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

Therapeutic Antibody Primer

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs

Basics & Innovations Monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics burst onto the healthcare scene 20 years ago, and today they remain one of the most versatile and effective therapeutics available. The tried and true mAbs are still in high demand, and we suspect this first wave of derivative products clamoring their way through the pipeline will be equally as successful. In this WEEKLY, we’ll … Read More

Hacking The Immune Response

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

BIOPHARMA’S DARLING Immunotherapy is the current biopharma darling, garnering massive investment and media attention. Ranging from monoclonal antibodies to engineered T-cells, companies are rapidly learning how to harness the power of the immune system to fight disease. There are two general categories of immunotherapies: Activation immunotherapies “turn on” or “turn up” the patient’s own immune response to help fight disease. Suppression immunotherapies suppress the … 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

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

RNAi Crashes The PCSK9 Party

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Trials, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), The WEEKLY

Newest Hopeful In Cholesterol Lowering Landscape Just weeks after the biotech world celebrated the approvals of two new cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 inhibitors, Regeneron/Sanofi’s Praulent and Amgen’s Repatha, a potential future rival arrived in style. Enter Alnylam (Cambridge, MA), with its RNAi-based experimental drug ALN-PSCsc, which just completed Phase I with positive results. What makes PCSK9 inhibitors so hot, and why are the new cholesterol drugs on the market … Read More

12 Biotech Concepts Everyone Should Know

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Trials, Diabetes, Diagnostics, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Ebola, FDA, Genetics, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Orphan Disease, Orphan Drugs, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Our mission here at WEEKLY is to keep your industry knowledge up to date. We will be off Thursday, roasting our turkeys and reminding ourselves that it is not the amino acid tryptophan that makes us drowsy after a Thanksgiving feast—it is the massive carbohydrate intake! Whether you are awaiting a Thanksgiving holiday or it is business as usual, we … Read More

Breaking From The Pack With Cancer Diagnostics

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Cocktail Fodder, Diagnostics, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

Regular WEEKLY readers know that cancer stems from the division of a single cell leaping to uncontrolled growth and then growing into a tumor. How exactly does cancer disrupt the life process? Sometimes tumors grow to such a size that the function of a vital organ is no longer viable. Mostly, cancer kills by metastasis—when cells from the tumor break … Read More

Cultivating Biologics From Plants?

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biomanufacturing, Biotech Basics, The WEEKLY

A FRESH LOOK AT TOBACCO AND BIOLOGICS Tobacco plants pioneering the production of monoclonal antibodies for an experimental Ebola treatment turned out to be quite the head scratcher for last Thursday’s WEEKLY readers. With tobacco’s reputation polluting our recent memories, let’s take a fresh look at tobacco and biologics. To date, no approved therapeutic protein has been produced in whole plants—ever! … Read More

RNAi Advantage Goes To Dicerna

Emily BurkeThe WEEKLY

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE IPO CRAZE: OUR FOCUS FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS I want to thank you for subscribing to Biotech Primer WEEKLY. Now, imagine yourself on the set of Jeopardy! facing this clue: “We saw 45 in 2013, and there’s been 17 so far this year.” The correct response: “What is the number of biotech IPOs?” Alex quips: … Read More