SynbiTECH unplugged: an interview with Professors Kitney and Freemont

Professor Richard Kitney is co-Director of the UK National Industrial Translation Centre for Synthetic Biology (SynbiCITE) and co-Founder and co-Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI). He is Professor of BioMedical Systems Engineering at Imperial College London. As Chair of The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Inquiry into Synthetic Biology and a member of the UK’s Ministerial Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, he has driven the UK’s approach to the field and the technology, its development and its translation into industrially useful products, tools, processes and services.

Spotlight

AUTISM BIOTECH LTD

In the past few decades the prevalence of autism has risen more than thirtyfold from one in 2500 to one in 68 children. Much of this increase is likely due to changing diagnostic criteria. But whatever the cause, autism spectrum disorder has become one of today’s greatest paediatric health concerns.

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Medical

Biotech in 2022

Article | August 16, 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

5 Biotech Stocks Winning the Coronavirus Race

Article | July 11, 2022

There are quite a few companies that have found ways to grow their business during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true for a number of biotechs now working on developing a potential treatment for, or vaccine against, the virus; shares of such companies have largely surged over the past couple of months. Although many of these treatments and vaccines are still have quite a way to go before they're widely available, it's still worth taking some time to look through what's going on in the COVID-19 space right now. Here are five biotech stocks that are leading the way when it comes to addressing COVID-19. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) wasn't among the initial wave of companies to announce a potential COVID-19 drug. However, investor excitement quickly sent shares surging when the company announced that its rheumatoid arthritis drug, Kevzara, could help treat COVID-19 patients.

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MedTech

How to Choose a Reliable Biotech Clinical Trial Management System?

Article | July 13, 2022

Introduction The medical and life-science industries are experiencing a robust transformation with the increasing prevalence of various types of diseases, including infectious diseases, chronic disorders, and acute conditions around the world. As a result, a significant rise in demand for more effective therapeutic drugs and bionics is being witnessed, leading to a swift increase in the number of clinical trials. For a successful trial, it is important for biotech companies to ensure the data submitted to regulatory bodies regarding clinical trials is accurate, reliable, and definitive from an ethical point of view. A reliable clinical trial management system plays a vital role in collecting, monitoring, and managing clinical data. The availability of high-quality clinical data also helps clinical research institutions make efficient treatment decisions and provide proper patient care. Hence, a number of biotech companies and research organizations are focusing on leveraging innovative clinical trial management solutions to handle a large amount of data, particularly in multi-center trials, and generate reliable, high-quality, and statistically sound data from clinical trials. However, selecting the most appropriate and reliable clinical trial management system is vital for the clinical trial's success. Let's see some of the steps that will assist these firms in choosing the right CTMS. Key Steps for Selecting Right Biotech Clinical Trial Management System Prioritize Study Needs Considering and prioritizing study needs is a crucial step in choosing the most reliable clinical trial management system for biotech companies. Prioritizing helps them to identify a solution that improves the study's quality and removes uncertainty for researchers when faced with difficult choices. Hence, biotech and life-science organizations should choose a clinical trial system that is simple to use, well-organized, and suitably designed to minimize the number of clicks required to complete a task. Select CTMS with Multiple Integrations Integrated clinical trial management systems provide the best value for the companies’ funds as they guarantee the smooth functioning of research protocols. In addition, integrations are necessary to fully understand the importance and advantages of clinical trial management software for ensuring smooth transitions between site management and data collection. Biotech and clinical research should look for CTMS platforms that can integrate with electronic medical record (EMR) platforms and clinical research process content (CRPC) billing grids. This will allow them to use the same billing designations and ensure compliance while minimizing the need for duplicate processes. Ensure System Compliance and Security Clinical research organizations need to adhere to a plethora of complex regulations in order to ensure compliance with one of the most challenging environments of principles, which is information security and privacy. Security and system compliance are vital aspects of choosing the right CTMS solutions for biotech firms as they assist in building trust and form a part of the system’s duties. While selecting CTMS systems, it is essential for companies engaged in clinical research to ensure that these platforms are able to configure both, group and individual permissions, along with having a data backup and recovery plan for hosted systems. This will allow companies to assess the privacy and security implications of research and anticipate complications that may arise in each phase of the project. Assess the Scalability Choosing a scalable CTMS that can accommodate various types of fluctuations and expansions enables biotech and clinical firms to quickly adapt to fast-changing trends and demand spikes while reducing maintenance costs and enhancing user agility. As scalability also means secure and expanded data storage, these businesses should instead use SaaS solutions than manually manage an ever-growing collection of hard drives. The right CTMS ensures accommodating the firm’s availability requirements without incurring the capital costs associated with expanding a physical infrastructure. The Closing Thought A well-executed and successful clinical trial involves multiple stages and processes. Several quality controls and stringent adherence to regulations are essential for the steps, along with efficient cross-departmental processes and procedures. Incorporating the right CTMS paves the way for paperless data collection, regulatory filing, and fiscal management tools for biotech researchers and administrative personnel.

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MedTech

Expansion of BioPharma: Opportunities and Investments

Article | July 12, 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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Spotlight

AUTISM BIOTECH LTD

In the past few decades the prevalence of autism has risen more than thirtyfold from one in 2500 to one in 68 children. Much of this increase is likely due to changing diagnostic criteria. But whatever the cause, autism spectrum disorder has become one of today’s greatest paediatric health concerns.

Related News

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.

Read More

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