Latest Stories


Astellas

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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antibiotic

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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Medicines

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

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

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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brain

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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anemia

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

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

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

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 medical devices industry.

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Teva

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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gene

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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evolutionary

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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neuronal

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

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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Armo

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

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

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

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

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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Start.Smart.Global

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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sertraline

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

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

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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Vitamin

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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pharmaceutical

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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scientist

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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Zantac

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

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

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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neurons

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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genes

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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Chlamydia

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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membranes

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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AAV

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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Autolus

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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Microorganisms

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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bioprinting

Regenerative medicine: Are we close to be immortal?

14 August 2019

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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cancer cells and red blood cells small

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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parkinson's

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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Clinical trial kidney

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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Autolus

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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R&D

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

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

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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size

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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memory

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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addiction

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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tumour

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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viruses

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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CRISPR-Cas9

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

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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alzheimers

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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cells

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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dna

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

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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cells

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

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

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

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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antibiotic

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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bcf

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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gels

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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ISHEO

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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medicine

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

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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meningites

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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corneal

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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diabetes

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

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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sequencing

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

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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heart fat balloon

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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jawbone

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

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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pollen

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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injection

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

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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rare disease blue

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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biopharma

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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T Cells

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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Biotechnology

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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Ebola

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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Salmonella

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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human

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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bacteria

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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Clinical Research

The distance between pharmaceutical companies and Medical Specialists

31 January 2019

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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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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Autolus

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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meningites

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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biotechnology

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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micriobiome

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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science and medicine

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!

christmas

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research

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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Autolus

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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biotechnology

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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brain

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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Approved

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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Crispr

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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vaccine

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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Venom

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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Partnership

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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Healthcare

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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microscope

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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Vaccination

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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Partnership

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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Salary

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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startup

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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Elaine

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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kidneys

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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Geneva

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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HRM

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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Funding

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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Organoids

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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Lorin Raats

The ambiguity of authorship in scientific articles

19 September 2018

Lorin Raats, a Biotechnology Associate, gave his opinion as a reaction to an article in Nature. Read his reaction down below.

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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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Approved

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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Exercise

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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Microscopy

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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Brexit

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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Nanoparticles

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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Partnership

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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Car-t

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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DNA

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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Alzheimer's

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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Vaccination

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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Brain

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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Mosquito's

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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Car-t

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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Lungs

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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Brexit

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

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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Ebola

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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Corrie

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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HIV

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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Pills

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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Algorithms

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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CRISPR

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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Plant

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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Crohns

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

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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Pharma

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

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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Pneumonia

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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