Releasing the Handbrake on Exosome Applications

MICHELE WILSON | April 2, 2019 | 9 views

Exosome are tiny vesicles that are derived from multivesicular endosomes. They are released from cells and have been shown to persist in the circulation for hours. As exosomes contain a variety of components (including proteins, lipids, mRNA and DNA) and are taken up by target cells, they are thought to represent a novel form of cellular communication. Given their resilience in extracellular fluid and unique source of origin, it is hoped that knowledge of exosomes could be leveraged for a whole host of diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Despite the great excitement about exosomes, the technology which is needed to advance this area is lacking. To find out more about the current unmet need, we spoke to Jim West, CEO of Clara Biotech, who tells us how his team is working to fill that gap. Michele Wilson (MW): Could you tell us about Clara Biotech and how it came about? Jim West (JW): The foundation of our platform came about in 2014, when Dr. He, our inventor, was working at the University of Kansas Medical Center and they started working on some exosome diagnostics, specifically around cancer. Seeing what they were doing, she was a little bit appalled at the state of the technology and the amount of effort that goes into isolating these exosomes. In addition, the technique lacked repeatability. They were very expertise-oriented. So even running the same person on the same sample over different time periods could result in different outcomes.

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Radiology Partners

Radiology Partners is a multi-state hospital-based practice, serving in excess of 100 locations, with the infrastructure and capital to scale further. We offer diagnostic and interventional radiology services, with on-site and remote reads by local radiologists. Radiology Partners is the fastest-growing radiology practice in the U.S., with an exceptional client relationship track record that spans 40 years.

OTHER ARTICLES

Advancement in Genomics Accelerating its Penetration into Precision Health

Article | September 13, 2019

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.

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Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | April 9, 2020

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

Article | April 19, 2020

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

Article | February 12, 2020

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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Spotlight

Radiology Partners

Radiology Partners is a multi-state hospital-based practice, serving in excess of 100 locations, with the infrastructure and capital to scale further. We offer diagnostic and interventional radiology services, with on-site and remote reads by local radiologists. Radiology Partners is the fastest-growing radiology practice in the U.S., with an exceptional client relationship track record that spans 40 years.

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The helium hydride cation (HeH+), a molecule formed by the two elements at the top of the periodic table, was first synthesized a by-product in a laboratory back in 1925. Scientists have long suspected that this unorthodox molecule may exist in the interstellar medium since the infancy of our universe, but all previous searches have turned up nothing. Astrophysicists working at NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) collaboration recently reported that they finally confirmed the existence of HeH+ at NGC 702, a planetary nebula 3,000 light-years away. A molecule is defined as two or more atoms linked together through a chemical bond (or bonds). Consisting of two of the lightest elements, one can expect that HeH+ should be among the earliest molecules. However, since helium is an inert gas, it would actually take quite a bit of energy to knock its electrons out and make it form a covalent bond with a hydrogen atom. What makes scientists think that HeH+ preceded any other molecule?

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Atomic structure reveals how cells translate environmental signals

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labroots | April 26, 2019

The helium hydride cation (HeH+), a molecule formed by the two elements at the top of the periodic table, was first synthesized a by-product in a laboratory back in 1925. Scientists have long suspected that this unorthodox molecule may exist in the interstellar medium since the infancy of our universe, but all previous searches have turned up nothing. Astrophysicists working at NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) collaboration recently reported that they finally confirmed the existence of HeH+ at NGC 702, a planetary nebula 3,000 light-years away. A molecule is defined as two or more atoms linked together through a chemical bond (or bonds). Consisting of two of the lightest elements, one can expect that HeH+ should be among the earliest molecules. However, since helium is an inert gas, it would actually take quite a bit of energy to knock its electrons out and make it form a covalent bond with a hydrogen atom. What makes scientists think that HeH+ preceded any other molecule?

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