New Study Suggests Those Extremely Opposed to GMOs Know the Least About GMOs

JOSH FALZONE | January 18, 2019 | 78 views

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can provide real solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. For example, with GMOs, we can: Increase productivity in agriculture, helping feed the world and combat food crises; Improve nutritional quality of crops and increase vitamin content; Conserve water; Improve air quality; Enhance soil quality; Reduce the use of pesticides and other chemical inputs; and much more.

Spotlight

Grupo Alego

Grupo Alego is a Mexican group focused in clean energies, high-value oils, biolubricants and derivatives. We seek to preserve the environment through the use of state of the art eco-friendly technologies. Our dream is to build a sustainable legacy for future generations. We focus on contributing to the success of our customers and suppliers, surpassing their sustainability expectations through innovative products and high-quality services.

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RESEARCH

Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | July 11, 2022

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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MEDTECH

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

Article | September 22, 2022

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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MEDTECH

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | July 11, 2022

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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Selexis Cell Line Development Strategies

Article | February 11, 2020

In today’s biotechnology landscape, to be competitive, meet regulations, and achieve market demands, “we must apply Bioprocessing 4.0,” said Igor Fisch, PhD, CEO, Selexis. In fact, in the last decade, “Selexis has evolved from cloning by limiting dilution to automated cell selection to nanofluidic chips and from monoclonality assessment by statistical calculation to proprietary bioinformatic analysis,” he added. Single-use processing systems are an expanding part of the biomanufacturing world; as such, they are a major component of Bioprocessing 4.0. “At Selexis, we use single use throughout our cell line development workflow. Currently, we have incorporated single-use automated bioprocessing systems such as ambr® and the Beacon® optofluidic platform for accelerated cell line development. By using these systems and optimizing our parameters, we were able to achieve high titers in shake flasks. Additionally, the Beacon systems integrate miniaturized cell culture with high-throughput liquid handling automation and cell imaging. This allows us to control, adjust, and monitor programs at the same time,” noted Fisch.

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Spotlight

Grupo Alego

Grupo Alego is a Mexican group focused in clean energies, high-value oils, biolubricants and derivatives. We seek to preserve the environment through the use of state of the art eco-friendly technologies. Our dream is to build a sustainable legacy for future generations. We focus on contributing to the success of our customers and suppliers, surpassing their sustainability expectations through innovative products and high-quality services.

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MEDICAL

Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. launches new multiplex digital PCR assay for comprehensive quantification of up to 5 different CAR-T transgenes

PRNewswire | June 02, 2023

During this year's AAPS National biotechnology conference, Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., a Novartis subsidiary and a leading provider of innovative biomarker solutions for drug development, announced the launch of its new multiplex digital PCR assays for comprehensive quantification of multiple chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, a type of cancer immunotherapy that involves genetically modifying T cells to recognize and destroy certain cancers. These assays are based on the Qiagen QIAcuity digital PCR System, which offers a powerful yet easy-to-use digital PCR experience through its unique nanoplate system. The new multiplex digital PCR assay enables simultaneous measurement of the number, function and persistence of CAR-T cells in clinical blood and bone marrow samples, without the need for a standard curve. It can detect as low as 0.01% of CAR-T cells among normal T cells, with a turnaround time of less than two hours. These assays can measure up to five different CAR-T cell markers in a single reaction, using specific probes for different CAR targets, to quantitate multiple CAR-domains, or combinations of commonly used therapeutic targets for CAR-T therapies. The assay can help clinicians monitor response or safety events during clinical trials to enable the development of new therapies. "CAR-T therapy is a promising and innovative approach to treat cancer, but it requires accurate and reliable quantification of CAR-T cells for successful drug development," said Dr. Nathan Riccitelli, Associate Director of Innovative Technologies at Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. "Our new proprietary multiplex digital PCR assay provides a comprehensive and robust solution for measuring CAR-T cells in clinical samples with high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility." Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. has developed this assay for use in sponsors-led clinical trials. If interested, contact them about how this assay can be used in upcoming clinical trial studies. Navigate Biopharma Services, Inc. Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., an independently operating subsidiary within the Novartis group of companies, is a leading provider of innovative biomarker and specialty bioanalytic solutions for clinical development. Over the past decade, Navigate BioPharma has built and developed its exclusive library of assays, methodologies, and biomarker solutions. Their extensive expertise offers unique, accurate, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for its customers and partners.

Read More

MEDTECH, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Mission Bio Launches Tapestri v3 to Rapidly Accelerate Rare Cell Detection Applications for Translational Research and Precision Therapeutics

PRNewswire | June 01, 2023

Mission Bio, Inc., the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced breakthrough improvements to the Tapestri® Platform and its core chemistry that enable highly confident detection of rare cells for a range of applications. With Tapestri® v3 chemistry, researchers can discover tiny numbers of single cells that, until now, easily escaped detection and influenced disease in invisible ways. At the same time, drug developers can use the new capabilities for a more complete understanding of their advanced therapies, potentially leading to safer, more effective medicines. The new Tapestri® v3 chemistry increases the number of cells captured per sample by up to four times compared to the prior chemistry, a notable enhancement. With enhanced cell capture, the Tapestri® Platform can more reliably detect rare cells, opening incredible new possibilities like improving the assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD), a key metric used increasingly in clinical settings to estimate the risk of relapse with certain cancers. In the case of MRD in hematological cancers, rare subclonal variants are commonly missed by bulk NGS due to its averaging effect, hindering the detection of relapse-driving clones that potentially offer new therapeutic targets. With Tapestri®'s expanded capabilities, new integrated multi-omics tools like the Tapestri® scMRD Assay for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) will offer clinicians additional therapeutic insights, rather than providing a binary 'yes or no' answer to the presence of residual disease. A team of investigators from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) using the assay has reported a high sensitivity of 0.01% limit of detection in data presented at Mission Bio's Tapestri® scMRD for AML Summit last year. Tapestri®'s new capabilities also hold promise for cell and gene therapy developers looking to improve quality assessment throughout the therapy development process. Powered by Tapestri® v3 chemistry, the increase in cell throughput means Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution can measure gene editing outcomes at single-cell resolution – even for very low-frequency events like translocations, which can have significant effects on the safety of the therapy. Tapestri® v3 is the latest example of Mission Bio's continued focus on customer-centric product and service development. The company has recently implemented additional quality control measurements including design and development, release, and documentation processes compliant with the ISO 9001 standard. "Our customers' success is at the forefront of our mind," said Adam Abate, PhD, Co-founder and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Mission Bio. "Researchers and drug developers are demanding ever-greater sensitivity and highly robust products to effectively progress their research or advanced therapeutic program, and we are committed to serving our customers and helping them achieve their goals." The new v3 reagents will be available for shipping starting in mid-June. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Guardant Health Receives Regulatory Approval from Singapore's Health Sciences Authority for Guardant360® CDx blood test for patients

PRNewswire | May 30, 2023

Guardant Health, Inc. announced that Singapore's Health Sciences Authority has granted regulatory approval of Guardant360® CDx, a liquid biopsy test for tumor mutation profiling, also known as comprehensive genomic profiling in patients with advanced solid cancers. The Guardant360 CDx test was also approved as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer with epidermal growth factor receptor alterations who may benefit from treatment with TAGRISSO®. Guardant360 CDx is the first blood test to be approved by Singapore's HSA for comprehensive genomic profiling for all solid tumors. Since being introduced as a laboratory developed test the Guardant360 liquid biopsy has become widely accepted for blood-based CGP with more than 400 peer-reviewed publications. "We are delighted to receive regulatory approval from HSA for our Guardant360 CDx test, as it supports the value liquid biopsy brings to oncologists and the patients they treat," said Simranjit Singh, CEO of Guardant Health AMEA. "With a simple blood draw from the patient, the Guardant360 CDx test provides CGP results in approximately seven days from receipt of the blood sample in the laboratory, enabling physicians to make faster treatment decisions compared to tissue biopsies. Our hope is that this approval will drive clinical adoption of liquid biopsy testing in Singapore and enable more patients to be matched to potentially life-changing precision medicines." In 2020, over 23,600 people in Singapore were diagnosed with cancer and there were slightly over 12,000 cancer-related deaths. The most prevalent cancer types among men and women in Singapore include breast (15.5%), colorectal (15.1%) and lung (12.3%) cancer[1]. According to the Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2020, over 70% of all lung cancer cases among men and women were diagnosed at the advanced stage[2]. Pancreatic, stomach and colorectal cancer cases among men and women were also diagnosed at the advanced stage respectively To improve cancer outcomes in Singapore, Guardant Health AMEA is currently collaborating with National Cancer Centre Singapore and National University Cancer Institute, Singapore for several clinical trials using the Guardant360 test in efforts to accelerate clinical trial enrollment by identifying genomic biomarkers in patients with cancer. The Guardant360 CDx test was the first blood test to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for comprehensive genomic profiling for all solid tumors, and it is now FDA approved as a companion diagnostic test for four targeted therapies in NSCLC and one in advanced breast cancer. In March 2022, the test was also granted regulatory approval by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for tumor mutation profiling in patients with advanced solid cancers as well as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-High) solid tumors who may benefit from Keytruda® and patients with MSI-High advanced colorectal cancer who may benefit from Opdivo®. In addition, Guardant Health is currently involved in multiple studies with drug development companies to develop Guardant360 CDx as a companion diagnostic for new therapies. About Guardant Health Guardant Health AMEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardant Health, Inc., a leading precision oncology company focused on helping conquer cancer globally through use of its proprietary tests, vast data sets and advanced analytics. The Guardant Health oncology platform leverages capabilities to drive commercial adoption, improve patient clinical outcomes and lower healthcare costs across all stages of the cancer care continuum. Guardant Health has commercially launched Guardant360®, Guardant360® CDx, Guardant360 TissueNext™, Guardant360 Response™, and GuardantINFINITY™ tests for patients with advanced-stage cancer, and Guardant Reveal™ for patients with early-stage cancer. The Guardant Health screening portfolio, including the commercially launched Shield™ test, aims to address the needs of individuals eligible for cancer screening.

Read More

MEDICAL

Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. launches new multiplex digital PCR assay for comprehensive quantification of up to 5 different CAR-T transgenes

PRNewswire | June 02, 2023

During this year's AAPS National biotechnology conference, Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., a Novartis subsidiary and a leading provider of innovative biomarker solutions for drug development, announced the launch of its new multiplex digital PCR assays for comprehensive quantification of multiple chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, a type of cancer immunotherapy that involves genetically modifying T cells to recognize and destroy certain cancers. These assays are based on the Qiagen QIAcuity digital PCR System, which offers a powerful yet easy-to-use digital PCR experience through its unique nanoplate system. The new multiplex digital PCR assay enables simultaneous measurement of the number, function and persistence of CAR-T cells in clinical blood and bone marrow samples, without the need for a standard curve. It can detect as low as 0.01% of CAR-T cells among normal T cells, with a turnaround time of less than two hours. These assays can measure up to five different CAR-T cell markers in a single reaction, using specific probes for different CAR targets, to quantitate multiple CAR-domains, or combinations of commonly used therapeutic targets for CAR-T therapies. The assay can help clinicians monitor response or safety events during clinical trials to enable the development of new therapies. "CAR-T therapy is a promising and innovative approach to treat cancer, but it requires accurate and reliable quantification of CAR-T cells for successful drug development," said Dr. Nathan Riccitelli, Associate Director of Innovative Technologies at Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. "Our new proprietary multiplex digital PCR assay provides a comprehensive and robust solution for measuring CAR-T cells in clinical samples with high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility." Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. has developed this assay for use in sponsors-led clinical trials. If interested, contact them about how this assay can be used in upcoming clinical trial studies. Navigate Biopharma Services, Inc. Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., an independently operating subsidiary within the Novartis group of companies, is a leading provider of innovative biomarker and specialty bioanalytic solutions for clinical development. Over the past decade, Navigate BioPharma has built and developed its exclusive library of assays, methodologies, and biomarker solutions. Their extensive expertise offers unique, accurate, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for its customers and partners.

Read More

MEDTECH, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Mission Bio Launches Tapestri v3 to Rapidly Accelerate Rare Cell Detection Applications for Translational Research and Precision Therapeutics

PRNewswire | June 01, 2023

Mission Bio, Inc., the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced breakthrough improvements to the Tapestri® Platform and its core chemistry that enable highly confident detection of rare cells for a range of applications. With Tapestri® v3 chemistry, researchers can discover tiny numbers of single cells that, until now, easily escaped detection and influenced disease in invisible ways. At the same time, drug developers can use the new capabilities for a more complete understanding of their advanced therapies, potentially leading to safer, more effective medicines. The new Tapestri® v3 chemistry increases the number of cells captured per sample by up to four times compared to the prior chemistry, a notable enhancement. With enhanced cell capture, the Tapestri® Platform can more reliably detect rare cells, opening incredible new possibilities like improving the assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD), a key metric used increasingly in clinical settings to estimate the risk of relapse with certain cancers. In the case of MRD in hematological cancers, rare subclonal variants are commonly missed by bulk NGS due to its averaging effect, hindering the detection of relapse-driving clones that potentially offer new therapeutic targets. With Tapestri®'s expanded capabilities, new integrated multi-omics tools like the Tapestri® scMRD Assay for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) will offer clinicians additional therapeutic insights, rather than providing a binary 'yes or no' answer to the presence of residual disease. A team of investigators from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) using the assay has reported a high sensitivity of 0.01% limit of detection in data presented at Mission Bio's Tapestri® scMRD for AML Summit last year. Tapestri®'s new capabilities also hold promise for cell and gene therapy developers looking to improve quality assessment throughout the therapy development process. Powered by Tapestri® v3 chemistry, the increase in cell throughput means Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution can measure gene editing outcomes at single-cell resolution – even for very low-frequency events like translocations, which can have significant effects on the safety of the therapy. Tapestri® v3 is the latest example of Mission Bio's continued focus on customer-centric product and service development. The company has recently implemented additional quality control measurements including design and development, release, and documentation processes compliant with the ISO 9001 standard. "Our customers' success is at the forefront of our mind," said Adam Abate, PhD, Co-founder and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Mission Bio. "Researchers and drug developers are demanding ever-greater sensitivity and highly robust products to effectively progress their research or advanced therapeutic program, and we are committed to serving our customers and helping them achieve their goals." The new v3 reagents will be available for shipping starting in mid-June. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Guardant Health Receives Regulatory Approval from Singapore's Health Sciences Authority for Guardant360® CDx blood test for patients

PRNewswire | May 30, 2023

Guardant Health, Inc. announced that Singapore's Health Sciences Authority has granted regulatory approval of Guardant360® CDx, a liquid biopsy test for tumor mutation profiling, also known as comprehensive genomic profiling in patients with advanced solid cancers. The Guardant360 CDx test was also approved as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer with epidermal growth factor receptor alterations who may benefit from treatment with TAGRISSO®. Guardant360 CDx is the first blood test to be approved by Singapore's HSA for comprehensive genomic profiling for all solid tumors. Since being introduced as a laboratory developed test the Guardant360 liquid biopsy has become widely accepted for blood-based CGP with more than 400 peer-reviewed publications. "We are delighted to receive regulatory approval from HSA for our Guardant360 CDx test, as it supports the value liquid biopsy brings to oncologists and the patients they treat," said Simranjit Singh, CEO of Guardant Health AMEA. "With a simple blood draw from the patient, the Guardant360 CDx test provides CGP results in approximately seven days from receipt of the blood sample in the laboratory, enabling physicians to make faster treatment decisions compared to tissue biopsies. Our hope is that this approval will drive clinical adoption of liquid biopsy testing in Singapore and enable more patients to be matched to potentially life-changing precision medicines." In 2020, over 23,600 people in Singapore were diagnosed with cancer and there were slightly over 12,000 cancer-related deaths. The most prevalent cancer types among men and women in Singapore include breast (15.5%), colorectal (15.1%) and lung (12.3%) cancer[1]. According to the Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2020, over 70% of all lung cancer cases among men and women were diagnosed at the advanced stage[2]. Pancreatic, stomach and colorectal cancer cases among men and women were also diagnosed at the advanced stage respectively To improve cancer outcomes in Singapore, Guardant Health AMEA is currently collaborating with National Cancer Centre Singapore and National University Cancer Institute, Singapore for several clinical trials using the Guardant360 test in efforts to accelerate clinical trial enrollment by identifying genomic biomarkers in patients with cancer. The Guardant360 CDx test was the first blood test to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for comprehensive genomic profiling for all solid tumors, and it is now FDA approved as a companion diagnostic test for four targeted therapies in NSCLC and one in advanced breast cancer. In March 2022, the test was also granted regulatory approval by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for tumor mutation profiling in patients with advanced solid cancers as well as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-High) solid tumors who may benefit from Keytruda® and patients with MSI-High advanced colorectal cancer who may benefit from Opdivo®. In addition, Guardant Health is currently involved in multiple studies with drug development companies to develop Guardant360 CDx as a companion diagnostic for new therapies. About Guardant Health Guardant Health AMEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardant Health, Inc., a leading precision oncology company focused on helping conquer cancer globally through use of its proprietary tests, vast data sets and advanced analytics. The Guardant Health oncology platform leverages capabilities to drive commercial adoption, improve patient clinical outcomes and lower healthcare costs across all stages of the cancer care continuum. Guardant Health has commercially launched Guardant360®, Guardant360® CDx, Guardant360 TissueNext™, Guardant360 Response™, and GuardantINFINITY™ tests for patients with advanced-stage cancer, and Guardant Reveal™ for patients with early-stage cancer. The Guardant Health screening portfolio, including the commercially launched Shield™ test, aims to address the needs of individuals eligible for cancer screening.

Read More

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