News

28 March 2019

New Sequencing Test for Huntington’s Could Cut Short Results Waiting Time by Weeks

A collaboration between Viapath, NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre has created the world’s first nanopore-based genetic sequencing test for Huntington’s disease, now available at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals. If successful, the test could cut waiting time for complicated Huntington’s cases, and could have big ramifications for other disorders in the future.

27 March 2019

Heating Solid Tumours Increases CAR-T Therapy Success Rate

Heating solid tumours during CAR-T cell therapy could increase change of success, researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found. Combining a heating technique called photothermal ablation with the infusion of CAR-T cells suppressed melanoma tumor growth for up to 20 days in mice.

26 March 2019

More Than 13,000 Genetic Edits Made to Single Cell

Harvard College researchers have announced that more than 13,000 genetic alterations have been made to a single cell using CRISPR technology. This work is designed to edit genomes at a much larger scale than currently possible.

25 March 2019

Expanded StrataNGS Test Analyses 500 Genes in Advanced Cancer Patients

Oncology and precision medicine company Strata Oncology has announced the launch of its expanded StrataNGS test 3.0 for patients with advanced cancer. The test analyses 500 genes for three particular immunotherapy biomarkers, microsatellite instability (MSI), tumor mutational  burden (TMB) and PD-L1, to better inform use of precision treatments.

25 March 2019

Biogen’s Lead Alzheimer’s Drug Falls Down at Phase Three Trials

Pharma giant Biogen and its Japanese partner Eisai have made the decision to halt two phase 3 trials of aducanumab, a drug created to slow Alzheimer’s by targeting brain-destroying beta-amyloid fragments. An independent monitoring committee decided that the drug was unlikely to benefit patients compared with a placebo.

25 March 2019

Microsoft “DNA Drive” Can Encode Information onto DNA and Back Again

Microsoft has created the first ever “DNA drive”, a program which can encode digital information into DNA and vice versa. The prototype managed to store and hold only the word “hello”, taking 21 hours to complete the process due to the slow chemical reactions which writing DNA involves.

15 March 2019

Gene Insertion Allows Blind Mice to See Again

Scientists from the University of California have announced a possible alternative option to electronic eye implants for those who have lost their sight: gene therapy. Virus-delivered genes for green opsin gave blind mice sight enough to determine patterns on an iPad, they found, with the therapy possibly ready for clinical trials in three years’ time.

13 March 2019

Researchers Identify PTSD Blood Biomarkers

Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have found blood-based genetic markets of psychological stress which could lead to better diagnostics for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bring forward new drug development leads.

11 March 2019

23andMe Set to Launch Assessment of Users’ Diabetes Risk

Commercial DNA-analysing company 23andMe is looking to launch a new DNA assessment to help individuals discover their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Several million customers will receive the information over the coming weeks.

8 March 2019

CAR-T Therapy Destroys Lupus in Mice

A number of mice have been cured entirely of lupus by a CAR-T treatment which wipes out the immune system’s B cells by spotting the CD19 protein marker which nearly all B cells carry.