Article | July 13, 2022
Gene therapy has historically been used to treat disorders with in-depth knowledge caused by a single genetic mutation. Thanks to the introduction of new generation technologies, the potential of gene therapy is expanding tAo treat diseases that were previously untreatable.
Evolution of Gene Therapy
One of the major success stories of the twenty-first century has been gene therapy. However, it has not been the same in the past. The field's journey to this point has been long and mostly difficult, with both tragedy and triumph along the way.
Initially, genetic disorders were thought to be untreatable and permanently carved into the genomes of individuals unfortunate enough to be born with them. But due to the constant technological advancement and research activities, gene therapy now has the potential to treat various genetic mutation-causing diseases with its ability to insert a new copy and replace faulty genes.
Gene Therapy is Finding New Roads in the Medical Sector
Gene therapy can help researchers treat a variety of conditions that fall under the general heading of epilepsy, instead of only focusing on a particular kind of disorder brought on by a genetic mutation. Following are some of the domains transformed by gene therapy.
Neurology – Gene therapy can be used for the treatment of seizures by directly injecting it into the area causing an uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. Furthermore, by using DNA sequences known as promoters, gene therapy can be restricted to specific neurons within that area.
Ophthalmology – Genetic conditions such as blindness can be caused due to the mutation of any gene out of over 200 and resulting in progressive vision loss in children. With advanced gene therapies such as optogenetics, lost photoreceptor function can be transferred to the retinal cells, which are responsible for relaying visual information to the brain. This might give patients the ability to navigate in an unknown environment with a certain level of autonomy.
The Future of Gene Therapy
The news surrounding gene therapy has been largely favorable over the past few years, with treatment after treatment obtaining regulatory approvals, successful clinical trials, and garnering significant funds to begin development. With more than 1,000 clinical trials presently underway, the long-awaited gene therapy revolution might finally be here.
Article | July 11, 2022
Whether it’s called a modern “Manhattan Project” or a medical moon shot, the concept of long-term economic recovery rests on how confident people are they won’t risk serious illness by venturing forth in public again. Wisconsin stands to be a significant part of such an undertaking, whatever it’s called. The shorter-term debate is well under way over the gradual lifting of COVID-19 emergency rules, such as the now-extended “safer-at-home” order in Wisconsin. At least a dozen states, including regional coalitions on the East and West coasts, are exploring next steps as they seek to balance responses to the virus with calls for reopening the economy, at least, in part. Wisconsin’s ability to shape longer-term responses will come from private and public resources, which range from companies engaged in production of diagnostics.
Article | July 16, 2022
Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology emphasizing the structure, editing, evolution, function, and mapping of genomes. It is creating deeper inroads across the precision health domain with the increasing introduction of advanced technologies such as quantum simulation, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and precise genome manipulation.
As precision health focuses on providing the proper intervention to the right patient at the right time, genomics increasingly finds applications in human and pathogen genome sequencing in clinical and research spaces.
Rising Hereditary Diseases Burden Paving the Way for Genomics in Precision Health
In the last few years, a significant surge in the prevalence of diseases and ailments such as diabetes, obesity, baldness, and others has been witnessed across the globe. A history of family members with chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, hearing issues, and heart disease, can sometimes continue into the next generation.
Hence, the study of genes is extensively being conducted for predicting health risks and early treatment of these diseases. It also finds use in CRISPR-based diagnostics and the preparation of precision medication for the individual.
In addition, ongoing advancements in genomics are making it possible to identify different genetic traits that persuade people to more widespread diseases and health problems.
The Emergence of Genomics Improves Disease Understanding
Genomics refers to the study of the complete genetic makeup of a cell or organism. Increasing scientific research in the area substantially contributes to increasing knowledge about the human genome and assists in improving the ability to understand disease etiology, risk, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. On account of these improvements, innovative genomic technologies and tools are being developed to enable better precision health not only for the individual but for various regional populations as well.
The Way Forward
With growing preference for personalized medicine and an increasing need for more accurate pathogen detection and diagnostics, genomics is gaining huge popularity across the precision health domain.
Also, increasing research activities for developing novel high-precision therapeutics and rising importance of gene study in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of infectious and genetic diseases will further pave the way for genomics in the forthcoming years.
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.