The Microbiome Magnified

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Drug Development, Drug Targets

DECODING THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS There is no shortage of microbiome-focused startups in biotech right now. The link between the gut microbiome — the entire collection of microbes living in the gut — and diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease are well-established. New research has made it clear, however, that the gut microbiome also impacts neurological health, leading to the phrase “the gut-brain … Read More

Nanobodies: These Are Not Your Mother’s mAbs

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Orphan Disease, Orphan Drugs

The Drug Kingpins Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are the undisputed drug kingpins. In 2013, the mAb market raked in $75 billion in combined sales, covering a whole range of indications from cancer and infectious disease, to autoimmune disorders, and even high cholesterol. Despite the success, mAbs have one chink in their armor: they cannot enter cells due to their large size, hampering their range … Read More

Decoding The Gut-Brain Axis

Emily BurkeBiologics, Drug Development, Drug Targets, The WEEKLY

Microbiome & Disease The biotech world is abuzz with talk of the latest microbiome startup launch Axial Biotherapeutics (Boston, MA). What caught our eye here at the WEEKLY is the company’s focus on the gut microbiome — the entire collection of microbes living in the gut — and its interplay with the brain. The connection between the gut microbiome and … Read More

The Tight Junction’s Function

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

A Pathway Lies In The Bridge Between Cells Most of us remember from high school biology that cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. Cells join together to form tissues and organs such as hearts, lungs, and livers, which work together to create a functioning human. An adult human body contains trillions of cells, and these cells must … Read More

Unmasking Multiple Sclerosis

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

 Many Channels Available To Impede MS Progression Continuing our series on central nervous system (CNS) disorders—previously covering Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s—we pivot to unmask Multiple Sclerosis this week. Famous faces suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) include former talk show host Montel Williams and Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler. MS typically occurs in susceptible individuals between the ages of 20 and 50, and there are … Read More

The Uber Of The Human Body?

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

A Tiny Vesicle With Big Potential Cambridge-based startup Codiak BioSciences made headlines last month with $40M launch funding and another $40M if their technology shows promise. So, what’s the big deal? A tiny little particle—once described as a cellular trash truck—called the exosome. First observed in the early 1980s, exosomes were originally thought to be a way for cells to get rid of … Read More

Inching Across The Blood-Brain Barrier

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Monoclonal Antibodies, Term of the Week

A Constant Hurdle in Drug Delivery When it comes to achieving success in drug development, picking the right drug target and developing an effective inhibitor (or activator) is only half the battle. A drug candidate may appear promising in cell-based testing—and even in preclinical testing—but still fail to work in humans. It simply does not get to where it needs to be … Read More

New Brain Cells From A Pill

Emily BurkeBusiness of Biotech, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Genetics, Small Molecule Drugs, Term of the Week

Imagine being able to regenerate your brain cells by swallowing a pill. The potential treatment relies on a process known as neurogenesis—”neuro” meaning nerves and “genesis” meaning creation. Adults suffering from neurological diseases or brain disorders may one day benefit from small molecule activators to promote the birth of neurons in the brain. Neurogenesis naturally occurs during fetal brain development and declines with … Read More