Genomics
Development 'cookbooks' could speed up gene therapy
Great strides have been made in the development of gene editing tools in the past decade, but translating the technology into real therapies to treat patients has taken longer than expected. How to accelerate this process was the subject of a panel discussion on January 13 at the Biotech Showcase virtual event.  Discuss
How is the pharma-AI partnership landscape changing?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking on a growing role in drug discovery and development, with some 250 firms in a market space that's worth over $9 billion. And developers of AI are becoming attractive acquisition targets for contract research organizations, according to Ulrik Kristensen, PhD, research analyst and founder of Emersion Insights.  Discuss
Tackling the next hurdle in cell and gene therapy: Manufacturing
Although innovation continues to occur at lightning fast speeds in the cell and gene therapy space, commercialization and manufacturing of these technologies is still playing catch-up. A group of investors and executives from across the industry discussed this issue in an on-demand session of the Biotech Showcase virtual event.  Discuss
Are biotech companies really high-risk investments?
Despite the public perception of the biotech industry as a high-risk investment, a new analysis published in PLOS One on January 6 found that over the long term, biotech firms that went public performed just as well as nonbiotech companies by various measures of financial success.  Discuss
New discovery could lead to broad-spectrum antivirals
Scientists have identified a key human gene that is required for cells to consume and destroy viruses. The results of the study were published in Nature on December 16 and could point to new treatments to target viral infections, including COVID-19.  Discuss
Genes provide new targets for COVID-19 therapies
Genes associated with antiviral immunity and lung inflammation have been tied to severe cases of COVID-19 in a new genome-wide analysis conducted in the U.K. The results, published in Nature on December 11, reveal new therapeutic targets for drug repurposing and development efforts.  Discuss
Regulatory Roundup: Designations come through before year's end
This week's Regulatory Roundup covers activities from November 30 to December 4 and is filled with breakthrough, orphan, and rare disease designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Several cancer, immunotherapy, and vaccine companies also submitted biologic license applications to move their candidates forward.  Discuss
Cas9 modification can improve efficiency of gene editing
A modification to CRISPR/Cas9 systems can improve their functionality for gene editing in DNA repair, according to a report published in Nature Communications on November 27. The new Cas9 variant also improves the safety of the system for precision gene editing applications.  Discuss
New evidence shows SARS-CoV-2 mutations are not more transmissible
In direct contrast to previous research, researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 mutations are not tied to increased transmissibility in humans. The findings, published in Nature Communications on November 25, suggest that mutations such as D614G, while common, are neutral to viral evolution.  Discuss
Superspreader events drive global SARS-CoV-2 transmission
So-called "superspreader events" have been a major contributor to widespread transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new analysis of outbreaks in Austria. Researchers used deep viral genome sequencing to trace the evolution of the pandemic in the country and how the virus spread beyond its borders, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine on November 23.  Discuss
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