Pharma Technology Focus November 2016

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A new report commissioned by Bidwells has called for Oxford and Cambridge – home to two of the world’s top four universities, five world-renowned research institutes, the UK’s two largest pharma firms and over 600 biotech and medical technology companies – to set aside their rivalries and pool their skills and resources. We look into the benefits this would bring.

We also find out more about IBM’s lab-on-a-chip breakthrough technology, ask whether harnessing telomerase could trick the ageing process, and catch up with pharma start-up Berg to find out how it’s using artificial intelligence to drive its ‘back to biology’ approach to developing cancer drugs.

Plus, we speak to a group of scientists using nanoparticle tests to provide proof of concept
for novel drug delivery, and ask whether it is ever justified to withhold clinical trial data from public scrutiny in the wake of two recent rival medical editorials.

In this issue

Connecting Biopharma Clusters
A report commissioned by Bidwells has called for greater collaboration between Oxford and Cambridge, given their shared opportunities in the biopharma sphere. Abi Millar finds out more from partner Will Heigham.
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A Nanoscale Breakthrough
Doctors could detect cancer earlier than ever before thanks to new nanoscale technology developed by IBM. Elly Earls finds out more from Joshua Smith, one of the researchers behind the innovation.
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The Telomerase Trick
The enzyme telomerase, which reverses chromosome deterioration in cells, is strongly implicated in the ageing process. Abi Millar finds out whether stimulating its production could prevent ageing, or might the risks outweigh the benefits?
Read the article.

Artificial Intelligence Tackles Cancer
Pharmaceutical start-up BERG is using artificial intelligence to drive its back-to-biology approach to fighting cancer. Elly Earls meets co-founder, president and CEO Niven R. Narain to find out more.
Read the article.

Canine Cancer Trials
A new bone cancer drug delivery system using chemotherapy-coated nanoparticles has been proven to work on dogs. Elly Earls finds out more from one of the researchers behind the breakthrough, Dr Timothy Fan.
Read the article.

The Open Debate
The debate over open access to clinical trial data is not a new one, and in August two editorials drew the battle lines once more. Abi Millar takes a look at both sides of the argument.
Read the article.

A Long Road Ahead
In August, the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Rome featured regenerative heart failure therapies as a major source of discussion. GlobalData’s analyst for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, Elizabeth Hamson, PhD, report.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

Pfizer has announced it will buy out AstraZeneca’s $1.6bn antibiotics arm in a move the company says will allow it to focus on infectious diseases in most markets outside the US. So what does the deal mean for the two companies and could this be a precursor to bigger moves afoot at Pfizer, with some pundits predicting a company split in the not too distant future?

We also find out more about the Longitude Prize’s new initiative CARB-X, an accelerator to help solve antimicrobial resistance, take a look at some of the new vaccines in the pipeline for 2017, and explore new research into treatments to manage Tourette syndrome, including Neurocrine’s valbenazine and GW Pharma’s cannabinoid spray Sativex.

Plus, we explore both sides of the debate about the value of targeted lung cancer treatments, and take a closer look at a new trial testing ketamine as a potential treatment for depression.

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