Harnessing Your Immune System For Good

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies

YOUR INNER IMMUNE WORKINGS What do monoclonal antibodies, CAR-T therapy, and checkpoint inhibitor treatments all have in common? They are immunotherapies, or therapies that activate the immune system to fight or prevent a disease. While an activated immune system can help save a life, an overactive immune system can attack the body it is charged with protecting. This over-activity is the … Read More

Interrupting HIV

Emily BurkeBiologics, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Genomics, HIV, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Therapies In HIV Pipeline Medicine has made gigantic strides in understanding and treating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since its emergence in the early 1980s. Thanks to robust drug discovery efforts, today HIV is managed as a chronic disease instead of the death sentence of years past. The secret to HIV’s infectious success lies in its high mutation rate. Developing drug resistance over … Read More

Dodging Another Ebola Outbreak

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Ebola, Genetics, HIV, The WEEKLY

Ebola Finally Meets Its Match The headlining Ebola crisis of last summer devastated West Africa, marking the largest outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 1976. The glaring lack of a treatment or vaccine caused the virus to quickly spread within Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. A small number of infected healthcare workers were able to receive an experimental antibody known as Zmapp … 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

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

Packing A Punch With The Immune System

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

THE INNER WORKINGS OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM What do monoclonal antibodies, CAR-T therapy, and 3D vaccines all have in common? They are immunotherapies, or therapies that activate a patient’s own immune system to fight or prevent a disease. While immune system activation can help save a life, an overactive immune system can potentially attack the body it is charged with … Read More

Curing Hepatitis C

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, FDA, HIV, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

The biotech industry gets its fair share of criticism. Take for example HBO’s John Oliver shining his light on biopharma last week and proclaiming drug companies are like high school boyfriends: more interested in getting into patients’ bodies than actually being effective once they’re inside. That soundbite prompted us at the WEEKLY to wonder: Is a 90% cure rate for a disease afflicting … Read More

Playing Detective With Checkpoint Therapies

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, HIV, Mechanism of Action, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

PLAYING DETECTIVE WITH CHECKPOINT THERAPIES Over the past two weeks, we have discussed cancer immunotherapies that involve training T-cells (the detective warriors of our immune system) into seeking and destroying cancer cells. This week, we will take a look into another approach that has been creating a lot of recent excitement: checkpoint inhibitor drugs. Simply put, investigators believe they have … 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

Genome Editing: Curing HIV?

Emily BurkeGenetics, Genomics, The WEEKLY

CURING HIV? HIV destroys its victim’s immune system by infecting T-cells, a type of white blood cell critical for immunity. HIV binds to two different proteins on the T-cell’s surface: CD4 and CCR5. In the late 1990s, scientists identified a population of individuals seemingly resistant to HIV infection. Despite multiple known exposures, they did not get infected. It turned out … Read More