"Missing" Virus Detected in Children With Polio-like Paralysis

Technology Networks | October 22, 2019

A UC San Francisco-led research team has detected the immunological remnants of a common seasonal virus in spinal fluid from dozens of patients diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) – a polio-like illness that causes permanent, sometimes life-threatening paralysis in young children. The findings provide the clearest evidence to date that AFM is caused by an enterovirus (EV) that invades and impairs the central nervous system. AFM, which begins with cold-like symptoms and progresses to limb weakness and paralysis in a matter of days, was first documented in 2012. Since then, AFM outbreaks have occurred every other year, with more than 500 confirmed cases recorded so far. But because scientists have had trouble pinpointing a cause, AFM has been the subject of contentious debate within the medical community. Mounting evidence implicated EVs as the likely culprit – specifically the so-called D68 and A71 strains of the virus. EV outbreaks are common and normally cause nothing more severe than cold-like symptoms or the rash-producing hand, foot and mouth disease.

Spotlight

Pacifique Nshimiyimana, a 2019 Alliance for Science Fellow from Rwanda, shares his thoughts after working on a transgenic (GMO) crop in the lab.

Spotlight

Pacifique Nshimiyimana, a 2019 Alliance for Science Fellow from Rwanda, shares his thoughts after working on a transgenic (GMO) crop in the lab.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Inventors of biolayer interferometry technology launch a next gen platform and novel biosensors

Gator Bio | September 15, 2021

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

WuXi ATU Announces Launch of TESSA™ Technology to Improve Scalability and Accessibility of Cell and Gene Therapies

WuXi AppTec | March 08, 2022

WuXi Advanced Therapies (WuXi ATU), a wholly owned subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, today announced the launch of Tetracycline-Enabled Self-Silencing Adenovirus (TESSA™). This technology is a state-of-the-art novel process for transfection-free, scalable manufacture of adeno-associated virus (AAV) at Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) grade. Developed by OXGENE in the United Kingdom, a WuXi Advanced Therapies company, TESSA™ will expedite AAV manufacturing and significantly reduce the cost for manufacturing cell and gene therapies, enabling global customers to deliver more accessible ground-breaking therapeutics to patients as quickly as possible. AAV vector is a popular tool for the delivery of gene therapies in diseases such as haemophilia and Alzheimer's. Efficient processes for manufacturing AAV on a large scale are critical to meeting increasing industry demands. TESSA™ vectors can meet the scalability challenges of AAV production, which has significant implications for expanding patient access to these novel therapeutics. The new data published in Nature Communications supports the benefits of this technology. It highlights that in the same manufacturing volume, TESSA™ vectors produced 10 times more AAV than plasmid-based manufacture, producing enough material to treat ten times the number of patients. The TESSA™ system is a game changer for the manufacture of AAV and the advancement of cell and gene therapies to benefit patients. By improving scalability, reducing process complexity and lowering the costs of gene therapy manufacture, TESSA™ will better enable our global partners to develop and deliver life-saving gene therapies faster to more patients in need." Dr. Ryan Cawood, Chief Scientific Officer of WuXi ATU. As a Contract Testing Development and Manufacturing Organization (CTDMO) with operations globally, WuXi ATU's unique business model integrates powerful testing capabilities with its advanced therapies' process development and manufacturing platforms, such as TESSA™ technology for AAV manufacturing and Lenti stable solutions for lentiviral manufacturing. This allows all assay development, biosafety, viral clearance and product release testing to be completed in-house, shortening customers' timelines for the approval of advanced therapies. About WuXi Advanced Therapies (WuXi ATU) As the advanced therapies business unit of WuXi AppTec, WuXi Advanced Therapies is a Contract Testing, Development and Manufacturing Organization (CTDMO) that offers integrated platforms to transform the discovery, development, testing, manufacturing, and commercialization of cell and gene therapies. Our services and solutions accelerate time to market and support customer programs around the world.

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MEDTECH

ZS and Seven Bridges Collaborate to Innovate Drug Research

ZS, Seven Bridges | May 07, 2021

ZS and Seven Bridges disclosed a collaboration today that will merge ZS's experience in biomedical testing facilities and data science with Seven Bridges' technology platform, which enables multi-omics analytics through the translational and clinical continuum. The hybrid offers biopharmaceutical and biotechnology firms a one-stop-shop for multi-omics analysis innovation and scalability. ZS and Seven Bridges work together to help clients produce breakthrough science, promote drug development, and improve the probability of approval for potential drug candidates. "Working side by side with our clients to help streamline R&D data and maximize pace and market to enhance patients' lives is at the heart of what we do at ZS," said Aaron Mitchell, principal, and leader of ZS's research and development excellence program. "Our collaboration with Seven Bridges allows our clients, and eventually patients, to gain access to new therapies and diagnostics more quickly." "Drug discovery, translational medicine, and preclinical drug research all require study at the molecular and genomic levels of implementation, and our collaboration with Seven Bridges provides our clients with a new option for innovation and scalable capacity," said John Piccone, principal, and leader of ZS's biomedical research service line. "We are building a talent pool of molecular natives with a strong knowledge of chemistry, data science, and technology to collaborate with our clients in the discovery of potential drug targets, the selection of drug candidates, and the solution of key translational medicine challenges. The integration of the Seven Bridges Platform and experts with the ZS consulting teams results in a modular approach for clients with growing multi-omics data and analytics requirements." "We are delighted to be combining the Seven Bridges platform with ZS's innovative apps for drug discovery and translational medicine. Integrating our multi-omics analysis platform and ARIATM, a centralized solution for molecular and patient-level phenotypic analysis at scale, with their research data lake is a critical requirement for ZS's pharmaceutical clients "said Bruce Press, Seven Bridges' Chief Revenue Officer. About Seven Bridges Seven Bridges allows researchers to derive meaningful insights from genomic and phenotypic data, thereby advancing precision medicine. A compliant analytic platform, intelligently curated content, innovative algorithms, unmatched access to federated data sets, and specialist on-demand technical resources comprise the Seven Bridges Ecosystem. Researchers at the world's leading academic, biotechnology, clinical diagnostic, government, medical centers, and pharmaceutical institutions are using this systematic approach to bioinformatics to maximize R&D effectiveness, improve hypothesis resolution, isolate vital biomarkers, and even transform a failing clinical trial around while also minimizing computational workflow times and data storage costs.

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