How is biotech combating these five killer diseases on the planet?

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Biotechnology is a massive scientific field that uses research tools from biology and chemistry to solve problems and that includes human diseases too. Ever since its existence, it has revolutionized mankind by contributing a lot towards the growing global and public health needs. It provides effective diagnostics, prevention and treatment measures, which includes production of recombinant vaccines and novel drugs for some killer diseases.

Spotlight

Agendia, Inc.

Agendia is a leading molecular diagnostics company that develops and markets FFPE-based genomic diagnostic products, which help support physicians with their complex treatment decisions. Agendia’s tests were developed using an unbiased gene selection by analyzing the complete human genome. This includes MammaPrint as well as BluePrint, a molecular subtyping assay that provides deeper insight leading to more clinically actionable biology, TheraPrint, and TargetPrint, an ER/PR/HER2 expression assay. MammaPrint is the only breast cancer recurrence assay backed by peer-reviewed, prospective outcome data. These tests can help physicians assess a patient’s individual risk for metastasis, which patients may benefit from chemo, hormonal, or combination therapy, and which patients may not require these treatments and can instead be treated with other, less arduous and less costly methods.

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Advancement in Genomics Accelerating its Penetration into Precision Health

Article | April 13, 2020

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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Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | April 17, 2020

The big question at the start of 2019 was whether the IPO window would stay open for biotech companies, particularly those seeking to pull off ever-larger IPOs at increasingly earlier stages of development. The short answer is yes—kind of. Here’s the long answer: In the words of Renaissance Capital, the IPO market had “a mostly good year.” The total number of deals fell to 159 from 192 the year before, but technology and healthcare companies were standout performers. The latter—which include biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies—led the pack, making up 43% of all IPOs in 2019. By Renaissance’s count, seven companies went public at valuations exceeding $1 billion, up from five the year before

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

Article | September 13, 2019

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.

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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.

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Spotlight

Agendia, Inc.

Agendia is a leading molecular diagnostics company that develops and markets FFPE-based genomic diagnostic products, which help support physicians with their complex treatment decisions. Agendia’s tests were developed using an unbiased gene selection by analyzing the complete human genome. This includes MammaPrint as well as BluePrint, a molecular subtyping assay that provides deeper insight leading to more clinically actionable biology, TheraPrint, and TargetPrint, an ER/PR/HER2 expression assay. MammaPrint is the only breast cancer recurrence assay backed by peer-reviewed, prospective outcome data. These tests can help physicians assess a patient’s individual risk for metastasis, which patients may benefit from chemo, hormonal, or combination therapy, and which patients may not require these treatments and can instead be treated with other, less arduous and less costly methods.

Related News

ASCO: Shrinking 60% of lung cancers, Blueprint's RET drug poised for 2020 filing

fiercebiotech | June 03, 2019

CHICAGO-Blueprint Medicines RET inhibitor BLU-667 shrank tumors in 60% of a difficult-to-treat group of lung cancer patients, teeing it up for a 2020 filing in patients with RET-altered non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had already tried chemotherapy.The phase 2 data, presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), show a dramatically better response than is seen with current treatments, Blueprint Chief Medical Officer Andy Boral, M.D., told FierceBiotech.

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In a much-needed positive for BMS, Celgene gains FDA review for blockbuster hopeful

fiercebiotech | June 04, 2019

The $74 billion deal that will see Bristol-Myers Squibb subsume Celgene into its ranks is all but done, but its been a rocky path. Today, Celgene delivered some positive optics for its would-be parent. The Big Biotech and partner Acceleron say that blood disease drug luspatercept, a blockbuster hopeful, has been given a series of FDA passes: First up is a priority review for the erythroid maturation agents potential indication in beta-thalassemia (with an action date of Dec. 4), followed by a PDUFA date of April 4 for its myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) indication.

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Massive Bio, IBM Watson, others team up with Biden Cancer Initiative for oncology work

fiercebiotech | June 04, 2019

Trial matchmaker Massive Bio, IBM Watson and a host of other organizations have partnered with former Vice President Joe Bidens Cancer Initiative to help improve patients access to and the work coming from cancer studies.This will be done via the so-called Oncology Clinical Trial Information Commons (OCTIC), a shared platform where all information about clinical trials can be stored and accessed for patient matching and other data mining.

Read More

ASCO: Shrinking 60% of lung cancers, Blueprint's RET drug poised for 2020 filing

fiercebiotech | June 03, 2019

CHICAGO-Blueprint Medicines RET inhibitor BLU-667 shrank tumors in 60% of a difficult-to-treat group of lung cancer patients, teeing it up for a 2020 filing in patients with RET-altered non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had already tried chemotherapy.The phase 2 data, presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), show a dramatically better response than is seen with current treatments, Blueprint Chief Medical Officer Andy Boral, M.D., told FierceBiotech.

Read More

In a much-needed positive for BMS, Celgene gains FDA review for blockbuster hopeful

fiercebiotech | June 04, 2019

The $74 billion deal that will see Bristol-Myers Squibb subsume Celgene into its ranks is all but done, but its been a rocky path. Today, Celgene delivered some positive optics for its would-be parent. The Big Biotech and partner Acceleron say that blood disease drug luspatercept, a blockbuster hopeful, has been given a series of FDA passes: First up is a priority review for the erythroid maturation agents potential indication in beta-thalassemia (with an action date of Dec. 4), followed by a PDUFA date of April 4 for its myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) indication.

Read More

Massive Bio, IBM Watson, others team up with Biden Cancer Initiative for oncology work

fiercebiotech | June 04, 2019

Trial matchmaker Massive Bio, IBM Watson and a host of other organizations have partnered with former Vice President Joe Bidens Cancer Initiative to help improve patients access to and the work coming from cancer studies.This will be done via the so-called Oncology Clinical Trial Information Commons (OCTIC), a shared platform where all information about clinical trials can be stored and accessed for patient matching and other data mining.

Read More

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