weekly biotechnology news wrap up

July 28, 2017

July 28, 2017

This week’s headlines include: In US First, Scientists Edit Genes of Human Embryos, GlaxoSmithKline’s new boss streamlines R&D, axes slew of drugs, CIRM Approves $5.8 Million Grant for CAR-T Therapy that Targets Cancer Stem Cells, Lyme Disease Vaccine on Fast Track for FDA Approval, Corning, with assists from Pfizer and Merck, plans $500M pharma glass project that Trump announced, BrainStorm Wins $15.9M CIRM Grant for Phase III Trial of ALS Cell Therapy, and HIV fight advances with new drug cocktails, fresh vaccine hopes.


Headlines:

“In US First, Scientists Edit Genes of Human Embryos,” The New York Times

“For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases…”

“GlaxoSmithKline’s new boss streamlines R&D, axes slew of drugs,” Reuters

“GlaxoSmithKline’s new chief executive announced plans on Wednesday to narrow the focus of the group’s drug research by ditching more than 30 drug projects to improve returns in its core pharmaceuticals business…”

“CIRM Approves $5.8 Million Grant for CAR-T Therapy that Targets Cancer Stem Cells,” UC San Diego Health

​”The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) today unanimously approved a $5.8 million award to University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers to develop a new immunotherapy in which patients’ cells would be equipped with a special receptor that recognizes and targets cancer stem cells, whose survival abilities often render standard therapies ineffective or short-term…”

“Lyme Disease Vaccine on Fast Track for FDA Approval,” Newsweek

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced plans to expedite approval of a vaccine for Lyme disease. Valneva, the maker of the vaccine candidate, known as VLA15, recently completed an initial evaluation in a small, early stage clinical trial. Now the company has been given a green light by the regulatory agency through a program known as Fast Track to move onto a larger trial at the beginning of 2018. Additionally it will announce findings from the first trial around the same time. The designation could reduce the amount of time required for developing the vaccine by several years. With crucial agents that are fast-tracked, the FDA will accept less data and studies can be completed after approval…”

“Corning, with assists from Pfizer and Merck, plans $500M pharma glass project that Trump announced,” FiercePharma

“U.S. manufacturer Corning said it is time the pharmaceutical industry has new, more durable glass for its new injected medicines, and with input and commitments from Pfizer and Merck & Co., it intends to produce it in the U.S…”

“BrainStorm Wins $15.9M CIRM Grant for Phase III Trial of ALS Cell Therapy,” Genetic Engineering News

“BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics has won a $15.9 million grant from California’s regenerative medicine agency toward a Phase III trial of its amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cell therapy candidate NurOwn®…”

“HIV fight advances with new drug cocktails, fresh vaccine hopes,” Reuters

“Three decades after approval of the first-ever AIDS treatment, HIV medicine is seeing a new wave of innovation with scientists reporting positive data on Monday for improved drug cocktails and a novel experimental vaccine…”