weekly biotechnology news wrap up

August 4, 2017

August 4, 2017

This week’s headlines include: What Does Your Microbiome Say About You?, AstraZeneca gets breakthrough status for blood cancer drug, Could CAR-T treatments work in glioblastoma?, In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos, Mosquito Season Is Spreading Zika and West Nile Across the U.S., Amgen gets fast FDA review for adding heart benefits to cholesterol drug label, and Invenra Signs On With Merck in Antibody Discovery Partnership.


Headlines:

“What Does Your Microbiome Say About You?,” The New York Times

“There are trillions of microbial species in the world and thousands of them live in or on the human body. Bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms congregate in mini ecosystems called microbiomes, found almost anywhere you can imagine…”

“AstraZeneca gets breakthrough status for blood cancer drug,” Reuters

“AstraZeneca said on Tuesday that U.S. regulators had awarded its blood cancer drug acalabrutinib “breakthrough” status for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare type of blood cancer…”

“Could CAR-T treatments work in glioblastoma?,” FierceBiotech

“The news last week that Arizona Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with glioblastoma brought stark reminders of the challenges presented by this particular type of brain tumor: The five-year survival rate for glioblastoma patients over age 55 is just 4%, according to the American Cancer Society. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have generated evidence that combining different types of immuno-oncology treatments be key for engaging the immune system to fight glioblastoma—data they outlined one day before McCain’s diagnosis was revealed…”

“In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos,” The New York Times

“Scientists for the first time have successfully edited genes in human embryos to repair a common and serious disease-causing mutation, producing apparently healthy embryos, according to a study published on Wednesday…”

“Mosquito Season Is Spreading Zika and West Nile Across the U.S.,” Newsweek

“When U.S. temperatures rise in the summertime, most states anticipate growth in the mosquito population, and a corresponding increase in transmission of blood-borne viruses that can cause serious illnesses…”

“Amgen gets fast FDA review for adding heart benefits to cholesterol drug label,” Reuters

“Amgen Inc said on Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted priority review to the company’s request to add important heart safety data to the label of its expensive injectable cholesterol drug Repatha…”

“Invenra Signs On With Merck in Antibody Discovery Partnership,” Xconomy

“Invenra has had success developing therapeutic antibodies for its own drug research, and for the research of others. Now the Madison, WI-based company has signed on with pharma giant Merck, which hopes Invenra’s antibody expertise can help it develop new drugs…”