Breast Cancer Subtypes

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Genetics, Mechanism of Action

FOUR MOLECULAR VARIANTS EXPLAINED Hearing your doctor utter the words HER2-positive, HR-positive, triple-negative, or BRCA mutation can be devastating — even for the most resilient person. Simply put, breast cancer is a complex disease. A diagnosis can be derived from any combination of the factors listed above — or, none at all. The National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD) has outlined four molecular subtypes of the disease. … 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

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

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

Is Genetic Variety The Spice Of Life?

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Cocktail Fodder, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Genetics, The WEEKLY

Understanding Basis Of Evolution Take a look at the person closest to you. Compare the color of their eyes, the texture of their hair, even the complexion of their skin to your own. Do you notice a lot of differences? Genetic variation accounts for the dissimilarities we observe between individuals—seemingly trivial ones such as the differences in eye, hair, and … 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

Targeting Breast Cancer

Emily BurkeCancer, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, FDA, Genetics, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

The Subtypes of Breast Cancer Hearing your doctor utter the words HER2-positive, HR-positive, triple-negative, or BRCA mutation can be devastating—even for the most resilient person. Simply put, all are linked to breast cancer. Breast cancer is complex and a diagnosis can be caused by all, some, or even none of the factors listed above. In fact, the National Cancer Institute’s (Bethesda, … Read More

It’s A Great Time To Be In Biotech

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

It’s a great time to be in biotech—new therapeutics are breaking ground faster than we can say “monoclonal antibody” and the technologies behind them are heavy with promise and potential. Our mission is to keep your industry knowledge up to date and the WEEKLY is here to give you a smart primer on the basics. Below we have outlined several … Read More

The State Of Cystic Fibrosis And Precision Medicine

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, FDA, Genetics, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Orphan Disease, Orphan Drugs, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

During President Obama’s State of the Union address last month, a cystic fibrosis patient named Bill Elder sat beside First Lady Michelle Obama. Diagnosed with the disease at 8 years old, Mr. Elder is “healthier now than ever before” at age 27, thanks to Vertex’s (Boston, MA) Kalydeco. As a third-year medical student, he is not only surviving, but thriving. Receiving an invitation to … Read More

Capturing The Running Backs Of Cancer

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, Medical Device, The WEEKLY

After using diagnostic technology to establish the existence of cancer, determining the severity is the next step toward developing a game plan. If metastasis is in the picture, strengthening your defensive line-up is a must. The dissemination of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from the primary tumor to unaffected tissue is a key step of early stage metastasis. CTCs break away … Read More

Driving Down The Epigenetic Highway

Emily BurkeBusiness of Biotech, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, FDA, Genetics, Genomics, The WEEKLY

Biotechnology is enjoying another banner year on Wall Street. Currently, there are at least 39 companies queued for an IPO. This led us at the WEEKLY to wonder: what is the actual science behind each company’s promise that leads public markets to invest billions of dollars? This week and next, we are popping open the hood and checking out what … Read More

Biotech’s Battlefront: Monoclonal Antibodies

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Orphan Drugs, The WEEKLY

Since their premier on the scene, monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have demanded top billing on the biotech marquee, creating a cast of therapeutics used to treat diseases like autoimmune disorders and cancer. The first player debuted in 1986 when Janssen-Cilag’s OKT3 gained FDA approval to treat transplant rejection patients. Fast forward to 2013, where half of the top ten best selling … Read More

Mutations And Disease: The Spice Of Life

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Targets, FDA, Genetics, Mechanism of Action, The WEEKLY

This week’s issue features excerpts from the “Genetic Variation” chapter of The Biotech Primer, our 200-page book that provides an in-depth look at the biotech industry and the science that drives it. In this chapter, we explain the different types and causes of genetic mutations and then explore their relationship to disease and therapeutics. Today, we begin with a discussion … Read More