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Mar 25, 2020
COVID-19, Vaccine Development, and Global Health Lessons from EbolaMarch 25, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to stress healthcare systems throughout the world and it is making the development of a vaccine an important part of a strategy to arrest the virus. Though clinical trials for a vaccine are under way, creating a vaccine alone will not be enough. If those efforts are successful, there will be challenges ahead with manufacturing, distributing, and providing equitable access throughout the world. We spoke to Aurélia Nguyen, managing director for vaccines and...
Mar 19, 2020
Improving Cancer Outcomes with Early DiagnosisMarch 19, 2020
Early detection is a critical means of improving outcomes for cancer patients. When cancer is detected at stage I, patients have a 90 percent chance of survival. By contrast, if cancer is diagnosed at stage IV, patients have just a 5 percent or survival. The use of costly and invasive diagnostic approaches have been a barrier to early detection, but new technology has the potential to change that. Laboratory for Advanced Medicine is developing a simple blood-based test to detect cancer at its...
Mar 12, 2020
Making A Social Contract That's EnforceableMarch 12, 2020
As the debate over drug pricing intensifies, biotech investor Peter Kolchinsky is weighing in with a proposed approach to balance access to medicines with the incentive for companies to invest in the development of innovative new therapies. In his new book The Great American Drug Deal, Kolchinsky makes the case for an approach to drug pricing that would ensure that the timely movement of innovative drugs to generic versions while also suggesting mechanisms for cutting the price of therapeutics...
Mar 05, 2020
Treating Alzheimer's Disease as an Autoimmune ConditionMarch 05, 2020
There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that Alzheimer’s disease may be an autoimmune condition. Whether it is or not may be an unsettled issue, but targeting neuroinflammation associated with the disease is viewed by some as a potential therapeutic strategy. INmune Bio is developing an experimental, second-generation, selective TNF inhibitor that targets neuroinflammation. It believes this approach can slow or stop the progression of cognitive and psychiatric symptoms associated with...
Feb 27, 2020
Fishing for New DrugsFebruary 27, 2020
The Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute is seeking to harness biotechnology to discover new therapeutics by studying the DNA of marine life. At the same time, the institute hopes to breathe new life into a 400-year old fishing village that houses it and create new opportunities there. We spoke to Andrea Bodnar, science director at the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, about marine biotechnology, the ocean as a source for novel therapeutics, and the institute’s efforts to transform the...
Feb 20, 2020
Thoughts on the State of the Antimicrobial ArsenalFebruary 20, 2020
The latest reports on the coronavirus outbreak put the number of infections at nearly 75,000 and deaths at more than 2,100. Against the backdrop of the outbreak, we spoke to Evan Loh, chairman of the Antimicrobials Working Group and CEO of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, about the global changes that are fueling the threat of infectious disease outbreaks, the state of the antimicrobial arsenal, and what needs to be done to spur the development of new agents to combat the rise deadly bugs.
Feb 13, 2020
A MedTech Company That Thinks Like a BiopharmaFebruary 13, 2020
Orchestra BioMed may play at the intersection of drugs and devices, but’s its business strategy is clearly drawn from the biopharmaceutical industry. The company develops its pipeline and then leverages strategic alliances with global partners who can best commercialize its products and maximize their potential. We spoke to David Hochman, CEO of Orchestra BioMed, about the company’s therapeutic devices, the large market opportunities it is targeting, and how it seeks to rewrite the way...
Feb 06, 2020
Tapping the Potential of Psychedelics to Treat Psychiatric ConditionsFebruary 06, 2020
Psychedelics have long been viewed as having potential to treat a range of mental health disorders including depression, addiction, PTSD, and ADHD. Government policies, though, have long impeded studies of their benefits. Mind Medicine is developing a pipeline of therapies based on psychedelics in the hopes of developing needed medicines for psychiatric conditions. Its lead experimental therapy is an ibogaine-derived molecule for the treatment of opioid addiction. We spoke to Steve Hurst,...
Jan 30, 2020
Quantifying Neurodegeneration with PrecisionJanuary 30, 2020
The difficulty in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and identifying it at its earliest stages when interventions offer the best opportunity for success, is one of the critical challenges in addressing the neurodegenerative condition. CorTechs Labs has developed quantitative analysis software that allows physicians to analyze brain images to diagnose and monitor patients with the diseases. We spoke to Chris Airriess, CEO of CorTechs, about the difficulty in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease today,...
Jan 23, 2020
Orasis Developing Eye Drops as Alternative to Reading GlassesJanuary 23, 2020
As people age, the ability of their eyes to focus on objects near to them weakens. The condition, known as presbyopia, affects more than 1.8 billion people worldwide. Though reading glasses provide a solution to the problem, Orasis Pharmaceuticals is developing a corrective eyedrop it says will provide an alternative. We spoke to Elad Kedar, CEO of Orasis, about aging eyes, its experimental eye drop intended to allow people to free themselves from a dependency on reading glasses, and how it...