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STAT Plus: New research offers hope for a way through the blood-brain barrier, ‘the final frontier for drug delivery’

We’ve evolved elegant protections for our brains. Gray matter deftly avoids contact with most interlopers, thanks to an intricate cellular shrink wrap called the blood-brain barrier. But this defense system creates its own challenges for us: It’s been extraordinarily difficult to design medicines that can target neurological illness.

There’s hope that could change, though. A duo of preclinical studies led by Denali Therapeutics recently demonstrated a new way to ferry medicines past the blood-brain barrier. The San Francisco biotech engineered antibody fragments, with medicinal payloads attached to them, that can slip through molecular gateways in the brain’s cellular lining.

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