Analyzing Sperm DNA Damage to Diagnose Male Infertility

In over a third of infertile couples, male infertility is thought to play a role in the inability to conceive a child. Sperm DNA damage is a leading cause of male infertility but is a measure that is not analyzed by current fertility tests. The knock-on effect of this is a reduction in the potential success of fertility treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). A recent collaborative study between Examen and the Lister Fertility Clinic in London used Examen’s COMET assay to measure sperm DNA damage in men with unexplained infertility. We spoke with Professor Sheena Lewis, CEO of Examen, to learn more about the study, the links between sperm DNA damage and infertility, and the value of adding this parameter to fertility testing.

Spotlight

Counsyl

Counsyl is a health technology company that offers DNA screening for men, women and their children. Our philosophy is simple - focus on diseases where advanced knowledge makes a difference in health outcomes, whether it's changing a behavior, pursuing preventative measures, or simply preparing for what lies ahead. Counsyl has screened over 500,000 patients and served over 6,000 health professionals in its modern clinical laboratory. From the purely mechanical to profoundly human, Counsyl strives to make DNA screening truly accessible to everyone.

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MedTech

Data Analytics: A Groundbreaking Technology in Biotech

Article | October 7, 2022

Biotechnology is a vast discipline of biology that employs diverse biological systems to create solutions that can significantly alter the ways in which they operate across various domains. That said, biotechnology is not a new notion. It has existed for millennia, with ancient civilizations using its earliest incarnations to cultivate crops and create alcoholic beverages. Today, the biotechnology industry has developed by leaps and bounds and has amassed a vast quantity of scientific data through study and research. Given the importance of data in the biotechnology business, it is not difficult to understand why biotech companies utilize data analytics. Modern data analytics tools have made it possible for researchers in the biotech industry to build predictive analytics models and gain knowledge about the most efficient approaches to accomplish their desired goals and objectives. Data analytics is increasingly being adopted by biotech businesses to better understand their industry and foresee any problems down the road. How is Data Analytics Revolutionizing Fields in Biotechnology? Today's business and scientific fields greatly benefit from data. Without the analysis of vast information libraries that provide new insights and enable new innovations, no industry can really advance. Being highly reliant on big data analytics, biotech is not an exception in this regard. With the tools and methods that help scientists systematize their findings and speed up their research for better and safer results, data analytics is making deeper inroads into the biotechnology industry. It is emerging as a crucial link between knowledge and information and is extensively being used for purposes other than just examining the information that is already available. The following are a few of the cutting-edge biotechnology applications of data analytics Genomics and Disease Treatment Pharmaceutical Drug Discovery Drug Recycling and Safety Agriculture and Agri-products Environmental Damage Mitigation Data Analytics Possibilities in Biotechnology With data analytics becoming an integral part of how biotech businesses operate, biotechnologists and related stakeholders need to understand its emergence and crucial role. Data analytics has opened new frontiers in the realm of biotechnology. Thanks to developments in data analytics, research and development activities that once took years may now be accomplished in a matter of months. Also, now scientists have access to biological, social, and environmental insights that can be exploited to create more effective and sustainable products. By understanding the importance of data-related tools and techniques applications, biotech companies are aiming to invest in the popularizing technology to stay updated in the fast-paced biotechnology industry.

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Research

5 Biotech Stocks Winning the Coronavirus Race

Article | July 11, 2022

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.

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Medical

Advancement in Genomics Accelerating its Penetration into Precision Health

Article | July 14, 2022

Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology emphasizing the structure, editing, evolution, function, and mapping of genomes. It is creating deeper inroads across the precision health domain with the increasing introduction of advanced technologies such as quantum simulation, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and precise genome manipulation. As precision health focuses on providing the proper intervention to the right patient at the right time, genomics increasingly finds applications in human and pathogen genome sequencing in clinical and research spaces. Rising Hereditary Diseases Burden Paving the Way for Genomics in Precision Health In the last few years, a significant surge in the prevalence of diseases and ailments such as diabetes, obesity, baldness, and others has been witnessed across the globe. A history of family members with chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, hearing issues, and heart disease, can sometimes continue into the next generation. Hence, the study of genes is extensively being conducted for predicting health risks and early treatment of these diseases. It also finds use in CRISPR-based diagnostics and the preparation of precision medication for the individual. In addition, ongoing advancements in genomics are making it possible to identify different genetic traits that persuade people to more widespread diseases and health problems. The Emergence of Genomics Improves Disease Understanding Genomics refers to the study of the complete genetic makeup of a cell or organism. Increasing scientific research in the area substantially contributes to increasing knowledge about the human genome and assists in improving the ability to understand disease etiology, risk, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. On account of these improvements, innovative genomic technologies and tools are being developed to enable better precision health not only for the individual but for various regional populations as well. The Way Forward With growing preference for personalized medicine and an increasing need for more accurate pathogen detection and diagnostics, genomics is gaining huge popularity across the precision health domain. Also, increasing research activities for developing novel high-precision therapeutics and rising importance of gene study in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of infectious and genetic diseases will further pave the way for genomics in the forthcoming years.

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Medical

Nanostructures: Emerging as Effective Carriers for Drug Delivery

Article | July 14, 2022

Natural remedies have been employed in medicine since antiquity. However, a large number of them fail to go past the clinical trial stages. In vivo instability, poor solubility and bioavailability, a lack of target-specific delivery, poor absorption, and side effects of the medication are only a few of the problems caused by the use of large-sized materials in drug administration. Therefore, adopting novel drug delivery systems with targeted medications may be a solution to address these pressing problems. Nanotechnology has received tremendous attention in recent years and has been demonstrated to help blur the boundaries between the biological and physical sciences. With great success, it plays a vital part in enhanced medication formulations, targeted venues, and controlled drug release and delivery. Limitations of Traditional Delivery Trigger the Adoption of Nanoparticles The field of nanotechnology and the creation of drug formulations based on nanoparticles is one that is expanding and showcasing great potential. It has been thoroughly researched in an effort to develop new methods of diagnosis and treatment and to overcome the limitations of several diseases' current therapies. As a result, nanoparticles are being used to improve the therapeutic effectiveness and boost patient adherence to treatment by increasing medication bioavailability, drug accumulation at a particular spot, and reducing drug adverse effects. The nanoparticles could be transformed into intelligent systems housing therapeutic and imaging agents by manipulating their surface properties, size, correct drug load, and release with targeted drug delivery. Nanostructures facilitate the release of combination medications at the prescribed dose since they remain in the blood circulation system for a long time. Therefore, they result in fewer plasma fluctuations with decreased side effects. Due to their nanoscale, these structures can easily enter the tissue system, promote the absorption of drugs by cells, make medication administration more effective, and ensure that the medicine acts at the targeted location. The Way Ahead Nanomedicine and nano-delivery systems are a comparatively new but fast-evolving science in which nanoscale materials are used as diagnostic tools to deliver drug molecules at precisely targeted sites in a controlled manner. It is finding applications for the treatment of diseases such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, cancer, ocular, AIDS, and diabetes, among others. With more research and technological advancement, these drug delivery solutions will open up huge opportunities for companies that work with them.

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Spotlight

Counsyl

Counsyl is a health technology company that offers DNA screening for men, women and their children. Our philosophy is simple - focus on diseases where advanced knowledge makes a difference in health outcomes, whether it's changing a behavior, pursuing preventative measures, or simply preparing for what lies ahead. Counsyl has screened over 500,000 patients and served over 6,000 health professionals in its modern clinical laboratory. From the purely mechanical to profoundly human, Counsyl strives to make DNA screening truly accessible to everyone.

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AI, Diagnostics

Genomic Vision Announces launch of FiberSmart

Genomic Vision | March 08, 2023

On March 7, 2023, Genomic Vision, a leading biotech company that develops products and services for the analysis and control of genome changes, launched FiberSmart®, an AI-based technology for automating the quantification and detection of fluorescent signals on combed DNA molecules. Initially available for the analysis of Replication Combing Assays (RCA), Genomic Vision's proprietary method for directly visualizing DNA replication kinetics at the single molecule level. FiberSmart uses advanced AI methods to detect, visualize, and analyze DNA replication kinetics up to 3x more accurately and up to 10x faster than Genomic Vision's existing software solutions. The technology offers a simple and user-friendly interface, facilitating quick analysis of DNA replication signals to deduce essential parameters describing replication kinetics. It is compatible with Genomic Vision's FiberVision® and FiberVision-S® scanners for the RCA assay of the company's proprietary DNA combing technology with various potential applications, including in gene and cell therapy quality control. FiberSmart has been successfully tested and validated by AstraZeneca and the Fritz Lipmann Institute in Germany. Genomic Vision's CEO Aaron Bensimon said, "The launch of FiberSmart® is an important milestone for Genomic Vision as we bring the benefits of powerful AI technology to our users, who can now perform faster and more accurate genomic analysis seamlessly. Our proprietary DNA combing technique has multiple potential applications, particularly in the cell and gene therapy space, where highly accurate genomic analysis is paramount to ensure robust quality standards are met. With the launch of this software we are making it easier for users to exploit the full potential of our proprietary advanced genomic analysis technique." (Source – Business Wire) About Genomic Vision GENOMIC VISION is a leading biotechnology company specializing in the analysis of genome modifications, with a focus on ensuring their quality and safety in genome editing technologies and biomanufacturing processes. It utilizes advanced nanotechnology for DNA analysis to develop cutting-edge diagnostic and drug discovery solutions for cancer and acute diseases at the intersection of genome dynamics and human diseases. The company's approach employs Molecular Combing Technology, a powerful technique that directly visualizes single DNA molecules to detect and quantify changes in the genome landscape and their contribution to pathology.

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Medical

Spotlight Therapeutics Raises $36.5 Million Series B to Advance a Pipeline of Cell-Targeted In Vivo CRISPR Gene Editing Biologics

Spotlight Therapeutics | March 22, 2022

Spotlight Therapeutics, Inc. (“Spotlight”), a biotechnology company applying new insights to develop cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing biologics, today announced a $36.5M Series B financing to fuel a drive toward the clinic. The financing round was co-led by new investors GordonMD Global Investments and EPIQ Capital Group, with participation from Magnetic Ventures, as well as existing investors GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Emerson Collective and other investors. Craig Gordon, M.D., Founder, CEO and CIO of GordonMD Global Investments, joins the Company’s Board of Directors. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform, TAGE (Targeted Active Gene Editors), is a new class of biologics; highly engineered, modular programmable CRISPR effectors designed to target and edit selected cell types in vivo. This approach circumvents the complexity of packaged viral, viral-like, and nanoparticle delivery systems, opens the door to expanded applications, and holds the promise of increasing patient access. We are excited to help Spotlight advance its pioneering work, which shows promise for cell-targeted delivery of CRISPR effectors in vivo. Spotlight’s TAGE platform could enable significant expansion of CRISPR medicines to a wide range of diseases." Dr. Gordon. This Series B funding is a crucial milestone as we advance our lead first-in-class immuno-oncology (IO) program and progress our pipeline of programs in IO, ophthalmic diseases and hemoglobinopathies,It will enable us to execute our development plan, leveraging Spotlight’s unique cell-targeted in vivo delivery approach, as we aspire to unlock the full potential of gene editing and enable effective one-and-done medicines for patients.” Mary Haak-Frendscho, Ph.D., President and CEO of Spotlight Therapeutics. About Spotlight Therapeutics Established in mid-2018, Spotlight Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company advancing a pipeline of cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing therapies. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform TAGE (Targeted Active Gene Editors) is a new class of biologics, CRISPR effectors engineered for direct delivery in vivo, to achieve cell-selective therapeutic genome editing. Spotlight's pipeline is advancing its modular programmable CRISPR effectors towards clinical studies in immuno-oncology, ophthalmic diseases and hemoglobinopathies. The company is headquartered in Hayward, California.

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Medical

TGen Selects MemVerge to Accelerate Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Discovery with Big Memory Technology

MemVerge | March 21, 2022

MemVerge™, the pioneers of Big Memory software, today announced that TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, an affiliate of City of Hope, has selected MemVerge Memory Machine Big Memory virtualization software to accelerate time to discovery for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease which affects 100,000 people annually in the U.S. Using MemVerge technology, TGen is able to dramatically speed analytical processing by nearly 36% for single-cell RNA sequencing. As a nonprofit medical research institute, TGen researchers process single-cell RNA sequences to characterize cell transcriptomic profiles. The process can take up to six and a half hours to analyze a matrix of 30,000 genes by 114,000 cells. With consistently growing datasets, this processing time was preventing a desired time to discovery. The data required for analysis was simply too large to retain in traditional memory, and scaling capacity with dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) was too costly. TGen has instead deployed memory virtualization technology from MemVerge which virtualizes both DRAM and PMem (persistent memory) memory technologies, to increase the memory pool available for processing without requiring more high-cost DRAM. The solution further speeds TGen's genomics sequencing analysis with Memory Machine ZeroIO in-memory snapshots which capture multi-terabyte data sets at any point for rapid reloads at each stage of processing. The ZeroIO snapshot service is 1,000 times faster than the fastest storage snapshot to SSD and enables TGen to run processing workflows in parallel. This ensures that in the event of a system crash, in-memory snapshots are available to instantly re-start long running jobs without lengthy reloading. By utilizing the snapshotting and cloning capabilities of Memory Machine, we were able to parallelize the processing workflow, As a result, we can now save nearly 36% of computational time while also taking advantage of the big memory nodes. This will save a lot of time in downstream analysis." Glen Otero, Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Computing at TGen. MemVerge Memory Machine has quickly resulted in research value for TGen, We have removed performance barriers from their research process so that they are able to perform vital, life-saving, research faster than ever possible. Now TGen is expanding the use of Big Memory technology across other research use cases where results and discoveries can produce findings for a healthier tomorrow." Jonathan Jiang, COO of MemVerge. MemVerge Memory Machine makes 100% use of available memory capacity while providing new operational capabilities to memory-centric workloads. Memory Machine answers the need for a modern in-memory computing model to support emerging applications that require real-time analytics, true in-memory computing, and fault-tolerant memory persistence to speed massive processing workloads. About MemVerge MemVerge is pioneering Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud technology for the memory-centric and multi-cloud future. MemVerge® Memory Machine™ is the industry's first software to virtualize memory hardware for fine-grained provisioning of capacity, performance, availability, and mobility. On top of the transparent memory service, Memory Machine provides another industry first, ZeroIO™ in-memory snapshots which can encapsulate terabytes of application state within seconds and enable data management at the speed of memory. The breakthrough capabilities of Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud Technology are opening the door to cloud agility and flexibility for thousands of Big Memory applications.

Read More

AI, Diagnostics

Genomic Vision Announces launch of FiberSmart

Genomic Vision | March 08, 2023

On March 7, 2023, Genomic Vision, a leading biotech company that develops products and services for the analysis and control of genome changes, launched FiberSmart®, an AI-based technology for automating the quantification and detection of fluorescent signals on combed DNA molecules. Initially available for the analysis of Replication Combing Assays (RCA), Genomic Vision's proprietary method for directly visualizing DNA replication kinetics at the single molecule level. FiberSmart uses advanced AI methods to detect, visualize, and analyze DNA replication kinetics up to 3x more accurately and up to 10x faster than Genomic Vision's existing software solutions. The technology offers a simple and user-friendly interface, facilitating quick analysis of DNA replication signals to deduce essential parameters describing replication kinetics. It is compatible with Genomic Vision's FiberVision® and FiberVision-S® scanners for the RCA assay of the company's proprietary DNA combing technology with various potential applications, including in gene and cell therapy quality control. FiberSmart has been successfully tested and validated by AstraZeneca and the Fritz Lipmann Institute in Germany. Genomic Vision's CEO Aaron Bensimon said, "The launch of FiberSmart® is an important milestone for Genomic Vision as we bring the benefits of powerful AI technology to our users, who can now perform faster and more accurate genomic analysis seamlessly. Our proprietary DNA combing technique has multiple potential applications, particularly in the cell and gene therapy space, where highly accurate genomic analysis is paramount to ensure robust quality standards are met. With the launch of this software we are making it easier for users to exploit the full potential of our proprietary advanced genomic analysis technique." (Source – Business Wire) About Genomic Vision GENOMIC VISION is a leading biotechnology company specializing in the analysis of genome modifications, with a focus on ensuring their quality and safety in genome editing technologies and biomanufacturing processes. It utilizes advanced nanotechnology for DNA analysis to develop cutting-edge diagnostic and drug discovery solutions for cancer and acute diseases at the intersection of genome dynamics and human diseases. The company's approach employs Molecular Combing Technology, a powerful technique that directly visualizes single DNA molecules to detect and quantify changes in the genome landscape and their contribution to pathology.

Read More

Medical

Spotlight Therapeutics Raises $36.5 Million Series B to Advance a Pipeline of Cell-Targeted In Vivo CRISPR Gene Editing Biologics

Spotlight Therapeutics | March 22, 2022

Spotlight Therapeutics, Inc. (“Spotlight”), a biotechnology company applying new insights to develop cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing biologics, today announced a $36.5M Series B financing to fuel a drive toward the clinic. The financing round was co-led by new investors GordonMD Global Investments and EPIQ Capital Group, with participation from Magnetic Ventures, as well as existing investors GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Emerson Collective and other investors. Craig Gordon, M.D., Founder, CEO and CIO of GordonMD Global Investments, joins the Company’s Board of Directors. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform, TAGE (Targeted Active Gene Editors), is a new class of biologics; highly engineered, modular programmable CRISPR effectors designed to target and edit selected cell types in vivo. This approach circumvents the complexity of packaged viral, viral-like, and nanoparticle delivery systems, opens the door to expanded applications, and holds the promise of increasing patient access. We are excited to help Spotlight advance its pioneering work, which shows promise for cell-targeted delivery of CRISPR effectors in vivo. Spotlight’s TAGE platform could enable significant expansion of CRISPR medicines to a wide range of diseases." Dr. Gordon. This Series B funding is a crucial milestone as we advance our lead first-in-class immuno-oncology (IO) program and progress our pipeline of programs in IO, ophthalmic diseases and hemoglobinopathies,It will enable us to execute our development plan, leveraging Spotlight’s unique cell-targeted in vivo delivery approach, as we aspire to unlock the full potential of gene editing and enable effective one-and-done medicines for patients.” Mary Haak-Frendscho, Ph.D., President and CEO of Spotlight Therapeutics. About Spotlight Therapeutics Established in mid-2018, Spotlight Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company advancing a pipeline of cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing therapies. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform TAGE (Targeted Active Gene Editors) is a new class of biologics, CRISPR effectors engineered for direct delivery in vivo, to achieve cell-selective therapeutic genome editing. Spotlight's pipeline is advancing its modular programmable CRISPR effectors towards clinical studies in immuno-oncology, ophthalmic diseases and hemoglobinopathies. The company is headquartered in Hayward, California.

Read More

Medical

TGen Selects MemVerge to Accelerate Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Discovery with Big Memory Technology

MemVerge | March 21, 2022

MemVerge™, the pioneers of Big Memory software, today announced that TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, an affiliate of City of Hope, has selected MemVerge Memory Machine Big Memory virtualization software to accelerate time to discovery for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease which affects 100,000 people annually in the U.S. Using MemVerge technology, TGen is able to dramatically speed analytical processing by nearly 36% for single-cell RNA sequencing. As a nonprofit medical research institute, TGen researchers process single-cell RNA sequences to characterize cell transcriptomic profiles. The process can take up to six and a half hours to analyze a matrix of 30,000 genes by 114,000 cells. With consistently growing datasets, this processing time was preventing a desired time to discovery. The data required for analysis was simply too large to retain in traditional memory, and scaling capacity with dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) was too costly. TGen has instead deployed memory virtualization technology from MemVerge which virtualizes both DRAM and PMem (persistent memory) memory technologies, to increase the memory pool available for processing without requiring more high-cost DRAM. The solution further speeds TGen's genomics sequencing analysis with Memory Machine ZeroIO in-memory snapshots which capture multi-terabyte data sets at any point for rapid reloads at each stage of processing. The ZeroIO snapshot service is 1,000 times faster than the fastest storage snapshot to SSD and enables TGen to run processing workflows in parallel. This ensures that in the event of a system crash, in-memory snapshots are available to instantly re-start long running jobs without lengthy reloading. By utilizing the snapshotting and cloning capabilities of Memory Machine, we were able to parallelize the processing workflow, As a result, we can now save nearly 36% of computational time while also taking advantage of the big memory nodes. This will save a lot of time in downstream analysis." Glen Otero, Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Computing at TGen. MemVerge Memory Machine has quickly resulted in research value for TGen, We have removed performance barriers from their research process so that they are able to perform vital, life-saving, research faster than ever possible. Now TGen is expanding the use of Big Memory technology across other research use cases where results and discoveries can produce findings for a healthier tomorrow." Jonathan Jiang, COO of MemVerge. MemVerge Memory Machine makes 100% use of available memory capacity while providing new operational capabilities to memory-centric workloads. Memory Machine answers the need for a modern in-memory computing model to support emerging applications that require real-time analytics, true in-memory computing, and fault-tolerant memory persistence to speed massive processing workloads. About MemVerge MemVerge is pioneering Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud technology for the memory-centric and multi-cloud future. MemVerge® Memory Machine™ is the industry's first software to virtualize memory hardware for fine-grained provisioning of capacity, performance, availability, and mobility. On top of the transparent memory service, Memory Machine provides another industry first, ZeroIO™ in-memory snapshots which can encapsulate terabytes of application state within seconds and enable data management at the speed of memory. The breakthrough capabilities of Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud Technology are opening the door to cloud agility and flexibility for thousands of Big Memory applications.

Read More

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