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Dr. Afshin Safavi
Posted by Dr. Afshin Safavi Industry Update

A Dose of Pharma and Biotech News: August 9, 2017

A Dose of Pharma and Biotech News: August 9, 2017

In order to keep up with the speed of innovation in our industry, scientists at BioAgilytix are committed to keeping on the pulse of bioanalytical innovation in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. We do this to keep our services innovative and to best serve our customers’ evolving large molecule needs. Here are some of the headlines we’ve been most interested in recently:

Altering Genes to Beat Leukemia
The New York Times, July 12, 2017
A Food and Drug Administration panel recommended that the FDA approve a treatment that genetically modifies a patient’s cells to fight leukemia, the first of its kind to be seriously considered for approval. This complicated method, in which each patient requires a personalized treatment, has already produced long remissions in trials. Scientists and physicians involved feel it has the potential to save thousands of lives.

The treatment up for approval specifically treats B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but it is setting the standard for understanding how to modify genes to combat cancer in its other forms as well. In order to learn more about the treatment’s effectiveness and other possible applications, patients who take the treatment will be recorded in an archive and their progress will be tracked.

As this treatment advances and is used more often, it will be important to see if consistent outcomes can be created without causing side effects – but it represents an exciting advancement in immuno-oncology and has the potential to make a large impact on the area of study.

Learn how BioAgilytix is supporting new immune oncological approaches to help drive new levels of curative cancer treatment here.

Clearing Protein Clumps to Cure Muscle Diseases
Fierce Biotech, July 20, 2017
Researchers from the University of North Carolina recently identified a process that promotes the protein clumping characteristic of degenerative diseases. This discovery is significant as it suggests that disrupting the clumping of the protein TDP-43 would be an effective therapy for those with muscle diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM).

TDP-43 usually works in the cell’s nucleus, where it is believed to regulate gene expression. However, in those with degenerative diseases, TDP-43 moves into the main body of the cell, where it clumps, leading to cell death in muscles or neurons.

Even in the study’s early stages, scientists involved are optimistic and plan to continue to work out how to clear the clumps of protein using a compound with a strong anti-clumping effect. It is yet to be seen the entire impact a treatment following this research could achieve, but the discovery of this clumping process holds promise for a deeper understanding.

Research organizations across the industry are making exciting progress in gaining a deeper understanding of the root causes of chronic, rare, and life-threatening diseases. Learn more about the expertise that scientists at BioAgilytix can offer in many disease areas here.

Disease Diagnostics with Just a Breath
Bioanalysis Zone, July 24, 2017
A research team from the Korea Advanced institute of Science and Technology has made incredible progress in their development of a diagnostic sensor that detects established gas biomarkers in the breath that are linked to diseases. Scientists involved believe this new technology has the potential to allow for earlier diagnosis and overall easier monitoring of biomarker levels once they are defined in this form.

Without new technology this would be impossible; analysis of gasses must occur at very low concentration levels, so the device used must be incredibly sensitive. This nanoscale chemiresistive sensor utilizes encapsulated nanocatalysts, allowing for a high level of sensitivity and rapid examination of the biomarker in question.

Moving forward it will be interesting to see if this device meets its potential by making continuous biomarker monitoring more realistic and cost-effective.

Companies across the biotech and pharma industries rely on biomarkers to assess the efficacy, safety, and mechanism of action of drugs through the development pipeline. Learn how BioAgilytix supports biomarker studies with best-in-class expertise here.

Have you seen exciting industry news that you’d like to share with us? We would love to see your articles and hear your perspectives – we will even include them in our next round up! Submit your headlines here.

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