Optimization of therapeutic gene editing in human hematopoietic stem cells

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disorder in the US and affects million people worldwide. The mutation of just one amino acid in the beta-chain of hemoglobin (Hb) causes the production of an altered Hemoglobin S. This results in multiple health problems like severe pain due to tissue damage, hypertension, kidney failure, anemia and stroke.

Spotlight

MDxHealth

MDxHealth is a multinational healthcare company that provides actionable molecular diagnostic information to personalize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The company's tests are based on proprietary genetic, epigenetic (methylation) and other molecular technologies and assist physicians with the diagnosis of urologic cancers, prognosis of recurrence risk, and prediction of response to a specific therapy.

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MedTech

Next-Gen Genetics Cancer Therapies Creating Investment Prospects

Article | July 20, 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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MedTech

Immunology: A New Frontier in Medical Science

Article | July 11, 2022

Introduction Recent developments in the bioengineering of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have revolutionized the treatment of numerous rheumatic and immunological disorders. Currently, several immunological disorders are successfully being targeted and treated using innovative medical techniques such as immunotherapy. Leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities to expand the usage and application of immunology for the treatment of various infectious diseases, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disorders, lupus, and psoriasis, leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities. Today, the efforts of researchers in immunology, with a long history of study and research, have borne fruit, as bioengineered mAbs are now being employed in clinical practices. Accelerating Investments: Paving the Way for Immunology The increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, cancer, and immune-mediated inflammatory disorders (IMIDs) is raising the need for more precise classification and an in-depth understanding of the pathology underlying these ailments. Numerous leaders in the biotechnology domain are thus focusing on undertaking numerous strategies, such as new facility launches and collaborations, to address the need by finding deeper inroads into immunology and its use in disease treatments. For instance, in 2022, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced the launch of a visionary research and innovation hub, the James P. Allison Institute, to find new roads in immunotherapy, develop new treatments, and foster groundbreaking science. These developments will result in better diagnosis through the use of selective biomarkers, and early detection of fatal diseases and their treatment, which will prevent complications from happening. Also, the identification of high-risk populations through a deeper understanding of genetic and environmental factors can assist in the prevention of disease through immunotherapy. The Way Forward Immunology has led to the development of biotechnology, making it possible to develop novel drugs and vaccines, as well as diagnostic tests, that can be used to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of autoimmune, infectious, and cancerous diseases. With the rapid advancement in technology and the integration of artificial intelligence, immunology is finding its way into an array of domains and industries, encompassing several research areas including medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and space. Today, not only researchers but also leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies have recognized that conventional therapies with pharmaceutical and chemical products are being replaced by products derived from immunology. This is because they work well for health problems, are environmentally friendly, and are also emerging as a wealth-generating business in the medical field.

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Research

Biotech in 2022

Article | July 11, 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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Medical

Laboratory Information Management System for Biotech Labs: Significance & Benefits

Article | August 16, 2022

If you have ever visited the testing laboratory of a large biotechnology company, you will be aware that managing the laboratory's operations single-handedly is no easy task. The greater the size of a lab, the more research and testing activities it must accommodate. A variety of diagnostic tests are prescribed for patients in order to detect various diseases. For example, it may include blood glucose testing for diabetics, lipid panel, or liver panel tests for evaluating cardiac risk and liver function, cultures for diagnosing infections, thyroid function tests, and others. Laboratory management solutions such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and other software play a significant role in managing various operational data at biotech laboratories. It is one of the important types of software developed to address thedata management and regulatory challenges of laboratories. The software enhances the operational efficiency of biotech labs by streamlining workflows, proper record-keeping, and eradicating the need for manually maintaining data. What Are the Benefits of Laboratory Information Management Software in Biotechnology? As the trends of digitization and technology continue to create deeper inroads into the biotechnology sector, a significant rise in the adoption of innovative medical software solutions, such as LIMS, is being witnessed for managing research data, testing reports, and post-research results globally. Here are a few reasons that are encouraging biotech facilities to adopt LIMS solutions Real-Time Data Collection and Tracking Previously, collecting and transporting samples was a tedious and time-consuming task. However, the adoption of LIMS with innovative tracking modules has made the job easier. The real-time sample tracking feature of LIMS has made it possible for personnel to collect the research data in real-time and manage and control the workflow with a few mouse clicks on the screen. Increase Revenue LIMS makes it possible to test workflows while giving users complete control over the testing process. A laboratory is able to collect data, schedule equipment maintenance or upgrades, enhance operational efficiency, and maintain a lower overhead with the help of the LIMS, thereby increasing revenue. Streamlined Workflow With its completion monitoring, LIMS speeds up laboratory workflows and keeps track of information. It assigns tasks to the specialist along with keeping a real-time track of the status and completion of each task. LIMS is integrated into the laboratory using lab information, which ultimately speeds up internal processes and streamlines the workflow. Automatic Data Exchange LIMS solutions store data in a centralized database. Automated transfer of data between departments and organizations is one of the major features of LIMS. Through its automated information exchange feature, LIMS improves internal operations, decreases the reporting time for data sharing, and assists in faster decision-making. Final Thoughts As the healthcare sector continues to ride the wave of digital transformation, biotech laboratories are emphasizing adopting newer technologies to keep up with the changes. Citing this trend, laboratory information management systems are becoming crucial for biotech and medical organizations for maintaining research data, instant reporting, and managing confidential, inventory, and financial data with centralized data storage.

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Spotlight

MDxHealth

MDxHealth is a multinational healthcare company that provides actionable molecular diagnostic information to personalize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The company's tests are based on proprietary genetic, epigenetic (methylation) and other molecular technologies and assist physicians with the diagnosis of urologic cancers, prognosis of recurrence risk, and prediction of response to a specific therapy.

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Industrial Impact

TARA Biosystems Partners with Scipher Medicine®

TARA Biosystems | November 03, 2021

TARA Biosystemsa, biotechnology company harnessing human biology and data to transform cardiac drug discovery, today announced a collaboration with Scipher Medicine, a precision medicine company matching patients with the most effective therapy. The collaboration will address a critical unmet need for effective therapeutics in cardiac laminopathies. Cardiac laminopathies, associated with mutations in the LMNA gene, can result in electrical and mechanical changes in the heart. These changes can have profound clinical consequences, including cardiomyopathy, sudden cardiac death, and end-stage heart failure. At present, therapies that correct the underlying pathologies do not exist. “This collaboration demonstrates the transformative potential of combining biology-driven data with network biology to further drug discovery and development and unlock new medicines and therapeutics,” said Misti Ushio, PhD, CEO of TARA Biosystems Scipher will leverage human molecular data analyzed by its Spectra™ platform, which includes data from TARA’s BiowireTM II LMNA disease models, to identify novel targets for a stratified disease population. This approach aims to identify proteins upstream and downstream of LMNA signaling within the Spectra™ network model. The identified targets will be evaluated in TARA’s BiowireTM II platform, which consists of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human cardiac tissue models, including a repertoire of healthy, gene-edited, patient-derived, and drug-induced phenotypes of human disease. “The Spectra platform uniquely integrates AI with the protein network of human cells to identify novel targets in highly complex and debilitating diseases such as laminopathy,” said Slava Akmaev, PhD, CTO, and Head of Therapeutics at Scipher Medicine. “By interrogating the network neighborhood of LMNA and its relationship with the proteins appropriate for targeted therapeutics we are confident that we can identify several novel and relevant drug targets.” “The TARA platform is highly versatile and can capture robust physiologic endpoints of human cardiac function, including contractility, electrophysiology, calcium signaling, structure, as well as genomic, proteomic, and metabolic profiles,” said Robert Langer, PhD, Board of Directors at TARA Biosystems. “We believe that TARA and Scipher combined efforts have the potential to lead to drug development that enables a truly personalized treatment for patients.” Under the terms of the partnership, TARA has the exclusive option to progress identified targets into drug discovery and clinical development. Scipher is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties. TARA will retain the rights for the development, and commercialization of therapeutics for the selected targets. “The partnership with TARA is a further example of how our disease agnostic Spectra platform can be applied to where novel targets are most needed,” added Alif Saleh, CEO of Scipher. “The ability to quickly validate novel targets identified by Spectra on TARA’s human tissue model platform allows us to rapidly iterate to identify most effective targets.” About TARA Biosystems, Inc. Headquartered in New York City, TARA Biosystems harnesses innovations in stem cell biology and tissue engineering to generate in vitro biology that recapitulates human physiology with unprecedented fidelity. Our highly versatile and robust platform captures integrated physiologic endpoints of human cardiac function across a wide repertoire of cardiac disease phenotypes. Our data facilitates decisive evaluation of the efficacy and risk of novel medicines, increasing the probability of success and decreasing long timeframes associated with traditional drug discovery efforts. Safer and more effective new medicines that rapidly make it to market means better health and longer lives, and we believe that benefits people everywhere. About Spectra A platform deciphering the complexity of disease by analyzing large patient molecular datasets through the unique lens of the human interactome and AI. Built upon over a decade of experimental research, the platform’s backbone is the network map of human biology explaining how proteins expressed from the human genome interact to cause specific disease phenotypes, providing the wiring diagram needed to interpret dynamic individual patient molecular data to reveal actual disease biology. Spectra™ is not a model but a disease representation rooted in experimental human biology and proprietary patient molecular data, allowing us to identify a patient’s unique disease signature, predict drug response to approved drugs and identify novel drug targets in patients not responding to existing therapies. About Scipher Medicine® Scipher Medicine, a precision immunology company, believes that patients deserve simple answers to treatment options based on scientifically backed data. Using our proprietary Spectra Network Biology platform and artificial intelligence, we commercialize blood tests revealing a person's unique molecular disease signature and match such signature to the most effective therapy, ensuring optimal treatment from day one. The patient molecular data generated from our tests further drives the discovery and development of novel and more effective therapeutics. We partner with payers, providers, and pharma along the health care value chain to bring precision medicine to autoimmune diseases.

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MedTech

Outcomes4Me Partners with Invitae to Offer Genetic Testing to Breast Cancer Patients

Outcomes4Me | October 12, 2021

Outcomes4Me Inc., developer of a leading free mobile app and platform to navigate cancer treatment and care, today announced that it has partnered with Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, to expand education and access to genetic testing to breast cancer patients and survivors. The collaboration leverages the strengths of Invitae, which supplies clinical grade genetic testing, and Outcomes4Me’s 360-degree, validated and evidence-based cancer support and treatment options via its free and easy-to-use app. Initially and currently available in the United States, patients can now receive genetic counseling through Invitae’s partnership with Genome Medical, get testing, and upload their results within the Outcomes4Me app.There is a misconception that genetic testing is only useful as a preventative tool prior to a cancer diagnosis. According to Outcomes4Me patient data, almost half of users (46 percent) who qualified for testing (based on NCCN Guidelines®) did not receive testing or did not know if they had received testing. However, genetic testing can provide insights that can help inform and refine precision therapy use and clinical treatment trial enrollment. In addition, genetic testing results can be used to help prevent recurrence and reduce incidence of other inherited cancers. A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming for patients and their families. Outcomes4Me demystifies cancer by providing the most up-to-date and validated research, support, and treatment options, all grounded in science and data and curated according to the patient’s specific diagnosis. Outcomes4Me partners with the researchers, doctors, and academics that set the rigorous standards of cancer care for all treatment providers, including the National Comprehensive Care Network® (NCCN®), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The collaboration with Invitae expands access to genetic testing, a vitally important tool in the patient’s cancer care arsenal. “Outcomes4Me is an indispensable platform for patients with breast cancer, giving them the personalized knowledge and access to timely new trials and targeted therapies that could lead to better health outcomes. By providing access to our comprehensive genetic testing and counseling services, Outcomes4Me is adding a valuable resource that will empower patients to advance their knowledge, understanding, and therefore, self-advocacy during treatment and survivorship.” Ed Esplin, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, FACP, Clinical Geneticist at Invitae Unlike popular direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, which test for a few specific genetic variants for certain genes, Invitae provides state-of-the-art clinical grade next-generation sequencing-based (NGS) genetic testing that comprehensively analyses more than 80 genes, including all known mutations of the important BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. This comprehensive approach, combined with associated genetic counseling, not only provides insights for cancer patients, but also for family members who may be at risk. “Our collaboration with Invitae reinforces Outcomes4Me’s mission to give patients back control. Because of this work with Invitae, our valued community now has rare direct access to a much-needed testing service. Outcomes4Me will proudly continue to democratize the best in cancer treatment, research, and support by removing barriers and bias in information flow.” Maya R. Said, Sc. D., Founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me About Invitae Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. About Outcomes4Me Outcomes4Me is on a mission to improve health outcomes by empowering patients with understandable, relevant and evidence-based information. Outcomes4Me has developed a platform for shared decision-making between patients and providers. The platform harnesses regulatory-grade, real-world data and patient experiences generating deeper insights and better outcomes to improve care and accelerate research. The Outcomes4Me mobile app enables cancer patients to make decisions and take control of their care based on information that is personalized to their specific condition, including finding treatment options, matching to clinical trials, and tracking and managing symptoms. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Outcomes4Me, a woman-led company, comprises seasoned healthcare, oncology, pharmaceutical, consumer and technology veterans.

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Machine learning programme used to predict stem cell growth

Drug Target Review | November 21, 2019

Researchers have used a computational model to learn how to manipulate stem cell arrangement, including those that may eventually be useful in generating personalised organs. According to the team, their discovery could be used to develop model organs grown from a patient’s own cells, which could ‘revolutionise’ how diseases are treated by increasing disease understanding or testing drugs. The study was conducted by a team from Gladstone Institutes, in collaboration with Boston University, both US. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, similar to the stem cells found in an embryo, have the potential to become nearly every type of cell in the body. Although researchers can prompt these cells into differentiating into specific organ cells, they cannot grow into functioning three-dimensional (3D) organs. “Despite the importance of organisation for functioning tissues, we as scientists have had difficulty creating tissues in a dish with stem cells,” said Ashley Libby, co-first author. “Instead of an organised tissue, we often get a disorganised mix of different cell types.”

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Industrial Impact

TARA Biosystems Partners with Scipher Medicine®

TARA Biosystems | November 03, 2021

TARA Biosystemsa, biotechnology company harnessing human biology and data to transform cardiac drug discovery, today announced a collaboration with Scipher Medicine, a precision medicine company matching patients with the most effective therapy. The collaboration will address a critical unmet need for effective therapeutics in cardiac laminopathies. Cardiac laminopathies, associated with mutations in the LMNA gene, can result in electrical and mechanical changes in the heart. These changes can have profound clinical consequences, including cardiomyopathy, sudden cardiac death, and end-stage heart failure. At present, therapies that correct the underlying pathologies do not exist. “This collaboration demonstrates the transformative potential of combining biology-driven data with network biology to further drug discovery and development and unlock new medicines and therapeutics,” said Misti Ushio, PhD, CEO of TARA Biosystems Scipher will leverage human molecular data analyzed by its Spectra™ platform, which includes data from TARA’s BiowireTM II LMNA disease models, to identify novel targets for a stratified disease population. This approach aims to identify proteins upstream and downstream of LMNA signaling within the Spectra™ network model. The identified targets will be evaluated in TARA’s BiowireTM II platform, which consists of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human cardiac tissue models, including a repertoire of healthy, gene-edited, patient-derived, and drug-induced phenotypes of human disease. “The Spectra platform uniquely integrates AI with the protein network of human cells to identify novel targets in highly complex and debilitating diseases such as laminopathy,” said Slava Akmaev, PhD, CTO, and Head of Therapeutics at Scipher Medicine. “By interrogating the network neighborhood of LMNA and its relationship with the proteins appropriate for targeted therapeutics we are confident that we can identify several novel and relevant drug targets.” “The TARA platform is highly versatile and can capture robust physiologic endpoints of human cardiac function, including contractility, electrophysiology, calcium signaling, structure, as well as genomic, proteomic, and metabolic profiles,” said Robert Langer, PhD, Board of Directors at TARA Biosystems. “We believe that TARA and Scipher combined efforts have the potential to lead to drug development that enables a truly personalized treatment for patients.” Under the terms of the partnership, TARA has the exclusive option to progress identified targets into drug discovery and clinical development. Scipher is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties. TARA will retain the rights for the development, and commercialization of therapeutics for the selected targets. “The partnership with TARA is a further example of how our disease agnostic Spectra platform can be applied to where novel targets are most needed,” added Alif Saleh, CEO of Scipher. “The ability to quickly validate novel targets identified by Spectra on TARA’s human tissue model platform allows us to rapidly iterate to identify most effective targets.” About TARA Biosystems, Inc. Headquartered in New York City, TARA Biosystems harnesses innovations in stem cell biology and tissue engineering to generate in vitro biology that recapitulates human physiology with unprecedented fidelity. Our highly versatile and robust platform captures integrated physiologic endpoints of human cardiac function across a wide repertoire of cardiac disease phenotypes. Our data facilitates decisive evaluation of the efficacy and risk of novel medicines, increasing the probability of success and decreasing long timeframes associated with traditional drug discovery efforts. Safer and more effective new medicines that rapidly make it to market means better health and longer lives, and we believe that benefits people everywhere. About Spectra A platform deciphering the complexity of disease by analyzing large patient molecular datasets through the unique lens of the human interactome and AI. Built upon over a decade of experimental research, the platform’s backbone is the network map of human biology explaining how proteins expressed from the human genome interact to cause specific disease phenotypes, providing the wiring diagram needed to interpret dynamic individual patient molecular data to reveal actual disease biology. Spectra™ is not a model but a disease representation rooted in experimental human biology and proprietary patient molecular data, allowing us to identify a patient’s unique disease signature, predict drug response to approved drugs and identify novel drug targets in patients not responding to existing therapies. About Scipher Medicine® Scipher Medicine, a precision immunology company, believes that patients deserve simple answers to treatment options based on scientifically backed data. Using our proprietary Spectra Network Biology platform and artificial intelligence, we commercialize blood tests revealing a person's unique molecular disease signature and match such signature to the most effective therapy, ensuring optimal treatment from day one. The patient molecular data generated from our tests further drives the discovery and development of novel and more effective therapeutics. We partner with payers, providers, and pharma along the health care value chain to bring precision medicine to autoimmune diseases.

Read More

MedTech

Outcomes4Me Partners with Invitae to Offer Genetic Testing to Breast Cancer Patients

Outcomes4Me | October 12, 2021

Outcomes4Me Inc., developer of a leading free mobile app and platform to navigate cancer treatment and care, today announced that it has partnered with Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, to expand education and access to genetic testing to breast cancer patients and survivors. The collaboration leverages the strengths of Invitae, which supplies clinical grade genetic testing, and Outcomes4Me’s 360-degree, validated and evidence-based cancer support and treatment options via its free and easy-to-use app. Initially and currently available in the United States, patients can now receive genetic counseling through Invitae’s partnership with Genome Medical, get testing, and upload their results within the Outcomes4Me app.There is a misconception that genetic testing is only useful as a preventative tool prior to a cancer diagnosis. According to Outcomes4Me patient data, almost half of users (46 percent) who qualified for testing (based on NCCN Guidelines®) did not receive testing or did not know if they had received testing. However, genetic testing can provide insights that can help inform and refine precision therapy use and clinical treatment trial enrollment. In addition, genetic testing results can be used to help prevent recurrence and reduce incidence of other inherited cancers. A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming for patients and their families. Outcomes4Me demystifies cancer by providing the most up-to-date and validated research, support, and treatment options, all grounded in science and data and curated according to the patient’s specific diagnosis. Outcomes4Me partners with the researchers, doctors, and academics that set the rigorous standards of cancer care for all treatment providers, including the National Comprehensive Care Network® (NCCN®), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The collaboration with Invitae expands access to genetic testing, a vitally important tool in the patient’s cancer care arsenal. “Outcomes4Me is an indispensable platform for patients with breast cancer, giving them the personalized knowledge and access to timely new trials and targeted therapies that could lead to better health outcomes. By providing access to our comprehensive genetic testing and counseling services, Outcomes4Me is adding a valuable resource that will empower patients to advance their knowledge, understanding, and therefore, self-advocacy during treatment and survivorship.” Ed Esplin, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, FACP, Clinical Geneticist at Invitae Unlike popular direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, which test for a few specific genetic variants for certain genes, Invitae provides state-of-the-art clinical grade next-generation sequencing-based (NGS) genetic testing that comprehensively analyses more than 80 genes, including all known mutations of the important BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. This comprehensive approach, combined with associated genetic counseling, not only provides insights for cancer patients, but also for family members who may be at risk. “Our collaboration with Invitae reinforces Outcomes4Me’s mission to give patients back control. Because of this work with Invitae, our valued community now has rare direct access to a much-needed testing service. Outcomes4Me will proudly continue to democratize the best in cancer treatment, research, and support by removing barriers and bias in information flow.” Maya R. Said, Sc. D., Founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me About Invitae Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. About Outcomes4Me Outcomes4Me is on a mission to improve health outcomes by empowering patients with understandable, relevant and evidence-based information. Outcomes4Me has developed a platform for shared decision-making between patients and providers. The platform harnesses regulatory-grade, real-world data and patient experiences generating deeper insights and better outcomes to improve care and accelerate research. The Outcomes4Me mobile app enables cancer patients to make decisions and take control of their care based on information that is personalized to their specific condition, including finding treatment options, matching to clinical trials, and tracking and managing symptoms. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Outcomes4Me, a woman-led company, comprises seasoned healthcare, oncology, pharmaceutical, consumer and technology veterans.

Read More

Machine learning programme used to predict stem cell growth

Drug Target Review | November 21, 2019

Researchers have used a computational model to learn how to manipulate stem cell arrangement, including those that may eventually be useful in generating personalised organs. According to the team, their discovery could be used to develop model organs grown from a patient’s own cells, which could ‘revolutionise’ how diseases are treated by increasing disease understanding or testing drugs. The study was conducted by a team from Gladstone Institutes, in collaboration with Boston University, both US. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, similar to the stem cells found in an embryo, have the potential to become nearly every type of cell in the body. Although researchers can prompt these cells into differentiating into specific organ cells, they cannot grow into functioning three-dimensional (3D) organs. “Despite the importance of organisation for functioning tissues, we as scientists have had difficulty creating tissues in a dish with stem cells,” said Ashley Libby, co-first author. “Instead of an organised tissue, we often get a disorganised mix of different cell types.”

Read More

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