JPM: Biotech, VC execs on where the industry should look beyond cancer

| January 17, 2020

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Oncology is clearly a major medical and societal issue: a major killer that, while predominately affecting the older population, can strike the young through a mixture of environmental factors or a genetic lottery. It’s no wonder we struggle to even call it by its name, preferring just the "big C." Biopharma has acted accordingly over the years and spent billions (and made many more billions) developing new oncology therapies, with the media and political focus falling on cancer drugs far more acutely than any other area, whether that be over pricing (the current average cost of a new cancer drug in the U.S. is around $100,000), effectiveness/safety or rejection from healthcare gatekeepers, such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in England.

Spotlight

BioTech Annecto

BioTech Annecto is a social networking organization, whose aim is to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, attorneys, journalists and other professionals in the biotechnology sector: pharmaceutical, healthcare and biomedical, cosmetics, and environment. Launched February 2009 in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), BioTech Annecto (previously known as BioTech Montreal) is inviting people, one Tuesday every month, from the Montreal biotechnology community to meet at trendy locations around town. Members come from the business world, from public agencies as well as academic institutions. This allows regular communication and exchanges between industry, the public sector and academia.

OTHER ARTICLES
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

BioTech Annecto

BioTech Annecto is a social networking organization, whose aim is to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, attorneys, journalists and other professionals in the biotechnology sector: pharmaceutical, healthcare and biomedical, cosmetics, and environment. Launched February 2009 in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), BioTech Annecto (previously known as BioTech Montreal) is inviting people, one Tuesday every month, from the Montreal biotechnology community to meet at trendy locations around town. Members come from the business world, from public agencies as well as academic institutions. This allows regular communication and exchanges between industry, the public sector and academia.

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