JAK inhibitors, focusing on their current approved indications and exploring possibilities beyond these indications. Tofacitinib and filgotinib are approved for UC, while upadacitinib is approved for both UC and CD. Additionally, their potential in acute severe UC, as steroid alternatives, and in managing fistulizing CD or extraintestinal manifestations are discussed. Key Message: JAK inhibitors play an important role in IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) treatment; however, clinicians must balance their promising efficacy with safety concerns. Individualized care and vigilance are essential for optimizing therapeutic benefits while mitigating potential adverse effects. Further research is necessary to clarify their efficacy, safety, and potential applications. Full article
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16 pages, 1643 KiB  
Review
Cell-Based Therapies for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury: Promises and Trajectories
by Karl J. Habashy, Saad Omais, Benedikt Haupt, Adam M. Sonabend and Christopher S. Ahuja
Biologics 2024, 4(2), 161-176; https://doi.org/10.3390/biologics4020011 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a debilitating condition that poses a significant public health concern. Historically linked to motor vehicle accidents, the epidemiology of TBI has evolved. Falls now emerge as the predominant cause, particularly among older adults. Sport-related TBIs have also garnered [...] Read more.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a debilitating condition that poses a significant public health concern. Historically linked to motor vehicle accidents, the epidemiology of TBI has evolved. Falls now emerge as the predominant cause, particularly among older adults. Sport-related TBIs have also garnered increased attention due to concerns regarding long-term neurological sequelae. To date, therapeutic interventions remain limited and have yet to yield substantial clinical benefits. Cell-based therapies offer promising avenues for neural repair and regeneration: endogenous stem cell therapies capitalize on endogenous pools that can be triggered by the injury and further enhanced by therapeutic approaches. In contrast, exogenous cell therapies provide an exogenous source of cells. However, challenges such as age-related decline in neurogenesis, age-related inflammation, and the heterogeneity of TBI present significant hurdles to overcome. Moreover, translating stem cell research from the laboratory to clinical applications necessitates the adherence to good manufacturing practice standards, which presents distinct obstacles. Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach, including careful patient selection in clinical trials, appropriate experimental models, and the optimization of therapeutic techniques. Ultimately, a combination of strategies is likely to yield the most promising outcomes in the pursuit of effective TBI therapies. Full article
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18 pages, 1788 KiB  
Review
Gene Therapy for Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, and Familial Hypercholesterolemia: The Old Concepts and the New Era
by Nikolaos Evangelidis and Paschalis Evangelidis
Biologics 2024, 4(2), 143-160; https://doi.org/10.3390/biologics4020010 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease remains the main cause of mortality in the 21st century. Hypertension, vessel atherosclerosis, and familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) are responsible for increased mortality and morbidity in patients. Therapies for cardiovascular disease are based on drug treatment options, but in the era of [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease remains the main cause of mortality in the 21st century. Hypertension, vessel atherosclerosis, and familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) are responsible for increased mortality and morbidity in patients. Therapies for cardiovascular disease are based on drug treatment options, but in the era of precision medicine, personalized treatments are being developed. Studies have shown that these conditions have a strong genetic background, creating an opportunity for the implementation of gene therapy for these diseases. Currently, gene therapy is not widely used in clinical practice. Recent advances in this research field are making gene therapy a very promising preventive and therapeutic tool for cardiovascular disease. Essential hypertension’s (EH) pathophysiology is mostly based on the activation of both the sympathetic nervous system and the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), natriuretic peptide production, and endothelial dysfunction. Plasmid DNA and viral vectors can be used, targeting the main mechanisms in the pathogenesis of EH. Many preclinical studies have been developed across the years, presenting a significant decrease in blood pressure. Nevertheless, no clinical studies have been developed studying the implementation of gene therapy in EH. Atherosclerotic damage is caused by monogenic diseases or is deteriorated by the activation of inflammation in the vessel wall. Gene therapy studies have been developed in the pre- and clinical phases targeting the lipoprotein and cholesterol metabolism and the inflammation of the vessels. FH is a common inherited metabolic disease associated with high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Clinical trials of gene therapy have been developed and presented optimistic results. In this review, the challenges of gene therapy for cardiovascular disease are outlined. Nevertheless, more clinical trials are needed to be performed for the development of convenient and safe drug schemes for our patients. Full article
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13 pages, 313 KiB  
Review
Tick-Borne Diseases—Still a Challenge: A Review
by Radina Andonova, Dzhaner Bashchobanov, Veronika Gadzhovska and Georgi Popov
Biologics 2024, 4(2), 130-142; https://doi.org/10.3390/biologics4020009 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 674
Abstract
Tick-borne diseases account for a large proportion of vector-borne illnesses. They include, for example, a variety of infections caused by bacteria, spirochetes, viruses, rickettsiae, and protozoa. We aim to present a review that demonstrates the connection between the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and the [...] Read more.
Tick-borne diseases account for a large proportion of vector-borne illnesses. They include, for example, a variety of infections caused by bacteria, spirochetes, viruses, rickettsiae, and protozoa. We aim to present a review that demonstrates the connection between the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and the significance of certain emergency tick-borne diseases in humans and their clinical–epidemiological features. This review covers three diseases: anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. The emergence of ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis is become more frequently diagnosed as the cause of human infections, as animal reservoirs and tick vectors have increased in numbers and humans have inhabited areas where reservoir and tick populations are high. They belong to the order Rickettsiales and the family Anaplasmataceae, and the clinical manifestations typically coexist. Furthermore, prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are critical to the patient’s recovery. Similar to malaria, babesiosis causes hemolysis. It is spread by intraerythrocytic protozoa, and the parasitemia dictates how severe it can get. Left untreated, some patients might have a fatal outcome. The correct diagnosis can be difficult sometimes; that is why an in-depth knowledge of the diseases is required. Prevention, prompt diagnosis, and treatment of these tick-borne diseases depend on the understanding of their clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory features. Full article
25 pages, 1536 KiB  
Review
Classification and Molecular Functions of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans and Their Molecular Mechanisms with the Receptor
by Yasunari Matsuzaka and Ryu Yashiro
Biologics 2024, 4(2), 105-129; https://doi.org/10.3390/biologics4020008 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1049
Abstract
Heparan sulfate proteoglycans are highly glycosylated proteins in which heparan sulfate, a glycosaminoglycan sugar chain, is an acidic sugar chain consisting of a repeating disaccharide structure of glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine is locally sulfated. Syndecan, one of the transmembrane HSPGs, functions as a [...] Read more.
Heparan sulfate proteoglycans are highly glycosylated proteins in which heparan sulfate, a glycosaminoglycan sugar chain, is an acidic sugar chain consisting of a repeating disaccharide structure of glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine is locally sulfated. Syndecan, one of the transmembrane HSPGs, functions as a receptor that transmits signals from the extracellular microenvironment to the inside of the cell. In the vascular system, heparan sulfate proteoglycans, a major component of the glycocalyx, enable the binding of various plasma-derived molecules due to their diversity, epimerization of glycosaminoglycans chains, long chains, and sulfation. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans present in the extracellular matrix serve as a reservoir for bioactive molecules such as chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors. Aberrant expression of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, heparanase, and sulfatase is observed in many pathological conditions. Therefore, it can be applied to therapeutic strategies for a wide range of fields including Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure, cancer, organ transplants, diabetes, chronic inflammation, aging, and autoimmune diseases. Full article
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