Latest Stories


Artificial Intelligence can help to speed up drug discovery — but only if we give it the right data

28 September 2023

Artificial Intelligence tools that enable companies to share data about drug candidates while keeping sensitive information safe can unleash the potential of machine learning

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Circular RNAs Identified in Brain Cells Impaired by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

26 September 2023

Researchers studying circular RNAs (circRNAs) in brain cells have reported new insights into neurological diseases. Investigators headed by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital used a laser-capture RNA sequencing technology to profile the transcriptome of neurons in postmortem human brain samples. Their study identified over 11,000 distinct circular RNAs that

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The rise of lab-grown dairy: a sustainable solution for the future

21 September 2023

Recently, there has been a lot of talk surrounding cultivated meat, especially after Upside Foods and Good Meat received final U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval to sell lab-grown meat for the first time in the U.S.. And, although perhaps less talked about, cultivated – or lab-grown – dairy could also

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muscle disorder

Muscle disorder: Hope for patients after years of clinical trial failures

19 September 2023

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a rare condition that is typically treated with the help of steroids, to manage symptoms, as scientists are yet to close in on a cure. However, the first-ever gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy is set to open doors for further

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Five recent breakthroughs in ovarian cancer research

14 September 2023

With around 7500 new cases reported in the U.K. alone every year, ovarian cancer may occur because of the inheritance of faulty genes like BRCA. Although the exact reason for cancer-causing genetic mutations is unknown – as with all other kinds of cancer – ovarian cancer research has shown that the risk increases with age, exposure to radiation – especially from

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Norrie Disease

Norrie disease reduced by gene therapy

12 September 2023

Norrie disease is a rare, recessive, X-linked, genetic disorder. The devastating disease, caused by a mutation in the NDP gene, manifests as blindness at birth followed by progressive hearing loss starting from roughly 12 years of age. The result is

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3D-printed tumors: startup hopes to drive cancer drug discovery

07 September 2023

3D printing is capturing attention in the field of medicine of late. With the first 3D-printed drug being approved for the treatment of seizures, eight years ago, it was a consequential moment in healthcare, following which biotechs raced to step up personalised treatment.

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Bioreactor keeps human renal cells alive in pigs

05 September 2023

Scientists at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are working on a new approach to treating kidney failure that could one day free people from needing dialysis or taking drugs to suppress their immune

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Alzheimer’s models novel molecule targets inflammation

31 August 2023

There has been progress in developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease that reduce amyloid-beta protein. However, there is a need for treatments that also reduce inflammation as it has been hard to treat. Now, a new study by scientists at the Picower

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Antiviral drug, biotechnology

Antiviral drug against BVD groundbreaking results

29 August 2023

Belgian biotechnology company ViroVet is developing an antiviral drug that acts against bovine viral diarrheavirus (BVDV). In a recent study conducted in the USA, cattle that received the BVD drug

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Antibiotic, Clovibactin

Clovibactin, a new antibiotic, kills bacteria

24 August 2023

A new antibiotic, isolated from bacteria that are unculturable, seems capable of combating harmful bacteria and even multi-resistant “superbugs.” The new drug, Clovibactin, efficiently killed drug-resistant Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In addition,

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No alcohol, gene therapy

Gene Therapy dramatically reduces alcohol use

22 August 2023

The results of a study in nonhuman primates suggest that a form of gene therapy currently being evaluated to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD) may dramatically reduce alcohol use by resetting the brain’s dopamine reward pathway in animals predisposed to

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bacteria, synthetic antibiotic

Gram-negative bacteria: Synthetic antibiotic strategy

17 August 2023

Scientists at Duke University report they have developed a synthetic antibiotic that could be effective against drug-resistant superbugs and bacteria such as SalmonellaPseudomonas, and E. coli.

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Heart disease, biotechnology

Heart disease is also prevented by an anti-obesity medication

15 August 2023

Trial results showing that a potent anti-obesity drug offers strong protection against serious heart problems have electrified researchers. They say that the findings could change how this and

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Mitochondrial structure to help maintain health

10 August 2023

Scientists at Scripps Research published findings that demonstrate how a mitochondrial protein structure is necessary to activate the cell’s integrated stress response (ISR), which is a critical pathway that helps cells maintain health. The researchers believe this

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gut, hormones, hormone gut hormone

Gut hormone found that functions as appetite-controlling

08 August 2023

Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered that a hormone known as peptide YY (PYY), which is produced by gut endocrine cells and known to be involved in controlling appetite by signaling satiety, also appears to play an important role in

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synthetic biology, medicine, design medicine, biology

Redesigning medicine using synthetic biology

03 August 2023

Bringing together engineers, physicists and molecular biologists, the field of synthetic biology uses engineering principles to model, design and build synthetic gene circuits and other molecular components that don’t exist in the natural world.

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OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder

OCD linked to neurotransmitter imbalance in forebrain

01 August 2023

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have used powerful new brain imaging techniques to reveal a neurochemical imbalance within specific brain areas in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

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antibiotic, antibiotic resistance, antibiotics

Drug decelerates bacterial race to antibiotic resistance

27 July 2023

A team of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine is gaining ground in their search for solutions to the global problem of bacterial antibiotic resistance, which was responsible for nearly 1.3 million deaths in 2019.

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protein factories, protein factory, cell, cell protein

The molecular control center of our protein factories

25 July 2023

Based on genetic blueprints, individual amino acids are assembled into long amino acid chains, the proteins, in the protein factories of our cells, the ribosomes. Each newly formed protein starts with the amino acid methionine.

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tumour supressor

Structure and function of tumour suppressor

20 July 2023

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have outlined the structure and function of a protein complex that is required to repair damaged DNA and protect against cancer. Using cryo-electron microscopy, the researchers uncovered the atomic structure of four proteins that when mutated, play a role in inheritable breast and ovarian cancers.

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tRNA, RNA dynamics

Using pressure to understand tRNA dynamics

18 July 2023

Just as space holds infinite mysteries, when we zoom in at the level of biomolecules (one trillion times smaller than a meter), there is still so much to learn.

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liver cancer, cell trio, cells

Immune cell trio for liver cancer immunotherapy

13 July 2023

New research by scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has revealed a trio of immune cells within tumor niches that are associated with immunotherapy response in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common type of liver cancer.

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astrocytes, neurons, astrocyte, x neuron

Astrocytes fuel erratic firing in fragile X neurons

11 July 2023

A change in the proteins secreted by astrocytes, star-shaped cells that support neurons, may contribute to the atypical firing patterns of neurons in people with Fragile X syndrome, according to a new study. The findings point to a possible target for treating the condition, which has so far eluded drug-development efforts.

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astrazeneca, trees, plant, green,

AstraZeneca pledges to plant 200m trees by 2030

06 July 2023

The boss of Britain’s biggest drugmaker Astrazeneca, Pascal Soriot, has warned that the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are damaging the planet and human health, as it announced a $400m (£310m) plan to plant 200m trees by 2030.

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inflammation, cellular process, cellular, inflammatory

Cellular process that drives inflammation revealed

04 July 2023

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai have uncovered novel insights into the production of IL-1 beta, a potent inflammatory protein signal released during many inflammatory responses. Their new findings open up possibilities for regulating the type of inflammation associated with several infections and inflammatory diseases.

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autoimmunity, auto-immunity, immunity

Resolving discrepancies in autoimmunity studies

29 June 2023

To understand the inappropriate immune responses that lead to autoimmune disorders, scientists must untangle a complex web of environmental and genetic risk factors. One common autoimmunity risk variant—a mutation that switches an arginine to a tryptophan (R620W) in the protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22)

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inflammation, cellular process, cellular, inflammatory

Cellular process that drives inflammation revealed

28 June 2023

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai have uncovered novel insights into the production of IL-1 beta, a potent inflammatory protein signal released during many inflammatory responses. Their new findings open up possibilities for regulating the type of inflammation associated with several infections and inflammatory diseases.

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breath, breath microbiome, microbiome

Breath can deepen our understanding of the microbiome

27 June 2023

Over many decades, we have built our understanding of disease mechanisms by studying organs, tissues, cell types, and their interconnectivity. Study into how these functional elements work, and work together to keep us alive has been crucial for us to learn how and why these systems break down during disease.

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tumour-tumour microenvironment- tumour environment

Complexities of the tumour microenvironment

22 June 2023

Cancer cells don’t exist in isolation – instead, they live within a complex ecosystem that also includes immune cells, stromal cells, the extracellular matrix, blood vessels and many other factors.

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dna damage, enzymes, antioxidant enzymes

Antioxidant enzymes come to the rescue of DNA damage

20 June 2023

The nucleus has historically been considered to be metabolically inert, importing all its needs through supply chains in the cytoplasm. Now, a new study by researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG)

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rheumatoid arthritis, RA, subdoligranulum

A bacterial culprit for rheumatoid arthritis

15 June 2023

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating autoimmune condition that affects millions of people across the globe (1). The ultimate cause of RA is largely mysterious.

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dna damage, dna, damaged dna

DNA damage repair system detailed in new map

13 June 2023

New research led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine, reveals a novel map that depicts the human body’s system for addressing and repairing DNA damage—a cause and consequence of many diseases.

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diabetes, covid, infection

Connecting the dots that link diabetes and infection severity

08 June 2023

Protecting and treating those at high risk of severe infections is a paramount public health concern underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although vulnerability to infection may seem like a unidirectional dilemma for certain preexisting conditions, when it comes to metabolic disorders such as diabetes, the relationship to severe COVID-19 infection is a two-way street.

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sodium, plant, salt plant, sodium detox

New mechanism for sodium salt detoxification in plants

06 June 2023

A high content of sodium-containing salts in the soil is a problem for many plants: as a result, they grow less well, or not at all. Soil salinisation is seen as one of the greatest threats to being able to feed the world’s population because it makes soils increasingly infertile, especially in dry regions.

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single cells, single cell measurement, diseases

Single-cell measurements can help fight diseases

01 June 2023

A new national research facility could significantly improve our understanding of infectious diseases, aging and cancers, leading to novel treatments and vaccines.

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glucose, cancer, cancer cells, cells

Cancer cells use a new fuel in absence of glucose

30 May 2023

Researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center have discovered a new nutrient source that pancreatic cancer cells use to grow. The molecule, uridine, offers insight into both biochemical processes and possible therapeutic pathways.

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mitochondria. brain. brain cancer. cancer. cells

Brain cancer cells take advantage of mitochondria to grow

25 May 2023

Researchers are seeking new ways to overcome the immune escape of glioblastoma cancer cells as they are able to adapt their identity to escape treatment. Now, new findings in mice by researchers at Cleveland Clinic reveal that glioblastoma cancer cells may use mitochondria from the central nervous system to grow and form more aggressive tumours.

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tumour, tumor, cancer, cancer cells, cells

Bacterial tractor beams bring radiation to tumours

23 May 2023

Targeted radionuclide therapy, or TRT, focuses radiation on tumours, leaving healthy cells alone. Clinicians accomplish this by linking a radionuclide to a molecule that binds only certain cancer cell epitopes.

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antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial, antibiotics

How bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics

19 May 2023

Bacteria can rapidly evolve resistance to antibiotics by adapting special pumps to flush them out of their cells, according to new research from the Quadram Institute and University of East Anglia. Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem of global significance.

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cancer cells, cancers, cancer

Deep learning model classifies cancer cells by type

18 May 2023

Cancers are classified in two ways: by the type of tissue in which the cancer originates (histological type) and by primary site, or the location in the body where the cancer first developed.

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pathogens, pathogen, cells

How cells in the skin team up to fight pathogens

16 May 2023

Skin shields our bodies from the world’s dangers, but sometimes, with a nick or a bump, that barrier is breached. That’s when pain- and itch-sensing nociceptor neurons jump to action, transmitting threat signals to the central nervous system, while dendritic cells eliminate pathogens by secreting cytokines and coordinating local inflammation

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alzheimer's, alzheimer, tau level, tau protein, gene silencing, alzheimers

Alzheimer’s gene silencing towers Tau levels

09 May 2023

Researchers are testing a new, genetic therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. New clinical trial results, which represent the first time that a “gene silencing” approach has been taken in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, suggest that the method is able to safely and successfully lower levels of the harmful tau protein known to cause the disease.

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T cell, microfluidic

Helping engineered T cells find their way to tumors

04 May 2023

Research on adoptive cell therapies—where scientists genetically engineer a patient’s own immune cells to target the cell type that causes their symptoms—has led to incredible therapeutic successes in treating liquid tumors, but similar efforts for treating solid tumors have proved less fruitful.

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autism spectrum disorder, asd, brain

Early biomarker for autism spectrum disorder

02 May 2023

Disrupted levels of molecular compounds in maternal blood and cord blood are linked to later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to a new study. The study was led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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age, stress, aging, biological age

Stress increases biological age, but recovery is possible

28 April 2023

Stress in its different flavours—such as adverse events during childhood or psychological stress—associates with accelerated cellular ageing. A study published on April 21 in Cell Metabolism adds evidence that exposure to stressful stimuli advances the biological age, but it also suggests that once individuals recover from the stress, the effect is reversible.

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genome,stowaways,virophage, virophages, viruses

Hidden viruses found in microbes

27 April 2023

During a large-scale study of complex single-celled microbes, Dr. Christopher Bellas, Marie-Sophie Plakolb and Prof. Ruben Sommaruga from the Department of Ecology at the University of Innsbruck made an unexpected discovery. Built into the genome of the microbes, they found the DNA of over 30,000 previously unknown viruses.

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liver disease, fatty liver, fatty liver disease, liver

Tripeptide to treat fatty liver disease

25 April 2023

The results of a newly reported study have confirmed that an amino acid compound developed by researchers at Michigan Medicine successfully treated nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in non-human primates.

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CRISPR, gene editing, genes

New CRISPR technique for safer gene editing

20 April 2023

Researchers at Kyushu University and Nagoya University School of Medicine in Japan have developed an optimised genome-editing method centered on CRISPR that vastly reduces mutations, opening the door to more effective treatment

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skin, wound, healing

Getting to the root of skin healing

18 April 2023

The roots of a single tree can transform a barren patch of forest floor into a thriving subterranean ecosystem. A tree’s roots exude chemicals and signalling molecules that remodel the soil to stimulate further growth.

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tuberculosis, Mbt

How immune cells guide each other to control TB

13 April 2023

Tuberculosis (TB), caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), results in 1.5 million deaths every year, but as many as two billion people may be infected with Mtb and yet remain otherwise healthy and asymptomatic.

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antibiotics, antibiotic, polymer, nanoparticles

Polymer formulation to improve existing antibiotics

11 April 2023

A team of U.K.- and Spain-based researchers has created a new formulation for two common antibiotics that is designed to be simple and easy to commercialise. The new nano-formulation involves a polymer called alpha-keto polyester that can be bonded to drugs, such as antibiotics.

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gene therapy, riboswitch, gene editing

Could new riboswitch make gene therapy safer?

06 April 2023

Turning genes on and off as easily and predictably as flicking a switch could be a powerful tool in medicine and biotech. A type of technology called a riboswitch might be the key.

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monocyte, HIV DNA, HIV, blood cells, blood

Monocytes may be a stable reservoir of HIV

04 April 2023

In a new study using blood samples from men and women with HIV DNA on long-term suppressive therapy, a team of researchers led by Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists

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single cells, individual cell, single cell

Scientists sequence single cells with long-read technology

30 March 2023

Traditional sequencing is often likened to making a smoothie: researchers blend a bunch of cells, obtain an average sequence, and draw conclusions on the ingredients that comprise the slush. More recently, scientists have gained the ability to perform single-cell sequencing, which can reveal rare variations between cells and the evolution of cell lineages.

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liver cancer, cancer cells, liver

Liver cancer finding leads to new antitumor therapy

28 March 2023

Researchers at the NIH and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston say they have uncovered a potential new approach against liver cancer that could lead to the development of a novel class of anticancer drugs. In a series of experiments in cells and mice, the team found that an enzyme produced in liver cancer cells could convert a group of compounds into anticancer drugs, killing cells and reducing disease in animals.

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meningitis, meningitis bacteria, headache

Meningitis bacteria trigger headaches & enter brain

23 March 2023

Bacterial meningitis is a disease characterised by an infection of the meninges—the delicate membranes that envelop and protect the brain—which can cause life-threatening inflammation or stroke. Although rare, it’s lethal in 30 percent of patients, meaning therapies are sorely needed.

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cancer cells, immune cells, virus

New insights on how immune cells respond to cancer cells

21 March 2023

A research team led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists has identified and analysed the steps by which immune cells “see” and respond to cancer cells. Their findings may lead to more personalised immunotherapies for patients whose immune systems do not appear to respond to treatment.

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Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, infection

COVID-19 infection alters future immune reaction

16 March 2023

When a healthy individual suffers from an acute infection, there is an expectation that their immune system will ramp up to fight the invading pathogens and then return to its baseline state. The truth is not so simple, as people have diverse immune responses that can change throughout their lifetimes, including after surviving infection.

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multiple sclerosis, inflammation

Disrupting chronic inflammation in multiple Sclerosis

14 March 2023

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and affects nearly a million Americans. There is no cure, so treatments focus on helping patients manage their symptoms, control flare-ups, and slow the progression of the disease.

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neuron,neuron growth, neurons

Mitochondrial metabolism dictates neuron growth

09 March 2023

Human brains grow extraordinarily slowly—a trait many neuroscientists speculate is related to our distinctive intellect. But how and why a human neuron takes years to grow when a mouse neuron grows for mere weeks has remained unclear.

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hepatitis e, cells, hepatitis e cells, virus, HEV

How hepatitis E viruses infect cells

07 March 2023

Hepatitis E is a common disease. However, little is known about the life cycle of the virus. Now, researchers from the molecular and medical virology department at Ruhr University Bochum and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg report the protein EGFR plays a decisive role in the penetration of virus particles in the cells.

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microbiome, microbiomes, gut. gut microbiomes

Current microbiome analyses may falsely detect absent species

02 March 2023

Common approaches to analyse DNA from a community of microbes, called a microbiome, can yield erroneous results, in large part due to the incomplete databases used to identify microbial DNA sequences.

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peptides, peptide

New method to design new peptide therapeutics

28 February 2023

Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have developed a novel method to design and develop peptide antibiotics in large numbers, which could prove critical to controlling antibiotic resistance.

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heart, heart failure, heart problems, heart disease

Connecting complexities of heart failure and ageing

23 February 2023

As the age of the general population increases, so does the need for precision treatments for age-related cardiac health decline. Heart failure is a rising global cardiovascular epidemic driven by ageing and chronic inflammation.

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telomeres,mitochondria, cancer

Telomeres, mitochondria and inflammation fight cancer

21 February 2023

Salk scientists show, when telomeres that protect the ends of chromosome become very short, they send RNA messages to the mitochondria to trigger a signalling pathway that activates an inflammatory response to kill the cell before it gets a chance to turn cancerous. This underscores how cells can evading destruction and become cancerous when the pathway is dysfunctional.

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allele, allele expression, RAE

Random allelic expression linked to toxic mutation

16 February 2023

Every person carries two copies of most genes, with one version, or allele, coming from each parent. Even though these copies tend to be functionally redundant, conventional genetic theory dictates that biased allelic expression, wherein both alleles are transcribed equally when the gene is expressed, is nearly universal. But a study published in Cell Reports in January posits something different: that it might be somewhat common for cells to preferentially express only one of a gene’s alleles.

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Diabetic kidney

New method slows diabetic kidney disease progress

14 February 2023

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, however, despite current therapies, there is a large residual risk of diabetic kidney disease onset and progression. Therefore, widespread innovation is urgently needed to improve health outcomes for patients with

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Petri,Dish,With,Viral,Cells, Unclearing Microscopy, visible, eye

Cells visible to the naked eye with new technique

09 February 2023

Microscopes have been fine-tuned to image cells in granular detail, with the most sophisticated instruments capable of resolving individual atoms within a protein. The expense of microscopes creates an economic divide, however, hindering research at

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Scar, scars, wound healing, surgical, surgery

Scarless wound healing compounds identified

07 February 2023

Research by scientists based at the University of California, Los Angeles, has found that compounds that target the circadian clock and affect the synthesis of collagen—a protein that is important for skin repair—could improve scar healing. The team carried out

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Role of small RNAs in Salmonella infections uncovered

Role of small RNAs in Salmonella infections uncovered

02 February 2023

Salmonella is a food-borne pathogen that infects millions of people a year. To do so, these bacteria depend on a complex network of genes and gene products that allow them to sense environmental conditions. In a new paper, researchers have investigated the role of small RNAs that help Salmonellaexpress their virulence genes.

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Light-powered mitochondria illuminates mechanisms in aging process

Light-powered mitochondria illuminates mechanisms in aging process

31 January 2023

A new study demonstrates that genetically engineered mitochondria can convert light energy into chemical energy that cells can use, ultimately extending the life of the roundworm C. elegans.

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CFTR Pulmonary edema can be countered by cystic fibrosis drug

CFTR: Pulmonary edema can be countered by cystic fibrosis drug

26 January 2023

Attempts to treat pneumonia typically focus on pneumonia-causing pathogens. However, researchers have been exploring a different approach. They are trying to strengthen the barrier function that is performed by the lungs’ blood vessels.

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New function of CRISPR gene scissors discovered

New function of CRISPR gene scissors discovered

24 January 2023

For several years, the CRISPR/Cas9 gene scissors have been causing a sensation in science and medicine. Researchers have now discovered a new function of the gene scissors.

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Artificial DNA kills cancer

Artificial DNA kills cancer

19 January 2023

Researchers have used artificial DNA to target and kill cancer cells in a completely new way. The method was effective in lab tests against human cervical cancer- and breast cancer-derived cells, and against malignant melanoma cells from mice.

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Developing antibiotics that target multiple-drug-resistant bacteria

Developing antibiotics that target multiple-drug-resistant bacteria

17 January 2023

Researchers have designed and synthesised analogs of a new antibiotic that is effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria, opening a new front in the fight against these infections.

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Origins of Rare Childhood Cancer-Like Disease Identified in cells

Rare childhood cancer-like disease identified in cells

12 January 2023

Excessive buildup of Langerhans cells in the body causes a rare and potentially fatal cancer-like inflammatory disease in children, called Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH).

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Severe Obesity in Children Linked to Genetic Rearrangement

Obesity in children linked to genetic rearrangement

10 January 2023

A genetic rearrangement, undetectable by most routine genetic tests, that leads to high levels of the agouti-signaling protein (ASIP), has been detected in five children with obesity. Abnormal expression of the mouse homolog of the ASIP gene is found in a commonly used mouse model of obesity—the agouti mouse—but until now ASIP mutations had not been linked to obesity in humans.

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How selfish genes succeed

How selfish genes succeed

05 January 2023

New findings from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research uncover critical insights about how dangerous selfish genes — considered to be a parasitic portion of DNA — functions and survives. Understanding this dynamic is a valuable resource for the broader community studying meiotic drive systems.

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Two master genes critical for hearing

Two master genes critical for hearing

02 January 2023

An international team of scientists led by the LKS Faculty of Medicine has uncovered the underlying cause of deafness caused by swelling of the chambers in the inner ear. Using a mouse model of a human congenital disorder that displays deafness, the researchers identified two master genes controlling hearing function, which opened a new pathway for the diagnosis of deafness and balance problems and possibly to the effects on stem cells in other tissues and syndromes.

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Cellular 'glue' to regenerate tissues, heal wounds, regrow nerves

Cellular ‘glue’ to regenerate tissues, heal wounds, regrow nerves

29 December 2022
Researchers have engineered molecules that act like ‘cellular glue,’ allowing them to direct in a precise fashion how cells bond with each other. The discovery represents a major step toward building tissues and organs, a long-sought goal of regenerative medicine.
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Life and death of an 'altruistic' bacterium

Life and death of an ‘altruistic’ bacterium

27 December 2022
A new study shows how some bacteria living in a biofilm sacrifice themselves to ensure the survival of the community.
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Teenager's "incurable" leukemia cured by new base editing gene therapy

Teenager’s leukemia cured by new base editing gene therapy

22 December 2022

A teenager in the UK has become the first person to be treated with a revolutionary new gene-editing therapy. The patient’s incurable leukemia was effectively cleared using “base-edited” immune T-cells from a donor.

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How AI found the words to kill cancer cells

How AI found the words to kill cancer cells

20 December 2022

Using new machine learning techniques, researchers at UCSF, in collaboration with a team at IBM Research, have developed a virtual molecular library of thousands of “command sentences” for cells, based on combinations of “words” that guided engineered immune cells to seek out and tirelessly kill cancer cells.

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Silicone sponge captures unknown bacteria

Silicone sponge captures unknown bacteria

15 December 2022

Researchers develop a chip that captures microbial dark matter in the air, water, and soil — a new (bacteria) tool for biotechnology and medicine

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Researchers find that spheroids grown in suspension mature into human intestinal organoids when transferred to a bioreactor.

The future of replacement organs is here

13 December 2022

Researchers find that spheroids grown in suspension mature into human intestinal organoids when transferred to a bioreactor and differentiate into complex intestinal tissue upon transplantation.

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mRNA Vaccines Show Promise against Malaria

mRNA Vaccines Show Promise against Malaria

08 December 2022

Researchers led by a team from George Washington University report they have developed two mRNA vaccine candidates that are effective in reducing both malaria infection and transmission.

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3D organoid model developed for GE Junction cancer

3D organoid model developed for GE Junction cancer

06 December 2022

Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and colleagues say they have created a lab-grown organoid model that is derived from human tissue and designed to advance understanding of how early stages of cancer development at the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ).

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Hoe AI is transforming biotechnology

How AI is transforming biotechnology

01 December 2022

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have taken the world by storm, changing the way people live and work. Advances in these fields have elicited both praise and criticism. AI and ML, as they’re colloquially known, offer several applications and advantages across a wide range of sectors. Most importantly, they are transforming biological research, resulting in new discoveries in healthcare and biotechnology.

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Making Cancer Medicines With Microbes

Making Cancer Medicines With Microbes

29 November 2022

For oncology, plant-based anti-cancer drugs have proven instrumental in the fight against a disease that claims approximately 609,360 lives

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New insights into the mechanisms causing diabetes

New insights into the mechanisms causing diabetes

24 November 2022
Researchers show that a molecule called T-cadherin can be secreted in a soluble form. Soluble T-cadherin interacts with pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells via the Notch signalling pathway to promote their proliferation and increase the production of insulin. Recombinant T-cadherin stimulated Notch signalling in isolated mouse pancreatic islets, which contain beta cells, indicating that T-cadherin may have therapeutic potential for diabetes.
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Study identifies how stealthy HIV evades drugs and immunity

Study identifies how stealthy HIV evades drugs and immunity

22 November 2022

An immune response that likely evolved to help fight infections appears to be the mechanism that drives human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) into a latent state, lurking in cells only to erupt anew, researchers report.

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Cancer drugs are closing in on some of the deadliest mutations

Cancer drugs are closing in on some of the deadliest mutations

17 November 2022

The protein KRAS, mutated in many cancers, was deemed ‘undruggable’. Now scientists are hoping to save lives with a batch of new compounds that target it.

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Chemicals in urine could play key part in future biotech systems

Chemical in urine could play key part in future biotech systems

15 November 2022
A common chemical found in urine can be used to kick-start large-scale production of proteins such as hormones and antibodies used by biotech companies.
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Fighting tumours with magnetic bacteria

Fighting tumours with magnetic bacteria

10 November 2022
Researchers are planning to use magnetic bacteria to fight cancerous tumors. They have now found a way for these microorganisms to effectively cross blood vessel walls and subsequently colonise a tumour.
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kidney - New drug application for chronic kidney disease

New drug application for chronic kidney disease sparks $35M milestone payment

08 November 2022

A submission has been made for a new drug application by Japanese Kyowa Kirin Co. Ltd. for the improvement of hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

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Scientists Identify a Unique Set of Proteins That Restore Hearing

Scientists Identify a Unique Set of Proteins That Restore Hearing

03 November 2022

Researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) led the research, which may help in the creation of human hearing loss treatments.

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FDA data request on tumultuous rare disease med

FDA data request on tumultuous rare disease med

01 November 2022

Ipsen gets new FDA data request on its tumultuous rare disease med, delaying the advisory meeting

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New RNA-based tool can illuminate brain circuits, edit specific cells

New RNA-based tool can illuminate and edit brain circuits

26 October 2022

Duke University researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that targets individual cells, rather than genes. It is capable of precisely targeting any type of cell and selectively adding any protein of interest.

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insights from the Tumor Microenvironment with AI-powered digital pathology

Insights from Tumor Microenvironment AI-powered digital pathology

25 October 2022

Revealing new insights from the Tumor Microenvironment with AI-powered digital pathology

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Clusters of genes help mice live longer

Clusters of genes help mice live longer

20 October 2022

Researchers have announced the discovery of multiple candidate genes that may help mice live longer

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European commercialisation of liver cancer test

European commercialisation of liver cancer test

18 October 2022

Biocartis Group NV has started the commercialisation in Europe of the HepatoPredict test of liver cancer as a CE-IVD marked manual kit.

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New target treatment for neurological disease

New target treatment for neurological diseases

13 October 2022

Researchers in Birmingham in the U.K. have identified a potential target for drugs to treat long-term neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease in central nervous system injuries.

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AI model may help identify skin cancer from blood test

AI model may help identify skin cancer from blood test

11 October 2022

Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model that predicts which skin cancer patients will benefit from a treatment that activates the immune defence system.

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Scientists Use Modified Silk Proteins To Create New Nonstick Surfaces

06 October 2022

Silk fibroin derived from silk moths is used to create nonstick surfaces with properties that surpass commercially available nonstick surfaces

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Mosquitoes that can't spread malaria engineered by scientists

Mosquitoes that can’t spread malaria engineered by scientists

04 October 2022
Scientists have engineered mosquitoes that slow the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their gut, preventing transmission of the disease to humans.
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Machine learning powers biobank-driven drug discovery

Machine learning powers biobank-driven drug discovery

29 September 2022

Drug hunters are moving into the clinic with human-first ‘no-hypothesis’ target discovery, applying the full force of machine learning powers to massive collections of human omics data.

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Metagenomics: unlocking the secrets of microbial communities

Metagenomics: unlocking the secrets of microbial communities

27 September 2022

The combination of advanced sequencing technologies and user-friendly data analysis solutions is bringing metagenomics into the reach of more scientists, creating new opportunities to ask and answer exciting research questions.

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Antimicrobial drug derived from tree sap could treat chronic wounds

Antimicrobial drug derived from tree sap could treat chronic wounds

22 September 2022

A compound derived from the sap of the blushwood tree was found to improve wound healing in mice and dairy calves

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Tracking DNA Parasites in the Hunt for Disease Treatments

20 September 2022

Scientists at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), offered new insights into transposons in a study published in eLife. The team believes its work could provide knowledge that may eventually help in the fight against cancers and aging-related diseases.

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A clinical trial for an injection to treat patients with schizophrenia has been initiated after a $3 million payment was received by MedinCell.

Study of injection to treat schizophrenia to begin after $3M payment received

15 September 2022

A phase 3 clinical trial for an injection to treat patients with schizophrenia has been initiated after a $3 million payment was received by MedinCell.

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Alzheimer’s disease

Drug compounds to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

13 September 2022

New research led by scientists at Mass Eye and Ear, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, member hospitals of Mass General Brigham, has revealed the potential mechanism by which the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) genetic variant that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, also plays in protecting against glaucoma, and suggested how drug compounds could potentially be used to treat the disorder.

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Monkeypox Test Distinguishes Between Five Lesion-Causing Viruses

06 September 2022

The first syndromic test for monkeypox has been launched by Qiagen. This PCR-based test (the QIAstat-Dx Viral Vesicular Panel RUO) runs on the company’s QIAStat-Dx device and can distinguish between monkeypox and five other pathogens that cause similar symptoms. The test provides results in as little as an hour.

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brain, memory

Electrically Zapping can boost memory

01 September 2022

For years, researchers have sought to untangle a complicated question: Can gently stimulating the human brain with electrical currents enhance learning and memory? Despite several indications that it may do so, questionable and sometimes conflicting results (especially those touted by biotechnology companies selling alleged memory-enhancing wearables) have made

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Microorganism, rot

Biosensor for early detection of potato rot developed

30 August 2022

Half of the world’s harvested food is lost to rot caused by microorganisms. A team of researchers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) and Israel’s Agricultural Research Organisation (Volcani Institute) has developed a biological sensor for the early detection of disease in potato tubers. The sensor is based on luminescent changes of a bacterial panel that occur in response to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are emitted by healthy versus diseased potatoes.

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Prokaryotes are capable of learning to recognise bacteriophages

23 August 2022

The CRISPR technology commonly used for genome editing was originally based on bacterial defense mechanisms that arose to protect against bacteriophages, though their mode of activation has largely eluded scientists. In the course of understanding this phenomenon, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research have

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Mental health, gut, bacteria

Paradigm of treatment of mental health to be transformed

16 August 2022

Building on a decade of research, a development program for next-generation probiotics and therapeutics to modulate gut microbiota and mental health has been launched.

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Novel glioblastoma drug targets mechanism

09 August 2022

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common type of glioma—a tumor of the glial cells found in the brain and spinal cord. It is also one of the most lethal cancers, making the need for new treatment strategies urgent. The available treatment option—the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ)—leads to the development of resistance in more

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New tool for more personalized cell therapies.

Engineers develop new tool that will allow for more personalized cell therapies

02 August 2022

A University of Minnesota Twin Cities team has, for the first time, developed a new tool to predict and customize the rate of a specific kind of DNA editing called “site-specific recombination.” The research paves the way for more personalized, efficient genetic and cell therapies for diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

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Monkeypox approval for smallpox vaccine

26 July 2022

Danish company Bavarian Nordic A/S says the European Commission (EC) has extended the marketing authorisation for the company’s smallpox vaccine, IMVANEX, to include protection from monkeypox and disease caused by vaccinia virus.

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Biochemistry researchers repair and regenerate heart muscle cells

21 July 2022

Researchers at the University of Houston are reporting a first-of-its-kind technology that not only repairs heart muscle cells in mice but also regenerates them following a heart attack, or myocardial infarction as its medically known.

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Tech Can Help Make Cell and Gene Therapies Cheaper

19 July 2022

Efforts to make cell and gene therapies cheaper with innovative technology have largely focused on the factory floor. But industry can do more to reduce prices—and increase patient access—if it applies the same approach to post-production procedures.

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Kezar his phase 2 lupus data spur hope for former pipeline-in-a-drug contender

14 July 2022

Kezar Life Sciences’ hopes for zetomipzomib to become a catch-all drug for inflammatory disease may have been stunted earlier in the year, but new phase 2 data suggest the therapy is still in play to treat lupus nephritis.

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New sensitive and robust single-cell RNA sequencing technique outperforms competition

12 July 2022

The new advent of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has revolutionised the fields of medicine and biology by providing the ability to study the inner workings of thousands of cells at once.

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India wants to be the ‘pharmacy of the world.’ But first, it must wean itself from China

07 July 2022

India has embarked on an ambitious plan to cut dependence on China for key raw materials as it seeks to become self-sufficient in its quest to be the “pharmacy of the world.”

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Amaroq Therapeutics ‘hits early milestones’ in cancer treatment

05 July 2022

New Zealand biotech company Amaroq Therapeutics said it is progressing towards clinical trials following a promising initial development phase. The company, a start-up spun out of the University of Otago, is focused on developing a new class of therapeutics that target long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) in cancer.

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A New Kind of Genome Editing Is Here to Fine-Tune DNA

30 June 2022

By now you’ve heard of Crispr gene editing — the molecular scissors that allow scientists to make targeted changes to an organism’s DNA.

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Targeting mosquito spit to halt Yellow Fever, Dengue and Zika

28 June 2022

A molecule in mosquito spit has been identified as a potential new target for vaccination against a range of diseases for which there is no protection or medicine.

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The drug desirudin is made from venom of LEECHES

23 June 2022

It has come to our attention that a popular pharmaceutical drug for treating blood clots is made from the genetically modified (GMO) venom of leeches.

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Biotech company

Biotech company to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in California

21 June 2022

A biotech company with deep ties to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is about to release mosquitoes with synthetic DNA into California, supposedly to control the state’s mosquito population.

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Neuroscientists expand CRISPR toolkit with new enzyme

16 June 2022

Last year, researchers at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research discovered and characterised Cas7-11, the first CRISPR enzyme capable of making precise, guided cuts to strands of RNA without harming cells in the process.

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These Nanobots Can Swim Around a Wound and Kill Bacteria

14 June 2022

Researchers have created autonomous particles covered with patches of protein “motors.” They hope these bots will tote lifesaving drugs through bodily fluids around a wound for instance.

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A T cell does attack protein in “bad” cholesterol

09 June 2022

A T cell may drive inflammation as dangerous plaques build up in the cardiovascular system. Preventing atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart disease, means scientists need to understand how immune cells drive inflammation in the arteries.

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Stimulating brain circuits promotes neuron growth in adulthood

07 June 2022

We humans lose mental acuity, an unfortunate side effect of aging. And for individuals with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the loss of cognitive function often accompanied by mood disorders such as anxiety is a harrowing experience. One way to push back against cognitive decline and anxiety would be to spur the creation of new neurons by stimulating brain circuits for instance.

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A gene editing approach can alter the social behaviour of animals

02 June 2022

Georgia State University scientists have created gene-edited hamsters for studies of social neuroscience and have found that the biology behind social behaviour of animals may be more complex than previously thought.

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Amphista using degradation of protein to smash cancer

31 May 2022

As big pharma companies flock to drugs that destroy harmful proteins, the UK protein degradation specialist Amphista Therapeutics has bagged two landmark collaboration deals with the heavyweights Bristol Myers Squibb and Merck.

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Denmark Recruits Lifebit to Boost Personalised Medicine with Genomic data

26 May 2022

The Danish National Genome Center has teamed up with the UK firm Lifebit to improve the access and sharing of genomic data as the nation moves towards the adoption of personalised medicine.

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Optimising Biodrug Formulations with Machine Learning

24 May 2022

Machine learning is usually applied to huge datasets, but researchers from the ETH Zurich in Switzerland are using it to reduce the number of experiments needed for biopharmaceutical formulation. “When people think about machine learning, they think about big data, but here we’re doing it on smaller data to screen millions of different possibilities for experiments,” explains Paolo Arosio, PhD, assistant professor in biochemical engineering at ETH Zurich.

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Separating More T Cells for Immunotherapy

19 May 2022

When using a patient’s own cells to develop a personalised immunotherapy, scientists often struggle to engineer an adequate dose. To capture more T cells for such autologous cell therapy, City of Hope—one of the largest cancer research and treatment organisations in the U.S.—plans to integrate the Curate CELL PROCESSING SYSTEM into its workflow to manufacture investigational CAR-T cell immunotherapy. This system takes a new approach to T-cell separation.

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Why Psychedelic Drugs May Become a Key Treatment for PTSD and Depression

17 May 2022

While it has been referenced throughout history, notably in World War I, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as we know it today was first described as a distinct diagnosis after World War II among individuals who had survived Nazi concentration camps. The patients came home experiencing anxiety, depression and nightmares. They were frequently startled.

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A new era of mitochondrial genome editing has begun

12 May 2022

Researchers from the Center for Genome Engineering within the Institute for Basic Science developed a new gene-editing platform called transcription activator-like effector-linked deaminases, or TALED. TALEDs are base editors capable of performing A-to-G base conversion in mitochondria. This discovery was a culmination of a decades-long journey to cure human genetic diseases, and TALED can be considered to be the final missing piece of the puzzle in gene-editing technology.

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Muscle Cells

Lab grown, self-sustainable muscle cells repair muscle injury and disease

10 May 2022

In proof-of-concept experiments, Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have successfully cultivated human muscle stem cells capable of renewing themselves and repairing muscle tissue damage in mice, potentially advancing efforts to treat muscle injuries and muscle-wasting disorders in people.

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Tiny Antennas Made from DNA Light Up Protein Activity

05 May 2022

Developing drugs can be hit or miss, but now a tiny, DNA-based sensor may help streamline the task. Acting as a “fluorescent nanoantenna,” the sensor could flag in real time if a prospective drug is binding to its target or reveal other cellular activity.

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Immunocore Approvals Open Door for TCR Cancer Drugs

03 May 2022

The EU has followed the FDA in granting market approval to Kimmtrak, the first-ever bispecific drug based on a cancer-hunting protein called a T-cell receptor (TCR). These regulatory wins by the UK firm Immunocore pave the way for other treatments deploying TCRs.

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This Mushroom Leather Is Being Made into Hermès Handbags

28 April 2022

A bioreactor-made material is being marketed as an animal-friendly leather alternative that also aims to help save the planet.

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How does a cell control its borders

26 April 2022

Bacteria, fungi, and yeast are very good at excreting useful substances such as weak acids. One way in which they do this is through passive diffusion of molecules across the cell membrane. At the same time, cells need to prevent leakage of numerous small molecules.

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Wild grass

The hardy wild grass that could save our bread

21 April 2022

An obscure species of wild grass contains “blockbuster” disease resistance that can be cross bred into wheat to give immunity against one of the deadliest crop pathogens. A collaborative international team of researchers identified the stem rust resistance gene from the wild goat grass species Aegilops sharonensis.

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New tool to accelerate the discovery of drugs

19 April 2022

Inside your body on the surface of cell membranes, a metaphorical communication and traffic network is underway as hormones — or chemical messengers — bind to cell membrane receptors to fine tune how the cell behaves. Once bound together, this hormone-receptor complex works to carry out a variety of functions by ferrying chemical signals from outside the cell and translating those signals into action inside the cell. The process of moving into the cell is called trafficking.

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A gene

Staying alive: How a gene can cheat death

14 April 2022

A new gene that controls self-fertilisation has been identified in an engineered version of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana bred by scientists at the University of Birmingham.

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Canada Approves World’s First Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccine

12 April 2022

Canada has ordered 76 million doses of Covifenz, the main ingredient of which was manufactured in the leaves of a tobacco relative. On Thursday (February 25), Health Canada, the department of the Government of Canada responsible for Canada’s national health policy, approved the world’s first plant-based COVID-19 vaccine for use in adults aged 18 to 64. Too little data exists for approval in adults over 65, the regulators concluded.

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Synaptic Pruning and New Neuron Maturation in the Adult Brain

07 April 2022

Researchers led by a group at the Institute of Brain Science, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Nagoya City University School of Medicine report that they have shed light on the mechanism that controls synaptic pruning of new neurons in the adult mouse brain.

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Novel Camouflaging System Improves Delivery of Therapeutic Bacteria in Mice

05 April 2022

Researchers from Columbia Engineering have developed a system that temporarily disguises therapeutic bacteria from the immune system and allows them to deliver drugs to tumors and kill cancer cells in mice.

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Ultra-Fast Methods Yield COVID-19 Antibodies

31 March 2022

In early December 2021, the FDA granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to AstraZeneca for a long-acting antibody combination that protects against COVID-19. A team of scientists led by James Crowe, MD, and Robert Carnahan, PhD, at the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center discovered the original highly potent antiviral antibodies that were the basis for the engineered long-acting antibodies.

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Microbiome Medicines Could Power Up Car-T Cell Therapies

29 March 2022

The microbiome could pave new cancer immunotherapy inroads for European biotechs, bolstered by preclinical findings that gut bacteria metabolites may help CAR-T cell therapies penetrate and kill solid tumours.

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Researchers Uncover Immune Environment of Rare Type of Melanoma

24 March 2022

Acral lentiginous melanoma is a rare type of skin cancer. It begins when the melanocytes in the skin grow out of control and form tumors. Little is known about the development of acral melanoma. However, a new study by Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute researchers reveals key differences in the cellular and molecular composition of acral melanoma compared to melanoma. Their findings may lead to new potential therapeutic targets.

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Malaria Parasite’s Survival Found to Be Tied to Two Key Proteins

22 March 2022

Researchers, led by an infectious disease expert at the University of California, Riverside, report the identification of two proteins that are key to Plasmodium falciparum’s survival. Scientist suggests these proteins—RAP01 and RAP21—could be potential targets for novel antimalarial and antiparasitic strategies.

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Novel Strategy against apoptosis-resistant tumors

17 March 2022

In a new mouse study, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have developed a novel strategy for overcoming treatment-resistant tumors. Their findings provide insights into apoptotic resistance mechanisms and a potential novel therapeutic strategy that may help overcome apoptotic resistance in tumors.

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Aging delayed in mice through longer-term partial reprogramming

15 March 2022

It is well known that adding a mixture of four reprogramming molecules (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc) also known as “Yamanaka factors” to cells can reset epigenetic marks to their original patterns. Partial reprogramming, by expression of reprogramming factors for short periods of time, restores a youthful epigenetic signature to aging cells and extends the life span of a premature aging mouse model. However, the effects of longer-term partial reprogramming in physiologically aging wild-type mice are unknown.

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Stem Cell Groups Found That Drive Myelodysplastic Syndromes

10 March 2022

Scientists from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center say that they discovered that treatment resistance in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is caused by two distinct classes of stem cells and identified possible therapeutic approaches that target these cells.

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Lipidomic Profiling Predicts Risk of Diabetes, CVD Decades Before Onset

08 March 2022

An international research team has demonstrated how the simultaneous measurement of dozens of types of fats in the blood can predict the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) years in the future. The investigators at Lipotype, Lund University, and Twincore Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research suggest that such early prediction through lipidomic profiling may provide the basis for recommending diet and lifestyle interventions before disease develops.

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Virus-Like Particles Used to Generate Potentially Longer-Lasting Cholera Vaccine

03 March 2022

An international research team including scientists at Michigan State University and Massachusetts General Hospital has developed a new type of cholera vaccine, consisting of polysaccharides displayed on virus-like particles. Tested in mice, the new vaccine was found to generate long-lasting antibody responses against the causative bacterium, Vibrio cholera.

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New Blood Biomarkers May Predict Response to Melanoma Immunotherapy

01 March 2022

Scientists at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, led by David R. Soto-Panjota, PhD, associate professor of surgery and cancer biology, say they have discovered blood biomarkers that can potentially predict patient response to immunotherapy for melanoma.

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Blood miRNA Changes in Soccer Players Could Represent Biomarkers of Brain Injury

24 February 2022

The results of what is claimed to be a first-of-its-kind study in professional soccer players indicate that repetitive headers and accidental head impacts lead to changes in blood patterns that are linked with specific brain signaling pathways. The international research team, headed by scientists at the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, identified microRNAs (miRNAs) that were specific to accidental head impact and repetitive headers in soccer, and which could potentially be useful as biomarkers of brain injury.

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Anxiety in Humans Is Related to Gut Microbe Metabolite

22 February 2022

In a study on mice, scientists at Caltech have identified genes in the gut microbiome that facilitate conversion of tyrosine, an amino acid found in diet, to a metabolite (4-ethylphenyl sulfate, 4EPS) that crosses the blood-brain barrier and decreases the maturation of myelin-forming oligodendrocytes in the brain, resulting in anxiety-like behavioral responses in rodents. In rescue experiments on mice, the authors also show, a drug that promotes myelin formation by oligodendrocytes prevents anxiety-like behaviors induced by 4EPS.

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CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing Reported in Ticks

17 February 2022

Despite their capacity to spread debilitating pathogens, research on ticks has lagged behind other arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes. This is, in large part, because of challenges in applying available genetic and molecular tools. For example, up until now, successful gene editing had not been reported in ticks. Now, a team at the University of Nevada reports the first successful CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in the black-legged tick. This milestone was made possible due to a novel embryo injection protocol developed by the researchers.

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Is an HIV cure possible? The future of HIV therapy

15 February 2022

HIV research has come a long way since the virus was discovered in the 1980s. Antiretroviral therapy was a major milestone that has changed the lives of millions; the goal now is to find an HIV cure.

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GSK Acne deal Heralds growing interest in skin microbiome

10 February 2022

This week, the Paris-based Eligo Bioscience became one of a growing number of biotechs to land a big pharma deal focused on the skin microbiome, receiving up to €185M from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as they explore a CRISPR-based treatment for acne.

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Researchers Uncover Link between Gut Microbiome and Inflammatory Diseases

08 February 2022

Numerous studies have linked the gut microbiota to inflammatory diseases. These studies have shown that immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), multiple sclerosis (MS), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), change the composition of the gut microbiota. Now, a team of researchers led by Éric Boilard, PhD, of Université Laval has uncovered that a protein naturally present in the gut acts on the microbiota and causes the formation of molecules that exacerbate the symptoms of these diseases.

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AI Could Help Detect Onset of Cardiovascular Disease

03 February 2022

Cardiovascular diseases are diagnosed using an array of laboratory tests and imaging studies. The primary part of diagnosis is medical and family histories of the patient, risk factors, physical examination, and coordination of these findings with the results from the tests and procedures. For the first time, researchers at the University of Utah (U of U) Health have demonstrated that artificial intelligence (AI) could help predict the onset and course of cardiovascular disease.

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Model Predicts Future SARS-CoV-2 Variants

01 February 2022

Predicting, and being able to prepare for, SARS-CoV-2 variants that will come in the future would be incredibly useful for public health preparedness. To do that, a team has built a new predictive model to allow scientists to attempt to forecast the appearance of potential new mutations in emerging and future variants SARS-CoV-2. The model, which provided accurate forecasts of mutations in the Delta variant, could give scientists and health agencies the means to both predict and manage the constant emergence of new variants of concern.

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Getting to the Root of Aging through Ribosomes

27 January 2022

Aging leads to a decline in cellular fitness and loss of optimal protein function. The mechanisms underlying how aging causes proteins to aggregate have not been fully understood. Using models of human aging, yeast and roundworms, researchers at Stanford University have traced this problem in aging to age-dependent impairment of the machinery that produces new proteins.

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New Gene Therapy May Treat Severe Form of Epilepsy

25 January 2022

Scientists from the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine describe in a study involving mouse models how a newly developed gene therapy can treat Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, and potentially prolong survival for people with the condition. The team published its paper (“Targeted Augmentation of Nuclear Gene Output (TANGO) of Scn1a rescues parvalbumin interneuron excitability and reduces seizures in a mouse model of Dravet Syndrome”) in Brain Research.

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Sanofi, Exscientia Expand in AI with Up-to-$5.2B Cancer, Immunology Alliance

20 January 2022

Exscientia and Sanofi agreed to collaborate to identify and select target projects by applying Exscientia’s personalized medicine platform. The platform is intended to enable a “patient-first” approach by integrating primary human tissue samples into early target and drug discovery research. Through that approach, Exscientia reasons, its researchers can integrate patient, disease, and clinically relevant data into decisions on potential new medicine candidates earlier in the process of drug creation.

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Down syndrome ages cells throwing neural nuclei into disarray

18 January 2022

It is common knowledge that Down syndrome—a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder with hallmark physical features and mild to moderate cognitive impairment—occurs when individuals have an extra copy of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21). One in 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. Despite being the most common chromosomal disorder, it is not clear how the presence of the extra chromosome triggers abnormalities in cells.

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Omicron neutralised by antibodies targeting spike’s conserved sites

13 January 2022

Antibodies have been identified that neutralize Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants. These antibodies target areas of the virus spike protein that remain essentially unchanged as the viruses mutate.

The new findings, from a study conducted by an international team of scientists, indicate that it might be possible to design vaccines and antibody treatments that will be effective against not only the Omicron variant, but other variants that may emerge in the future. The key will be to identify the targets of the “broadly neutralizing” antibodies on the spike protein.

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Researchers uncover link between bone marrow factors and heart disease

11 January 2022

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) recently studied aspects related to the production of white blood cells. Their findings may pave a way for new therapeutics and strategies to protect cardiovascular health.

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Ancient DNA reveals the world’s oldest family tree

06 January 2022

By analysing DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of 35 individuals entombed at Hazleton North long cairn in the Cotswolds-Severn region, the research team was able to detect that 27 of them were close biological relatives. The group lived approximately 5700 years ago — around 3700-3600 BC — around 100 years after farming had been introduced to Britain.

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Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill receives FDA authorisation

04 January 2022

Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment, Paxlovid, has received emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA. The drug, which can be taken orally in the form of a pill, is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients over 12. Eligible patients need to have a positive COVID-19 test and be at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. Paxlovid is available by prescription only and is recommended to be started as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.

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AI predicts which individuals will develop dementia within two years

30 December 2021

A large scale study involving data on more than 15,000 individuals has found that a form of artificial intelligence (AI) known as machine learning (ML)  can predict, with 92% accuracy, which individuals who attend memory clinics will go on to develop dementia within two years. The study, by scientists at the University of Exeter, also suggests that AI/machine learning can help to reduce the numbers of people who may have been falsely diagnosed with dementia.

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A possibility for fridge-free COVID-19 vaccines

28 December 2021

An early-stage company based in the U.K. claims to have stabilized SARS-CoV-2 RNA for two months at 45 degrees Celsius. The research, by Stablepharma, in collaboration with University Hospital La Paz in Madrid, Spain, potentially paves the way for thermostable mRNA vaccines. “It’s difficult to predict timelines,” says Özgür Tuncer, CEO, and executive director of Stablepharma. “But probably by 2022 we will be in a position to know if we can create a thermostable vaccine, and then it depends on a partnership [with a vaccine manufacturer].”

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Experimental mRNA HIV vaccine safe, shows promise in animals

23 December 2021

An experimental HIV vaccine based on mRNA — the same platform technology used in two highly effective COVID-19 vaccines — shows promise in mice and non-human primates, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Their results, published in Nature Medicine, show that the novel vaccine was safe and prompted desired antibody and cellular immune responses against an HIV-like virus. Rhesus macaques receiving a priming vaccine followed by multiple booster inoculations had a 79% lower per-exposure risk of infection by simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) compared to unvaccinated animals. The research was led by Paolo Lusso, M.D., Ph.D., of NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunoregulation, in collaboration with other NIAID scientists, investigators from Moderna, Inc. and colleagues at other institutions.

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New prime editing system inserts entire genes in human cells

21 December 2021

Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have developed a new version of prime editing that can install or swap out gene-sized DNA sequences. First developed in 2019, prime editing is a precise method of making a wide diversity of gene edits in human cells, including small substitutions, insertions, and deletions.

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“Xenobot” Living Robots Can Reproduce

16 December 2021

Biological robots made from frog cells can replicate by smooshing loose cells into new robots—a reproduction method not seen in any other organism.

Xenobots—living robots made from the stem cells of the African frog (Xenopus laevis)—had already impressed researchers by moving, healing themselves, and even spontaneously piling up debris that was strewn about. But when those small synthetic particles were replaced with loose stem cells, the little living bots did something remarkable: they brought those cells together, constructing new xenobots.

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Gene-editing used to create single sex mice litters

14 December 2021

Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, in collaboration with University of Kent, have used gene editing technology to create female-only and male-only mice litters with 100% efficiency.                This proof of principle study, published in Nature Communications today, demonstrates how the technology could be used to improve animal welfare in scientific research and perhaps also agriculture.

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AI and Large Bone Marrow Cell Data Set Help Identify Blood Disease

09 December 2021

Diagnosing blood disorders relies on a century-old method of using optical microscopes to analyze and classify samples of bone marrow cells. The method used to look for rare, but diagnostically important, cells is well-established, albeit laborious and time-consuming. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve this method. However, training an AI algorithm requires a large amount of high-quality data. Now a team has used a data set of more than 170,000 microscopic images to train neural networks to identify bone marrow cells with high accuracy.

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Tardigrade Malware Targets Biomanufacturing Operations

07 December 2021

The non-profit Bioeconomy ​​Information Sharing and Analysis Center (BIO-ISAC) released a disturbing advisory yesterday regarding an advanced, actively spreading persistent threat (APT) to bio-drug and vaccine manufacturers with a type of Windows malware it calls Tardigrade. It can evolve to avoid detection while taking over computer systems to steal and modify files. Some analysts have compared it to another malware program, Smoke Loader, which has been around for about ten years.

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Researchers devise new approach for studying prostate cancer

02 December 2021

Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have developed a new way to study the life history of prostate cancer in mice. Their method allows scientists to study the behavior and properties of prostate cancer, for the first time, in a setting that accurately mimics the disease in real life. Their findings are published in the journal Cell Reports in a paper titled, “Combined whole-organ imaging at single-cell resolution and immunohistochemical analysis of prostate cancer and its liver and brain metastases.” The study was led by associate professor Pavel Osten, MD, PhD, professor Lloyd Trotman, PhD, and Julian Taranda, PhD, a former postdoc in the Osten lab.

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New design may boost potency of monoclonal antibodies against COVID

30 November 2021

Monoclonal antibody drugs are among the few treatments available for COVID, providing a lifeline for those at high risk of severe illness and hospitalization. However, the usefulness of these drugs is limited because they are effective only when they can be administered early in the disease process.

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AstraZeneca wields ax scrapping midphase programs from $1B takeover

25 November 2021

AstraZeneca has completed a clearout (PDF) of its midphase pipeline, dumping a clutch of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease drugs it picked up in deals including its $1 billion takeover of Ardea Biosciences.

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Scientists discover mechanistic link between palm oil acid and cancer

23 November 2021

A new study headed by researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) has uncovered how palmitic acid (PA)—a fatty acid commonly found in palm oil—alters the cancer genome, increasing the likelihood that cancer will spread. Other types of fatty acid, including the omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids found in foods such as olive oil and flax seeds, didn’t have this prometastatic effect. The scientists, headed by Salvador Aznar-Benitah, PhD, ICREA researcher and head of the IRB Stem Cells and Cancer lab, say that while much more research is needed, their results suggest that a diet low that is in palmitic acid could feasibly be effective in slowing down the metastatic process. Aznar-Benitah is co-founder of a company that is developing antibody therapies targeting the underlying process, projects that a clinical trial could start within the next couple of years.

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EQT doubles down on healthcare with Life Sciences Partners buyout

18 November 2021

The ink in EQT ’s checkbook is still not quite dry from the $8.5 billion it and Goldman Sachs spent on CRO Parexel back in March, but it will need a fresh page as it snaps up a major European healthcare venture capital firm.

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Biopharma demands create an innovation ecosystem

16 November 2021

Modern drug development, production, and supply is rarely a solo effort. Most companies outsource at least part of the process to a third party. Some smaller “virtual” firms rely on partners for everything from discovery through distribution. Increasingly, this collaborative approach is resulting in the formation of innovation ecosystem (IE), says Alberto Bettanti, MD, PhD, professor, department of mechanical, energy, logistics engineering, and engineering management (DIME), University of Genoa, Italy.

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Researchers predict kidney cancer’s response to immunotherapy

11 November 2021

Treatment for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) often includes immunotherapy. However, it does not always work and there is no way to predict whether it will be effective for a patient. Now, researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and UCL have found immune cell patterns within tumors that can help predict if patients with kidney cancer will respond to immunotherapy.

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A COVID-19 vaccine delivered with a patch rivals traditional shots in mice

09 November 2021

Could delivering COVID-19 vaccines via a skin patch make it easier to inoculate people in low- and middle-income countries? Australian researchers believe it might, and they’ve developed a vaccine patch that’s showing promise in preclinical studies.

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Egle Therapeutics nabs $46M into the clinic with next-gen Tregs platform

04 November 2021

After launching last year and swiftly grabbing a Takeda deal, European Treg biotech Egle Therapeutics has bulked up its coffers with a 40 million euro ($46.4 million) funding round.

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Stress-induced molecular globs boost bacterial fitness

02 November 2021

When two distinct proteins emerge from what was once a mixed solution—such as when oil and vinegar separate in a salad dressing—physicists call the process liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). Condiments aside, this phase separation also happens on the microscopic scale, inside cells, where it concentrates biomolecules and facilitates their reactions. While there are several examples of LLPS in eukaryotic cells, the process has been less extensively studied in bacteria because of their tiny size. Consequently, questions remain as to when, how and why LLPS occurs in prokaryotes.

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Delivering antibody therapy to breast cancer metastases in the brain

28 October 2021

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) impedes drug delivery to the brain, limiting the effectiveness of central nervous system (CNS) therapeutics. MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a noninvasive technology that has shown promise in delivering drugs across a temporarily permeable BBB, but has not been proven in humans. Now, in a first-in-world clinical trial, researchers have demonstrated that MRgFUS can be used to safely deliver antibody therapy to breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain.

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Side effects lead Pfizer to narrow Duchenne gene therapy trial

26 October 2021

The push to bring gene therapy to Duchenne is entering its final stages, with a trio of companies developing prospective treatments that are either in Phase 3 testing or could be in the near future.

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Alzheimer’s risk gene paradoxically protects against memory loss

21 October 2021

A genetic variant previously associated with a dramatic increase in Alzheimer’s risk may protect against age- and disease-related cognitive decline, a study published in Nature Aging this week (October 7) finds.

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Single-cell analysis identifies somatic genetic rescue in pediatric blood disorder

19 October 2021

Single-cell DNA analysis has identified a “battle of clones” in pediatric myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients whose cells may self-correct. The international collaboration led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which involved academics from dozens of institutions through the European Working Group of MDS in Childhood, used single-cell DNA analysis to explore the phenomenon of somatic genetic rescue (SGR) in pediatric patients with MDS.

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clinical trials

Disrupted clinical trials due to slow recruitment continue to rise

14 October 2021

Since early last March, around 1,000 organisations supporting clinical trials as a sponsor, collaborator or contract research organisation (CRO) have announced disruptions to planned and ongoing clinical trials. Companies have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn them completely, have suspended enrolment in ongoing trials, or have terminated these trials. GlobalData tracks these disrupted trials and organisations, along with trials that have resumed activity since disruption.

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J&J’s RSV vaccine offers 80% efficacy against severe illness in a race crowded by big pharmas

12 October 2021

After years in development, the floodgates for RSV vaccines may open up soon, with more and more Big Pharmas piling on data. Now, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen is adding to the fray, announcing efficacy as high as 80% in preventing severe infections in a mid-stage clinical trial.

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Kids suffer serious adverse reactions in AGTC gene therapy trial

07 October 2021

Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation has run into safety problems after escalating the dose in its pediatric gene therapy trial. Sixty percent of subjects in the small high-dose cohort suffered suspected unexpected serious adverse reactions (SUSARs) after being treated for a rare eye disease.

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Researchers reveal a new role for ERα in breast cancer

05 October 2021

Estrogens have been recognized as being important for promoting the growth of a large proportion of breast cancers. Over half of all breast cancers overexpress estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and around 70% of these respond to anti-estrogen therapy. However, there are some ERα-positive tumors that do not respond to therapy and eventually become resistant. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), have gained insight into how they may be doing this.

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Plants as mRNA factories for edible vaccines

30 September 2021

University of California-Riverside (UCR) researchers say they are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccines factories.

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Engineered ‘mini’ CRISPR genome editing system developed

28 September 2021

The common analogy for CRISPR genome editing is that it works like molecular scissors, cutting out select sections of DNA. Stanley Qi, assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, likes that analogy, but he thinks it’s time to reimagine CRISPR as a Swiss Army knife.

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How a plant virus could protect and save your lungs from metastatic cancer

23 September 2021

Using a virus that grows in black-eyed pea plants, nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego developed a new treatment that could keep metastatic cancers at bay from the lungs. The treatment not only slowed tumor growth in the lungs of mice with either metastatic breast cancer or melanoma, it also prevented or drastically minimized the spread of these cancers to the lungs of healthy mice that were challenged with the disease.

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Roche and Temedica pilot digital companion for MS patients

21 September 2021

Germany’s Temedica and Swiss pharma giant Roche have teamed up to develop a new mobile app companion for multiple sclerosis patients. The device is designed to deepen understanding of the disease based on real-world data gained from MS patients.

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As gene therapy safety faces scrutiny, Broad Institute proposes a safer and more efficient delivery tool

16 September 2021

Recent clinical holds of several studies and an FDA advisory committee meeting has put the safety of gene therapy under the spotlight. To increase the efficacy of gene therapy and reduce the risk of side effects like liver toxicity, scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Harvard University have developed a new group of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) as delivery vehicles.

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Pfizer and BioNTech submit a variation to EMA with the data in support of a booster dose of COMIRNATY®

14 September 2021

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced that they submitted a variation to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) requesting to update the Conditional Marketing Authorization (CMA) with data supporting a booster (third) dose of COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA) to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The same data had been submitted to the FDA and will be filed with other regulatory authorities in the upcoming weeks.

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How stem cells are shaping drug discovery

09 September 2021

Stem cell biology is a rapidly advancing field of research, that has contributed to a substantially diverse array of scientific disciplines, ranging from developmental biology through to regenerative medicine. In recent years, one of the most promising applications for stem cell biology has been in drug discovery. Stem cells are increasingly being used in new and innovative ways to improve the drug discovery process – spanning academia, biotech start-ups and large pharmaceutical companies.

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Illuminating the growth of new tissue

07 September 2021

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It makes up a third of protein content and single strands assemble to form stable fibres that give structure to connective tissue such as skin, tendons, cartilage and bones. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a multi-component molecule that interacts with collagen and can be used to illuminate new tissue growth in the body.

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Major trends shaping the microbiome therapeutics market

02 September 2021

As the microbiome therapeutics market continues to draw interest from both industry and consumers, it is evolving in new directions. Four major trends in the market have been identified, and they will be explored in this article. These include: 1) an expansion of microbiome therapeutics beyond the digestive system, 2) an increase in consumer awareness, 3) a rise in interest from Big Pharma, and 4) an intensification of basic research and clinical development.

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Mechanism explaining obesity paradox uncovered

31 August 2021

Understanding how the body responds to excess weight and body fat is essential for combating the numerous ill effects of obesity. With that in mind, a team of researchers led by investigators at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) set out to try and explain the “obesity paradox,” a phenomenon in which obese individuals have better short- and medium-term cardiovascular disease prognoses compared with those who are lean, but with ultimately worse long-term outcomes.

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Histamine could be a key player in depression

26 August 2021

The findings, from researchers at Imperial College London and University of South Carolina, add to mounting evidence that inflammation, and the accompanying release of the molecule histamine, affects a key molecule responsible for mood in the brain — serotonin. If replicated in humans, the findings — which identify histamine as a ‘new molecule of interest’ in depression — could open new avenues for treating depression, which is the most common mental health problem worldwide.

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Therapeutic target for inflammation and neuropathic pain

24 August 2021

Molecular signatures of infection and injury trigger the body’s primary defense: inflammation. These molecular signatures also stimulate a class of sensory neurons called nociceptors that sense pain. When activated, nociceptors release neuropeptides into infected or injured tissue, producing neurogenic inflammation.

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Targeting aggressive breast cancer

19 August 2021

One of the hardest cancers to treat are tumors in the breast that do not express receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor, dubbed triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs). Nearly 15% of all breast cancers diagnosed are TNBC. Resistant to conventional chemotherapy, TNBC is closely associated with relapse progression to stage 4 of the disease where the tumor metastasizes.

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Novel approach against severe sepsis

17 August 2021

Bacterial sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its tissues and organs. Sepsis is caused by conditions that threaten the functional integrity of the host such as microbial invasion. Among the most common causes of such a sepsis are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) that have developed resistance to many common antibiotics. Now, a team of researchers report they have devised a new strategy against sepsis.

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animal testing

Could stem cells replace animal testing in drug development?

12 August 2021

Animal testing is a crucial part of developing new medicines, but it comes with ethical concerns. Stem cells could eventually make it unnecessary.

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New optogenetic tool for understanding epileptic seizures

10 August 2021

The discovery of natural and engineered light-sensitive proteins has developed a versatile and easy-to-use method in neuroscience called optogenetics that uses a light stimulus to precisely regulate neural activity in time and space, and has had an immense impact on understanding neural networks, neuronal function, and signaling pathways.

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New potential to improve immune cell therapies

05 August 2021

Research in mice, published today in Science Immunology by researchers at the Babraham Institute, UK and VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium, provides two solutions with potential to overcome a key clinical limitation of immune cell therapies. Regulatory T cells have potential in treating autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases yet they can switch from a protective to damaging function. By identifying the unstable regulatory T cells, and understanding how they can be purged from a cell population, the authors highlight a path forward for regulatory T cell transfer therapy.

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Protein markers found related to most common type of leukemia

03 August 2021

An international team of researchers published an article (“Identification of altered cell signaling pathways using proteomic profiling in stable and progressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia”) in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology that reportedly reveals that certain protein markers may indicate which patients have stable forms of CLL and which have more aggressive types.

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Biomarkers identified can predict HIV status

29 July 2021

Research led by the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia has identified blood biomarkers that can predict if a patient with HIV will go into remission or not after antiretroviral therapy is stopped. The quality of treatment for HIV is now so good that many infected individuals live a long life, but still need to take antiretroviral therapy on a regular basis.

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What’s next for gene therapy? Five trends to watch

27 July 2021

The field of gene therapy is at a pivotal moment. With a recent explosion of clinical activity, it is well-poised for further growth — but there are also existing challenges it will need to overcome. As the industry continues to evolve, here are five key trends Novartis Gene Therapies believes will be critical to watch.

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Microbiome bacteria in cow’s stomach can break down man-made plastics

22 July 2021

Plastic is notoriously hard to break down, but a study by researchers in Austria has shown that bacteria from a cow’s rumen—one of the four compartments of its stomach—can digest certain types of man-made polyester plastics, including poly(ethylene terephthalate), or PET. The scientists, headed by a team at the University of Vienna, had suspected that bacteria in the cow’s digestive system might be useful for PET degradation, given that the animals’ diets already contain natural plant polyesters.

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Researchers discover better way to identify DNA variants

20 July 2021

USC researchers have achieved a better way to identify elusive DNA variants responsible for genetic changes affecting cell functions and diseases.

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Transforming food waste into bioenergy

15 July 2021

Food waste is one of the many environmental problems caused by modern agriculture. Biotechnology innovations may help us tackle it by turning waste into energy.

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pancreatic cancer

Mouse study reveals new therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer

13 July 2021

The general five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is 10%. Survival rates and individual outcomes are based on many factors, including the specific stage of disease when it is diagnosed. Cancer cells can quickly become resistant to treatments through adaptation.

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Fruit fly study questions traditional genes linked to aging

08 July 2021

Aging is a part of everyone’s life. It is characterized by a complex and intraindividual process associated with nine major cellular and molecular hallmarks, namely, genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, a loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication.

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gene editing

Intellia reveals first-in-human CRISPR gene editing results

06 July 2021

All medical breakthroughs have to start somewhere, and Intellia Therapeutics is ready to show the world the first-in-human gene editing data that could be the start of a watershed moment in advancements for genetic diseases.

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Boosting chemotherapy by blocking protein in DNA repair

01 July 2021

Chemotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. Unlike radiation or surgery, which target specific areas, chemotherapy can work throughout the body.

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Researchers uncover how the gut microbiome impacts stroke severity

29 June 2021

Anyone can have a stroke at any age, but there are certain factors that increase the chances of having one. Now, new research from Cleveland Clinic demonstrates for the first time that the gut microbiome plays a role in stroke severity and functional impairment following stroke.

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kidney disease

Farxiga’s approval fuels chronic kidney disease comeback

24 June 2021

Until this year, there were no effective treatments for chronic kidney disease. However, the recent approval of AstraZeneca’s Farxiga alongside clinical breakthroughs and advances in precision medicine are causing the field to resurge.

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Brain epigenetics study provides new insights on dementia

22 June 2021

An international team of scientists led by the University of Exeter reports that it has unveiled new insights into how genes are regulated in dementia, including the discovery of 84 new genes linked to the disease.

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DNA-based material with tunable properties

17 June 2021

While DNA is often idealised as the “molecule of life,” it is also a highly sophisticated polymer that can be used for next-generation materials. Beyond the fact that it can store information, further fascinating aspects of DNA are its geometric and topological properties, such as knotting and super-coiling. Indeed, very much like a twisted telephone cord, DNA is often found coiled up inside bacteria and other cells and even knotted in viruses. Now, a collaboration of scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh, San Diego and Vienna have started to harness these properties to craft “topologically tunable” DNA-based complex fluids and soft materials with potential applications in drug delivery and tissue regeneration as published in Science Advances.

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Pain-killing molecule developed with enhanced pharmaco properties

15 June 2021

Researchers from the immuno-pharmacology and interactomics group at the department of infection and immunity of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), in collaboration with the Center for Drug Discovery at RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute, report that they have demonstrated that conolidine, a natural painkiller derived from the pinwheel flower and traditionally used in Chinese medicine, interacts with the newly identified opioid receptor ACKR3/CXCR7 that regulates opioid peptides naturally produced in the brain. The investigators also developed a synthetic analog of conolidine, RTI-5152-12, which displays greater activity on the receptor.

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EQRx readies a lower-cost alternative to pricey cancer immunotherapies

10 June 2021

Checkpoint inhibitors helped change the standard of care for a number of tumor types over the past decade. And in the process, they’ve become a very big business for drugmakers. Keytruda alone generated $14.4 billion in 2020, making it one of the world’s best-selling medicines. Similar drugs from Bristol Myers Squibb, Roche and AstraZeneca also make billions of dollars every year. EQRx, which partnered with China’s CStone last year to develop the drug, was formed with the unusual goal of developing lower-cost alternatives to branded medicines.

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From harmless skin bacteria to dreaded pathogens

08 June 2021

The bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidisis primarily a harmless microbe found on the skin and in the noses of humans. Yet some strains of this species can cause infections — in catheters, artificial joints, heart valves, and in the bloodstream — which are difficult to treat. These bacteria are often resistant to a particularly effective antibiotic, methicillin, and are among the most feared germs in hospitals. How these usually harmless skin microbes become deadly pathogens has been unclear up to now.

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Cholesterol levels sustainably lowered using base editing

03 June 2021

Base editing is a novel gene editing approach that can precisely change individual building blocks in a DNA sequence. By installing such a point mutation in a specific gene, an international research team led by the University of Zurich has succeeded in sustainably lowering high LDL cholesterol levels in the blood of mice and macaques. This opens up the possibility of curing patients with inherited metabolic liver diseases.

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Pfizer, BioNTech to send EU up to 1.8B coronavirus vaccine doses

01 June 2021

The deal envisions an ongoing need for vaccination as coronavirus infections continues to spread rapidly in parts of the world. People in the future may need annual shots to protect against COVID-19 as well as the flu, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in the companies’ release. All told, Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to be able to produce at least 2.5 billion doses of the vaccine this year and may be able to reach a 3 billion-a-year pace. Rival Moderna expects to boost its production to 3 billion doses next year.

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Efficiently smuggling drugs into cells

27 May 2021

A new patented method called Progressive Mechanoporation makes it possible to mechanically disrupt the membranes of cells for a short time period and let drugs or genes inside cells. In this way, researchers can test new therapies more easily than before.

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Scientists design new drug compound to stop malaria in its tracks

25 May 2021

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis have designed a drug-like compound which effectively blocks a critical step in the malaria parasite life cycle and are working to develop this compound into a potential first of its kind malaria treatment.

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Tracking down the tiniest of forces: How T-cells detect invaders

20 May 2021

T-cells play a central role in our immune system: by means of their so-called T-cell receptors (TCR) they make out dangerous invaders or cancer cells in the body and then trigger an immune reaction. On a molecular level, this recognition process is still not sufficiently understood.

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Bacterial DNA can be read either forwards or backwards

18 May 2021

Bacteria contain symmetry in their DNA signals that enable them to be read either forwards or backwards, according to new findings at the University of Birmingham which challenge existing knowledge about gene transcription.

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Switching to light

13 May 2021

Much as yeast serves in bakeries as single-celled helper, the bacterium Escherischia coli is a must in every biotechnology lab. A team led by Prof. Dr. Barbara Di Ventura, professor of biological signaling research at the University of Freiburg, has developed a new so-called optogenetic tool that simplifies a standard method in biotechnology:

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Brain cells

Scientists reveal how brain cells in Alzheimer’s go awry, lose their identity

11 May 2021

Despite the prevalence of Alzheimer’s, there are still no treatments, in part because it has been challenging to study how the disease develops. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered new insights into what goes awry during Alzheimer’s by growing neurons that resemble — more accurately than ever before — brain cells in older patients. And like patients themselves, the afflicted neurons appear to lose their cellular identity.

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Lab study solves textbook problem: How cells know their size

06 May 2021

Scientists have searched for years to understand how cells measure their size. Cell size is critical. It’s what regulates cell division in a growing organism. When the microscopic structures double in size, they divide. One cell turns into two. Two cells turn into four. The process repeats until an organism has enough cells. And then it stops. Or at least it is supposed to.

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First human-monkey embryos created: A small step toward a huge ethical problem

04 May 2021

Scientists have created the world’s first monkey embryos containing human cells in an attempt to investigate how the two types of cell develop alongside each other. The embryos, which were derived from a macaque and then injected with human stem cells in the lab, were allowed to grow for 20 days before being destroyed.

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Genetic predisposition to schizophrenia may increase risk of psychosis from cannabis use

29 April 2021

It has been long been known that cannabis users develop psychosis more often than non-users, but what is still not fully clear is whether cannabis actually causes psychosis and, if so, who is most at risk. A new study published in Translational Psychiatry by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and King’s College London helps shed light on both questions. The research shows that while cannabis users had higher rates of psychotic experiences than non-users across the board, the difference was especially pronounced among those with high genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

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New ‘time machine’ technique to measure cells

27 April 2021

Using a new single-cell technique, WEHI researchers have uncovered a way to understand the programming behind how stem cells make particular cell types. The research uncovered 30 new genes that program stem cells to make the dendritic cells that kick-start the immune response. By uncovering this process, the researchers hope they will be able to find new immunotherapy treatments for cancer, and plan to expand this technique in other areas such as discovering new drug targets in tumour initiation.

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Simple genetic modification aims to stop mosquitoes spreading malaria

22 April 2021

Altering a mosquito’s gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species shows promise as an approach to curb malaria, suggests a preliminary study published today in Life.

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Energy transmission by gold nanoparticles coupled to DNA structures

20 April 2021

Using DNA structures as scaffolds, Tim Liedl, a scientist of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich, has shown that precisely positioned gold nanoparticles can serve as efficient energy transmitters.

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Mass General team uncovers 13 new Alzheimer’s gene variants

15 April 2021

Massachusetts General Hospital’s Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., is well known in the Alzheimer’s field for co-discovering genes that, when mutated, cause early-onset disease. Now, his lab is announcing the discovery of 13 additional gene variants that are associated with the brain disorder—and that may inspire new therapies.

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University team uses AI to decode asbestos-linked cancer

13 April 2021

Researchers at the University of Leicester have used artificial intelligence (AI) to gain new insights into mesothelioma, a cancer caused by breathing asbestos particles that typically occurs in the linings of the lungs or abdomen.

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How humans develop larger brains than other apes

08 April 2021

A new study is the first to identify how human brains grow much larger, with three times as many neurons, compared with chimpanzee and gorilla brains. The study, led by researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, identified a key molecular switch that can make ape brain organoids grow more like human organoids, and vice versa.

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Promising diagnostic for head, neck and anogenital cancers attracts €2m investment

06 April 2021

Existing investors in biotech innovator Abviris Deutschland are injecting €2 million to speed up expansion. The move comes after the publication of promising results for its immunoassay biomarker as an aid in the early diagnosis of head, neck and anogenital cancers caused by human papilloma viruses (HPV).

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Scientists uncover the underlying genetics that make flies champion fliers

01 April 2021

Flies have developed excellent flying skills thanks to a set of complicated interactions between numerous genes influencing wing shape, muscle function, and nervous system development, as well as the regulation of gene expression during development. Adam Spierer and David Rand in collaboration with colleagues at Brown University identified these interactions, which they report March 18th in the journal PLOS Genetics.

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Bacteria may aid anti-cancer immune response

30 March 2021

Cancer immunotherapy may get a boost from an unexpected direction: bacteria residing within tumor cells. In a new study published in Nature, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science and their collaborators have discovered that the immune system “sees” these bacteria and shown they can be harnessed to provoke an immune reaction against the tumor. The study may also help clarify the connection between immunotherapy and the gut microbiome, explaining the findings of previous research that the microbiome affects the success of immunotherapy.

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How protein essential for male fertility emerged

25 March 2021

Researchers have analysed, at unprecedented breadth and depth, the evolutionary history of how a protein — which is essential for the fertility of male fruit flies and emerged from previously non-coding DNA became functional and took on a relatively stable structure.

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Placenta is a dumping ground for genetic defects

23 March 2021

In the first study of the genomic architecture of the human placenta, scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Cambridge and their collaborators have confirmed that the normal structure of the placenta is different to any other human organ and resembles that of a tumour, harbouring many of the same genetic mutations found in childhood cancers.

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Mosquito protein study could lead to therapeutics against deadly viruses

18 March 2021

The mosquito protein AEG12 strongly inhibits the family of viruses that cause yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Zika and weakly inhibits coronaviruses, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators.

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How are european biotechs tackling the cardiovascular disease problem?

16 March 2021

Cardiovascular diseases may not regularly grab the headlines, but they’re the leading cause of mortality globally, making up over 30% of all deaths worldwide. While there are many established treatments on the market, there’s still a need for more effective treatments – can biotech companies provide the answer?

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Common bacteria modified to make designer sugar-based drug

11 March 2021

Envisioning an animal-free drug supply, scientists have—for the first time—reprogrammed a common bacterium to make a designer polysaccharide molecule used in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.

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Researchers engineer E. coli for animal-free drug manufacturing

09 March 2021

Chondroitin sulfate is an important structural component of cartilage and is naturally found in connective tissues in the human body and in animal cartilage. It is part of a protein molecule that helps give cartilage its elastic properties and is thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help reduce swelling in the joints.

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Essential mechanisms identified for proper skin development

04 March 2021

An international research team reports that it has found that Polycomb complexes are essential for proper skin development. This latest discovery could improve development of future stem cell therapies to generate “skin on a dish” to transplant into burn victims and patients with skin-blistering disorders, according to the scientists, who published their study “Polycomb complexes redundantly maintain epidermal stem cell identity during development” in Genes & Development.

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Cancer-focused biotech turns its tools to building a 2nd-generation coronavirus vaccine

02 March 2021

With nearly 100 million cases now reported worldwide, SARS-CoV-2 threatens to become an endemic virus in humans even after newly authorized coronavirus vaccine curb its rampant spread. Little is known about how long the shots developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna can protect people from COVID-19 or whether they will continue to be effective as coronavirus mutations gather over time.

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Zebrafish reveal regenerative protein that could inspire new treatments for muscle-wasting diseases and ageing

25 February 2021

Scientists in the field of regenerative medicine have long been interested in using muscle stem cells to repair injuries, but growing the cells in the lab has proven to be challenging. Now, a team of Australian researchers is suggesting an alternative: a naturally occurring protein that regenerates muscle.

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Promising drug for treating obesity cuts body weight 20%

23 February 2021

One-third (35%) of people who took a new drug for treating obesity lost more than one-fifth (greater than or equal to 20%) of their total body weight, according to a major global study involving UCL researchers.

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New method developed for ‘up-sizing’ mini organs

18 February 2021

A team of engineers and scientists has developed a method of ‘multiplying’ organoids: miniature collections of cells that mimic the behaviour of various organs and are promising tools for the study of human biology and disease.

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Gene therapy for hemophilia: So close, yet so far away

16 February 2021

After decades of research, a gene therapy for hemophilia appeared within reach last year. Steady progress in clinical testing had brought two promising treatments close to the finish line. One, for the most common form of the inherited blood disease, hemophilia A, was under regulatory review in the U.S. Another for the rarer hemophilia B form was close behind in the last leg of a late-stage study.

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Biopharma looks to The Netherlands as European hub

11 February 2021

The recent move of the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam is a reflection of the city’s vibrant life sciences and health sector and supporting industries.

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Plant genome editing expanded with newly engineered variant of CRISPR-Cas9

09 February 2021

Scientists have created a newly engineered variant of the famed gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. SpRY removes the barriers of what can and can’t be targeted for gene editing, making it possible for the first time to target nearly any genomic sequence in plants for potential mutation.

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Eye stem cell transplant to treat blindness bolsters retinal function in monkeys

04 February 2021

Retinal cell transplants are considered to be an attractive approach for treating blindness. Question is, where do you source the cells?

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GSK acne deal heralds growing interest in skin microbiome

02 February 2021

This week, the Paris-based Eligo Bioscience became one of a growing number of biotechs to land a big pharma deal focused on the skin microbiome, receiving up to €185M from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as they explore a CRISPR-based treatment for acne.

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Designer cytokine makes paralyzed mice walk again

28 January 2021

To date, paralysis resulting from spinal cord damage has been irreparable. With a new therapeutic approach, scientists have succeeded for the first time in getting paralyzed mice to walk again.

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Researchers develop DNA test for COVID-19’s secondary, hospital-acquired infections

26 January 2021

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a DNA test to help spot dangerous secondary infections that may develop during COVID-19 treatment—such as cases of pneumonia associated with ventilator equipment provided during intensive care.

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BioNTech CEO applies COVID-19 vaccine’s mRNA tech to multiple sclerosis

21 January 2021

The new vaccine technology mRNA is making waves these days as COVID-19 shots based on it deliver efficacy that’s unrivaled by other platforms. One of the successful shots, Comirnaty (BNT162b2),

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New RNA-based tool can illuminate brain circuits, edit specific cells

Intelligence deficit: Conclusion from the mouse to the human being

19 January 2021

Impaired intelligence, movement disorders, and developmental delays are typical for a group of rare diseases that belong to GPI anchor deficiencies. Researchers from the University of Bonn and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics used

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2021 forecast: COVID-19 brings infectious disease R&D out of the wilderness

14 January 2021

Infectious disease was a long way down the list of the hottest areas of biopharma R&D going into 2020.

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DNA functions

Switching DNA functions on and off by means of light

12 January 2021

Biochemists have developed a new strategy for controlling the biological functions of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) by means of light and therefore provide a tool to investigate processes which take place in cells.

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Study offers new clues to the pathogenesis of glaucoma

07 January 2021

In the search for new ways to treat the incurable eye disease glaucoma, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and St. Erik Eye Hospital in Sweden have discovered more clues as to its pathogenesis.

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Genes could be key to new Covid-19 treatments, study finds

05 January 2021

Genetic evidence is second only to clinical trials as a way to tell which treatments will be effective in a disease. Existing drugs that target the actions of the genes reveal which drugs should be repurposed to treat Covid-19 in clinical trials, experts say.

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Reliable COVID-19 test could reduce virus spread

30 December 2020

Results of a unique test developed by a world-renowned expert, which targets three viral genes to increase reliability and could cut COVID-19 detection time to 20 minutes, have been peer reviewed and published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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MinervaX raises $57M for Group B streptococcus (GBS) vaccine race with Pfizer

28 December 2020

Despite decades of research, there is still no effective vaccine against Group B streptococcus (GBS), a leading cause of infant mortality worldwide. But MinervaX thinks it’s on course to change that, and now it has the cash it needs to push its candidate into pivotal trials.

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Data-driven discovery of biomarkers pave way for improved diagnosis of contact allergy

22 December 2020

With the help of algorithms, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified markers that can differentiate between irritant eczema and contact allergy, two skin reactions that look similar but require different treatment.

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Remix Therapeutics

Remix Therapeutics debuts with $81M to ‘reprogram’ disease-causing RNA

17 December 2020

Drugs normally target problematic proteins, but Peter Smith, Ph.D., believes his team at Remix Therapeutics can disrupt the process of a protein’s creation before it starts causing disease.

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Scientists design model to predict cellular drug targets against COVID-19

15 December 2020

A computational model of a human lung cell has been used to understand how SARS-CoV-2 draws on human host cell metabolism to reproduce by researchers at the University of Warwick.

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SARS-CoV-2 May Enter the Brain through the Nose

11 December 2020

More than one-third of people with COVID-19 patients report neurological symptoms such as loss of smell and taste, headache, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting in addition to acute cerebrovascular disease and impaired consciousness.

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Biotech Kinaset Therapeutics debuts with $40M for pan-JAK asthma med

09 December 2020

There is a host of treatments for people with asthma, from inhaled and oral corticosteroids to newer injected biologics. But these drugs don’t work for everyone,

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Existing UV light technology has potential to reduce Covid-19 transmission indoors

07 December 2020

The research, published in the journal PeerJ, found that upper room UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which can be transmitted by aerosolised droplets that float in the air.

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From the inside out: How the brain forms sensory memories

04 December 2020

The brain encodes information collected by our senses. However, to perceive our environment and to constructively interact with it,

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Polyphor snags $3.3M from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for inhaled antibiotic

02 December 2020

Polyphor picked up a $3.3 million award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to develop an inhaled antibiotic for lung infections that are often deadly in people with cystic fibrosis.

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Black Diamond’s EFGR-targeted glioblastoma drug candidate slows tumor growth in mice

30 November 2020

Black Diamond Therapeutics was launched in 2018 with a goal of pursuing targeted cancer treatments from an entirely new angle.

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Existing antidepressant helps to inhibit growth of cancer cells in lab animals

27 November 2020

New research has shown that the antidepressant sertraline helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The substance acts on a metabolic addiction that allows different types of cancer to grow.

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Microsoft, Illumina, Twist ally to make big data small by weaving it into DNA archives

25 November 2020

Genetic code has served as the basis of the human story for millennia. Now, a group of tech and medtech companies aims to spin digital data into DNA itself to archive information in the arrangement of its molecules.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis patients

Queen Mary partner with healthtech startup Living With to help Rheumatoid Arthritis patients

23 November 2020

The project will develop an AI driven product to help clinicians optimise treatment of RA patients based on health data they have submitted via Living With’s remote monitoring app.

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AstraZeneca targets severe COVID-19 patients for antibody therapy despite Regeneron, Lilly setbacks

20 November 2020

AstraZeneca has talked up the prospects of its anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody working in severe COVID-19 patients despite rival assets from Eli Lilly and Regeneron failing in that population.

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CRISPR, Vertex show CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing therapy works in more patients

18 November 2020

CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex have presented updated data on their CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing therapy in sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, showing patients continue to benefit from the drug.

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Persistent and extensive lung damage seen in COVID-19 patients

16 November 2020

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, some people who recover from the infection have reported persistent symptoms surrounding the lungs, such as difficulty breathing.

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breast cancer

How understanding breast cancer heterogeneity could point to new drug targets

13 November 2020

Breast cancer is often plagued by heterogeneity, meaning a single tumor can contain vastly different cell populations

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Bayer’s AskBio acquisition strong statement for gene therapy in Europe

11 November 2020

This week, German big pharma Bayer announced a €3.5B takeover of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, a well known US gene therapy specialist. This is only one of many examples of the funding windfall experienced by the gene therapy field in 2020.

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European cancer deals increasingly focus on natural killer cells

09 November 2020

In the past few months, we’ve seen major fundraises and partnerships from European biotechs that develop cancer cell therapies

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Ultragenyx dives into Duchenne with $40M Solid Bio deal

06 November 2020

Solid Biosciences has had a roller coaster couple of years, with its gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy enduring multiple FDA holds due to safety concerns and manufacturing issues. Now, the biotech is getting a hand with its Duchenne work through a partnership with Ultragenyx worth $40 million upfront but could net it another $255 million in milestone payments.

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Newly discovered immune cell offers path to treating ALS, MS and other brain diseases

04 November 2020

Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cause damage to nerve fibers that can’t be reversed. Now, scientists at Ohio State University and the University of Michigan have discovered an immune cell they believe could be harnessed to partially reverse this damage and slow MS, ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.

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Top 10 companies combining AI and drug discovery in Europe

02 November 2020

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence over the last decade have the potential to revolutionize how drugs are developed. These are the top 10 companies in Europe that are working to make AI drug discovery a reality.

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Priothera raises €30M to trial ex-Novartis’ S1P drug in AML

30 October 2020

Priothera has raised €30 million ($35 million) to fund clinical trials of a S1P receptor modulate once in development at Novartis. The drug, mocravimod, will undergo testing in high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients who are undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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Alkermes’ schizophrenia drug passes FDA advisory committee hurdle

28 October 2020

Shares of Alkermes were up more than 12% in pre-market trading after the Ireland-based company announced late Friday that its schizophrenia drug was overwhelmingly supported by an advisory committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Gilead Sciences signs joint procurement agreement with the European Commission for Veklury® (remdesivir)

26 October 2020

Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) and the European Commission signed a joint procurement agreement (JPA) that will enable rapid and equitable access to Veklury® (remdesivir), the first antiviral drug proven to be effective for the treatment of COVID-19 in the European Union (EU).

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EU establishes €250M fund to scale up bioeconomy companies

23 October 2020

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is backing a huge €250M fund to help bioeconomy companies scale up technology that turns waste biomass into value. Could this provide the sector the traction it needs to become mainstream?

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New class of highly effective inhibitors protects against neurodegeneration

21 October 2020

Neurobiologists at Heidelberg University have discovered how a special receptor at neuronal junctions that normally activates a protective genetic programme can lead to nerve cell death when located outside synapses.

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Review: FDA should reconsider interchangeability requirements

19 October 2020

A group of researchers from the biosimilar industry and academia have recommended in a review that the FDA widen the scope of acceptable studies for determining interchangeable status for biosimilars.

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Takeda, Ovid plot next steps for rare epilepsy med after mixed phase 2 data

16 October 2020

When Takeda and Ovid Therapeutics joined forces in 2017, the duo got to work on midstage trials in a pair of rare epilepsies: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. They’ve since added two more conditions to their pact, and now they’re unveiling data on both.

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Galapagos’ arthritis drug approved in EU and Japan amid US rejection

14 October 2020

For Galapagos and Gilead, it’s been a rollercoaster few months. In August, the FDA decided against approving their drug filgotinib for treating rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease where the joints swell and become painful.

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Galecto bags $64M to push lung fibrosis med toward EU nod

12 October 2020

Galecto started the year picking up a new fibrosis asset and a U.S. outpost through its merger with PharmAkea. Now, it’s adding $64 million to the bank to push its lead lung disease treatment toward an approval in Europe and fund multiple mid-stage studies for its other programs.

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Arrowhead shares soar on liver disease data from four patients

09 October 2020

Arrowhead is one of the leading companies researching RNA interference, a Nobel Prize-winning technology that has been aimed at an array of chronic and genetic diseases.

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Roche confirms pharma appetite for inflammatory disease treatments

07 October 2020

Roche’s acquisition of the Irish biotech Inflazome is a vote of confidence for emerging inflammatory disease drugs. How could other companies in the field benefit from this takeover?

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Regulatory RNA control with light

05 October 2020

Researchers at the Universities of Bonn and Bayreuth in Germany have developed a much more specific optical switch that makes it possible to control the lifespan of regulatory RNA molecules precisely. This novel approach could easily allow for regulating micro RNAs and short hairpin RNAs in a spatiotemporally precise manner. Findings from this new study were published recently in Nature Communications through an article titled “Optoribogenetic control of regulatory RNA molecules.”

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Rutgers scientists develop drug-infused ‘nanoscaffolds’ to fight inflammation at the source

02 October 2020

Scientists at Rutgers University say they’ve developed a smart drug delivery system that fights inflammation at the site of spinal cord injuries—paving the way for improved treatment of central nervous system injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and even cancer and diabetes, the team thinks.

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Cancer research heats up with biotechs attacking tumor ‘comfort zone’

30 September 2020

The recent founding of Modulus Therapeutics in the UK has highlighted an accelerating movement in cancer research that aims to attack solid tumors via their ‘comfort zone’, known as the tumor microenvironment.

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3D bioprinting gains a foothold in biomedicine

28 September 2020

3D printing has revolutionized manufacturing by reducing costs and giving designers and engineers immense flexibility. Could 3D bioprinting do the same for biotechnology?

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How managing data effectively helps fight antimicrobial resistance

25 September 2020

Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise. Worldwide, approximately 700,000 people die from drug-resistant infections each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if nothing is done to prevent it, this number could increase to 10 million deaths by 2050. So why has the situation escalated this much?

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Pfizer, BioNTech in final talks to supply EU with coronavirus vaccine

23 September 2020

The EU has now moved into contractual talks with six sets of vaccine makers, resulting so far in one final agreement. Under the deal, AstraZeneca would supply 300 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine it’s been developing with the University of Oxford, should the shot prove successful.

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Intra-Cellular roars back on success in bipolar depression

21 September 2020

Given how challenging it is to develop brain drugs, Intra-Cellular’s victory comes as a surprise. Its drug had stumbled once already, missing the primary goal of a late-stage bipolar depression study last year, and investors were apparently braced for another setback. Jefferies analysts wrote to clients that Wall Street had pegged the odds of the drug succeeding in this illness at 25%.

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Why new antifungals are desperately needed

18 September 2020

Serious systemic fungal infections are rare, but with antimicrobial resistance on the rise and only a limited number of approved drugs available, it is imperative that new treatment options are developed soon. Fortunately, things may be about to change, as several promising new drugs are close to market approval.

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crispr cas-9

CRISPR-Cas9: The gene editing tool changing the world

16 September 2020

CRISPR-Cas9 has taken the world by storm with the promise of making gene editing much easier and faster than ever before. But how does CRISPR actually work? How can biology research benefit from it? What will happen when we start using it to edit human DNA? And what’s the fight between its developers all about?

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How European startups have advanced cancer T-cell therapy in 2020

14 September 2020

With the help of a huge €66M Series A round last week, the German startup T-knife is developing cancer T-cell immunotherapies with the help of genetically modified mice. However, this is just one of several cancer T-cell therapy startups making advances this year, with other innovations including off-the-shelf treatments and a potential universal cancer therapy.

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An Alzheimer’s vaccine challenged the consensus for 25 years

11 September 2020

For decades, Alzheimer’s disease research focused on a hypothesis that has increasingly been contested. A team of scientists in Slovakia has been swimming against the tide since the beginning, going for an alternative approach that has only recently started gaining recognition.

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Venom from honeybees found to kill aggressive breast cancer cells

09 September 2020

Using the venom from 312 honeybees and bumblebees in Perth Western Australia, Ireland and England, Dr Ciara Duffy from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia, tested the effect of the venom on the clinical subtypes of breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, which has limited treatment options.

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Can Covid-19 vaccines keep up with an evolving virus?

07 September 2020

The first generation of vaccines for Covid-19 is edging closer to the market. But are these vaccines able to withstand the force of viral evolution? The race to commercialize the first Covid-19 vaccines in the US and EU is intensifying,

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Regenerative medicine: Are we close to be immortal?

03 September 2020

Press release of REGEMAT 3D by Zukhra Battalova

Aging is unavoidable: decreased vision, lack of hearing, our bones commence to lose minerals, less versatility of muscle tissue….. We still havetn’t invented the elixir of life but it is highly likely that the solution is in our hands.

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Clinical Research

The distance between pharmaceutical companies and Medical Specialists

01 September 2020

Interview with Rogier van Heijst

We spoke to Rogier van Heijst, an Advisor for pharmaceutical companies, to find out more regarding the distance between pharmaceutical companies and Medical Specialists. 

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Tips and DOs & DONTs of CRO Business Development – The Art of Asking

27 August 2020

By Peter-Jan van Doorn

In this article, Peter-Jan van Doorn used his experience in the pharmaceutical industry to write about his tips and DOs and DONTs of CRO Business Development. Peter-Jan is a Consultant & Interim Manager in the healthcare industry.

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More than a third of disrupted oncology trials back on track

25 August 2020

Oncology studies were some of the hardest hit in the first few months of the pandemic, but more than a third have now resumed.

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CureVac Continues Covid-19 Vaccine with €180M IPO

20 August 2020

The share price of CureVac has skyrocketed almost fivefold after the Covid-19 vaccine developer priced a Nasdaq IPO at €180M ($213M).

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Infrared lasers destroy protein aggregates in Alzheimer's

Infrared lasers destroy protein aggregates in Alzheimer’s

18 August 2020

A notable characteristic of several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, is the formation of harmful plaques that contain aggregates

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Health industry responds to Partnership proposal

13 August 2020

Leaders from across the health sector released a joint statement underlining the potential of the recently-published draft proposal for a European Partnership for Health Innovation

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fda approval

Biotech Bristol Myers, bluebird refile for CAR-T approval

11 August 2020

Bristol Myers Squibb and bluebird bio have refiled for approval of anti-BCMA CAR-T therapy ide-cel.

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Exevir launches with COVID-19 candidate

06 August 2020

The combined force of Belgian life sciences has been brought together in the launch of Exevir Bio BV, which arrives on the scene with a €23 million (US$27 million) series A and ready for a phase I study of its novel antiviral therapy in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

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Blood test

Alzheimer’s: ‘Promising’ blood test for early stage

04 August 2020

A blood test could spot Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stage and years before symptoms appear, studies in the US and Sweden suggest.

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Biotech Pfizer, BioNTech start their COVID-19 vax phase 3, squaring off with Moderna

30 July 2020

Pfizer and German biotech partner BioNTech have on the same day as rival Moderna kick-started a late-stage effort for their “best” attempt at an mRNA pandemic vaccine.

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Biopharma R&D

The top 10 highest paid biopharma R&D executives in 2019

28 July 2020

It’s not exactly a secret that biopharma R&D is a lucrative business—just look Regeneron’s George Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., who has topped this list (at least) two years in a row with a pay package routinely exceeding $20 million.

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European Biotech Stocks Shine Amid 2020 Market Slump

23 July 2020

As the Covid-19 pandemic leads us to the worst financial crisis in decades, normally volatile biotech stocks are outperforming most other sectors of the economy. Experts say this trend is likely to continue.

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Rapid Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Screening System Developed and Protective Gene Identified

21 July 2020

A Queen Mary University of London-led team of scientists harnessed induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and hairs donated by individuals with Down syndrome (DS), to develop a rapid in vitro cell-based screening system that recapitulates the primary features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression, which they suggest could be used to test potential drug candidates.

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Pfizer, BioNTech nab fast track tag, prep for major phase 3 COVID-19 vax test this month

16 July 2020

Pfizer and German mRNA partner BioNTech have grabbed an FDA fast track label as they look to start a late-stage, 30,000-patient COVID-19 vaccine test before the month is out.

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CRISPR Therapeutics Announces Huge €400M Public Fundraise

14 July 2020

The Swiss firm CRISPR Therapeutics has priced a public offering on the Nasdaq Global Market at around €400M, which it will use to develop therapies based on the gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 for genetic disorders and cancer.

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UCSD: New discovery regarding Parkinson’s disease

10 July 2020

A researcher at the University of San Diego, California (UCSD) made an accidental discovery several years back after he silenced a gene called PTB in mouse fibroblasts, cells in connective tissue.

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A new mechanism reveals a role for intestinal microbes

08 July 2020

A collaborative study by research groups from the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research and Ghent University uncovered a new mechanism causing colorectal cancer.

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COVID-19 is “very different” in children versus adults

06 July 2020

A study of 34 children hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in China reveals that fever and coughing were common, but the type of lesions typically seen in the lungs of adults with COVID-19 were rare.

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Sanofi’s investment signals long-term focus on vaccines

03 July 2020

Sanofi on Tuesday announced plans to build a vaccine manufacturing site and a separate research center in its home country of France, projects that will cost close to $700 million. The Sanofi’s investment comes as and dozens of other drug companies race to find a vaccine for the new coronavirus.

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Marneros: Discover key structures in kidney formation

01 July 2020

Renal fibrosis is a direct consequence of the kidney’s limited capacity to regenerate after injury. Renal scarring results in a progressive loss of renal function, ultimately leading to end-stage renal failure and a requirement for dialysis or kidney transplantation.

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Roche’s ipatasertib improved PFS in phase 3 trial

29 June 2020

Roche’s ipatasertib has improved progression-free survival (PFS) in a subgroup of prostate cancer patients in a phase 3 trial.

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Gene editing turns immune cells into potent cancer killers

26 June 2020

Natural killer (NK) cells in the immune system are quick to mobilize against foreign invaders, like cancer, but attempts to turn them into anti-cancer therapies have proven challenging. Now, researchers led by the University of California, San Diego, are reporting they’ve developed a method for editing NK cells to improve their cancer-killing prowess.

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Cheap steroid lowers risk of death in COVID-19 patients

24 June 2020

Dexamethasone, an inexpensive generic steroid, reduced the risk of death by roughly one-third in hospitalized COVID-19 patients on mechanical breathing support, and by one-fifth in those on oxygen, compared to patients who received placebo, investigators in a major British clinical trial announced Tuesday.

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Magenta’s technology attracts gene therapy developer

22 June 2020

Two Cambridge, Massachusetts biotechs (Beam and Magenta Therapeutics) announced Monday that they are working together to study whether a targeted antibody treatment can help better prepare patients’ bodies to receive gene editing therapy.

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Researchers find blood profile for screening COVID-19

19 June 2020

A simple blood test may be able to help clinicians understand why one patient with COVID-19 may develop severe, life-threatening complications while another may show barely any symptoms at all.

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Drug researcher develops ‘fat burning’ molecule

17 June 2020

Obesity affects more than 40 percent of adults in the United States and 13 percent of the global population. With obesity comes a variety of other interconnected diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and fat liver disease, which makes the disease one of the most difficult — and most crucial — to treat.

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Atlas becomes latest venture firm to raise cash

15 June 2020

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t deterred investors of Atlas Venture, a biotechnology-focused venture capital firm. On Friday, Atlas announced its latest fund, which opened at the end of March, had closed with a higher-than-expected yield of $400 million.

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Remdesivir data point to a benefit for ‘moderate’ COVID-19 patients

12 June 2020

Remdesivir, one of two medicines thus far to be cleared for emergency use in the U.S. for COVID-19, appears to provide some level of benefit over standard of care for moderately ill patients, according to fresh clinical data released Monday by the drug’s developer, Gilead Sciences.

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Burn-out: Time for healing could begin

10 June 2020

We provide you with Carin Jansen’s latest blog! This is the last of a serie blogs which will tell her experience on being burned-out. Carin gave an insight on how her burn-out started. In the third blog, the main topic was to get back to work after a long time. In the last blog, she tells about healing after a difficult period.

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Cancer immunotherapy study identifies new targets

08 June 2020

Many cancer patients derive little benefit from checkpoint inhibitors, drugs that target immune system checkpoints, mechanisms that temper immune responses. To date, most checkpoint inhibitors target checkpoints on T cells to unleash T cells’ full anticancer potential.

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cell therapy

Could cell therapy provide the symptoms of Covid-19?

05 June 2020

The excessive inflammatory response seen in the most serious cases of Covid-19, along with shortages of ventilators, has caused a healthcare crisis in many countries around the world. Could cell therapy provide an answer to this dilemma?

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Part 2: Differences in the Asian and American business culture

03 June 2020

Written by Peter-Jan van Doorn

This is the second part of Peter-Jan van Doorn‘s blog about the cultural differences in business culture. In the first part, he wrote about Europe. In this second part, Peter-Jan writes about the cultural differences between Asia and USA.

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Brain-scan: research teams reach different results

02 June 2020

When 70 independent teams were tasked with analyzing identical brain images, no two teams chose the same approach and their conclusions were highly variable.

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Synthetic biology could lead to clean energy

29 May 2020

Researchers in Germany and France have combined synthetic biology with microfluidics to create artificial photosynthetic droplets, which could lead to the production of organic chemicals and clean fuels that is more efficient than nature can achieve alone.

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Part 1: Differences in the European business culture

27 May 2020

By Peter-Jan van Doorn

This is the third blog written by Peter-Jan van Doorn. The blogs are about his experiences in the pharmaceutical industry. Peter-Jan answers questions about his own experiences and insights within the pharmaceutical industry. Peter-Jan is a Consultant & Interim Manager in the healthcare industry.

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Moderna delivers first data for a coronavirus vaccine

25 May 2020

Moderna on Monday disclosed early results from a Phase 1 study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine, marking a milestone in the global pursuit of a protective treatment for a virus that’s infected more than 4 million people.

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Novartis wins approval for niche lung cancer drug

22 May 2020

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Novartis’ drug Tabrecta, which targets a tumor mutation affecting about 2% to 3% of lung cancer patients. Tabrecta, formerly known as capmatinib, will likely square off against Merck KGaA’s Tepmetko, which won Japanese approval in March and has a Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA. 

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Pfizer plans to farm out manufacturing for some drugs

20 May 2020

Pfizer has dedicated enormous resources to churning out hundreds of millions of doses of a possible COVID-19 vaccine. But that massive effort requires a trade-off: Pfizer will have a hard time meeting production goals for its existing meds and will look to its contractor network to help keep up.

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Dyno spins out of laboratories to make gene therapy better

18 May 2020

Biotech startup Dyno Therapeutics formally unveiled itself Monday, announcing plans to design better gene therapies in partnership with Novartis and Sarepta Therapeutics, both leading companies in the field.

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Analysts are looking ahead to COVID-19 drugs to come

15 May 2020

Gilead made waves on Friday with its emergency FDA approval for remdesivir quickly on the heels of a controlled trial data release. But while it’s an important first step, other COVID-19 medicines will likely be coming down the line, analysts with SVB Leerink wrote.

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postdoctoral research

Scientist or Communicator: Part III – Postdoctoral research

13 May 2020

Blog by Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves, Ph.D.

This is the last blog of a series that will discuss the importance of scientific communication. Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves is a scientific researcher at Erasmus Medical Center and she writes about her experiences in the medical sciences area. In this last blog, Fabiany will give you an overview of her postdoctoral research in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry.

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China is promoting traditional medicines to treat coronavirus

11 May 2020

The Chinese government is heavily promoting traditional medicines as treatments for COVID-19. The remedies, a major part of China’s health-care system, are even being sent to countries including Iran and Italy as international aid. But scientists outside China say it is dangerous to support therapies that have yet to be proved safe and effective.

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Antibody blocks infection by the SARS-CoV-2 in cells

08 May 2020

Researchers at Utrecht University, Erasmus Medical Center and Harbour BioMed (HBM) today reported that they have identified a fully human monoclonal antibody that prevents the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus from infecting cultured cells. The discovery,

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Repurpose chemotherapy drug to overcome cancer

06 May 2020

Drug resistance is a major obstacle in chemotherapy treatment — leading to relapse for many patients. In a new study, published online April 20, 2020, in Nature Cell Biology, researchers from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Children’s Mercy Kansas City,

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J&J contracts with Catalent to boost coronavirus vaccine

04 May 2020

Catalent has agreed to manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s lead candidate for a COVID-19 vaccine, committing to a joint investment and technology transfer. The contract manufacturer said it will hire about 300 more workers to start preparations in

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COVID-19: It could take 5 years for 2 leading vaccines

30 April 2020

Ever since President Donald Trump said last month that a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in 12 to 18 months, Wall Street analysts have been warning that the real timeline is likely to be longer, even though more than 40 candidates are in development.

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postdoctoral research

Scientist or Communicator: Part II – MSc and Ph.D.

28 April 2020

Blog by Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves, MSc & Ph.D.

This is the second blog of a series that will discuss the importance of scientific communication. Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves is a scientific researcher at Erasmus Medical Center and she will write about her experiences in the medical sciences area. In this second blog, Fabiany will give you an overview of her research with animal models during her MSc and Ph.D.

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COVID-19: Lilly partners with NIH to test Olumiant

24 April 2020

Drug companies worldwide are testing existing medicines as potential treatments for COVID-19—plus working on new therapeutics—with few answers yet. Now, Eli Lilly is among the latest to kick off a trial through a partnership with federal health officials.

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Changes in CRO Business Development

22 April 2020

By Peter-Jan van Doorn

This is the second blog written by Peter-Jan van Doorn. The blogs are about his experiences in the pharmaceutical industry. Peter-Jan answers questions about his own experiences and insights within the pharmaceutical industry. Peter-Jan is a Consultant & Interim Manager in the healthcare industry.

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How scientists can volunteer to help fight COVID-19

20 April 2020

Scientists are offering tools, equipment, time, and expertise to help alleviate COVID-19 suffering. Here’s how you can chip in.

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Rush participates in clinical trial to test remdesivir

17 April 2020

Rush University Medical Center is participating in a new clinical trial to test the effectiveness of the drug remdesivir in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This disease currently has no approved treatment.

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COVID-19: GSK becomes Vir’s newest partner

15 April 2020

Vir Biotechnology is adding GlaxoSmithKline to its roster of COVID-19 partners—and snagging a $250 million investment in the process. The duo will pool their resources to develop vaccines and treatments for coronaviruses,

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postdoctoral research

Scientist or communicator: Part I – scientific initiation

13 April 2020

Blog by Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves, Ph.D.

Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves is a scientific researcher at Erasmus Medical Center and she will write about her experiences in the medical sciences area. In this first blog, Fabiany will give you an insight into how she started her scientific career.

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Regeneron Praluent sidekick cuts cholesterol in half

10 April 2020

Patients with high cholesterol from a rare genetic disorder struggle to keep their cholesterol levels in check, despite taking multiple lipid-busting drugs such as statins and PCSK9 inhibitors. A new drug from Regeneron may change that—even for the most difficult-to-treat patients.

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Burn-out: Pushing the reset button

08 April 2020

The new blog of Carin Jansen is online! This is the third of a serie blogs which will tell the story about her experiences of being burned-out. In her first blog, Carin gave an insight on how her burn-out started. The second blog was an overview of the signs of her burn-out. In this blog, the main topic is to get back to work and what she did during this time.

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J&J picks top coronavirus vaccine candidate

06 April 2020

Johnson & Johnson has selected a lead vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus and expects to start testing it in humans by September at the latest. That means J&J could disclose data before the end of the year, which then may allow the vaccine to be available for emergency use in early 2021, according to the pharma giant.

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Device brings silicon computing power to brain research

03 April 2020

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new device for connecting the brain directly to silicon-based technologies. While brain-machine interface devices already exist — and are used for prosthetics, disease treatment and brain research — this latest device can record more data while being less intrusive than existing options.

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Galapagos halt trials due to impact coronavirus

01 April 2020

Eli Lilly became the first large pharmaceutical company to announce delays to its clinical trials as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Biotechs Galapagos and ObsEva also postponed studies as the fast-spreading pandemic continued to take its toll on clinical research.

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Changes in the pharmaceutical industry

30 March 2020

By Peter-Jan van Doorn

This is the first article by Peter-Jan van Doorn about his experiences in the pharmaceutical industry. Peter-Jan is a Consultant & Interim Manager in the Healthcare Industry.

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New scientists method: water-soluble fullerene compounds

27 March 2020

A new single-step technique has been developed which could enable the synthesis of water-soluble fullerene compounds for use in pharma.

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drug pipelines

Analysis: how will coronavirus impact drug pipelines?

25 March 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic rages, drug development is becoming harder than ever, if arguably even more important. What is the extent of the issue, and how can companies protect their drug pipelines?

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My first month at… Interdos

23 March 2020

The “My first month at…” column will elaborate on the experiences of professionals who recently started their new job in the biotechnology industry.

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New estimate puts cost to develop a new drug at $1B

20 March 2020

U.S. biopharmaceutical companies spent about $1 billion to develop each of their new drugs to market between 2009 and 2018, according to a new analysis published in JAMA on Tuesday.

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Acceleron ditches midstage drug after flop

18 March 2020

Acceleron Pharma saw its shares in the red Monday night after one of its key pipeline drugs failed.

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Gilead launches two Phase III trials for COVID-19

16 March 2020

Gilead Sciences, based in Foster City, California, announced it will launch two Phase III clinical trials of its investigational antiviral drug remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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Coronavirus generic research by Dante Labs

13 March 2020

Dante Labs, a world leader in whole genome sequencing and data analysis, today announced the first part of its program to support global scientific research on Coronavirus, offering free genome sequencing services to research projects on Coronavirus.

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Cell therapy

Cell therapy developer Unum restructures

13 March 2020

Cell therapy developer Unum Therapeutics will lay off 43 employees in a research pivot, announcing Monday a restructuring designed to focus the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech’s resources on a preclinical cancer treatment. 

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3D models help streamline drug design

11 March 2020

A team of investigators at Dartmouth College has developed a new process that they believe could sharply reduce the work involved in streamline computational protein design. The new technique—details for which were published recently in PNAS through an article entitled “A general-purpose protein design framework based on mining sequence-structure relationships in known protein structures”—uses 3D structural models to project how novel combinations of molecular blocks might work together to achieve the desired effect. The advancement, which focuses on a relatively small number of protein substructures rather than the infinite number of atomic-level combinations, could ease the development of new medications and materials.

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A new tool to ‘color’ specific genes and cells

09 March 2020

Researchers from the group of Hans Clevers at the Hubrecht Institute have developed a new genetic tool to label specific genes in human organoids, or mini organs. They used this new method, called CRISPR-HOT, to investigate how hepatocytes divide and how abnormal cells with too much DNA appear.

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Adrenomed’s antibody drug scores hit in phase II trial

06 March 2020

German biotech Adrenomed reports that its first-in-class antibody drug adrecizumab was well-tolerated by septic shock patients and met its primary goal in a phase II trial. 

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Sanofi will spin out drug ingredient business

04 March 2020

French pharma Sanofi will spin out some of its drug production activities into a new company, announcing last Monday plans to create a standalone contract manufacturer specializing in the active ingredients which compose pills or other medicines.

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Burn-out: Looking back

02 March 2020

This is the second of a serie blogs which will tell the story of Carin Jansen. Carin will write about her experiences with being burned-out. In the first blog Carin gave an insight on how her burn-out started. In this blog, Carin will give you an overview of the signs of her burn-out.

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Guangzhou institute nab $115M for fight against COVID-19

28 February 2020

Harvard University scientists are teaming up with the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease with a $115 million boost from the China Evergrande Group. The five-year research collaboration aims to find new therapies against the novel coronavirus, with the U.S. efforts being led by Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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Biohaven misses a chance to prove it is more than migraine

26 February 2020

An experimental drug developed by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals proved no better than placebo in lessening the severe anxiety experienced by people suffering from a disorder known as GAD, the biotech announced Monday. 

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drug discovery

Chemistry technique is ‘warp drive’ for drug discovery

24 February 2020

In a study with implications for the future of drug discovery, Scripps Research scientists showed they were able to turn simple chemicals into unique 3-D structures resembling those found in nature — structures with desirable properties for medicines.

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Antibiotics discovered that kill bacteria in a new way

21 February 2020

A new group of antibiotics with a unique approach to attacking bacteria has been discovered, making it a promising clinical candidate in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

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Inner ‘clockwork’ sets the time for cell division in bacteria

19 February 2020

Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have discovered a “clockwork” mechanism that controls cell division in bacteria. In two publications, in “Nature Communications” und “PNAS,” they report how a small signaling molecule starts the “clock,” which informs the cell about the right time to reproduce.

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Cancer chronological history uncovered

17 February 2020

Identifying the earliest mutational events from the history of any cancer would be an invaluable step toward relevant treatment intervention. However, identifying exactly when genomic changes occur is no easy task.

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Nestlé boosts investment: launch of peanut allergy drug

14 February 2020

Nestlé Health Sciences paid Aimmune Therapeutics $200 million to expand its investment in the allergy-drug specialist, buying another 1 million shares to take its stake to nearly 20%​. The investment comes as the company launches peanut allergy treatment Palforzia, which the Food and Drug Administration approved last week. The drug will cost patients about $11,000 a year​.
Separately, Aimmune also spent $10 million to in-license an experimental anti-allergenic biological drug from Xencor. That company has been focusing its pipeline on cancer-fighting treatments.

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legal question

Five legal questions about the coronavirus

12 February 2020

Can millions of people simply be quarantined or be required to undergo medical examinations? These are legal questions that are very topical, but which Anniek de Ruijter (EU law and health law) has been working on for some time. She answers five burning legal questions about the coronavirus.

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Drug launches

The 10 most-anticipated drug launches of 2020

10 February 2020

It’s a new year, which means another round of new drug launches is nearing the gate. This year, the ranks are chock-full of blockbuster hopefuls—from tumor-busting antibody drug conjugates to controversial homeopathics looking to change the food allergy market.

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Biopharma R&D

High hopes dashed: HIV vaccine flops massive study

07 February 2020

In yet another setback for the troubled HIV vaccine field, researchers in South Africa stopped a massive efficacy study after a data monitoring committee found the vaccine wasn’t working.  

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CureVac Bids to Develop First mRNA Coronavirus Vaccine

05 February 2020

RNA vaccine developer CureVac will receive a grant of up to €8.3M from a global partnership to develop an mRNA vaccine against the new coronavirus strain from China. 

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Biogen finds $75M home for Pfizer alzheimer’s drug

31 January 2020

In an unusual deal between large drugmakers, Biogen will pay Pfizer $75 million to acquire an experimental drug designed to address sleep-related symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Pfizer has completed early-stage safety studies for the drug, but in 2018 decided to step back from neuroscience research, offloading some of its investigational therapies into a spin-off called Cerevel Therapeutics.

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Burn-out: How it all started

29 January 2020

This is the first of a serie blogs which will tell the story of Carin Jansen. Carin will write about her experiences with being burned-out. In this blog, Carin will give you an insight on how her burn-out started.

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Bluebird Bio

Bluebird Bio launches gene therapy for beta thalassaemia

27 January 2020

The US company bluebird bio has launched the first gene therapy for the blood disorder transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia in the EU, with a hospital in Germany becoming its first qualified treatment center. 

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How bacteria self-destruct to fight viral infections

22 January 2020

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered how a new immune system works to protect bacteria from bacteriophages (phages), viruses that specifically infect bacteria. This new system is unusual in that it works by abortive infection — the infected bacterial cell self-destructs to keep the infection from spreading to other cells.

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Xenobots: First living robots created from stem cells

20 January 2020

Be warned. If the rise of the robots comes to pass, the apocalypse may be a more squelchy affair than science fiction writers have prepared us for. Now a team of scientists has repurposed living cells — scraped from frog embryos — and assembled them into entirely new life-forms. These millimeter-wide “xenobots” can move toward a target, perhaps pick up a payload (like a medicine that needs to be carried to a specific place inside a patient) — and heal themselves after being cut.

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Halting ALS with a gene therapy approach

17 January 2020

An abnormality in the SOD1 gene is linked to some inherited cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). So could turning off the mutated gene halt the disease? An international research team led by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine showed the potential of that strategy in mice by using a gene therapy approach. 

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Nanoparticle flu vaccine provides protection against six viral strains

15 January 2020

With the morbidity and mortality rates for this year’s influenza season beginning to mount there is some welcome news from investigators at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University. The researchers developed and showed that a novel nanoparticle vaccine that combines two major influenza proteins is effective in providing broad, long-lasting protection against the influenza virus in mice, showing promise as a universal flu vaccine.

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AstraZeneca taps MiNA to treat metabolic diseases

13 January 2020

The UK biotech MiNA Therapeutics has launched a collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop small activating RNA drugs, which could treat metabolic diseases using targets unreachable by current medications.

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Correvio Pharma’s heart drug turned down by FDA

10 January 2020

The Canadian drugmaker, Correvio Pharma was already considering putting itself up for sale after an FDA advisory committee voted against recommending approval for the drug, Brinavess, used for atrial fibrillation. The Food and Drug Administration cited lack of assurance about safety as the reason for turning down a Canadian drugmaker’s regulatory approval application for a drug to treat heart disease.

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Anti-cancer gene p53 target in treating kidney cancer

08 January 2020

Mutations in the gene p53 are thought to cause more than half of all cancers, but the gene has not been associated with kidney cancer—until now. Scientists at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health discovered that one of the most commonly mutated genes in kidney cancer, PBRM1, binds to the activated form of p53 in a specific spot.

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FDA approves ebola vaccine with 100% effectiveness

06 January 2020

U.S. regulators have approved a vaccine to protect against the deadly Ebola virus, a crucial step in the battle against an infection that’s considered one of the world’s deadliest killers. The vaccine, developed and made by Kenilworth, New Jersey-based Merck & Co., was found to be 100% effective when given at least 10 days in advance of potential exposure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

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Roche to close $4.3bn Spark deal after FTC clearance

03 January 2020

Swiss drugmaker Roche (ROG.S) plans to complete its $4.3 billion takeover of gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics (ONCE.O) after U.S. and British authorities ruled the deal would not hurt competition in hemophilia A treatment. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approved the deal on Monday without demanding asset sales.

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Gilead’s bad luck in NASH continues with ATLAS failure

30 December 2019

Once a leader among drugmakers looking to treat a common liver disease known as NASH, Gilead has fallen behind this year as its most advanced drug failed a couple late-stage clinical trials. On Monday, the biotech reported another study misfire, reaffirming its weakened position in the field.

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Cancer drug Tasigna shows hope for Parkinson patients

27 December 2019

Researchers at Georgetown University have been trying to repurpose Novartis’ cancer drug Tasigna to treat Parkinson’s disease since 2013, when they showed it could clear toxic alpha-synuclein protein clumps in the brains of mice. But it wasn’t until 2017, when they moved Tasigna into a small phase 2 trial, that they started to understand exactly how Tasigna—a tyrosine kinase inhibitor—might work in the brain to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms.

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Correvio heart drug fails to win FDA panel backing

23 December 2019

Independent experts to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday voted against Correvio Pharma Corp’s drug to correct irregular rhythm in the upper chambers of the heart in adult patients, the latest setback to the company’s efforts to market a potential blockbuster in the country.

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Sanofi its new CEO stops diabetes research

20 December 2019

Sanofi its new chief executive, just three months into the job, is taking a scalpel to traditional areas of research to rejuvenate the sluggish French drugmaker. The pharma giant will end its hunt for new diabetes and heart disease drugs, helping save more than $2 billion as Paul Hudson favors fields like cancer that are ripe for innovation.

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BioFIT 2019 – Fostering Innovation and Tech Transfer

18 December 2019

By Elaine Lima de Souza

A week ago, I attended the BioFIT Event, thanks to the Biotechnology Community. The event took place in Marseille, France. BioFIT is the leading partnering event in Europe for technology transfer, academia-industry collaborations, and early-stage innovation deals in the field of life sciences. In this blog, I will talk about my experience and about what I have learned during those days.

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Dupixent hits endpoints in paediatric trial

16 December 2019

Leo Pharma’s tralokinumab has hit all the primary and secondary endpoints in its three pivotal trials. The data position Leo to file for approval of the Dupixent rival in atopic dermatitis next year, but the lack of numbers shared publicly make it impossible to gauge whether tralokinumab is a threat to Sanofi and Regeneron’s blockbuster incumbent.

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Immunotherapy offers hope for men with prostate cancer

13 December 2019

A major trial of an immunotherapy drug has shown it can be effective in some men with advanced prostate cancer. The men had stopped responding to the main treatment options.

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Humans co-evolved with immune-related diseases

11 December 2019

Some of the same mutations allowing humans to fend off deadly infections also make us more prone to certain inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease.

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Astellas joins gene therapy race with $3B Audentes buy

09 December 2019

Astellas Pharma is set to buy Audentes Therapeutics for $3 billion. The deal will enable Astellas to set up a new genetic regulation unit spearheaded by a neuromuscular disease gene therapy that is set to be submitted for approval next year.

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A new antibiotic to combat drug-resistant bacteria

06 December 2019

More and more bacterial pathogens of infectious diseases become resistant to the customary antibiotic. Typical hospital germs such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae have become resistant to the most — and in some cases even all — currently available antibiotics.

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life science

Roadshow to Japan & South-Korea for life science SMEs

04 December 2019

Scinus Cell Expansion, a Dutch company who develops and distributes bioreactor technology for stem cell cultivation, took part in the Start.Smart.Global program.  The program is a unique training programme in which European life science SMEs are provided with starter kits in order to enter complex markets outside Europe.

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Novartis strikes $9.7B takeover of Medicines

02 December 2019

Novartis’ $9.7 billion acquisition of The Medicines Company (MDCO), which the companies announced Sunday after days of rumors, is a story of second acts.

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Cell therapy manufacturing

Cell therapy manufacturing & gene therapy congress

29 November 2019

Fast track cell, gene and CAR-T commercialization from concept to robust patient-centric delivery at Cell Therapy Manufacturing & Gene Therapy Congress.

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Vertex gene-editing therapy hints at treatment potential

27 November 2019

CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals today reported preliminary, mostly-positive safety and efficacy data from the first two patients enrolled in two Phase I/II trials assessing their CRISPR/Cas9 gene-edited therapy CTX001 for a pair of blood disorders—the first clinical trial of a gene-editing candidate sponsored by U.S. companies.

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sickle cell

Novartis sickle cell drug gets U.S. FDA approval

25 November 2019

Novartis AG on Friday won U.S. approval for its experimental sickle cell disease drug, Adakveo, making it the first of several proposed new therapies designed to offer lasting relief for patients with the debilitating blood disease to get U.S. regulatory clearance.

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Avantium builds 10-ton demonstration plant to produce bioplastics

22 November 2019

The Dutch bioplastics company Avantium has opened a demonstration plant capable of producing 10 tons per year of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG), a compound used to make plastics, using plants as the starting material.

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How suicidal power factories in brain cells trigger ALS

20 November 2019

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a new phenomenon in the brain that could explain the development of early stages of neurodegeneration that is seen in diseases such as ALS, which affects voluntary muscle movement such as walking and talking.

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fda approval

FDA approves first drug for anemia

18 November 2019

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval to Reblozyl (luspatercept–aamt) for the treatment of anemia (lack of red blood cells) in adult patients with beta thalassemia who require regular red blood cell (RBC) transfusions.

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Aveo its cancer drug runs into a skeptical FDA

15 November 2019

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech Aveo Oncology will take the advice of the Food and Drug Administration and hold off on submitting its experimental cancer drug for regulatory approval.

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Measles wipes out immune system’s memory

13 November 2019

Children who survive measles are protected against future measles infections, but have such diminished immunity that they may be left vulnerable to other pathogens, according to a pair of research papers in Science and Science Immunology today (October 31).

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Green tea

Green tea for type 2

11 November 2019

Advanced engineered cell therapies are an area of great promise for treatments of diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes. In order to be useful in the clinic, genetic control over the cells is needed. Now, researchers have created a system for gene editing that can be triggered by a compound found in green tea.

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BioFIT fostering innovation and transfer

08 November 2019

1,300 international actors from 35+ countries: BioFIT has taken on a whole new dimension becoming the meeting point in Europe for tech transfer, early-stage innovations and Series A investment in Life Sciences.

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My first month at

My first month at… Basic Pharma

06 November 2019

The “My first month at…” column will elaborate on the experiences of professionals who recently started their new job in the biotechnological industry.

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Teva reaches $23B global opioid settlement

04 November 2019

Drugmaker Teva offered to donate about $23 billion worth of the addiction treatment Suboxone and pay $250 million over a decade in a bid to secure a broad settlement deal with U.S. state and local governments related to its alleged role in the opioid crisis. 

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New gene therapy approach improves efficiency

01 November 2019

Some gene therapies, such as bluebird bio’s Zynteglo, work by modifying a patient’s own blood stem cells to deliver a functioning gene.

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An evolution in the understanding of evolutionary change

30 October 2019

Remember domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species and other evolutionary changes we learned about in high school biology? 

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Increased neuronal activity shortens lifespan in animals

28 October 2019

Suppressing the natural age-related increase in neuronal excitation lengthens the lives of worms, and there are indications that the same may be true for mice and humans.

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Gene therapy biotechs caught in manufacturing crunch

25 October 2019

Rapidly progressing gene therapy development could push more biotechs to invest in their own manufacturing capabilities over outsourcing to contract services companies, particularly as the number of products entering late-stage testing and nearing commercialization grows. 

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Lilly’s Armo buyout drug a bust in pancreatic cancer

23 October 2019

Last year, Eli Lilly spent $1.6 billion to get its hands on Armo Biosciences and its lead asset, pegilodecakin. That drug flopped.

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Mogrify raises €15m series A for cell therapy

21 October 2019

Cambridge-based Mogrify has raised €14.5M to develop a technology that could allow scientists to transform any human cell into another cell type without the arduous process of turning them into a stem cell first.  

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Merck taps 4D pharma for bacterial vaccine

18 October 2019

Merck will pay the microbiome company 4D Pharma up to €316.5M to develop vaccines based on delivering live bacteria to the gut.

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Bayer forms drug discovery pact with Riken Innovation

16 October 2019

Bayer has entered into a drug discovery collaboration (PDF) with Riken Innovation. The agreement will give Bayer the chance to explore drug targets based on research at a leading Japanese scientific research institute.

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G1 shares data on increase in breast cancer survival

14 October 2019

G1 Therapeutics has linked the addition of trilaciclib to chemotherapy to improved overall survival (OS) in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. People who received the CDK4/6 inhibitor lived 20.1 months, on average, as compared to 12.6 months for their peers in the chemotherapy cohort.

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immune diseases

Moving closer discovering the causes of immune diseases

11 October 2019

Scientists are one step closer to discovering the causes of immune diseases such as asthma, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

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Scinus Cell Expansion’s experience of the Start.Smart.Global program

09 October 2019

The introduction of new treatments to the market involves a long, complicated and costly process. This makes global expansion difficult for life sciences start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In order to enter these complex markets outside Europe the training project “Start.Smart.Global” provides start-ups and SMEs,

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Trial finds depression drug sertraline reduces anxiety first

07 October 2019

A new clinical trial led by University College London (UCL) has found that common antidepressant sertraline causes a decrease in anxiety weeks before relieving depressive symptoms.The placebo-controlled study was conducted in 653 patients in England displaying mild to moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety. The trial was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

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Bluebird reveals positive gene therapy data

04 October 2019

Bluebird bio has announced updated results from a clinical development programme evaluating its investigational Lenti-D gene therapy in patients with cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD). The primary efficacy endpoint in the study is the proportion of patients who are alive and free of major functional disabilities at month 24. Of those patients who have or would have reached 24 months of follow-up and completed the study, 88% continue to be alive and major functional disabilities-free in a long-term follow-up study.

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Thrombolysis still best treatment for acute stroke

02 October 2019

Recent research from George Clinical has analyzed both thrombolysis and neurointervention treatments and determined that thrombolysis is still the best treatment for acute stroke patients. The recent revolution in neurointerventional clot retrieval has prompted this study to evaluate stroke treatments and determine if thrombolysis can be made safer for patients. Since thrombolysis has limitations of bleeding risk, the study aims to analyze what can be done to complement or act as an adjuvant to thrombolysis.

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Too much vitamin D may reduce bone density, say scientists

30 September 2019

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones. This is universally agreed upon. We also know vitamin D is manufactured in our skin cells when exposed to as little as 10-15 minutes of the summer sun over most of the body surface.

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10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world

27 September 2019

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable in the world. The United States is currently the most profitable market, with nearly half of the world’s expenditures on prescription drugs coming from the United States. Other nations have a more robust government support to pay for medicine, while private insurance costs drive up the cost of prescribing medicine in the US.

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Does the affiliation of a star scientist to an early stage life science firm signal quality of the firm?

25 September 2019

Blog by Raja Krishnan 

I have read many published research articles by academicians in the area of commercialization of innovative technologies, both from the success of a University Tech Transfer office and an economic development perspective.  These academicians are faculty researchers in Business Schools and Public Policy Schools around the World.  There are different theories that are discussed including signalling theory, networking theory, and resource constraint theory.  I believe that practitioners in the field of University Technology Transfer such as myself can learn a lot from faculty research in these fields.

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Novartis stops distributing generic Zantac

23 September 2019

Novartis’ Sandoz unit said it will stop distributing generic versions of ranitidine, more commonly known by its brand name Zantac, amid concerns that the medicine contains potentially unsafe levels of a carcinogen known as N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA. The Swiss drugmaker acted as Canadian regulators asked companies selling the heartburn medicine in Canada to stop distribution while the impurity is being investigated. “A precautionary release and distribution stop for all our Sandoz ranitidine-containing medicines in all our markets will remain valid until further clarification,” Novartis said in an emailed statement.

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4BIO capital raises €45m fund to invest in advanced therapies

20 September 2019

The London-based life sciences investor 4BIO Capital has raised €45M in the first close of a fund to nurture companies developing advanced therapies such as gene and cell therapies. This is the first closing of 4BIO’s second fund, called 4BIO Ventures II, which is expected to total €136M ($150M) by late 2020. The fund will invest in up to 12 companies around the world that are developing advanced therapies such as cell and gene therapy, RNA-based therapy, targeted therapies, and the microbiome. 4BIO expects to make the first investment from this fund in the next few months.

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memory loss

New drug may protect against memory loss

18 September 2019

A new drug discovered through a research collaboration between the University at Buffalo and Tetra Therapeutics may protect against memory loss, nerve damage and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Preclinical research found that the drug – called BPN14770 – deters the effects of amyloid beta, a hallmark protein of Alzheimer’s that is toxic to nerve cells. Recent studies find Alzheimer’s may develop without dementia in nearly 25% of healthy 80-year-old patients, suggesting the body may turn to compensatory mechanisms to maintain the nervous system.

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regrow teeth

Scientist figured out how to regrow teeth

16 September 2019

A team of scientists says that it’s finally figured out how to regrow tooth enamel, a development that could totally upend dental care.

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Purdue Pharma

Purdue Pharma ‘reaches tentative agreement’ to settle opioid cases

13 September 2019

Drug-making giant Purdue Pharma has reportedly reached a tentative multi-billion dollar agreement in the US to settle a host of lawsuits against it.

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Roche Spark buy

Another deadline, another delay for Roche’s Spark buy

11 September 2019

September 3 has arrived, and Roche still can’t move forward on its $4.8 billion Spark Therapeutics buyout. And once again, U.S. and U.K. anti-competition delays are the problem. 

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Brain power

09 September 2019

Blog by Elaine Lima de Souza – Ph.D. in Sciences

“It is to learn or die!”

Science and education were never so important for country development as now. With the advent of information technology, we need to deal with the Darwinism technological, adapt to survive. As the author Edward D. Hess says: It is to learn or die! The globalization and rapidly evolving technologies make what you have learned today in obsolete information tomorrow. Innovative technology companies have a new strategy to keep up-to-date and innovating: to foster Brain Power. They are migrating to where the knowledge is, in the Science and Technology Parks (STPs).

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Restoring neurons to preserve memory after heart attack

06 September 2019

People who suffer from heart attacks or strokes face a high risk of memory loss, because when fresh blood stops flowing in the brain, neurons in a region of the hippocampus involved in memory can die. Now, Stanford University researchers are proposing a new strategy for helping the brain recover those brain cells—and it involves controlling the activation of genes that can coax surrounding cells to transform into neurons.

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Scientists upgrade CRISPR to edit many genes at once

04 September 2019

A research group at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, has made it possible to edit hundreds of genes at once with CRISPR gene editing. CRISPR gene editing has revolutionized the biotech industry by providing an easy and quick way to genetically modify organisms. So far, however, CRISPR techniques have only managed to edit a maximum of seven genes at once. This limits the potential of the technique in creating cell therapies, since whole networks of genes need to be reprogrammed to control each cell’s fate.

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First potential chlamydia vaccine shows early promise

02 September 2019

A vaccine targeting the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia, which would be the first of its kind if approved, has proved safe and able to stimulate the immune system in a phase I trial. In the phase I trial, the vaccine was injected into 35 healthy women. Blood samples from the volunteers were then measured to see if the vaccine triggered the production of antibodies against itself, a sign that the vaccine is working properly. After five months, the vaccine had produced antibodies in the volunteers, and the vaccine’s safety profile was similar to that of the placebo.

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clinical trial

Study finds lack of racial diversity in cancer drug clinical trials

30 August 2019

New research published in JAMA Oncology has found a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials for cancer drugs. The study – conducted by researchers from UBC, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle and Baylor University in Texas – raises concerns about the effectiveness of cancer drugs in some patients, especially since genetic differences may affect how well a patient responds to a drug.

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MRI adhd

MRI scans show how ADHD medication affects brain structure in children

28 August 2019

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects an increasing number of people worldwide, with an estimated 6.1 million children were living with ADHD in 2016, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health. Now, MRI scans have revealed that children taking the common medication methylphenidate experience alterations in the distribution of white matter in the brain. This has led to the researchers warning doctors not to over-prescribe the medication and only use it when it is absolutely necessary, as the long-term effects of the medication are not yet known.

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Top 10 drugs in 2024: Humira’s captain, but who is next?

26 August 2019

Heart drug Lipitor is the biggest-selling drug of all time. Perhaps no surprise to dedicated pharma-watchers, who know the statin med still racks up blockbuster-level sales despite years of generic competition. It won’t hold that crown for much longer, though. AbbVie‘s Humira is set to steal it away—and remain one of history’s biggest-selling drugs at least through 2024. Lifetime total by then? A whopping $240 billion.

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First cells may have emerged because building blocks of proteins stabilized membranes

23 August 2019

Life on Earth arose about 4 billion years ago when the first cells formed within a primordial soup of complex, carbon-rich chemical compounds. These cells faced a chemical conundrum. They needed particular ions from the soup in order to perform basic functions. But those charged ions would have disrupted the simple membranes that encapsulated the cells.

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Research team redefines the footprint of viral (AAV) vector gene therapy

21 August 2019

Building on a track record of developing adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector as a groundbreaking clinical tool for gene therapy and gene editing, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) researchers report a more sensitive method for capturing the footprint of AAV vectors — a broad range of sites where the vectors transfer genetic material.

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Manufacturing delays set back Autolus’ CAR-T programs by five months

19 August 2019

The UK biotech Autolus’ shares have slumped as construction delays from a new manufacturing site have pushed back its CAR-T cell immunotherapy programs. Autolus is developing treatments for blood cancer that involve engineering patients’ own immune cells to kill cancer cells, known as autologous CAR-T cell immunotherapies.

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How microorganisms protect themselves against free radicals

16 August 2019

There are numerous different scenarios in which microorganisms are exposed to highly reactive molecules known as free radicals. These molecules are capable of damaging important cell components and may be generated during normal cell metabolism or in response to environmental factors. Free radicals play a significant role in antibiotic effectiveness, the development of diseases and the normal functioning of the human immune system. A team of researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin has discovered a previously unknown mechanism which enables microorganisms to protect themselves against free radicals. Their findings may help improve the efficacy of antimicrobial substances. Results from this research have been published in Nature.

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Cancer without end? Discovery yields fresh insights

12 August 2019

If there is any consolation to be found in cancer, it may be that the devastating disease dies with the individual carrying it. Or so it had long been assumed. Recent research however has uncovered some forms of cancer that are transmissible, jumping from one host to another. Indeed, one such contagious cancer, known as canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT), has managed to persist in dogs for thousands of years.

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Preventing DNA damage in Parkinson’s by proteins

09 August 2019

Abnormal clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein, or Lewy bodies, are a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. But alpha-synuclein isn’t all bad. In fact, new research reveals it actually plays a vital role in preventing the death of neurons in Parkinson’s.

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industrial biotechnology

The top 20 industrial biotechnology companies in Europe

07 August 2019

Europe’s industrial biotechnology sector is driving a massive change from petrochemical processes to more sustainable alternatives. Here are the top industrial biotechnology companies in Europe making every industry greener.

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artificial cells

Artificial cells that can sense and respond to their environment

05 August 2019

Imperial College London scientists have created artificial cells that mimic biological cells by responding to a chemical change in their surroundings. The artificial cells could be used to sense changes in the body and respond by releasing drug molecules, or to sense and remove harmful metals in the environment.

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Dutch biotech prepares for acute kidney injury clinical trial with €116M fundraise

02 August 2019

The Dutch company AM-Pharma has raised €116M ($133M) to fund a phase III trial of its recombinant protein drug for treating acute kidney injury, a disease with no approved treatments.

“This is probably the largest round in the Netherlands ever done, and a top round in Europe as well,” Erik van den Berg, CEO of AM-Pharma, told me. “But that amount of money is needed to conduct the phase III trial. It’s a large study that we have ahead of us.”

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Cees Korstanje

Community member on the spot: Cees Korstanje

31 July 2019

In community member on the spot we take a dive into the career, challenges and professional passion of one of our community members, working in the biotechnology sector. This time, Cees Korstanje is ‘on the spot’. Cees is a former Translational Science Director/Director Pharmacology and has recently started his own consultancy business.

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hiv vaccine a dna in medical colour background

Developing a novel HIV vaccine: DNA and recombinant proteins

29 July 2019

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have developed a novel vaccine consisting of DNA and recombinant proteins — proteins composed of a portion of an HIV protein and another unrelated protein. This vaccine was tested in monkeys and was shown to induce antibodies similar to those associated with protection from HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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Human Body Organs Anatomy (Liver). 3D

NASH-linked gene discovery could inspire new drugs to treat liver damage

25 July 2019

The disease nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common cause of liver damage, making it among the most sought-after targets in drug discovery. A research team led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) hope a new discovery of a gene that drives the disease will accelerate the search for cures.

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Ron Byron

Innovation and leadership program

23 July 2019

Interview with Ron Byron about his leadership program – Managing Partner, Ekoy Invest

We had the opportunity to interview Ron Byron, Managing Partner of Ekoy Invest. He recently launched his “Team Performance Series” leadership Program. We talked about his career and leadership. If you want to know more, then keep on reading.

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Evotec Spinoff to Develop Cancer Drugs that Block DNA Repair

19 July 2019

Breakpoint Therapeutics, a spinoff from the German biotech Evotec, has raised €30M to develop drugs that block DNA repair mechanisms in drug-resistant cancers.

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Medical tablet with screen as copy space.

World first: Homing instinct applied to stem cells show cells ‘home’ to cardiac tissue

17 July 2019

In a world first, scientists have found a new way to direct stem cells to heart tissue. The findings, led by researchers at the University of Bristol and published in Chemical Science, could radically improve the treatment for cardiovascular disease, which causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK.

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From Academic R&D to Biomedical Innovation

15 July 2019

Blog by Elaine Lima de Souza – Ph.D. in Sciences

Academic R&D is a source of radical innovations generated from breakthroughs in science and technology. Universities, although unexploited, have become the innovation ecosystems of major importance. With this blog I want to discuss the role of the universities in creating biomedical innovations, and what it takes for it to succeed.

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Tracking life’s first step

12 July 2019

Within hours after fertilization, a unique genome forms from chromosomes contributed by the egg and sperm. However, this new genome is initially inactive and must be “awakened” to begin the transcription of its DNA and start embryonic development.

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cellular function

A microscopic topographic map of cellular function

10 July 2019

The flow of traffic through our nation’s highways and byways is meticulously mapped and studied, but less is known about how materials in cells travel.

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Bioprinting in perspective

08 July 2019

Interview with José Manuel Baena Martinez, Entrepreneur

Early 2011, José Manuel Baena Martinez founded BRECA Health Care for the development of 3D printed patient specific medical devices. At that time, 3D printing was not as popular as it is now. Many people told José he was never going to bring it to the clinical application. Now, BRECA has dozens of successfully clinical cases around the world.

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Data reveals cell size sparks genome awakening in embryos

05 July 2019

Transitions are a hallmark of life. When dormant plants flower in the spring or when a young adult strikes out on their own, there is a shift in control.

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anti ageing

Swiss anti-aging treatment gives the elderly healthier muscles

03 July 2019

An anti-ageing dietary supplement developed by the Swiss biotech Amazentis to combat age-related muscle weakening has improved the health of muscle cells in a first-in-human study.

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adagio logo

Company on the spot: Adagio

01 July 2019

Company on the spot written by Elize van Laer – Business Developer at Adagio

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Improving memory by changing brain waves

28 June 2019

Brain signals called sharp wave ripples (SPW-Rs) are believed to support memory consolidation.

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Formation of habitual use drives cannabis addiction

26 June 2019

A shift from brain systems controlling reward-driven use to habit-driven use differentiates heavy cannabis users who are addicted to the drug from users who aren’t

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A homing beacon for chemotherapy drugs

24 June 2019

Killing tumour cells while sparing their normal counterparts is a central challenge of cancer chemotherapy.

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translational science

Translational Science in drug development

21 June 2019

Article written by Cees Korstanje – Translational Science Director/Director Pharmacology

Many people who have just finished a PhD might be working on drug development. However, they often will not know all the connecting processes involved in bringing the drug into patients.

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New vulnerability found in major human viruses

19 June 2019

Discovery of a new feature of a large class of pathogenic viruses may allow development of new antiviral medications for the common cold, polio, and other illnesses

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A CRISPR alternative for editing genes without cutting

17 June 2019

A well-known challenge facing scientists who want to use the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to address a range of diseases is that it requires cutting DNA, which can lead to errors.

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Scinus Cell Expansion

Company on the Spot: A leap in stem cell therapy production

13 June 2019

Company on the Spot written by Michiel Jannink – CEO at Scinus Cell Expansion B.V., Managing Director Demcon Medical Systems

Scinus Cell Expansion is all about a new and exhilarating technique for cell therapy production. Current cell expansion methods do not deliver up to par standards.

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Biomarkers: in the era of molecular medicine

11 June 2019

Blog by Elaine Lima de Souza – Ph.D. in Sciences

The medical and scientific communities are both engaged in to understand and to develop solutions for a better quality of life. From basic to translational research, it is all that matters.

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Viral vaccines could be weapons against alzheimer’s disease

07 June 2019

Scientists in Sweden have found that some viruses can increase the buildup of protein ‘plaques’ linked to Alzheimer’s disease, a discovery that could lead to new vaccines treating the condition.

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New understanding of how cells form tunnels may help in treating wounds, tumors

05 June 2019

A simple slice of the finger sends a complex series of interactions between types of cells into motion. Two types of cells in particular, called macrophages and fibroblasts, work together to clean up and repair the fibers destroyed by the cut.

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tissue engineering

Scientists use molecular tethers, chemical ‘light sabers’ for tissue engineering

03 June 2019

Tissue engineering could transform medicine. Instead of waiting for our bodies to regrow or repair damage after an injury or disease, scientists could grow complex, fully functional tissues in a laboratory for transplantation into patients.

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UK scientists open bacterial genome up to making artificial proteins

31 May 2019

A research group from the University of Cambridge has created bacteria with less complexity in their genome, which could free up DNA code for producing synthetic proteins never before seen in nature.

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bcf career event 2019

BCF Career Event for career awareness, enhancing skills and networking

29 May 2019

Blog by Elaine Lima de Souza – Ph.D. in Sciences

Last week was the BCF Career Event in Utrecht. Events like this have many benefits. Mainly they create a great opportunity to network with companies and getting relevant leads that will help find your dream job.

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Stroke drug cocktail normalises brain fluids, restores movement in mic

27 May 2019

Adrenergic receptor (AdR) antagonists work by counteracting electrical and chemical disturbances in the brain. New research in mouse models suggests that a cocktail of these drugs may reduce the spread of tissue damage and aid in recovery. 

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How proteins help influenza A bind and slice its way to cells

24 May 2019

Researchers have provided new insight on how two proteins help influenza A virus particles fight their way to human cells.

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Pfizer pays up to €700M to acquire swiss biotech restoring bone growth in achondroplasia

22 May 2019

Pharma giant Pfizer is acquiring the Swiss biotech Therachon, which is developing a protein drug to boost bone growth in the genetic condition achondroplasia.

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RNAi therapy smashes solid tumours in preclinical tests

20 May 2019

Developed by the UK biotech Celixir, a therapy based on silencing genes with RNA molecules in a process called RNAi has shrunk tumours by 50% in culture.

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Schizophrenia treatments could be tested and personalised using patients’ blood

17 May 2019

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed a way to screen treatments for schizophrenia on single cells from a patient’s blood sample, which could speed up drug discovery and help to personalize treatments for people with the condition.

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gene mutation

Newly discovered gene mutation reduces fear and anxiety, and increases social interaction

15 May 2019

Finnish researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Oulu have discovered of a new type of gene mutation that reduces fear and anxiety, and increases social interaction.

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Drug mopping up bacterial toxins shows potential to tackle antibiotic resistance in phase I

13 May 2019

An antibiotic-enhancing drug developed by the Swiss biotech Combioxin to tackle antibiotic resistance showed promising effects in a phase I trial.

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Want to elevate your career to the next level?

10 May 2019

BCF Career Event organises an event for everyone interested, active or wants to be active in the life sciences industry.

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next generation

Next-greneration CAR-T therapy shows promise in child’s neuroblastoma

08 May 2019

Cell Medica’s next-generation CAR-T cell therapy has resulted in ‘extensive tumour regression’ in a child with high-risk neuroblastoma, one of the deadliest types of childhood cancer.

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Welding with stem cells for next-generation surgical glues

06 May 2019

Scientists at the University of Bristol have invented a new technology that could lead to the development of a new generation of smart surgical glues and dressings for chronic wounds.

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Company on the spot: Integrated Solution of Health Economics and Organizations (ISHEO)

03 May 2019

Company on the spot interview by Davide Integlia – CEO ISHEO

Innovation as a social phenomenon

“I think that innovation is a social phenomenon that comes from people’s skills, competencies, wishes and sense of respect for human beings and surrounding environment,

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Personalising precision medicine with combination therapies improves outcomes in cancer

29 April 2019

Precision oncology often relies on treating patients with a single, molecularly matched therapy that targets one mutation in their tumour.

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stem cell

First Stem Cell Therapy for Liver Failure Shows Promise in First Human Trials

26 April 2019

A stem cell therapy developed by the Belgian company Promethera has improved symptoms, such as jaundice, in patients with acute liver failure, a condition with no effective treatments.

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CRISPR edits out a deadly lung disease in mice before birth

24 April 2019

Some inherited diseases, including those that affect the lung, can lead to death at the time of or shortly after birth. What if we could use CRISPR to edit out malfunctioning genes before a baby is born?

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biotech woman

Biotechnology Industry Wants to Diversify Leadership

22 April 2019

“Continued progress requires an unprecedented level of innovation and problem solving—and this is best achieved by tapping into multiple and diverse perspectives and experiences,” said Helen Torley of BIO.

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Scientists Develop Treatment to Combat Antibiotic Resistance in Meningitis

20 April 2019

Researchers based in Sweden and Denmark are developing a meningitis treatment that could overcome antibiotic resistance by targeting white blood cells called neutrophils.

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UK Scientists Activate Stem Cells to Heal Corneal Injuries

17 April 2019

A group of researchers in the UK has developed a potential treatment for corneal injuries, such as those caused by chemical burns, by making surrounding tissue softer and letting stem cells regenerate damaged tissue.

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Traveling guide for people with diabetes

15 April 2019

Diabetes currently affects 30.3 million Americans.  That’s nearly one in ten!

The odds that either you or someone you love suffers from diabetes are alarming. 

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VitroScan closes €800k seed funding round

12 April 2019

VitroScan, developing tests to predict treatment outcome for cancer patients, has closed a round of seed funding for €800.000. Lead investor Libertatis Ergo Holding B.V. (LEH) will be welcomed as new board member.

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Synthetic Bacterial Genome

Swiss Scientists Make Synthetic Bacterial Genome Using Computers

10 April 2019

Synthetic biology researchers at ETH Zurich are the first to construct a simplified artificial bacterial genome with the help of computer algorithms, which could lead to better-engineered microorganisms for the production of therapeutics and other chemicals.

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Galapagos with Rheumatoid Arthritis medicine

Galapagos Nears First Drug Approval with Phase III Success in Rheumatoid Arthritis

08 April 2019

Galapagos has released positive data from two phase III trials testing its flagship drug candidate, filgotinib, that will let the company and its partner Gilead apply for marketing approval.

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New tool uses RNA sequencing to chart rich maps of cellular and tissue function

05 April 2019

A new technique developed by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard gives an unprecedented view of the cellular organization of tissues. Known as Slide-seq, the method uses genetic sequencing to draw detailed, three-dimensional maps of tissues, revealing not only what cell types are present, but where they are located and what they are doing.

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Gene Therapy Exceeds Expectations in Treating Children’s Neurological Disease

03 April 2019

A gene therapy developed by the UK company Orchard Therapeutics has greatly improved the motor symptoms of children with an incurable neurological disease.

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Treating heart failure by targeting fat metabolism

01 April 2019

By burning fats and glucose, our hearts get the energy necessary to function well. Scientists at Ohio State University have identified a compound that’s key in fat metabolism but that diminishes when the heart becomes stressed. Restoring it could reduce the risk of heart failure, they found. 

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Grow a better jawbone in your ribs

29 March 2019

The jawbone is not typically connected to the rib bone, but it might be in an emergency. Rice University bioengineers and their colleagues have developed a technique to grow live bone to repair craniofacial injuries by attaching a 3D-printed bioreactor — basically, a mold — to a rib.

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Microsoft partners with biotech on ‘biological computing’ and cell DNA programming

27 March 2019

Microsoft aims to bring its coding skills to bear on biotech, with the goal of building an end-to-end platform for programming the biology of living cells to better produce new medicines and potentially materials that could be applicable to a range of industries.

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Shares Drop 40% as Allergy Therapeutics Announces Failed Phase III Trial

25 March 2019

Allergy Therapeutics has revealed that its immunotherapy for birch pollen allergy did not result in a significant symptom improvement when compared to a placebo.

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Monthly Injection Proves as Good as Daily Pills Against HIV in Phase III

22 March 2019

Two phase III trials conducted by ViiV Healthcare have concluded that a monthly injection of two anti-HIV drugs is as effective as the standard daily treatment taken by people infected with HIV.

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DNA and RNA Copying made easy

20 March 2019

Whether revealing a perpetrator with DNA evidence, diagnosing a pathogen, classifying a paleontological discovery, or determining paternity, the duplication of nucleic acids (amplification) is indispensable.

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stem cells knee

Stem Cells and Hydrogel Make Potential Osteoarthritis Treatment

18 March 2019

Scientists from the Netherlands have received a €600,000 grant to test a treatment for osteoarthritis in humans that combines hydrogels and stem cells to help the knee joint heal.

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All Patients Survive in Cell Therapy Trial for Rare Genetic Disease

15 March 2019

All 20 patients with a rare immunodeficiency disease survived for at least two years after receiving a cell therapy developed by Orchard Therapeutics.

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Ipsen buyout

Ipsen strikes $1.3B Clementia buyout to boost rare disease unit

13 March 2019

Ipsen has struck a $1.3 billion (€1.1 billion) deal to buy Clementia Pharmaceuticals for its late-phase rare disease drug palovarotene. The transaction will see Ipsen hand over $1 billion upfront to acquire the retinoic acid receptor gamma agonist ahead of a filing for FDA approval.

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biotechnology genetic research

Swiss Scientists Find ‘Silver Bullet’ Against Bacterial Infections

11 March 2019

Using the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, researchers in Lausanne have uncovered antimicrobial molecules in the fruit fly that can selectively kill certain bacteria. This could lead to new therapeutics combatting antimicrobial resistance, and even preventing infections before they start.

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GE to sell its biopharma business to Danaher for $21.4B

08 March 2019

General Electric has moved to sell its growing biopharma manufacturing business to Danaher in a $21.4 billion deal, as the conglomerate looks to slim down its operations and pay off its lingering debt.

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biotechnology genetic research

Nitisinone increases melanin in people with albinism

06 March 2019

A small pilot clinical study at the National Eye Institute (NEI) suggests that the drug nitisinone increases melanin production in some people with oculocutaneous albinism type 1B (OCA-1B), a rare genetic disease that causes pale skin and hair and poor vision.

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Scientist with equipment and science expirements laboratory glassware

Researchers define cells used in bone repair

04 March 2019

Research led by Johns Hopkins investigators has uncovered the roles of two types of cells found in the vessel walls of fat tissue and described how these cells may help speed bone repair.

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a plastic brain in a lab

British Biotech Spin-Offs Get €40M Funding to Treat Narcolepsy

01 March 2019

Orexia and Inexia, two new virtual companies spun out of Sosei Heptares, will develop drugs for neurological diseases such as narcolepsy with funding from Medicxi Ventures.

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Experiments in the laboratory

Combo of Immunotherapy and Diabetes Drug Could Beat Breast Cancer

27 February 2019

A Finnish research group has combined two cancer drugs with the diabetes drug metformin, making mice with breast cancer survive for longer than when given the treatments individually.

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Test tubes closeup.medical glassware

How a decades-old HIV drug might help treat Alzheimer’s, age-related diseases

25 February 2019

Drugs that inhibit an enzyme called reverse transcriptase have been on the market for decades to treat HIV. Now a team led by Brown University scientists may have found another use for them—to treat age-related disorders, including Alzheimer’s.

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Entrepreneurs and business people conference in modern meeting room

Gossamer Bio pulls off $276M IPO to push a trio of programs through the clinic

22 February 2019

Late last month, Gossamer Bio filed to raise up to $230 million in a fixed-price IPO so it could go public despite the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. Now that the government has reopened, the San Diego biotech has returned to its original plan, pricing its traditional IPO at $276 million. 

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Finding clues to a functional HIV cure

20 February 2019

George Mason University’s Yuntao Wu is the lead scientist on a research team that has identified a measurable indicator that could prove instrumental in the fight against HIV.

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Anti-rejection drug rapamycin shows promise in liver cancer

18 February 2019

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine were studying the cells that surround the liver’s central vein when they made a serendipitous discovery. Cells with a mutation in a gene called β-catenin also made high levels of the mTOR protein—a fault that they believe could promote the development of cancer.

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New bat-borne virus related to Ebola

15 February 2019

Researchers from Singapore’s Duke-NUS Medical School, in collaboration with scientists in China, have identified and characterised a new genus of filovirus from a Rousettus bat in China. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Microbiology.

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Gene expression study sheds new light on African Salmonella

13 February 2019

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have taken another step forward in understanding the bacteria that are causing a devastating Salmonella epidemic currently killing around 400,000 people each year in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Topical Gene Therapy Shows Early Promise for Inherited Skin Disease

08 February 2019

A gene therapy applied to the skin, developed by UK company Amryt Pharma, showed positive preclinical results for the treatment of a rare genetic skin disease.  

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Biotechnology genetic research

Gene-editing tool CRISPR repurposed to develop better antibiotics

06 February 2019

A University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher and his collaborators at the University of California, San Francisco have repurposed the gene-editing tool CRISPR to study which genes are targeted by particular antibiotics, providing clues on how to improve existing antibiotics or develop new ones.

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A little squid sheds light on evolution with bacteria

04 February 2019

Bacteria, which are vital for the health of all animals, also played a major role in the evolution of animals and their tissues. In an effort to understand just how animals co-evolved with bacteria over time, researchers have turned to the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes.

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dna Gene

Scientists provide new insight on how gene expression is controlled

28 January 2019

Researchers have provided new insight on the mechanism underlying the control of gene expression in all living organisms, according to a study published today in eLife.

The findings, first reported on bioRxiv, could ultimately improve our understanding of how certain antibacterial drugs work against the enzyme RNA polymerase (RNAP) in treating conditions such as Clostridium difficile infections and tuberculosis.

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Researchers uncover new mechanism of gene regulation involved in tumor progression

24 January 2019

Genes contain all the information needed for the functioning of cells, tissues, and organs in our body. Gene expression, meaning when and how are the genes being read and executed, is thoroughly regulated like an assembly line with several things happening one after another.

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Linda Dijkshoorn

How did I get to be CEO of a Biotech company?

21 January 2019

Blog written by Linda Dijkshoorn

I have always had a peculiar mind-set. When someone asks me if I can do something, even if I had never done it before, I always say ‘yes’. Because why not? I am a fast learner, and if I make a mistake, that is just human. I put my head down and try to master the skill as fast as possible. This allowed me to dream big.

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New bio inspired material interacts with surrounding tissues to promote wound healing

17 January 2019

Imperial researchers have developed new bio inspired material that interacts with surrounding tissues to promote healing.

Materials are widely used to help heal wounds: Collagen sponges help treat burns and pressure sores, and scaffold-like implants are used to repair bones. However, the process of tissue repair changes over time, so scientists are developing biomaterials that interact with tissues as healing takes place.

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The immune system’s fountain of youth

14 January 2019

If only we could keep our bodies young, healthy and energetic, even as we attain the wisdom of our years. New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests this dream could be at least partly obtainable in the future.

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cancer cells

Stopping cancer from recruiting immune system double agents

10 January 2019

Cancerous tumors trick myeloid cells, an important part of the immune system, into perceiving them as a damaged part of the body; the tumors actually put myeloid cells to work helping them grow and metastasise (spread). A research team co-led by scientists at Rush University Medical Center have discovered a potential therapy that can disrupt this recruitment and abnormal function of myeloid cells in laboratory mice. The findings of their latest study were published on Dec. 19 in Nature Communications.

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Stem cells

French scientists find a weak spot in HIV-infected cells

07 January 2019

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur were able to selectively kill the cells where HIV hides from antiretroviral drugs, opening the way for a new form of HIV treatments.

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Cancer cells

Personalised Immunotherapy for Brain Cancer Succeeds in Clinical Trials

03 January 2019

A European trial has proved the feasibility and efficacy of treating cancer with a personalized immunotherapy tailored to each patient. The phase I/II trial, run across six European centers, tested a combination of two personalized vaccines in patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. 

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Future Pharma

The trends in the pharma industry

01 January 2019

Just like most industries, the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry have gone through massive changes. Enormous amounts of R&D expenditures enables these industries to create and use things that were unthinkable a couple of years ago. But, what are these trends in the pharma industry?

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Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system

31 December 2018

Scientist have long known that bacteria in the intestines, also known as the microbiome, perform a variety of useful functions for their hosts, such as breaking down dietary fiber in the digestive process and making vitamins K and B7

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Megadeal with Pfizer could change the global healthcare

27 December 2018
  • The British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline plans to combine its consumer-health business into a joint venture with its US rival Pfizer to create a medical superpower.
  • The deal could forge the largest provider of medicinal products sold directly to the public in the world.
  • The move means that GSK will split into two businesses going forward.
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We would like to wish you a merry Christmas!

25 December 2018

On behalf of the Biotechnology Community, we would like to wish you a merry Christmas!


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First line immunotherapy combination fails

24 December 2018

First line immunotherapy with durvalumab or the combination of durvalumab and tremelimumab does not improve overall survival in unselected patients with lung cancer, according to late breaking results from the MYSTIC trial presented at the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress.(1)

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Antibody Hitting Tumor Self-Destruct Button Passes Phase I

20 December 2018

A first-in-class antibody cancer treatment, from the French company Netris Pharma, has shown good safety and anti-tumor effects in a phase I trial in patients with advanced solid tumors.

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What does the largest biotech IPO ever mean for European biotech?

17 December 2018

With a massive €530M ($604M) raised, US-based Moderna has made a record biotech IPO. The news could give a significant boost to developers of messenger RNA, a technology that is still several years away from the market.

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Effective new target for mood-boosting brain stimulation found

14 December 2018

Researchers have found an effective target in the brain for electrical stimulation to improve mood in people suffering from depression. As reported in the journal Current Biology on November 29, stimulation of a brain region called the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) reliably produced acute improvement in mood in patients who suffered from depression at the start of the study.

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Daniel Schneider: Photocure’s New CEO

10 December 2018

On September the 20th, Photocure, a company that focusses on improving lives of bladder cancer patients, announced that Daniel Schneider will be the new CEO, starting on November 1st. With his experience, Dan can bring Photocure to the next level. We asked Dan some questions to find out what his motives are, and what exactly he can bring to Photocure.

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sickle cell

Gene Therapies for Blood Disorders Marching Through the Clinic

07 December 2018

Gene therapy holds great potential as a cure for blood disorders such as hemophilia and sickle cell disease, which have limited treatment options.  This week, several gene therapy companies have released promising clinical trial results in hemophilia and sickle cell anemia.

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innovative technologies

Can Immunotherapy Offer New Hope for Parkinson’s Sufferers?

05 December 2018

Parkinson’s disease affects many people around the world, but effective treatments are proving elusive. Immunotherapy is being developed as a new treatment for the disease. I spoke to some experts in the field to find out just how promising the new therapies being developed are.

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VIB Logo

How does VIB contribute to establishing the Biotech hub in Flanders?

03 December 2018

Interview with Jerômé van Biervliet – Head of Business Development/Head of VIB Discovery Sciences – VIB

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3D Placenta

Long-Lasting Placenta Organoids Could Improve Pregnancy Research

02 December 2018

Researchers have made 3D placenta organoids from human cells that can last for over a year, improving over the current models to study disease in pregnancy and develop drugs. 

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Galapagos receives Fast Track designation from FDA for GLPG1972/S201086 in osteoarthritis

28 November 2018

Mechelen, Belgium; 27 November 2018, 22.01 CET – Galapagos NV (Euronext & NASDAQ: GLPG) announced that the FDA has granted GLPG1972/S201086 Fast Track designation for the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis (OA).

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Genome-edited babies claim provokes international outcry

28 November 2018

A Chinese scientist claims to have helped make the world’s first genome-edited babies — twin girls, who were born this month. The announcement has provoked shock and outrage among scientists around the world.

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Ovarian Cancer

Therapy response prediction for cancer patients – VitroScan

28 November 2018

Interview with Willemijn Vader – Managing Director VitroScan

Personalised medicine is aimed for the treatment of patients with all kind of diseases.

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Parkinson’s Disease Vaccine Shows Preclinical Promise

26 November 2018

The biotech company United Neuroscience has developed a candidate Parkinson’s disease vaccine that targets a protein linked to the condition.

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Scorpion venom to shuttle drugs into the brain

21 November 2018

The Peptides and Proteins lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has published a paper in Chemical Communications describing the capacity of a small molecule (peptide) derived from chlorotoxin, found in scorpion venom (Giant Yellow Israeli scorpion), to carry drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

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AbbVie Enters Industry Collaboration to Fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease

19 November 2018

The UK biotech Mission Therapeutics has teamed up with AbbVie to develop new drugs to treat the neurodegenerative conditions Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

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BiotechMeeting 22nd of November

14 November 2018

On Thursday the 22nd of November, the last BiotechMeeting of 2018 will take place. During this meeting, innovators will share their promising biomedical innovations and questions within the network of partners. We asked one of the organisers, Boris Polm from BiotechPartners, what people can expect during this event.

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Gap in research means millions living with long-term consequences of cancer

14 November 2018

Millions of people are living with the long-term consequences of cancer and its treatment, but currently there is very little research on the problems they face and how these can be tackled, according to the UK’s National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI).

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Cell behavior, once shrouded in mystery, is revealed in new light

12 November 2018

A cell’s behavior is as mysterious as a teenager’s mood swings. However, University of Missouri researchers are one step closer to understanding cell behavior, with the help of a specialized microscope.

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Fascination for Vaccination

06 November 2018

When it comes to receiving vaccines, there has been some discussion regarding this lately. Whether you open up a newspaper or turn on the TV, vaccines are the topic. The discussion is regarding the choice everybody has to make if they will receive the vaccines or not.

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HIV search

Virus detectives test whole-body scans in search of HIV’s hiding places

02 November 2018

Antiretroviral drugs have transformed HIV infection from a death sentence to a chronic condition for many people who carry the virus. But because HIV never truly leaves the body, the virus rebounds rapidly if patients stop taking the drugs for even a short time.

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Digging deeper into strategic alliances

29 October 2018

When it comes to gathering information, the Internet continues to serve its purpose. You can find whatever you desire and more importantly you can gather it from good sources.

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How Much Salary Can You Expect in a Biotech Job?

26 October 2018

If you’re thinking of taking a job in biotech, you’re probably wondering how much you’ll be paid. Here’s what you can expect depending on how high in the ladder your new position is.
Salary is undoubtedly an important factor when searching for a new job position, so it’s important to know what you can expect.

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10X Genomics

10X Genomics Inc. Opens new European Headquarters in Leiden

24 October 2018

10X Genomics, a California-based company in the genomics area, has expanded to The Netherlands and opened their European Headquarters in Leiden. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and InnovationQuarter assisted 10X Genomics with their settlement at the Leiden Bio Science Park.

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The 6 Best Biotech Startup Competitions

22 October 2018

If you are looking for an opportunity to pitch your startup, look no further. Here’s a guide to the key European events for biotech startup competitions.

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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence aids automatic monitoring of single molecules in cells

19 October 2018

To understand the mechanisms by which molecules act in cells, or the effects of drugs on them, it would be ideal to be able to track individual molecules, including where in the cell they are located and what modifications they undergo when conditions in the cell change. However, this has proven difficult with existing technologies, particularly given the amount of time required to perform such monitoring.

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Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: What it can do for us?

17 October 2018

Blog by Elaine Lima da Souza

 We are living in the Age of Data. Everything is happening fast, and we are not able to keep following up with all information available. We need to be assisted by technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help us to make a good use of all the data and to generate improvements in healthcare.

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Nobel Prize

This Year’s Nobel Prizes Highlight Advances in Biotechnology

15 October 2018

Immune system brakes, optical tweezers, and enzyme evolution. Three separate subjects that span this year’s Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine, Physics and Chemistry. Despite the differences in theory, however, the diverse discoveries have one thing in common: they have applications in the biotechnology industry, Labiotech’s favorite subject.

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Itchy skin

Could treating psoriasis in the future be as easy as going online?

12 October 2018

For approximately 8 million Americans, visiting a doctor regularly is the key to managing their psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by itchy or painful red patches that can appear anywhere on the body. But for some people, seeing a specialist regularly can be a monumental challenge, especially for those who live in rural or underserved communities.

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Stem cells

Blood test detects early stage pancreatic cancer

10 October 2018

Pancreatic cancer is currently very difficult to detect while it is still resectable. A new blood test developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden, Herlev Hospital, Knight Cancer Center and Immunovia AB, can detect pancreatic cancer in the very earliest stages of the disease.

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Kidney Transplant Success Improved by Swedish Biotech’s Drug

08 October 2018

There is hope for many patients on the kidney transplant waiting list, as a Swedish biotech’s lead candidate drug could help reduce rejections in kidney transplant patients.

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Alcon confirms proposed spinoff from Novartis

05 October 2018

Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, today announced plans to locate its future global headquarters in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, following completion of its proposed spinoff from Novartis. Alcon’s new global headquarters in Geneva will be the primary location for Alcon’s senior corporate leadership and other corporate and commercial functions. It will be co-located with Alcon’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regional office, which is already based in the city. The new premises will be in a modern office complex offering world-class services and amenities, including close proximity to the Geneva international airport.

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Human Resource Management in the Pharma industry

03 October 2018

Industries are changing and developing, and so is the pharmaceutical industry. Not only the size of the industry, the expenditures and the techniques are changing, but also the Human Resource Management sector has gone through several changes over the past few years. We wanted to know more about these changes, and asked an expert, Leonard Polman, for his experiences and opinions on the developments.

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Argenx Attracts Huge €250M Investment Following Positive Phase II Trial

01 October 2018

Belgian biotech Argenx raised over €250M in public investment on the Nasdaq Stock Market after announcing positive Phase II results for its lead autoimmune drug candidate.

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Startup pitch

Check Out Europe’s Hottest Pitching Event for Startups!

28 September 2018

Last year Berlin, this year Copenhagen – No matter where in Europe, this is the best opportunity to meet the most inspiring biotech startups out there: The Startup Slam at BIO-Europe 2018!

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New Experimental Models for Drug Screening

26 September 2018

Blog by  Elaine Lima de Souza, Ph.D.

Billions of dollars are spent in drug screening and development of new medicines. However, about 90% of the drugs fail when reaching phase 1 of the clinical trials or show unpredicted side effects. Therefore, efforts are needed to create new experimental models for drug screening.

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whole fat dairy

Whole fat dairy may protect from cardiovascular disease and stroke

24 September 2018

One of the commonest diet fads these days is choosing low fat dairy over whole fat milk and milk products. A new large study however, has now shown that full-fat dairy and dairy products may be more beneficial for the heart. The results of the study appeared in the latest issue of the journal The Lancet.

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TU Delft

TU Delft – iGEM

21 September 2018

Doping has been an issue for fair sports for many years. Lance Armstrong for example won the Tour the France seven times before he was caught for the use of doping. At the end of 2012 all these seven victories were taken. The cycling world was shocked.

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Thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days

19 September 2018

To highlight uncertain norms in authorship, John P. A. Ioannidis, Richard Klavans and Kevin W. Boyack identified the most prolific scientists of recent years.

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The EMA Recommends the Approval of First Nanobody from Ablynx

19 September 2018

Update: The EMA has officially approved Cablivi for the treatment of adults with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, following its earlier recommendation in June. The drug has also been accepted for priority review by the US FDA, with a decision due on 6 Feb 2019.

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How exercise generates new neurons, improves cognition in Alzheimer’s mouse

17 September 2018

A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team finds that neurogenesis -inducing the production of new neurons — in the brain structure in which memories are encoded can improve cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Their investigation shows that those beneficial effects on cognition can be blocked by the hostile inflammatory environment present in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and that physical exercise can “clean up” the environment, allowing new nerve cells to survive and thrive and improving cognition in the Alzheimer’s mice.

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Electron microscopy provides new view of tiny virus with therapeutic potential

14 September 2018

The imaging method called cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) allows researchers to visualize the shapes of biological molecules with an unprecedented level of detail. Now, a team led by researchers from the Salk Institute and the University of Florida is reporting how they used cryo-EM to show the structure of a version of a virus called an AAV2, advancing the technique’s capabilities and the virus’ potential as a delivery vehicle for gene therapies. 

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More Brexit Bad News: EMA Pulls Contracts Early From UK Regulatory Body

12 September 2018

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has pulled all contracts with the UK’s medical regulation body ahead of the UK withdrawing from the EU next year.

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Stem cells

Stem Cells Used as Delivery Truck for Brain Cancer Drugs

10 September 2018

Common brain cancers in children, such as medulloblastoma, have been notoriously difficult to treat therapeutically, with traditional interventions reliant on inefficient surgical techniques to remove the bulk of the cancerous tissue. However now, new data from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy may lead to a more effective way to treat these aggressive tumors.

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This Tiny Particle Might Change Millions of Lives

07 September 2018

Remember the scene in the movie Mission: Impossible when Tom Cruise has to sneak into the vault? He had to do all sorts of moves to avoid detection. That’s what it’s like to sneak a targeted drug into a kidney and keep it from getting eliminated from the body.

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The 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Biotech Partnerships

05 September 2018

The question of whether to partner with another company is critical to the long-term development of a biotech. Nonetheless, it can be easy for a small company to underestimate the resources it needs to put into a successful collaboration. Here, we’ll go over some expert advice on what to do and what not to do to set up a partnership, keep it up and running and make it successful.

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Kite and Novartis’s CAR T-Cell Therapies Approved

03 September 2018

Update: Following on from earlier approvals in the US, the European Commission announced it has given marketing approval for both Kite’s Yescarta and Novartis’s Kymriah for treatment of patients with various forms of blood cancer.

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Blood cells

Researchers develop new way to detect cancer cells in the blood using malaria protein

31 August 2018

Cancer tumor cells in the blood can be more accurately and cheaply detected using a malaria protein, new research led by UNSW’s Chris Heeschen shows. 

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Synthetic DNA-based enzymes

29 August 2018

Enzymes perform very specific functions and require only little energy — which is why the biocatalysts are also of interest to the chemical industry. In a review article published in the journal Nature Reviews Chemistry, Professor Thomas Happe and Associate Professor Anja Hemschemeier from the Photobiotechnology work group at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have provided a summary on what is known about the mechanisms of enzymes in nature.

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Why some patients with brain markers for Alzheimer’s never develop the condition

27 August 2018

An intriguing new study has marked the beginning of the answer to a medical mystery: why is it that some people with classic markers for Alzheimer’s Disease never show any signs of dementia throughout their life?

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Pfizer Offers €374M for German mRNA Flu Vaccine

24 August 2018

BioNTech, based in Mainz, Germany, has entered into a partnership with Pfizer worth up to $425M (€374M) to develop an mRNA-based flu vaccine, which could be produced much more quickly than current flu vaccines.

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Cell lines

Researchers engineer three cell lines to produce nonproprietary versions of NISTmAb

22 August 2018

When the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued the world’s first standardized monoclonal antibody (mAb) in July 2016, the exhaustively analyzed protein known as NISTmAb (NIST Reference Material 8671) was intended as a valuable tool for biopharmaceutical companies.

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Genotype-Specific Microparticle Treatment for Brain Cancer

20 August 2018

Glioma, a type of brain cancer, is normally treated by removing as much of the tumor as possible, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. With this treatment, patients survive an average of about 10 years, but the tumors inevitably grow back. 

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Stem cells

Stem cell transplants to be used in treating Crohn’s disease

17 August 2018

A clinical trial has begun which will use stem cell transplants to grow a new immune system for people with untreatable Crohn’s disease – a painful and chronic intestinal disease which affects at least 115,000 people in the UK.

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New study analyzes risk factors associated with mosquito-borne infectious diseases

15 August 2018

In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers analyzed chikungunya and dengue outbreak data from 76 countries over a period of 50 years, focusing on regions across the Indian Ocean that are hard hit by these and other mosquito-borne infectious diseases.

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Kite Partners with Dutch Biotech to Develop a New Form of CAR-T Therapy

13 August 2018

Kite will support Gadeta in the development of a new type of CAR-T therapy that could be more effective in solid tumors.

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New Gene Therapy Could Treat Cystic Fibrosis With One Dose

10 August 2018

A new partnership in the UK will develop a gene therapy for cystic fibrosis that could treat the disease with a single dose.

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Gut bacteria

Gut bacteria may be important determinant of weight loss

08 August 2018

A preliminary study published in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that, for some people, specific activities of gut bacteria may be responsible for their inability to lose weight, despite adherence to strict diet and exercise regimens.

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EMA Temporarily Scales Back Activities to Prepare for Brexit

06 August 2018

As a result of Brexit, the European Medicines Agency will suspend some of its activities to prepare for staff cuts and its move from London to Amsterdam next year.

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CRISPR-Cas9 Shown to Cause Previously Unseen DNA Damage

02 August 2018

Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK have found that gene editing with CRISPR-Cas9 can cause significantly more off-target damage to the DNA than previously thought.

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Promising new class of antibodies protects against HIV-1 infection

30 July 2018

A group of scientists at Texas Biomedical Research Institute have zeroed in on a new defense against HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS.

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Artificial Intelligence

Insilico and A2A launch new Duchenne-focused AI drug company

26 July 2018

Two artificial intelligence-based drug design firms, Insilico Medicine and A2A Pharmaceuticals, have launched a new joint company aimed at developing small molecules for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other rare orphan diseases.

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Why do I work in the biotech industry?

09 July 2018

Corrie Kroeze, Senior MSL Manager at Celgene, explains us her reasons to work in the biotech industry. She started in this industry 29 years ago at Lorex Pharmaceutica (what is now known as Sanofi Genzyme) as a rep.

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Tobias Gladbach

From University to Grünenthal GmbH

06 July 2018

Recently, we spoke to Tobias Gladbach a passionate Biotechnologist, who recently attained his Master of Sciences degree and started working in the pharmaceutical industry at Grünenthal GmbH. We talked about his experiences and how he ended up in this industry.

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Cancer cells

Personalised cancer vaccine may increase long-term survival in patients with deadly brain cancer

03 July 2018

An international Phase III study led by researchers at UCLA and at Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. has found that a personalized glioblastoma vaccine may increase long-term survival in some patients. Nearly 30 percent of patients in the current trial have now survived at least three years post-enrollment, with patients continuing to be followed over time.

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personalised medicine1

Is personalised medicine of necessity?

01 July 2018

Within the pharmaceutical industry, many scientists dream of making medicines that are tailored to the needs and characteristics of an individual patient. Scientists believe that a personalised medicine would provide treatment with the highest possible safety and effectiveness. Moreover, personalised medicines would be cost-saving. However, the dream of these scientist have not come true, because of challenges they are facing. Do you think personalised medicine is essential?

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An HIV Cure by 2020? A Review of the Future of HIV Therapy

30 June 2018

HIV research has come a long way since the disease was discovered in the 1980’s. Antiretroviral therapy was a major milestone that has changed the lives of millions, but the goal now is to find an HIV cure before 2020. We’ve scanned the biotech industry to identify the most promising developments towards finding the cure.

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Withdrawal drug could vault more patients into addiction therapy

26 June 2018

Patients who go off opioid painkillers face excruciating withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, muscle aches and more. Now, thanks to an FDA approval for US WorldMeds’ Lucemyra, they’ll have the first drug designed to fight those symptoms.

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Blood cells

Engineering Red Blood Cells to Fight the Most Severe Cancers

21 June 2018

Our very own red blood cells could soon become a treatment for some of the most severe forms of cancer; After a long journey of ups and downs, Erytech is now near the finish line to launch the first red blood cell therapy.

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Note to pharma: AI companies could use your help detailing doctors

18 June 2018

Artificial intelligence companies are coming up with all kinds of ways to help pharma improve clinical trials, zero in on which patients will benefit most from their drugs and go well beyond the pill. So how can pharma return the favor? By convincing reluctant doctors to jump on board, for starters.

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FDA Puts Clinical Trial for CRISPR Therapy on Hold

15 June 2018

The FDA has put a hold on CRISPR Therapeutics’ planned Phase I/II trial testing a CRISPR gene-editing therapy in patients with sickle cell disease, which will likely delay the use of CRISPR-based therapies in humans.

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Planting the Seeds to Grow the Italian Biotech Industry

12 June 2018

Many European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, and Switzerland, boast a thriving biotech industry. Others are still a step behind when it comes to industrialising their research. Let’s take a look at how Italy is pushing through to make it to the first league.  Italy is certainly a pioneer and leader in life science research — three of the gene and cell therapies approved in Europe come from Italian research. However, the country has not yet translated its strong science into a strong biotech industry. 

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Microbiome Company Enters $534M Deal With Genentech To Develop Treatments for IBD

08 June 2018

UK biotech Microbiotica has entered into a multi-year collaboration with Genentech, one of the world’s first biotechs, to develop microbiome-based treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.

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biotech companies

The 5 best Biotech companies in Europe’s history

07 June 2018

The United States is where the biotech started back in the days. The biotech industry is rapidly growing nowadays and is one of Europe’s biggest employers. Europe has stepped up as a major competitor in the development of ever better technologies within the biotech industry. In Europe there are many upcoming companies and achievements within the biotech industry.

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Brexit: the consequences for Biotech and pharma

05 June 2018

You cannot have missed it: Brexit. On March 29, 2019, the United Kingdom will officially leave the European Union. The results and follow up will take years. Many economists believe that the Brexit is likely to have a negative impact on the medium and long-term UK economy. But what are the consequences for biotech and pharma industry in Europe?

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the future

A CRISPR therapy future

04 June 2018

CRISPR was discovered in the early 1990s, and seven years later it was first used in biochemical experiments. CRISPR has rapidly become the most popular gene editing tool among researchers within the biotechnology industry, mainly in fields of microbiology, human biology, and agriculture. Over the past couple of years, CRISPR has been making headlines.

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Most important drug inventions

02 June 2018

A lot of the drugs we have and use nowadays are considered as normal. However, over the past few decades these drugs were invented, and at the time, they were groundbreaking. To this day, these medicines are saving lives and making the lives of billions of people around the world a lot easier. Here are the most important drug inventions ever.

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Tumor-like spheres help scientists discover smarter cancer drugs

01 June 2018

Cancer is a disease often driven by mutations in genes. As researchers learn more about these genes, and the proteins they code for, they are seeking smarter drugs to target them. The ultimate goal is to find ways to stop cancer cells from multiplying out of control, thereby blocking the growth and spread of tumors.

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Swiss Company Raises Ambitious IPO to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

28 May 2018


Polyphor has closed an IPO of CHF 165M (€138M) to continue developing a new class of antibiotics against pneumonia, as well as treatments for cystic fibrosis and breast cancer.

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