Optimization of cell-free biosensors for synthetic biology

Cell-free synthetic biology recently became a branch of synthetic biology with dedicated research groups and conferences. Cell-free systems present a great potential for synthetic biology, allowing for quick in vitro transcription-translation from circular or linear DNA. The most common cell-free systems nowadays are lysate-based cell-free systems which are made by combining cell extract plus reaction buffers. These systems were initially used for fundamental discoveries in molecular biology (study of the genetic code and translation process) and later on to produce recombinant protein. In the past few years, cell-free attracted synthetic biologists’ attention as a platform for high-throughput characterization and prototyping of natural and synthetic biological circuitry. As advantages of cell-free systems we can be list: Non-GMO hosts, absence of growth dependent challenges, lower level of noise, less susceptibility to toxicity, simple cloning as genes can be cloned separately or possibility of using linear DNA (PCR product), high adjustability by varying the concentration of DNA parts or buffer elements.

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Sigma-Aldrich

Our purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community – and through that, we aim to accelerate access to better health for people everywhere. We provide scientists and engineers with best-in-class lab materials, technologies and services. With the 2015 combination of EMD Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich, we now have a broad portfolio of 300,000 products and an expanded global footprint.

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MedTech

Making Predictions by Digitizing Bioprocessing

Article | July 12, 2022

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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Medical

Top 3 Biotech Clinical Data Management Trends to Watch in 2022

Article | July 14, 2022

Introduction The administration of medical records and data has advanced significantly during the past few decades. Clinical data management, which was once only a small subset of biotech research organizations, has now developed into a mission-critical, specialized unit. In the late 1990s, electronic data capture (EDC) began to alter the traditional function of clinical data management. After that, the data configuration and management of data queries for the EDC system fell under the purview of clinical data management services. Today, clinical data management is not only responsible for managing the clinical data configuration and data queries but also developing and implementing data administration plans, ensuring data accuracy and completeness, and maintaining optimum data security. In recent years, as digital technologies have gained acceptance around the globe, data has become a vital aspect in decision-making across numerous industries, and the life sciences and biotechnology sectors are no exception. Using data has provided granular insights to biotech organizations, assisting them in creating breakthroughs in drug development and medical research and signifying the importance of clinical trial management systems in these medical verticals. The Biggest Biotech Clinical Data Management Trends to Know About Today The future of clinical data management is contingent upon the implementation of systems and regulations. It is imperative for all organizations participating in a medical or life science trial to have transparent rules in place for sharing and retaining patient data. Also, there is a need to have a standardized format for maintaining these records and documents related to trials. This assists biotech organizations in reducing the chances of ambiguity regarding who owns what kind of data or paperwork at any given time. Over the past couple of years, the focus of the life science and biotechnology industries has shifted towards developing more effective medications and therapies, implementing personalized treatment, and finding cures for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. In response to this, a substantial rise in the number of clinical trials is being witnessed globally. As the number of clinical trials continues to accelerate, the spending on these trials rises as well. In response to this, the worldwide cost of conducting clinical trials is anticipated to reach US$ 49.80 billion in 2022. With the transition of the world from traditional to digital, medical professionals and biotech businesses are increasingly shifting towards adopting high-tech and reliable clinical trial management systems for various applications, starting from diagnosis and clinical trials to patient data documentation. But, what are the future trends in biotechnology clinical data management? Let’s discuss. Cloud-Based Clinical Metadata Repositories Automation is emerging as a new frontier in the biotech clinical data management domain, along with other innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Because of this, life science establishments are witnessing a huge shift from paper-based documentation toward data-based documentation, which is creating mountains of research, compliance, and clinical data. The growing demand for new and more effective medications and drugs is augmenting the need to expedite clinical trials. This is resulting in an increased number of initiatives aimed at optimizing clinical trial processes to prepare and launch successful trials. However, pharmaceutical and biotechnology laboratories are encountering several challenges in collecting, managing, and analyzing metadata due to its complexities. So, what is the best solution to this problem? The answer to this is cloud-based clinical metadata repositories. Clinical research facilities are leveraging advanced, all-in-one, cloud-based clinical metadata repositories to assist them in centralizing and managing metadata; increasing metadata quality, consistency, and accuracy; and speeding up clinical trial management, documentation, and compliance processes. Shift Towards Digital Solutions Electronic Case Report Form Adequate research and accurate data are crucial for a clinical trial to succeed. Whether developing new drugs, medication, or therapies; conducting life science research; or studying the latest clinical trial systems, it is best to use electronic solutions as it reduces the room for mistakes during the transition of clinical data from paper-based format. Realizing this, biotech organizations are shifting towards using electronic case report forms to speed up record retrieval, improve record security, and cut down on operational costs associated with running clinical trials. The electronic case report form assists in lowering the failure rate of the clinical trial, enhancing efficiency, and optimizing security along with improving clinical trial documentation and productivity, further driving its adoption in the medical space. Electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment Electronic clinical outcome assessment is surfacing as one of the fast-growing future trends in biotechnology. It allows clinical trial facilities to automate data entry and improve the reliability of the collected information. The technology enables clinical trial institutions to automatically record patient-provided information about side effects, symptoms, drug timing, and other aspects during the clinical trial for increased precision. It also helps these institutions analyze the results of medication or therapy in clinical trials and lets clinical researchers use medical technologies like biosensor-enabled devices, self-service applications, and medical wearables for evaluation. Hence, biotech clinical facilities are increasingly deploying advanced electronic clinical outcome assessment systems to ensure adherence to protocols and regulations. Clinical Trial Customization The success of a new drug is determined by numerous factors other than its effectiveness, safety, and creativity of its developers, such as a successful clinical trial. Each clinical trial involves a number of decision-making points, and one wrong choice in any of these aspects can jeopardize the success of the entire endeavor. A crucial component of making well-informed decisions is data management, which is a part of clinical study as a whole. Clinical trial customization is emerging as one of the most prominent biotech clinical trial management trends. Every clinical trial is unique and needs a tailored approach to be successful. With the emergence of the trend of personalized treatment around the globe, biotech and pharmaceutical organizations are adopting innovative customized clinical trial management solutions to accelerate the pace of clinical trials and approvals. This is giving clinical researchers innovative ways to come up with new medicines for patients and streamline the clinical data as per the requirements for faster approvals. What Are the Key Clinical Data Management Challenges Faced by Biotech Companies? Groundbreaking medical interventions are of no use without reliable, accurate, and extensive clinical trial data. Without the data, biotech and pharmaceutical companies will not be able to provide the assurance of safety and efficacy required to bring the medication to market. Regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and others are putting stricter rules in place to ensure the quality of clinical data. In addition, the fast-changing clinical development environment is creating more obstacles for biotech and medical spaces to ensure the accuracy, standard, and completeness of the clinical trial data. Hence, clinical teams are spending valuable time cleaning up data instead of analyzing it. Time spent trying to figure out issues with clinical trial data is detrimental and expensive but also mission-critical. This is because a small issue in the data can lead to numerous consequences, from small delays to calamitous setbacks, making it necessary to rerun clinical trials. This problem will only get more challenging to address as the volume of data and the types of data sources continue to grow. Here are some of the major clinical data management challenges that biotech firms encounter Standardization of Clinical Metadata Stringent Regulatory Compliance Increased Clinical Trial Complexity Mid-Study Changes Why Are Clinical Data Management Systems Garnering Popularity in the Biotech Industry? With the changing regulatory and clinical landscape, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are facing several obstacles in the management of clinical data and clinical trials. In addition, regulatory agencies are moving toward integrated electronic systems, which is making it more and more important for clinical laboratories to change the format of their submissions. Because of this, several biotech clinical labs are focusing on adopting innovative laboratory solutions, such as biotech clinical data management systems, to meet the need for standardized data inputs and replace all manual ways of working with electronic systems. A clinical data management system establishes the framework for error-free data collection and high-quality data submission, resulting in speedier drug discovery and shorter time-to-market. These solutions are gaining huge traction among biotech and pharmaceutical companies, owing to their ability to effectively manage clinical data, accelerate clinical trials, and ensure compliance. Let’s see some of the features of biotech clinical data management software that are most sought after by life-science companies Controlled, standardized data repository. Centralized data analysis and administration. Reduced operational expenditures for clinical data processes. Enhanced process effectiveness. Superior submission quality Compliance with predefined standards. Clinical Data Management Systems: The Future The role of clinical data management systems is evolving at a rapid pace as the life science and medical industries continue to incorporate digital solutions for diverse operations. These systems are being used in a variety of biotech clinical settings, ranging from clinical data compliance to data science and analytics, to help them analyze large and growing volumes of clinical data. Hence, a number of high-tech medical companies are aiming at integrating innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, into clinical data management software to automate clinical data management tasks, improve clinical data submission, and enhance data quality. These new biotech clinical management technologies are anticipated to help life science laboratories gain a better understanding of diseases and speed up clinical trials in the coming years. FAQ What is a clinical data management system? A clinical data management system (CDMS) is a tool used in clinical research to track, record, and manage clinical trial data across medical establishments such as biotech laboratories. What are the key functions of the biotech clinical data management system? Some of the key functions of biotech clinical data management system are Documentation of Protocols and Regulations Patient Recruitment Real-time Clinical Study Analytics Reporting Investigator Relationship Management Electronic Visit Report Why is a clinical data management system needed for clinical trials today? A clinical data management system helps shorten the time from drug development to marketing by assisting in the collection of high-quality, statistically sound, and accurate data from clinical trials.

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MedTech

Biotech in 2022

Article | October 7, 2022

The robust global channel of more than, 800 gene and cell curatives presently in trials will produce clinical readouts in 2022, revealing what lies ahead for advanced curatives. The impact will be felt in 2022, no matter how you slice it. Eventually, how well industry and non-supervisory bodies unite to produce new frameworks for advanced therapies will shape the year 2022 and further. Pacific Northwest talent will continue to contribute to the advancement of gene and cell curatives in both the short and long term, thanks to its deep pool of ground-breaking scientific developers, entrepreneurial directorial leadership, largely skilled translational scientists, and endured bio manufacturing technicians. We may see continued on-life science fund withdrawal from biotech in 2021, but this can be anticipated as a strong comeback in 2022 by biotech industry, backed by deep-pocketed life science investors who are committed to this sector. A similar investment, combined with pharma's cash-heavy coffers, can result in increased junction and acquisition activity, which will be a challenge for some but an occasion for others. Over the last five years, investment interest in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest has grown exponentially, from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Oregon. The region's explosive portfolio of new biotech companies, innovated out of academic centres, demonstrates the region's growing recognition of scientific invention. This created a belief that continued, especially because Seattle's start-ups and biotech enterprises are delivering on their pledge of clinical and patient impact. Talent and staffing will continue to be difficult to find. It's a CEO's market, but many of these funds' return, and are not rising in proportion to the exorbitant prices they're paying to enter deals. This schism has become particularly pronounced in 2021. Hence, everyone in biotech is concerned about reclamation and retention.

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MedTech

Next-Gen Genetics Cancer Therapies Creating Investment Prospects

Article | July 5, 2022

Genetic therapeutics such as genetic engineering and gene therapy are increasingly emerging as one of the most influential and transformed biotechnological solutions around the globe in recent times. These genetic solutions are being assessed across various medical domains, including cancer treatment, neurology, oncology, and ophthalmology. Citing the trend, the genetics industry is estimated to experience a tsunami of approvals, with over 1,000 cell and gene therapy clinical trials currently underway and over 900 companies worldwide focusing on these cutting-edge therapies. Growing Cancer Encourages Advancements in Genetic Technologies With the surging cases of cancers such as leukemias, carcinomas, lymphomas, and others, patients worldwide are increasing their spending on adopting novel therapeutic solutions for non-recurring treatment of the disease, such as gene therapy, genetic engineering, T-cell therapy, and gene editing. As per a study by the Fight Cancer Organization, spending on the treatment of cancer increased to $200.7 billion, and the amount is anticipated to exceed $245 billion by the end of 2030. Growing revenue prospects are encouraging biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies to develop novel genetic solutions for cancer treatment. For instance, Bristol-Myers Squibb K.K., a Japanese pharmaceutical company, introduced a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy, Abecma, for the treatment of relapsed or refractory (R/R) multiple myeloma in 2022. Amid a New Market: Genetics Will Attract Massive Investments Despite several developments and technological advancements, genetics is still considered to be in a nascent stage, providing significant prospects for growth to the companies that are already operating in the domain. Genetics solutions such as gene therapies, gene editing, and T-cell immunotherapy are emerging as highly active treatments across various medical fields, resulting in increasing research and development activities across the domain, drawing significant attention from investors. Given the potential of genetic treatments and the focus on finding new ways to treat cancer and other related diseases, it's easy to understand why companies are investing in the domain. For instance, Pfizer has recently announced an investment of around $800 million to construct development facilities supporting gene therapy manufacturing from initial preclinical research through final commercial-scale production. Due to these advancements, cell and gene therapies are forecast to grow from $4 billion annually to more than $45 billion, exhibiting growth at a 63% CAGR. The Future of Genetics Though there is a significant rise in advancement in genetic technologies and developments, the number of approved genetic treatments remains extremely small. However, with gene transfer and CRISPR solutions emerging as new modalities for cancer treatment, the start-up companies will attract a growing amount and proportion of private and public investments. This is expected present a tremendous opportunity for biopharma and biotechnology investors to help fund and benefit from the medical industry's shift from traditional treatments to cutting-edge genetic therapeutics in the coming years.

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Spotlight

Sigma-Aldrich

Our purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community – and through that, we aim to accelerate access to better health for people everywhere. We provide scientists and engineers with best-in-class lab materials, technologies and services. With the 2015 combination of EMD Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich, we now have a broad portfolio of 300,000 products and an expanded global footprint.

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AI

eureKARE and DNAlytics Form Partnership to Develop a Proprietary AI Platform

eureKARE | July 07, 2021

eureKARE, a pioneering new company focused on financing and building next-generation biotechnology companies in the disruptive fields of the microbiome and synthetic biology, today announced an agreement with DNAlytics, a Belgian company applying data sciences to healthcare, to develop eureKARE's proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform to support its Biotech start-upstart-up studios, eureKARE. Unlike conventional start-upstart-up incubation methods, which begin with new science and then attempt to find an issue to address with it, eureKARE's methodology reverses this. eureKARE is committed to first finding an unmet need and then enlisting the best scientists and experts to provide an innovative solution to launch exciting new ventures. This process will be aided by eureKARE's one-of-a-kind AI platform, which will assist the business in identifying top academic researchers, locating new ideas and approaches in development, and scaling existing portfolio companies. About eureKARE eureKARE is a ground-breaking new company focusing on financing and establishing next-generation biotechnology start-ups in the microbiome and synthetic biology cutting-edge areas. eureKARE employs a two-step investing strategy to create long-term value. Through its biotech start-upstart-up studios eureKABIOME (Microbiome) and eureKASYNBIO, the company promotes translational research by developing and financing new companies based on high-value European science (Synthetic biology). In addition, the company aims to engage in more mature biotech companies. It will systematically propose to provide some liquidity to early investors, thus fulfilling a crucial demand in the European biotech sector. EureKARE has a fast-expanding portfolio of companies with the potential to disrupt the life sciences sector, led by its prominent founder, Alexandre Mouradian, and a pan-European team. About DNAlytics DNAlytics is based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, specializing in data science for the healthcare sector, including data management, bioinformatics, biostatistics, Machine Learning, and other Artificial Intelligence methods. DNAlytics products are utilized in clinical research, the creation of biotech drugs and medical devices, public health studies, and the monitoring and optimization of bio-manufacturing processes. In addition, DNAlytics assists a wide range of clients and partners in extracting scientifically sound observations and practical conclusions from complex data sets.

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Tennessee researchers join call for responsible development of synthetic biology

Phys.org | October 18, 2019

Engineering biology is already transforming technology and science, and a consortium of researchers across many disciplines in the international Genome Project-write is calling for more discussion among scientists, policy makers and the general public to shepherd future development. In a policy forum article published in the October 18 issue of Science, the authors outline the technological advances needed to secure the transformative future of synthetic biology and express their concerns that the implementation of the relatively new discipline remains safe and responsible. Two researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are co-authors on the piece titled "Technological challenges and milestones for writing genomes: synthetic genomics requires improved technologies." Neal Stewart and Scott Lenaghan with the UTIA departments of Plant Sciences and Food Science, respectively, join Nili Ostrov, a Ph.D. research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School, and 18 other leading scientists from a number of institutions and disciplines, in outlining a potential timeline for the development of what they call transformative advances to science and society.

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Bioactive Agents Improve Synthetic Bone Substitutes

Technology Networks | October 18, 2019

Synthetic bone substitutes are promising materials for bone defect repair, but their efficacy can be substantially improved by bioactive agents such as growth factors. In a new study, researchers have modified beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) with increasing quantities of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) derived from E. coli and shown improved bone healing. The study is published in Tissue Engineering, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Yuelian Liu, PhD, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues present their work in an article titled "Dose Effects of Slow-Released Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Functionalized β-Tricalcium Phosphate in Repairing Critical-Sized Bone Defects". The authors created bone defects in a rat calvarial model and then attempted repair using β-TCP granules coated with a biomimetic calcium phosphate preparation that allows slow release of BMP-2. Bone growth and maturation were studied in comparison with autologous bone grafts using micro-CT scans, histology, and histomorphometry, and toxicity was assessed with blood tests. The E. coli-derived BMP-2 successfully improved bone formation with efficacy comparable to autologous grafts, and higher BMP-2 concentration promoted bone maturation.

Read More

AI

eureKARE and DNAlytics Form Partnership to Develop a Proprietary AI Platform

eureKARE | July 07, 2021

eureKARE, a pioneering new company focused on financing and building next-generation biotechnology companies in the disruptive fields of the microbiome and synthetic biology, today announced an agreement with DNAlytics, a Belgian company applying data sciences to healthcare, to develop eureKARE's proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform to support its Biotech start-upstart-up studios, eureKARE. Unlike conventional start-upstart-up incubation methods, which begin with new science and then attempt to find an issue to address with it, eureKARE's methodology reverses this. eureKARE is committed to first finding an unmet need and then enlisting the best scientists and experts to provide an innovative solution to launch exciting new ventures. This process will be aided by eureKARE's one-of-a-kind AI platform, which will assist the business in identifying top academic researchers, locating new ideas and approaches in development, and scaling existing portfolio companies. About eureKARE eureKARE is a ground-breaking new company focusing on financing and establishing next-generation biotechnology start-ups in the microbiome and synthetic biology cutting-edge areas. eureKARE employs a two-step investing strategy to create long-term value. Through its biotech start-upstart-up studios eureKABIOME (Microbiome) and eureKASYNBIO, the company promotes translational research by developing and financing new companies based on high-value European science (Synthetic biology). In addition, the company aims to engage in more mature biotech companies. It will systematically propose to provide some liquidity to early investors, thus fulfilling a crucial demand in the European biotech sector. EureKARE has a fast-expanding portfolio of companies with the potential to disrupt the life sciences sector, led by its prominent founder, Alexandre Mouradian, and a pan-European team. About DNAlytics DNAlytics is based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, specializing in data science for the healthcare sector, including data management, bioinformatics, biostatistics, Machine Learning, and other Artificial Intelligence methods. DNAlytics products are utilized in clinical research, the creation of biotech drugs and medical devices, public health studies, and the monitoring and optimization of bio-manufacturing processes. In addition, DNAlytics assists a wide range of clients and partners in extracting scientifically sound observations and practical conclusions from complex data sets.

Read More

Tennessee researchers join call for responsible development of synthetic biology

Phys.org | October 18, 2019

Engineering biology is already transforming technology and science, and a consortium of researchers across many disciplines in the international Genome Project-write is calling for more discussion among scientists, policy makers and the general public to shepherd future development. In a policy forum article published in the October 18 issue of Science, the authors outline the technological advances needed to secure the transformative future of synthetic biology and express their concerns that the implementation of the relatively new discipline remains safe and responsible. Two researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are co-authors on the piece titled "Technological challenges and milestones for writing genomes: synthetic genomics requires improved technologies." Neal Stewart and Scott Lenaghan with the UTIA departments of Plant Sciences and Food Science, respectively, join Nili Ostrov, a Ph.D. research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School, and 18 other leading scientists from a number of institutions and disciplines, in outlining a potential timeline for the development of what they call transformative advances to science and society.

Read More

Bioactive Agents Improve Synthetic Bone Substitutes

Technology Networks | October 18, 2019

Synthetic bone substitutes are promising materials for bone defect repair, but their efficacy can be substantially improved by bioactive agents such as growth factors. In a new study, researchers have modified beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) with increasing quantities of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) derived from E. coli and shown improved bone healing. The study is published in Tissue Engineering, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Yuelian Liu, PhD, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues present their work in an article titled "Dose Effects of Slow-Released Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Functionalized β-Tricalcium Phosphate in Repairing Critical-Sized Bone Defects". The authors created bone defects in a rat calvarial model and then attempted repair using β-TCP granules coated with a biomimetic calcium phosphate preparation that allows slow release of BMP-2. Bone growth and maturation were studied in comparison with autologous bone grafts using micro-CT scans, histology, and histomorphometry, and toxicity was assessed with blood tests. The E. coli-derived BMP-2 successfully improved bone formation with efficacy comparable to autologous grafts, and higher BMP-2 concentration promoted bone maturation.

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