Putting The NA in DNA

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Nucleic Acid Therapeutics Small molecule, peptide, and biologic drugs aren’t the only players in the game of drug development. A fourth class of therapeutics differs from all three of these: nucleic acid-based drugs. These drugs are rising in prominence due to their potential to specifically target a wide range of diseases, including various types of cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases. Companies … Read More

Post-translational Modifications In Biotech

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biomanufacturing, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies

Basic Science Meets Application “Post-translational modification” may not be a term you hear every day, but it is critically important to the biotech industry—from understanding how cancer develops to producing biologics. Breaking the term down, we know that: “post” means “after.” “translation” is “the cellular process of making proteins.” “modification” means “change.” So, a post-translational modification (PTM) simply means that … Read More

Drugging The Undruggable

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Business of Biotech, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Small Molecule Drugs, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

Antagonists Fight A Good Fight Small molecule inhibitors, also known as antagonists in the industry, fight a good fight. In fact, many drugs on the market today work by inhibiting overactive, disease-associated proteins. Novartis’ (Basel, Switzerland) top selling leukemia drug Gleevec, for example, is a small molecule inhibitor of a protein called Bcr-Abl, whose overactivity promotes excessive cell division. The downside? It is … 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 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

Science Geeks Rock!

Emily BurkeThe WEEKLY

THE SCIENCE DRIVING BIOTECH Next week, BioTech Primer will be participating the BIO 2014 Annual International Convention in San Diego, CA. The event draws thousands and, as in years past, BioTech Primer will be headlining a few events. Join us and learn! On Monday, June 23, I will be teaching an all-day class called “The Science Driving Biotech.” What can … Read More

Mitochondrial Medicine Going Mainstream?

Emily BurkeThe WEEKLY

MORE THAN “JUST” A POWERHOUSE When we hear the word mitochondria, most of us remember it described in high school biology class as the “powerhouse” of a cell. It is an apt moniker, and not just because mitochondria are the subcellular compartments that convert glucose from our diet into chemical energy that our cells can use to do work. These … Read More