Researchers at the University of Illinois and the Agency for Science, Technology & Research in Singapore are using the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to uncover potentially useful drug compounds. The team has used CRISPR-Cas9 to turn on “silent” gene clusters in Streptomyces and express genes that naturally produce drug compounds to be used as antibiotics or […]
(Reuters) – Scientists are getting closer to building life from scratch and technology pioneers are taking notice, with record sums moving into a field that could deliver novel drugs, materials, chemicals and even perfumes. Despite ethical and safety concerns, investors are attracted by synthetic biology’s wide market potential and the plummeting cost of DNA synthesis, […]
ViaCyte and W.L. Gore & Assoc. said today that they inked a co-development deal for the synthetic pancreas ViaCyte is developing to treat diabetes. The San Diego-based company’s Encaptra device is designed to be seeded with stem cells engineered to become pancreatic cells and implanted under the skin. The newly created pancreatic cells generate insulin and […]
Evotec (ETR:EVT) said today that it inked a 5-year drug discovery and development deal with Celgene (NSDQ:CELG) to identify stem cell therapies for a range of neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. According to the agreement, Hamburg, Germany-based Evotec will receive an upfront payment of $45 million and Celgene will hold exclusive […]
Bayer (ETR:BAYN) and Versant Ventures said today that the 2 groups closed a $225 million Series A financing round to launch BlueRock Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine company focused on developing induced pluripotent stem cell therapies. The funds are estimated to support the company for 4 years as it advances cell therapy clinical programs for cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. “Accessing […]
SRI International said today that it landed a $150 million contract from the National Institutes of Health‘s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Division of AIDS to support the development of HIV microbicides and other pre-exposure agents. According to the 7-year deal, the research institute will provide preclinical product development services for non-vaccine […]
Researchers developed a microchip imaging platform to image-analyze thousands of roundworms simultaneously, according to the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. This is the 1st large-scale, in vivo drug discovery platform using a whole animal model, the school reported. The study, published in Nature Communications, detailed a flexible, cellphone-sized chip with […]
Intarcia Therapeutics and pharmaceuticals maker Numab said today that they’ve logged several milestones in their joint project to develop a drug-device combination for treating inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Wädenswil, Switzerland-based Numab identified a pair of antibody-based compounds for the program, which aims to use the delivery and formulation technology developed by Cambridge, Mass.-based Intarcia. The companies said […]
For companies like Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT), developing breakthrough technologies to treat untreatable diseases can be expensive and have little promise of financial returns.
The risk is high enough for — even companies as well-resourced as Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic — that alternative funding sources are welcomed and highly sought after.