Epigenetic Condensates Drop By Particular Genomic Sites

GEN | August 09, 2019

Coalescing into tiny liquid-like blobs and glomming onto specific DNA elements, transcription factors TFs boost the expression of nearby genes. The blobs are specialized droplets called phase-condensation condensates, and the DNA elements are called enhancers. Blobs and the enhancers manage to recognize and associate with each other. But how? The question was taken up by MIT scientists who have been developing a blob-enhancer model of gene activation. In a 2017 Cell paper, the scientists described their computational studies of condensates, collections of molecules that form distinct cellular compartments but have no membrane separating them from the rest of the cell. These studies suggested that the blobby condensates, which are like oil droplets suspended in salad dressing, form at enhancers. In a 2018 Science paper, the researchers took the next step. They showed that their dynamic blobs really do form at enhancer locations. Made of clusters of TFs and other molecules, the blobs attract enzymes such as RNA polymerases that are needed to copy DNA into messenger RNA, keeping gene transcription active at specific sites. Finally, the scientists had positioned themselves to figure out how the dynamic blobs localize only at enhancer DNA, and not elsewhere on the genome. And soon, the scientists determined that blob-enhancer associations depend on a combination of specific and diffuse interactions.

Spotlight

Israel has a bustling life sciences industry which affects the well being of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. This infograph is a snapshot into this industry.

Spotlight

Israel has a bustling life sciences industry which affects the well being of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. This infograph is a snapshot into this industry.

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Resilience and MD Anderson Launch Joint Venture to Accelerate Development and Manufacturing of Innovative Cell Therapies for Cancer

Resilience | June 07, 2022

National Resilience, Inc. (Resilience) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced the launch of a joint venture, the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center, to accelerate the development and manufacturing of innovative cell therapies for patients with cancer. Uniting the strengths of Resilience and MD Anderson, the joint venture will advance its work within a culture of academic innovation alongside industrial expertise. The Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center will be based in a state-of-the art 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Texas Medical Center, with a team of 70 employees focused on process and analytical development as well as early-phase and clinical-stage Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The joint venture combines MD Anderson’s expertise in immunotherapy and cell therapies as well as a leading clinical trials infrastructure, with Resilience’s innovative biomanufacturing technologies, advanced analytics and a national network for developing and producing cell therapies. Together, the parties aim to accelerate the path of cell therapies to the clinic, while enabling scalability and a smooth transition to late-phase clinical and commercial activities. Cell therapies have had a dramatic impact for patients with certain cancers, but progress has been hampered by structural challenges, This novel joint venture was conceived to address those challenges by harnessing the complementary capabilities of two world-class organizations, allowing us to advance innovative programs to deliver impactful therapies to patients.” Jason Bock, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center. The joint venture will engage with MD Anderson researchers and external industry collaborators to advance new therapies through preclinical and clinical development, ensuring consistent and safe products that can be evaluated rapidly in clinical trials led by MD Anderson physicians. Resilience customers will be able to leverage this offering as part of the company’s growing network of biomanufacturing facilities that are flexible enough to scale projects from small-batch pre-clinical to large-scale commercial production. Resilience has 10 facilities across North America, with more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing space. The promise of cell therapies to help patients in need has been limited by a lack of innovation in biomanufacturing, This collaboration aims to overcome those hurdles by extending our network with this unique partnership, creating opportunities to incubate innovative ideas and provide cutting-edge biomanufacturing technologies and processes to researchers, with a goal of bringing more cell therapies to patients.” Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D., Chief Executive Officer of Resilience. The joint venture will advance the most promising cell therapy modalities to answer unmet clinical needs, including engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells, endogenous T cells (ETCs), engineered natural killer (NK) cells and other emerging technologies, for patients with hematological and solid tumors. MD Anderson researchers are leaders in the field of cancer cell therapy, responsible for advancing the translational and clinical development of many of the currently approved and experimental cell therapies. The joint venture is built upon MD Anderson’s Biologics Development platform, formerly part of the institution’s Therapeutics Discovery division. Current strategic collaborations with MD Anderson’s Biologics Development platform will continue; collaborative relationships with MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division, as well as physicians and scientists across the institution, also will be maintained. We believe in the tremendous potential of cell therapies to deliver solutions that offer cures, not merely prolonged survival. Resilience offers unique capabilities that make it an ideal choice for unlocking that potential and accelerating impactful cell therapies, Our mission at MD Anderson is to end cancer, and this joint venture is a strategic step toward realizing that goal.” Ferran Prat, Ph.D., J.D., senior vice president for Research Administration and Industry Relations at MD Anderson. About Resilience Resilience is a technology-focused biomanufacturing company dedicated to broadening access to complex medicines. Founded in 2020, the company is building a sustainable network of high-tech, end-to-end manufacturing solutions to ensure the treatments of today and tomorrow can be made quickly, safely, and at scale. Resilience seeks to free its partners to focus on the discoveries that improve patients’ lives by continuously advancing the science of biopharmaceutical manufacturing and development.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Biocytogen and LiberoThera Achieve Milestone Progress in Co-Development of Fully Human GPCR Antibody Drugs

Biocytogen | July 21, 2022

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MEDICAL

GE Healthcare Introduces Wireless Patient Monitoring Solution to Help Clinicians Detect Early Patient Deterioration

GE | June 20, 2022

With most hospitals around the world currently relying on manual “spot-checks” to monitor patient vitals, GE Healthcare unveils Portrait Mobile3, a wireless patient monitoring system that enables continuous monitoring throughout a patient’s stay. The system helps clinicians detect patient deterioration. Early detection of patient deterioration may help reduce length of stay and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions – and improve patient outcomes4. Portrait Mobile includes patient-worn wireless sensors which communicate with a mobile monitor. Globally, an estimated 65 percent of hospital patients and over 90 percent of post-acute care patients are monitored manually and not continually.5 Many vital sign changes are missed during spot checks which often occur in four-to-six-hour intervals6. A UK national audit of adult in-hospital cardiac arrests showed that more than half (57 percent) occurred on the wards and only five percent in the ICU7 where patients are monitored continuously. Most patients who end up in cardiac arrest or critical care, don’t suddenly deteriorate but rather present with earlier vital signs that show abnormal trends8. Respiratory rate is the highest ranked variable in models predicting clinical deterioration in the hospital9. With Portrait Mobile, respiration rate, oxygen saturation and pulse rate for general ward and post-surgery patients can be captured wirelessly, continuously. This innovation allows caregivers to identify changes that may signal that cardiorespiratory complications or infectious disease may be developing. It gives clinicians the opportunity to act early and potentially avert serious adverse events. In an evaluation clinical study conducted at a London hospital in the UK, 90 percent of nurses reported that they feel more reassured about their patient’s condition when continuous monitoring is used versus vital signs spot check measuring, Portrait Mobile provides reliable measurement technology and meaningful alarms in a mobile setting.” Erno Muuranto, Engineering Director at GE Healthcare in Finland. For patients, Portrait Mobile’s wireless continuous monitoring helps with the ability to move about the hospital, without being restricted to the bedside. This also allows visitors to interact with the patient without technology getting in the way. Moreover, the solution provides patients and family members peace of mind knowing that monitoring is constant - even when the patient is out of their room. Patient mobility may help improve patient outcomes and reduce length of stay, which may lower costs and elevate patient satisfaction10. Portrait Mobile is designed to be as reliable as wired technology. Its routable communications architecture enables hospitals to leverage their existing network infrastructure when deploying the system, reducing installation and maintenance costs. Portrait Mobile was developed in Helsinki, GE Healthcare’s global center of excellence for monitoring solutions where engineers have been developing patient monitoring technology for decades. Today, GE monitors are used in hospitals across the world - from Beijing to London, New York, and more. About GE Healthcare: GE Healthcare is the $17.7 billion healthcare business of GE (NYSE: GE). As a leading global medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics and digital solutions innovator, GE Healthcare enables clinicians to make faster, more informed decisions through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services, supported by its Edison intelligence platform. With over 100 years of healthcare industry experience and around 48,000 employees globally, the company operates at the center of an ecosystem working toward precision health, digitizing healthcare, helping drive productivity and improve outcomes for patients, providers, health systems and researchers around the world.

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