Are Eurocentric Genetic Databases Hampering Health Care?

March 21, 2019

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A commentary published today in the journal Cell offers evidence of a stunning imbalance in the population groups that participate in genetic and genomic research, which can underlie some health care inequities. A glance at the pie chart below, which represents many genome-wide association studies (GWAS), reveals telling tipping in favor of participants of European ancestry – 78 percent. Asians account for just 10 percent, and Africans 2 percent.

Spotlight

Systems Biology Ireland

SBI established in 2009 under the Science Foundation Ireland CSET programme has successfully developed an integrated mathematical modelling and experimental research programme focusing on the design of new therapeutic approaches to cancer, degenerative and inflammatory diseases based on a systems level, mechanistic understanding of cellular signal transduction networks. SBI is one of the few centres in Europe with the necessary in house expertise, technologies and capabilities to apply systems biology approaches to mammalian models. It’s recognition internationally within the field of systems biology led to the Centre’s invited participation in three large European funded consortia initiatives in 2012 namely the ITFoM, CASyM and ISBE, the last of which is included on the ESFRI 2010 Roadmap.

OTHER ARTICLES

2 Small-Cap Biotech Stocks You Haven't Heard of, But Should Know About

Article | April 17, 2020

With everything that's going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare companies have grabbed plenty of spotlight during these challenging times. At the same time, a number of otherwise promising businesses have slipped under the radar. That's especially true for small-cap biotech stocks that aren't actively involved in developing tests, vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. Vaccine developers, protective equipment producers, and healthcare service providers are all attracting plenty of attention during this pandemic, but there are just as many promising biotech stocks that aren't involved in these areas. Here are two such companies that you might have missed, but they deserve a spot on your watch list.

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DIAGNOSTICS

Making Predictions by Digitizing Bioprocessing

Article | April 20, 2021

With advances in data analytics and machine learning, the move from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to predictive and prescriptive analytics and controls—allowing us to better forecast and understand what will happen and thus optimize process outcomes—is not only feasible but inevitable, according to Bonnie Shum, principal engineer, pharma technical innovation, technology & manufacturing sciences and technology at Genentech. “Well-trained artificial intelligence systems can help drive better decision making and how data is analyzed from drug discovery to process development and to manufacturing processes,” she says. Those advances, though, only really matter when they improve the lives of patients. That’s exactly what Shum expects. “The convergence of digital transformation and operational/processing changes will be critical for the facilities of the future and meeting the needs of our patients,” she continues. “Digital solutions may one day provide fully automated bioprocessing, eliminating manual intervention and enabling us to anticipate potential process deviations to prevent process failures, leading to real-time release and thus faster access for patients.” To turn Bioprocessing 4.0 into a production line for precision healthcare, real-time release and quickly manufacturing personalized medicines will be critical. Adding digitization and advanced analytics wherever possible will drive those improvements. In fact, many of these improvements, especially moving from descriptive to predictive bioprocessing, depend on more digitization.

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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.

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MEDICAL

Better Purification and Recovery in Bioprocessing

Article | August 2, 2021

In the downstream portion of any bioprocess, one must pick through the dross before one can seize the gold the biotherapeutic that the bioprocess was always meant to generate. Unfortunately, the dross is both voluminous and various. And the biotherapeutic gold, unlike real gold, is corruptible. That is, it can suffer structural damage and activity loss. When discarding the dross and collecting the gold, bioprocessors must be efficient and gentle. They must, to the extent possible, eliminate contaminants and organic debris while ensuring that biotherapeutics avoid aggregation-inducing stresses and retain their integrity during purification and recovery. Anything less compromises purity and reduces yield. To purify and recover biotherapeutics efficiently and gently, bioprocessors must avail themselves of the most appropriate tools and techniques. Here, we talk with several experts about which tools and techniques can help bioprocessors overcome persistent challenges. Some of these experts also touch on new approaches that can help bioprocessors address emerging challenges.

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Spotlight

Systems Biology Ireland

SBI established in 2009 under the Science Foundation Ireland CSET programme has successfully developed an integrated mathematical modelling and experimental research programme focusing on the design of new therapeutic approaches to cancer, degenerative and inflammatory diseases based on a systems level, mechanistic understanding of cellular signal transduction networks. SBI is one of the few centres in Europe with the necessary in house expertise, technologies and capabilities to apply systems biology approaches to mammalian models. It’s recognition internationally within the field of systems biology led to the Centre’s invited participation in three large European funded consortia initiatives in 2012 namely the ITFoM, CASyM and ISBE, the last of which is included on the ESFRI 2010 Roadmap.

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