The Science Of CRISPR/Cas9

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Genetics, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA)

CRISPR/CAS9 UPDATE As CRISPR/Cas9 adds new indications to its resume, legal battles over its IP continue to be waged in the US and Europe. On the clinical front, CRISPR/Cas9 entered its first human trial at Sichuan University (Chengdu, China) last fall for metastatic lung cancer, and is widely expected to do so in the U.S. by the end of the year. This … Read More

The Science Of CRISPR/CAS9

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), The WEEKLY

 CRISPR/CAS9 UPDATE CRISPR/Cas9 can’t seem to stay out of the news — from first in human to patent disputes, we here at the WEEKLY want to update you on this hot technology. A group of scientists from the State Key Laboratory of Proteomics (Beijing, China) and the National Center for Protein Sciences (Beijing, China) recently reported the first ever edit using CRISPR/Cas9 in healthy human … Read More

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

Biotech In Space!

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

Experimenting In Lower Earth’s Orbit Drug discovery in space? If this sounds like a page from science fiction, think again. Leading pharmaceutical companies are now collaborating with NASA to run experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). The focus on bone density, protein structure, vaccine development, immune function, and aging brings a swath of potential to this fascinating endeavor. In … Read More

Next-Generation CAR-T

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

The Race Is On Our last WEEKLY—Hacking the Immune Response—unveiled the science behind CAR-T and TCR, two immunotherapies under the microscope of the mainstream press. The well-deserved media attention highlights the ability of these “living drugs” to recognize and obliterate cancers. With all of the early phase clinical success, a few challenges have popped up: • Safety: CAR-T and TCR can … 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

Et Tu, Immune System?

Emily BurkeBusiness of Biotech, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, The WEEKLY

Autoimmune Disorders: A Story Of Betrayal “Et tu, Brute?” The famous line spoken by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is synonymous with unexpected betrayal by a close friend. A once trusted member of the inner circle, Marcus Brutus joined the coup and turned on Caesar. The 23.5 million Americans suffering from autoimmune disorders also have a Brutus in their midst—their own immune … Read More

Feeding Cancer

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diabetes, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

The Metabolics Of Cancer Tackling cancer requires a multi-pronged strategy. Currently, many of the cancer drugs on the market work by inhibiting the signaling pathways that activate cell division. These pathways are often the root cause of cancer—a mutated gene leads to a dysfunctional signaling protein which tells the cell to divide inappropriately. In these cases, the cancer may be treated by inhibiting the … 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

Targeting The Cause Of Cystic Fibrosis

Emily BurkeBiologics, Clinical Trials, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, FDA, Orphan Disease, Orphan Drugs, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Biotech Changes The Game The FDA approval of Vertex Pharmaceutical’s (Boston, MA) Orkambi last week further shifted the paradigm of treating cystic fibrosis (CF) for up to half of its sufferers—moving from a management of symptoms approach to targeting the underlying cause. Until very recently, the only strategy against CF involved reducing the risk of lung infections by taking mucus thinning medications and antibiotics—and rarely, late stage bilateral lung transplants. CF … Read More

Immune System Checkpoint Therapies On The Case

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Diagnostics, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Monoclonal Antibodies, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

Cancer, Meet Your Newest Opponent Immune checkpoint therapies received a lot of airtime at American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago last week. The release of promising new clinical data has everyone buzzing about more cures for more cancers as a follow-on to last year’s race to the market. The hype seems to be justified. Simply put, these … 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

The Science Behind The Blockbuster Drugs Of Tomorrow

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Trials, Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Billion Dollar Mechanisms Of Action The Most Promising Drugs of 2015—a Thomson Reuters Cortellis Competitive Intelligence report—includes several new drugs with predicted sales of $1 billion plus by 2019. Those on the list are well on their way to winning or have recently won FDA approval and the fervor around their potential has caught the biotech world by storm. While stock gurus are passing … 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 Bispecific Antibody: A Lethal Hybrid

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

Amgen’s acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment, Blincyto, coasted past the FDA bottleneck ahead of schedule, gaining approval earlier this month as a “first of its kind” immunotherapy. The FDA designated Blincyto as a breakthrough therapy and an orphan product on top of granting a priority review, thus propelling the bispecific antibody (BsAb) to the market five months early. The swift approval … Read More