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Therapeutics

Ross Cloney: synthetic biology and genome engineering. 

Francesco Conti: musculoskeletal biology and gene therapy.

Sonja Schmid: therapeutics for infectious diseases. 

Aishwarya Sundaram: cancer metastasis, models, drug discovery and nanotherapy.

Welcome to the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights webpage on therapeutics. Each month our editors select a small number of Articles recently published in Nature Communications that they believe are particularly interesting or important.

The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the area of therapeutics at Nature Communications.

Make sure to check the Editors' Highlights page each month for new featured articles.

Peptide antibiotics often display a very narrow therapeutic index. Here, the authors present an optimized peptide antibiotic with broad-spectrum in vitro activities, in vivo efficacy in multiple disease models against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections, and reduced toxicity.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Drugs for filariases are under development and clinical trial simulators could help to inform the design of clinical trials. Here, Walker et al. use an individual-based onchocerciasis transmission model to project trial outcomes of a hypothetical macrofilaricidal drug, resolving key design choices.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Here, the authors report the results of a randomized, placebo controlled trial of children with acute gastroenteritis who were treated with a probiotic and find no virus-specific beneficial effects attributable to the probiotic, either in reducing clinical symptoms or clearance of viral nucleic acid from stool specimens.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Vaccines and targeted therapeutics for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are currently lacking. Here, the authors report a human monoclonal antibody capable of neutralizing both authentic SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 by targeting a common epitope.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

SARS-CoV-2 uses ACE2 as the entry receptor. Here, the authors show that an ACE2-Ig fusion protein inhibits entry of virus pseudotyped with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, show differential binding kinetics of SARS-CoV and SARSCoV-2 spike proteins to ACE2, and determine pharmakocinetic parameters of ACE2-Ig in mice.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are an urgent threat to human health. Here, Roberts et al. characterise and monitor an ongoing hospital outbreak of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacter hormaechei by integrating several technologies for whole-genome sequencing and shotgun metagenomics.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Cases of C. difficile (CD) resistant to metronidazole have been reported but the mechanism remains enigmatic. Here the authors identify a plasmid, which correlates with metronidazole resistance status in a large international collection of CD isolates, and demonstrate that the plasmid can confer metronidazole resistance.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The mechanism of action of daptomycin, a lipopeptidic antibiotic, is unclear. Here, the authors show that Ca2+-daptomycin simultaneously interacts with lipid-coupled precursors of the bacterial cell envelope and with the anionic phospholipid phosphatidylglycerol, forming a tripartite complex.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Remdesivir (RDV) is a broad-spectrum antiviral drug with activity against MERS coronavirus, but in vivo efficacy has not been evaluated. Here, the authors show that RDV has superior anti-MERS activity in vitro and in vivo compared to combination therapy with lopinavir, ritonavir and interferon beta and reduces severe lung pathology.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Resistance to primary treatments of invasive aspergillosis is growing. Here, the authors generate a knockout library for 484 transcription factors in Aspergillus fumigatus, and show that loss of the NCT complex leads to cross-resistance to all primary and some salvage therapeutics without affecting pathogenicity.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications