Putting The CAR-T Before The Horse

Emily BurkeThe WEEKLY

THE STORY BEHIND CAR-T The hottest cancer therapy in the pipeline — chimeric antigen receptor therapy (CAR-T) — got a big boost last month when an FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of the treatment for children and young adults with a severe form of leukemia who have run out of other options. Developed by Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), this elegant … Read More

The Top Tech Of 2016

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action

CAR-T Primer The hottest cancer therapy in the pipeline — chimeric antigen receptor therapy (CAR-T) — continued to mature in 2016 with its first FDA approval for blood cancer patients set to arrive this year. What’s next in the world of CAR-T? A whole lot: Additional cancer and autoimmune disease indications in preclinical development. Added safety features. More affordable “off … Read More

On A Tumor’s Turf

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

TACKLING THE SPACE AROUND SOLID TUMORS Covering the science behind T-cell-based immunotherapies has been the name of the game for our past couple of issues. CAR-T and TCR therapies show significant promise in early phase blood cancer clinical trials, but what about solid tumors? Previously mentioned Juno Therapeutics’ (Seattle, WA) Armored CAR technology has declared war on tumors, and as you will read … Read More

Pushing The Self-Destruct Button

Emily BurkeCancer, Drug Approvals, FDA, Genetics, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

 Pushing the Self-Destruct Button Breakthrough drug Venclexta charged onto the marketplace three months early to battle chronic lymphocytic leukemia. AbbVie’s (North Chicago, IL) and Roche’s (Basel, Switzerland) new therapy gained a quick approval after 80% of patients in the 106-person clinical trial responded to the small molecule inhibitor. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in adults, with approximately … 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

Presenting The New Class Of Transcriptional Therapeutics

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Easily Confused, Genetics, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Small Molecule Drugs, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

DNA: Coding Vs. NON-Coding The completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 revealed a big surprise: up to 98% of the DNA making up the human genome does not code for proteins! The notion that parts of the genome were non-coding had been circulating for several decades, but when the actual percentage was confirmed it blew the industry’s mind. This … 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 Power Of Oncolytic Viruses

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, HIV, Mechanism of Action, The WEEKLY

HBO shines light on novel immunotherapies HBO’s Vice news program selected a few promising technologies from the immunotherapy pipeline to feature in its Killing Cancer episode. Vice’s heartrending human interest stories illustrated the potential of three different developmental drugs: An oncolytic measles virus battling myeloma.  An oncolytic adenovirus fighting a brain tumor. An engineered human immunodeficiency virus knocking out childhood leukemia.  While this program has generated buzz around … 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