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STAT+: Vertex to buy Alpine Immune Sciences for $4.9 billion

STAT

Vertex Pharmaceuticals will buy Alpine Immune Sciences, a maker of protein-based medicines that harness the immune system, for $4.9 billion, the companies announced Wednesday. It is the largest acquisition in Vertex’s history.

Immunity 359
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STAT+: Borrowing an idea from cancer immunotherapy, scientists make old-mice immune systems youthful again

STAT

Researchers studying the ways these systems change with age refer to them collectively as “immunosenescence,” or, more poetically, the “ twilight of immunity. ” But even as scientific understanding of the phenomenon has grown over the past decade, the forces driving it remain murky.

Immunity 339
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Smoking impairs immune response, even after quitting, new study says

STAT

The study , published Wednesday in Nature, underscores the importance of never lighting up that first cigarette, based on its conclusion that smoking has much longer harmful effects on immune responses than previously understood. Read the rest…

Immunity 363
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Amid measles outbreaks, U.K. launches vaccination ad campaign to boost childhood immunizations

STAT

The ads, which tell parents to contact their general practitioners if they’ve missed getting their kids immunized, are designed to capture parents’ desires to keep kids safe. Read the rest…

Immunity 362
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Covid’s scientific silver lining: A chance to watch the human immune system respond in real time

STAT

For scientists who study the human immune system, the penny dropped at different points in the early frenetic months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Looking back now, many marvel at the realization that they witnessed and were able to chronicle something no other scientists had ever actually seen.

Immunity 364
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STAT+: Like a vampire, some cancer cells can suck the energy source from immune cells

STAT

As elite hunters of the immune system, T cells are constantly prowling our bodies for diseased cells to attack. New research shows that some cancer cells can fire a long nanotube projection into the T cell that, like a vampire’s fang, sucks energy-creating mitochondria from the immune cell, turning the predator into prey.

Immunity 363
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STAT+: Prometheus team launches new startup with $400 million to tackle immune-driven disorders

STAT

This “summer of discovery,” as McKenna called it, brought him back to the immune system. McKenna discussed possibilities with his teenagers and Prometheus’ chief scientific officer.

Immunity 326