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Jim Datin
Posted by Jim Datin BioAgilytix Insight, Industry Update

A Dose of Pharma and Biotech News: March 7, 2018

A Dose of Pharma and Biotech News: March 7, 2018

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 across the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. We do this to ensure our knowledge and capabilities remain aligned with our customers’ evolving large molecule needs.

To that end, we’d like to share some of the industry headlines we’ve been most interested in recently:

Revaluating CAR-T Therapies for Glioblastomas
Fierce Biotech, March 1, 2018
Glioblastoma are very aggressive tumors, and addressing them with traditional treatments like surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy is not generally effective. Even with treatment, the average survival rate is only five-years post-diagnosis. Glioblastomas are heterogeneous and composed of many different cell types, so while some cancer cells may respond to treatment, others may resist it and continue growing.

Now, researchers from the University of North Carolina’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology have begun development of a novel immunotherapy for glioblastoma using a chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy. CAR-T therapies have already been effective for blood cancers, which are also notoriously difficult to treat. The team identified a CAR-T target antigen – a protein called CSPG4 – and was able to modify immune cells to seek out and destroy CSPG4 specifically. Preliminary testing suggests that this therapy can control tumor growth and prolong expected survival rate in glioblastoma patients. Further testing will show if this treatment could be the turning point in treating glioblastoma effectively.

The pharma and biotech industries are looking beyond generic chemotherapies and toward new, more effective personalized approaches. Learn more about how BioAgilytix is working alongside our partners to help lead change in the way cancer is treated here.

Identifying Biomarkers of Preeclampsia
Research and Development, February 22, 2018
Preeclampsia, a pregnancy-related condition that occurs in up to 8% of pregnancies, can cause a variety of negative complications for both mother and baby. The condition, which reduces blood flow to the placenta, is associated with low birth weight, prematurity, and even death.

If caught early, preeclampsia is easily treatable with low doses of aspirin. The trouble comes in trying to diagnose the condition early enough for this simple treatment to be effective. A new study has identified novel molecular biomarkers that could be used as an early diagnostic blood test for the condition, as an alternative to blood pressure tests and diagnosis via other more general symptoms. Findings from the study suggest that the blood test could even predict the disease, allowing doctors to intervene and prevent the onset.

This study is part of a global effort to develop new diagnostic techniques to improve prediction of pregnancy complications. BioAgilytix is committed to providing premium biomarker science that will help our partners continue to innovate in this area. Learn more here.

Testing for Concussions Using a Blood Test
New York Times, February 14, 2018
The FDA recently approved a groundbreaking blood test to detect concussions and identify those with more severe brain injuries up to 12 hours post-injury. The test, called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, measures two biomarkers, UCH-L1 and GFAP, which are released from the brain into blood upon injury, allowing for more conclusive concussion diagnoses.

Additionally, if the test is adopted across a broad market, it could significantly reduce the need for CT scans in those with suspected brain injuries, reducing radiation exposure and individual cost of care. Concussion-related brain damage is considered a significant public health issue; in 2013 alone, there were 2.8 million people who visited the emergency room for traumatic brain injury-related conditions.

Those suffering from a concussion may present different symptoms on different timelines, and putting an athlete back on the field with an unhealed brain injury can have grave consequences. A definitive concussion test that can give a more direct answer has been a long time coming.

Researchers from around the world are making progress in understanding how the brain works, and subsequently how brain injuries affect patients in the short and long term. Learn more about how BioAgilytix is supporting neurological research through premium science 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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