2017 shaping up to be pivotal year for CAR-T and CRISPR therapies

PHIL TAYLOR | December 22, 2016

article image
2017 is promising to be a pivotal year for synthetic biology as two landmark technologies—CRISPR/Cas9 and CAR-T—head toward critical milestones. In the coming months, it is possible that the first therapy based on CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T cells) will get regulatory approval, with candidates from Novartis and Kite Pharma that promise to reprogram the immune system to fight cancer currently leading the race to market.

Spotlight

Surface Oncology Inc

Surface Oncology was created to advance next‐generation approaches to cancer immunotherapy based on proprietary insights about novel immunotherapy targets and emerging areas of cancer immuno‐biology. The company’s scientific founders and SAB are comprised of world‐leading immunologists and cancer researchers, including co‐chairs Sasha Rudensky (Memorial Sloan Kettering) and Arlene Sharpe (Harvard/DFCI). They are joined on the SAB by Christopher Hunter and John Wherry (University of Pennsylvania), Carla Rothlin (Yale University), Elliott Sigal, and John Stagg (University of Montreal).

OTHER ARTICLES

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | February 12, 2020

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

Read More

Cell Out? Lysate-Based Expression an Option for Personalized Meds

Article | February 18, 2020

Cell-free expression (CFE) is the practice of making a protein without using a living cell. In contrast with cell line-based methods, production is achieved using a fluid containing biological components extracted from a cell, i.e., a lysate. CFE offers potential advantages for biopharma according to Philip Probert, PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Process Innovation in the U.K.

Read More

Translating Pharmacomicrobiomics: Three Actionable Challenges/Prospects in 2020

Article | February 24, 2020

The year 2020 marks a decade since the term pharmacomicrobiomics was coined (Rizkallah et al., 2010) to crystallize a century-old concept of mutual interactions between humans, drugs, and the microbial world. The human microbiome, with its immense metabolic potential that exceeds and expands the human metabolic capacities, has the ability to modulate pharmacotherapy by affecting both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drug molecules:

Read More

5 Biotech Stocks Winning the Coronavirus Race

Article | April 13, 2020

There are quite a few companies that have found ways to grow their business during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true for a number of biotechs now working on developing a potential treatment for, or vaccine against, the virus; shares of such companies have largely surged over the past couple of months. Although many of these treatments and vaccines are still have quite a way to go before they're widely available, it's still worth taking some time to look through what's going on in the COVID-19 space right now. Here are five biotech stocks that are leading the way when it comes to addressing COVID-19. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) wasn't among the initial wave of companies to announce a potential COVID-19 drug. However, investor excitement quickly sent shares surging when the company announced that its rheumatoid arthritis drug, Kevzara, could help treat COVID-19 patients.

Read More

Spotlight

Surface Oncology Inc

Surface Oncology was created to advance next‐generation approaches to cancer immunotherapy based on proprietary insights about novel immunotherapy targets and emerging areas of cancer immuno‐biology. The company’s scientific founders and SAB are comprised of world‐leading immunologists and cancer researchers, including co‐chairs Sasha Rudensky (Memorial Sloan Kettering) and Arlene Sharpe (Harvard/DFCI). They are joined on the SAB by Christopher Hunter and John Wherry (University of Pennsylvania), Carla Rothlin (Yale University), Elliott Sigal, and John Stagg (University of Montreal).

Events