The CMA has announced that Illumina’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Pac Bio is potentially anti-competitive, delaying the expected conclusion of the deal until fourth quarter 2019. The CMA said the deal could remove Illumina’s biggest competitor, leaving limited alternatives available for customers.
BIO 2019 – An Interview with Irene Rombel, Senior Director and Head of Strategic Analysis at Janssen
With the recent conclusion of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s BIO 2019 event, we thought we’d talk to some of the fascinating individuals who were present to showcase their innovative ideas or technologies. Irene Rombel, Senior Director, Head of Strategic Analysis – External Innovation, Discovery, Product Development & Supply, at Janssen Research & Development, spoke at BIO 2019 about gene therapy and the next generation of biotherapeutics. We spoke to her about her thoughts on the gene therapy field, and the future for companies in that space.
eGenesis has announced that it is now testing pig organs on primates to see if they safe for human use. If successful, this practice could solve the current shortage of human organs for transplantation. The company has declared that the pig organs are the most highly engineered ever created by surgeons.
A joint US-China study has engineered macaque monkeys to express a mutation linked to autism and other human neurodevelopmental disorders. The monkey showed certain behavioural traits similar to humans with the same condition.
Russian biologist Denis Rebrikov has announced his intentions to produce further gene-edited babies, ignoring the scientific consensus that this should not be done until an ethical framework is constructed to regulate the science involved. Rebrikov’s plans could occur before the end of the year if he receives approval in time.
As part of the Next Generation Children project at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Cambridge University, all seriously ill children in England with unexplained disorders will be able to have their genomes analysed from 2020. The project should mean quicker diagnoses for families in the future.
Dr. Eric Kmiec, Director of the Gene Editing Institute at Christiana Care Health System, spoke at BIO 2019 about meeting unmet medical needs with gene editing. We spoke to him about his work at Christiana Care Health System and CRISPR’s role in promoting better social equality in life science.
A new experimental version of CRISPR could help fix genes rather than disable them using transposons, or “jumping genes”. This could help move the current “find and delete” purpose of CRISPR to the more useful “find and replace” one.
The US government has ended medical research funding for scientists using foetal tissue, and cancelled a multi million-dollar contract for a laboratory at the University of California at San Francisco, which required the material to test new HIV therapies. According to a White House spokesperson, the decision was taken by President Trump himself.
There could be another universe right next to our own: a mirror universe that goes a long way to explaining many of the inconsistencies and questions we’ve found in our own. Scientists are working towards finding this hidden space which could contain mirror atoms, molecules and whole planets to our own.
Researchers have genetically modified stem cells inside the bodies of mice for the first time, in a study that could lead eventually to new potential for stem cell therapies. The study also shows potential for studying genetically-edited stem cells within the body, rather than in the lab.
He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who created the first gene-edited twin children last year, could have unknowingly shortened their lives by more than 1.9 years. A study into the DNA and death records of 400,000 volunteers in the UK Biobank found the genetic mutations to gene CCR5 were “of quite strong effect.”
University of Maryland scientists have genetically modified a fungus to produce a toxin fatal to mosquitoes, in order to reduce the malaria death toll they currently cause. An out-of-lab trial destroyed a mosquito population almost entirely within 45 days, leading some to criticise the work as “too dangerous” for the real world.
Scientists from John Hopkins University have created DNA nanostructures which self-heal in serum, avoiding damage to such nanostructures which has historically occurred when added to cellular environments.
Princeton University researchers have used AI techniques to uncover junk DNA mutations which can lead to autism. The findings are the first to link functionally link mutations in regulatory DNA with a disease like autism, and possibly prove that the changes affect how genes are expressed in the brain.