‘Hacking the Code of Life’: How gene editing will lead to disease cures and nutritionally enhanced food

EMILY ANTHES | October 24, 2019

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Across the US, more than 100,000 people are awaiting organ transplants. But there simply aren’t enough hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys to meet demand, and 20 people die every day without the organs they need. For decades, scientists have dreamed of using animals to help fill the gap. They’ve been particularly interested in harvesting organs from pigs, whose physiology is similar to our own. Unfortunately, pigs also present some big biological challenges, including the fact that their genomes are chock full of genes that code for what are known as retroviruses, which could pose a serious threat to patients who receive porcine organs.

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Nexvet Biopharma

Nexvet is a veterinary biologics developer focused on transforming the therapeutic market for companion animals, such as dogs and cats, by developing and commercializing novel, species-specific biologics. Nexvet's proprietary PETization™ platform is designed to rapidly design monoclonal antibodies ("mAbs"​) that are recognized as "self"​ or "native"​ by an animal's immune system, a property Nexvet refers to as "100% species-specificity."​ Nexvet's product candidates also build upon the safety and efficacy data from clinically tested human therapies, thereby reducing clinical risk and development cost.

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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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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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Spotlight

Nexvet Biopharma

Nexvet is a veterinary biologics developer focused on transforming the therapeutic market for companion animals, such as dogs and cats, by developing and commercializing novel, species-specific biologics. Nexvet's proprietary PETization™ platform is designed to rapidly design monoclonal antibodies ("mAbs"​) that are recognized as "self"​ or "native"​ by an animal's immune system, a property Nexvet refers to as "100% species-specificity."​ Nexvet's product candidates also build upon the safety and efficacy data from clinically tested human therapies, thereby reducing clinical risk and development cost.

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