Pharma Technology Focus – Issue 62

In this issue: A new tool to encourage links between industry and academia, blockchain’s applications for pharma, using Zika to attack brain tumour cells, treating MS with nanotechnology, the benefits of publicly funded cancer trials, and more.


Pharma Tech Focus September 2017

Pharma Technology Focus is free for the iPad. Download our app to read the latest issue and browse our back issues for free.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has developed a new tool to help academics connect with the pharma industry for new partnerships. Dubbed LINC, the database will help academics and clinical research teams find the right connections for funding and access to cutting-edge equipment. We find out more about the benefits of this tool.

We also question whether blockchain technology’s transparency and reliability could have applications in the pharma space, investigate the potential for Zika virus to be weaponised against brain tumour cells, and find out more about LIFNano’s new approach to treating multiple sclerosis, which uses nanotechnology to deliver LIF stem cell particles.

Finally, we consider the pros and cons of publicly funded clinical trials, and investigate the STEM education and skills gap in the US, following recent warnings from industry group PhRMA of heavy international competition in the pharma sector.

In this issue

Building the LINC
Stronger links between industry and academia could speed up the process of developing new medicines. Elly Earls investigates a new tool developed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry designed to encourage just that.
Read the article here.

Blockchain in Pharma
Blockchain is the digital ledger technology sweeping through a number of industries on a wave of hype. Could the tech’s inherent transparency, security and reliability have applications in the pharmaceutical space? Chris Lo finds out.
Read the article here.

An Unlikely Candidate
Scientists at Cambridge University, funded by Cancer Research UK, are investigating the potential for Zika virus to be weaponised against brain tumour cells. Chris Lo finds out more from Dr Harry Bulstrode.
Read the article here.

Flipping the Switch
Cambridge University spin-out company LIFNano is pioneering a new approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis by using nanotechnology. Abi Millar asks founder Dr Su Metcalfe about the breakthrough.
Read the article here.

A Good Investment
A new study has found that publicly funded cancer clinical trials have saved cancer patients more than three million years of life, with each life year gained costing just $125 of federal funding. Abi Millar finds out more.
Read the article here.

Closing the Skills Gap
The US pharma industry will face a shortage of skilled workers if policy makers don’t up their game in the face of growing competition. Elly Earls finds out more from PhRMA’s vice president of policy and research, Anne Pritchett.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry is taking UK drug regulator NICE to court over a policy to halt spending on new drugs that could cost more than £20m a year in any of their first three years of use. We take a closer look at the issues surrounding this important legal contest.

We also consider the reliability of reports that emerged earlier in May that retail giant Amazon was looking into creating a pharmaceutical division, find out more about a new technology platform that has the potential to speed up the process of capturing and identifying therapeutically promising molecules from fungi, and take a look at a potential new cure for osteoporosis.

Finally, we speak to Aimmune Therapeutics about the bio-pharma company’s ground-breaking new trial to treat peanut allergy in children and find out how Neo Technology is using graph databases to realise the value of big data in medical research and other life sciences applications.

Digital magazine FAQ

You can read Pharma Technology Focus for free on the iPad. Download our app from the App Store to read the latest issue and browse the back issues in our archive. Sign up for a free subscription in the app and never miss a new issue.

You can also continue to read the desktop version for free on our web viewer. (Browser compatibility: The web viewer works in the latest two version of Chrome, Firefox and Safari, as well as in Internet Explorer 9 and 10. Some features may not be compatible with older browser versions.)