CRISPR’s GENOME DETECTIVES

Emily BurkeCRISPR/Cas9, Diagnostics, genome editing

CRISPR’s GENOME DETECTIVES Last week, we reviewed how CRISPR works and its potential to revolutionize genetic therapies. Here we look at how scientists have started using this technology to develop new diagnostics. Media attention has been focusing almost exclusively on how scientists use CRISPR to edit DNA. But as you read last week, the biotech industry has begun to turn … Read More

Cancer Diagnostic In A Drop

Emily BurkeDiagnostics, Liquid biopsy

THE LATEST IN CANCER DIAGNOSTICS Hearing the words “it might be cancer” paired with your doctor’s perplexed look is enough to send shock waves through your body. Getting to the heart of a diagnosis usually requires a surgical biopsy—removal and examination of the suspected tissue for visible signs of cancer. Less invasive diagnostic tests—called liquid biopsies—might just bring more choices … Read More

Picturing Disease

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Diagnostics, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

USING MEDICAL IMAGING TO INVESTIGATE DISEASE Medical imaging — using various modalities to take a snapshot of the body’s interior structure — has been around since 1895, with the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen. X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation (more on that later!) that are able to pass through soft tissues such as skin, fat, and muscle … Read More

Decoding Your Genes

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diagnostics, Drug Approvals, Easily Confused, FDA, Genetics, Genomics, Orphan Disease, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

The Skinny On DNA Testing 23andMe (Mountain View, CA) recently found itself back in the limelight after the disease risk section of its mail-in DNA kit received an OK from the FDA. The Silicon Valley biotech had to halt sales of its direct-to-consumer genetics testing back in 2013 after regulatory officials grew concerned over marketing claims and the possibility of consumers misinterpreting the test results. 23andMe rebooted a limited part of … Read More

Zika On The Brain

Emily BurkeClinical Trials, Diagnostics, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), The WEEKLY

The Latest On The Rise Of Zika The spread of the Zika virus is raising alarm bells in the United States, and Congress has yet to pass any legislation to combat the fight. Zika infections reported in Miami confirm the virus’ stateside arrival, pushing residents to take measures to protect their pregnancies from potentially devastating effects. In our previous issue, we explored the underpinnings … Read More

The Emerging Proteomics Market

Emily BurkeBusiness of Biotech, Cancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diabetes, Diagnostics, Drug Targets, Genomics, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

Picking Apart The Protein Genomics continues to be all the rage in biotech circles—with special kudos to Illumina’s (San Diego, CA) recent ability to obtain an entire human genome sequence in 24-hours for a mere thousand dollars. Our overall understanding of human DNA combined with our ability to determine individual genomes leads to better disease insight, more powerful diagnostics, and a … Read More

Finding Footprints

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diagnostics, Genetics, Monoclonal Antibodies, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

New Player In Cancer Biomarker Detection Catching a tumor’s first footprints is the holy grail of cancer research. The ability to detect and treat cancer early would put the collective mind of humanity at ease. Our best bet yet is the liquid biopsy—a minimally invasive test to detect and monitor cancer, which happens to be all the rage in cancer diagnostics. Liquid biopsies … Read More

Detecting A Silent Killer

Emily BurkeCardiovascular Disease, Diagnostics, Easily Confused, Medical Device, The WEEKLY

Getting To The Heart Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) doesn’t discriminate against anyone. From healthy to unhealthy, young to old, the unexpected cessation happens in an instant. Affecting more than 325,000 people per year with a 90% fatality rate, it is one of the leading causes of death among people over 40. Individuals determined to be at … Read More

Catching The First Drop Of Cancer

Emily BurkeCancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diagnostics, FDA, Monoclonal Antibodies, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

The Latest In Cancer Diagnostics Hearing the words “it might be cancer” paired with your doctor’s perplexed look is enough to send shockwaves through your body. Getting to the heart of a diagnosis usually requires a surgical biopsy—removal and examination of the suspected tissue for visible signs of cancer. Less invasive diagnostic tests—called liquid biopsies—might just bring more choices to … Read More

A Drop Of Biotech

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Diagnostics, Drug Development, Genomics, HIV, Orphan Disease, Orphan Drugs, The WEEKLY

Basics of Blood Disorders Blood is the carrier of a multitude of fundamental body processes—responsible for delivering vital nutrients/oxygen and for removing wastes. Like the highway exchange feeding a city of life, blood is simply essential. The branch of medicine concerned with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of blood related diseases is known as hematology. This single therapeutic area covers a broad range … Read More

The Realm Of Next Generation Sequencing

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diagnostics, Genomics, The WEEKLY

Breaking Down The Genome A billion dollar budget, a decade of work, and multinational collaboration brought the first human genome sequence—via the Human Genome Project—to the world at the turn of the century. Today, using so-called “next-generation sequencing (NGS),” an individual human genome sequence costs a mere $1,000 and takes 24 hours. Even greater advances in cost saving and time are expected in … Read More

What The Heck Is qRT-PCR Diagnostics?

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Cocktail Fodder, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diagnostics, Easily Confused, Genetics, Genomics, HIV, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), The WEEKLY

From Impossible to possible The genetics of cancer has progressed from the impossible to a multifaceted mountain of possible. Comprehensive projects in whole genome sequencing and tumor genome sequencing are providing data to unravel the genetic predispositions of cancer. The other half of possible lies in quantitative PCR. This platform technology can identify types of cancer, effective therapeutics, and aggressiveness of the … Read More

Immune System Checkpoint Therapies On The Case

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Diagnostics, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Monoclonal Antibodies, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

Cancer, Meet Your Newest Opponent Immune checkpoint therapies received a lot of airtime at American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago last week. The release of promising new clinical data has everyone buzzing about more cures for more cancers as a follow-on to last year’s race to the market. The hype seems to be justified. Simply put, these … Read More

The Rise Of Nanomedicine

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Diagnostics, Drug Development, Drug Targets, FDA, The WEEKLY

Biotech Teams Up with Nanotech Imagine swallowing a pill containing microscopic magnets. After these “magnetic nanoparticles” make their way to the stomach, they are absorbed into the bloodstream to uncover disease associated proteins and other molecules. Envision these tiny explorers relaying their findings to a band worn discretely on your wrist. The potential to identify disease early with nanoparticles, rather than later with more conventional technologies, is a game … Read More

12 Biotech Concepts Everyone Should Know

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Trials, Diabetes, Diagnostics, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Ebola, FDA, Genetics, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Orphan Disease, Orphan Drugs, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Our mission here at WEEKLY is to keep your industry knowledge up to date. We will be off Thursday, roasting our turkeys and reminding ourselves that it is not the amino acid tryptophan that makes us drowsy after a Thanksgiving feast—it is the massive carbohydrate intake! Whether you are awaiting a Thanksgiving holiday or it is business as usual, we … Read More

Breaking From The Pack With Cancer Diagnostics

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Cocktail Fodder, Diagnostics, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

Regular WEEKLY readers know that cancer stems from the division of a single cell leaping to uncontrolled growth and then growing into a tumor. How exactly does cancer disrupt the life process? Sometimes tumors grow to such a size that the function of a vital organ is no longer viable. Mostly, cancer kills by metastasis—when cells from the tumor break … Read More