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Designer DNA therapies shown to effectively target cancer stem cells
January 21, 2021 -- Using an engineered DNA therapeutic agent to silence transcription factor genes reduced myeloma stem cell abundance and increased the survival of mice bearing human myeloma, according to preclinical study data published in Cell Stem Cell on January 20. The results of the study have prompted the clinical investigation of a therapeutic candidate for the treatment of multiple myeloma.  Discuss
Can antibodies to seasonal coronaviruses protect against SARS-CoV-2?
January 20, 2021 -- COVID-19 is not the world's first exposure to a coronavirus. With at least six previous exposures to various types of coronaviruses, researchers are exploring if antibodies created during earlier infection with coronaviruses can help to fight off SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings of the study were published in Cell Reports Medicine on January 19.  Discuss
Synthetic chemistry can help speed protein subunit vaccine development
January 19, 2021 -- A new method using synthetic chemistry can be a powerful tool for efficiently building adjuvanted protein-based subunit vaccines against a variety of infectious diseases. This process may help move desperately needed vaccines into preclinical evaluation quickly, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 18.  Discuss
MIT researchers use natural language processing to analyze viral evolution
January 18, 2021 -- In a breakthrough that could guide the development of targeted vaccines, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers used natural language processing methods lifted from the field of computational linguistics to analyze the viral protein sequence data of influenza A, HIV, and SARS-CoV-2 to identify regions within the genomes of those viruses that are most vulnerable to mutation. The results were published in a new study in Science on January 15.  Discuss
Beyond capital -- what it takes for biopharma startups to succeed
January 15, 2021 -- Investors are more interested in the biopharmaceutical sector than ever before. But success for biopharma startups means more than just securing investment funds -- it requires successful product commercialization. A panel of biopharmaceutical and finance executives discussed the factors that go into ensuring success on January 12 at the Biotech Showcase virtual event.  Discuss
Development 'cookbooks' could speed up gene therapy
January 14, 2021 -- 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?
January 13, 2021 -- 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
What makes immuno-oncology therapies attractive investments?
January 12, 2021 -- Although immuno-oncology therapies have been around for many years, investors are excited to partner with innovators in the space who can push the boundaries of what these therapies are able to achieve. A panel of investors and business development executives discussed what exactly makes a specific candidate attractive as a business opportunity during a recorded session at the Biotech Showcase virtual event.  Discuss
Tackling the next hurdle in cell and gene therapy: Manufacturing
January 11, 2021 -- 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
How can biopharma innovation be maintained after COVID-19?
January 8, 2021 -- Will the speed of biotech innovation seen during the COVID-19 pandemic be maintained going forward, or will the market revert to the status quo? A panel of speakers discussed these questions during a January 7 advance session of the Biotech Showcase, a virtual event to be held January 11-15.  Discuss
Are biotech companies really high-risk investments?
January 7, 2021 -- 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
Top Operation Warp Speed official shares lessons learned from COVID-19
January 6, 2021 -- The global COVID-19 pandemic has placed an urgent burden on governments to serve society, and with the help of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, the job is getting done. That's according to Moncef Slaoui, PhD, chief adviser of the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed project, who discussed his unique experiences at an advance session of the Biotech Showcase virtual event on January 5.  Discuss
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