Stem Cell Technology: The Only Constant Is Change

Just as one cannot step into the same river twice, one cannot find anything fixed in stem cell research, where one will find, instead, that revelations and still other revelations are ever flowing. Accordingly, much has changed since the original revelation, the almost four-decade-old discovery of embryonic stem cells in mice. Subsequent studies led to the isolation of human embryonic stem cells, which were then grown in the laboratory, as well as the development of reprogramming techniques and the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). More recently, advances in biotechnology and genome editing have fostered a modern evolution of stem cell advances that shows no signs of slowing.

Spotlight

Paragon Bioservices, Inc.

Paragon Bioservices is an industry-leading, private-equity backed contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) whose focus is the development and manufacturing of cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals. Paragon’s aim is to build strong client partnerships with the world’s best biotech and pharma companies, focusing on transformative technologies, including gene therapies (AAV), next-generation vaccines, oncology immunotherapies (oncolytic viruses and CAR-T cell therapies), therapeutic protein, and other complex biologics.

OTHER ARTICLES
Medical

Next-Gen Gene Therapy to Counter Complex Diseases

Article | August 16, 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.

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MedTech

Better Purification and Recovery in Bioprocessing

Article | October 7, 2022

In the downstream portion of any bioprocess, one must pick through the dross before one can seize the gold the biotherapeutic that the bioprocess was always meant to generate. Unfortunately, the dross is both voluminous and various. And the biotherapeutic gold, unlike real gold, is corruptible. That is, it can suffer structural damage and activity loss. When discarding the dross and collecting the gold, bioprocessors must be efficient and gentle. They must, to the extent possible, eliminate contaminants and organic debris while ensuring that biotherapeutics avoid aggregation-inducing stresses and retain their integrity during purification and recovery. Anything less compromises purity and reduces yield. To purify and recover biotherapeutics efficiently and gently, bioprocessors must avail themselves of the most appropriate tools and techniques. Here, we talk with several experts about which tools and techniques can help bioprocessors overcome persistent challenges. Some of these experts also touch on new approaches that can help bioprocessors address emerging challenges.

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MedTech

Expansion of BioPharma: Opportunities and Investments

Article | July 16, 2022

Biopharmaceutical innovations are among the most ingenious and refined achievements of modern medical science. New concepts, techniques, and therapies are emerging, such as the cell therapy Provenge, which can be used to treat cancer, and gene therapies, which provide even more amazing promises of disease remission and regenerative medicine. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge boom in the pharmaceutical industry. This is because more and more attention is being paid to increasing manufacturing capacity and starting new research on drug development. Biopharma: Leading the Way in the Pharma Sector In the past couple of years, the biopharmaceutical sector has deepened its roots across the medical and pharmaceutical industries, on account of the transformation of pharmaceutical companies towards biotechnology, creating opportunities for growth. Also, growing advancements in technologies such as 3D bioprinting, biosensors, and gene editing, along with the integration of advanced artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality are estimated to further create prospects for growth. According to a study, the biopharmaceutical sector makes nearly $163 billion around the world and grows by more than 8% each year, which is twice as fast as the traditional pharma sector. Massive Investments Directed Towards Biopharma Investing in biotech research and development (R&D) has yielded better returns than the pharma industry average. Hence, a number of pharmaceutical companies are shifting their presence toward biopharma to capitalize on the upcoming opportunities by investing in and expanding their biotechnology infrastructure. For instance, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., an American manufacturer of scientific instrumentation, reagents and consumables, and software services, announced an investment of $97 million to expand its bioanalytical laboratory operations into three new locations in the U.S. With this investment, the company will add 150,000 square feet of scientific workspace and install the most advanced drug development technologies to produce life-changing medicines for patients in need.

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MedTech

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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Spotlight

Paragon Bioservices, Inc.

Paragon Bioservices is an industry-leading, private-equity backed contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) whose focus is the development and manufacturing of cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals. Paragon’s aim is to build strong client partnerships with the world’s best biotech and pharma companies, focusing on transformative technologies, including gene therapies (AAV), next-generation vaccines, oncology immunotherapies (oncolytic viruses and CAR-T cell therapies), therapeutic protein, and other complex biologics.

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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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