Potential biotech and health applications with new knowledge on bacteria and viruses

Phys.org | January 18, 2019

University of Otago research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications. Research led by Dr. Simon Jackson and Associate Professor Peter Fineran, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, investigating the function of bacteria immune systems and what impact they have on the coevolution of bacteria and viruses was published today in a top tier scientific journal, Cell Host and Microbe. Viruses infecting bacteria are called bacteriophages ("phages" for short) and are the most abundant biological entities on the planet influencing many aspects of our lives and the global ecosystem.
Dr. Jackson says the war between phages and bacteria is ever-present and many bacteria protect themselves using immune defenses known as CRISPR-Cas systems. "Research to understand more about the interactions between phages and bacteria, particularly how bacterial CRISPR-Cas immunity functions, is being exploited internationally in many ground-breaking biotechnological applications including gene editing," Dr. Jackson explains. "We think this area of research holds a lot of promise for biotechnology applications and might also be an important consideration for the use of phages to treat infectious diseases.

Spotlight

Biotechnology and specifically Synthetic Biology (SynBio) is evolving at lightning speed. SynBio makes it possible to engineer life from the ground up (allowing the formation of organisms with genetic code (DNA) not found in the natural world) and to redesign existing natural bio systems for life-changing purposes.1 The opportunities are limitless and so are the risks.

Spotlight

Biotechnology and specifically Synthetic Biology (SynBio) is evolving at lightning speed. SynBio makes it possible to engineer life from the ground up (allowing the formation of organisms with genetic code (DNA) not found in the natural world) and to redesign existing natural bio systems for life-changing purposes.1 The opportunities are limitless and so are the risks.

Related News

MEDICAL

HealthMyne's Radiomic Technology Leveraged to Identify Biomarkers That Predict Immunotherapy Treatment Responses

HealthMyne | September 22, 2021

HealthMyne, a pioneer in applied radiomics, announced that peer-reviewed research recently published in the journal Cancers has demonstrated the ability of its radiomics technology to identify biomarkers that predict whether patients with lung adenocarcinoma would benefit from immunotherapy. In the Cancers article, researchers led by Vincenza Granata evaluated HealthMyne's technology as a quantitative imaging decision support tool for radiomic analysis of lung adenocarcinoma in chest CT scans. Researchers analyzed radiomic biomarkers to predict Overall Survival (OS) and Progression Free Survival (PFS) time. To perform the study, researchers selected 74 patients with histologically confirmed lung cancer who underwent immunotherapy and compared them with 50 patients with histologically confirmed lung adenocarcinoma who underwent chemotherapy alone or in combination with targeted therapy. Researchers segmented each patient's lesion leveraging HealthMyne's advanced imaging analytics solution to extract 573 radiometric metrics from the cohort images to predict OS and PFS time. Researchers found that 19 radiomic features were significant for predicting OS and 108 radiomic features for predicting PFS time. Researchers concluded that the study demonstrated the relationship between radiomics and immunotherapeutic response and that specific radiomic features can be used to select patients with lung adenocarcinoma who would benefit from immunotherapy. To maximize the value of research and development investments, drug developers need an accurate and efficient means of selecting and stratifying patients for clinical studies. Numerous examples of peer-reviewed research have shown that radiomics and precision image analysis identifies biomarkers that drive greater personalization of treatment and provides new insights for better decisions. At HealthMyne, we strive to develop innovative radiomic solutions that contribute to the advancement of this critical body of evidence. - Rose Higgins, CEO, HealthMyne. About HealthMyne HealthMyne® is a pioneer in applied radiomics, the cutting-edge field of extracting novel data and biomarkers from medical images. Our FDA-approved and CE marked, AI-enabled solutions allow organizations to easily access and translate groundbreaking radiomic insights into use in research, clinical outcomes, and treatment pathways. By leveraging radiomics, our clients and partners can accelerate the development and delivery of the best possible treatments. HealthMyne's approach is based upon the premise that every cancer patient's story begins with an image. We believe that unleashing the hidden power of imaging data and radiomics will revolutionize personalized care -- ensuring the right treatment every time. Our mission is to advance precision health initiatives through accessible and translatable radiomic data.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Second Genome Announces Bayer Exercised Option Following Completion of Multi-Year Collaboration

Second Genome | March 03, 2022

Second Genome, a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary platform to discover and develop precision therapies and biomarkers, announced today it has completed its multi-year collaboration with Bayer to discover proteins for potential development of next-generation insect-control products. During the collaboration, Second Genome generated and explored environmental metagenomes that include genomic information from bacteria that are yet to be identified and cultured. "We are proud to have successfully executed a collaboration with Bayer following our discovery of thousands of novel proteins using our machine learning-enabled platform that have the potential to be developed into next-generation products. The discoveries Second Genome made are an important validation for the broad potential of our platform to develop novel therapeutic approaches for human health." Karim Dabbagh, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Second Genome Under the terms of this multi-year agreement, Second Genome generated a large microbial metagenomic dataset that was subsequently evaluated using a machine learning driven platform to identify novel insecticidal proteins. "With our vast human datasets, as well as our platform's machine learning, metagenomic and data standardization and analytic capabilities, we can efficiently analyze vast and geographically diverse data to advance Second Genome's pipeline of precision therapeutics and biomarkers and collaborators' portfolios," said Susannah Cantrell, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Chief Business Officer of Second Genome. "We look forward to continuing to demonstrate the potential of our approach through additional industry collaborations in the health care field as we advance our lead mucosal healing and oncology programs toward the clinic this year." About Second Genome Second Genome is a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary technology-enabled platform to discover and develop transformational precision therapies based on novel microbial genetic insights. We built a proprietary drug discovery platform with machine-learning analytics, customized protein engineering techniques, phage library screening, mass spec analysis and CRISPR, that we couple with traditional drug development approaches to progress the development of precision therapies for wide-ranging diseases. Second Genome is advancing lead programs in IBD and cancer into IND-enabling studies. We also collaborate with industry, academic and governmental partners to leverage our platform and data science capabilities. We hold a strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc., utilizing our proprietary platform and comprehensive data sets to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead's investigational medicines. We also hold a strategic collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals to identify microbiome biomarkers associated with clinical response for their lead program in gastroenterology, etrasimod.

Read More

AI

Viva Biotech and BioMap Have Signed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement to Accelerate Early Drug Discovery Using AI Technology

Viva Biotech, BioMap | May 11, 2021

The first generation of the China Biocomputing Conference, hosted by BioMap and Adock, was successfully launched in Suzhou. The conference's goal is to bring together biotech and IT industry partners to build a multi-party integrated industrial ecosystem and realize AI's full potential in the field of biotechnology. Viva Biotech was invited to the conference and announced a strategic alliance with BioMap. This alliance will combine BioMap's AI + biological computing engine with Viva Biotech's structure-based drug discovery tool to jointly accelerate the R&D of novel drugs. Viva Biotech's President, Dr. Delin Ren, stated: "The combination of AI deep learning technologies and the SBDD technology platform is certain to have far-reaching consequences for drug design and R&D. The strategic partnership between Viva Biotech and BioMap is the ideal combination between these two technologies. It is anticipated that it will shorten the R&D period and increase the success rate of novel drug discovery." "High-quality biological data is the base of biocomputing platform development," said Liu Wei, co-founder, and CEO of BioMap. Viva Biotech has the most advanced protein structure analysis technologies and capabilities in the world. The partnership with Viva Biotech will allow BioMap to obtain high-quality macromolecular structure data in a high-throughput manner, especially for new targets, artificially designed antibody molecules, and target-drug complexes. The partnership, when combined with BioMap's strong computing power and algorithm development expertise, is expected to facilitate the development of BioMap's AI macromolecular drug platform, which will potentially lead to new drug development." AlxplorerBio and EPN, two biotech firms that Viva BioInnovator funded in and incubated, both attended the meeting and signed the collaboration agreement. About Viva Biotech Viva Biotech aims to become a place for innovative biotechnology companies from around the world. We have built a scalable business model that combines the conventional cash-for-service (CFS) model with the revolutionary equity-for-service (EFS) model. Under the CFS model, the Group offers global pharmaceutical clients a one-stop-shop for new drug discovery and production. The EFS business is committed to investing globally in biotech research that provides novel solutions to unmet medical needs in a variety of therapeutic areas. Viva Biotech has offered drug development and manufacturing services to 1,252 pharmaceutical clients worldwide as of December 31, 2020, worked on over 1,500 independent drug targets, delivered over 21,000 independent protein structures, and incubated/invested in 67 biotech firms. About BioMap BioMap is China's first biocomputing-driven biotech firm, led as chairman by Baidu CEO Robin Li and co-founder and CEO by Baidu Ventures' former CEO Liu Wei. BioMap was established during a period of growth in biological data. Our goal is to use AI and data to significantly improve the lives of patients. BioMap, positioned as a data-driven company, is speeding the R&D phase of early screening/diagnosis, drug discovery, and other precision medicine products by leveraging high-performance biocomputing and AI capabilities, gaining insights from our unique and vast library of population and molecular data sets. We are concentrating our efforts on developing our internal AI engine and data collection capabilities to curate our proprietary insights for difficult diseases.

Read More