The Dish’s Weekly News Wrap Up – February 28, 2014

This week’s headlines include, stem cell news, whole genome health, Prevnar works in elderly, 2014 trends in investment, and bringing Rx drugs to market in 2014.

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“Pfizer’s Prevnar Prevents Pneumonia in Elderly – Study,” Reuters

“Pfizer Inc. said on Monday that Prevnar 13, its blockbuster vaccine against childhood infections, prevented pneumonia outside of hospitals in people age 65 and older, in one of the largest drug trials ever conducted. The 85,000-patient study, called CAPiTA, also showed that Prevnar 13 prevented invasive pneumococcal disease, meaning infections of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria in the bloodstream and other normally sterile sites in the body. Wall Street analysts have predicted that success of the trial would boost annual sales of Prevnar 13 by $1 billion or more, as doctors steer elderly patients to the product.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled New Study Compiles Extensive Database that Supports the Importance of Vaccination

“Can Stem Cells Heal Broken Hearts,” BBC

“The biggest ever stem cell trial involving heart attack patients has got under way in London. The study, which will involve 3,000 patients in 11 European countries, should show whether the treatment can cut death rates and repair damaged tissue after a heart attack. All the patients will have standard treatment to widen their narrowed arteries, which involves inserting a small tube called a stent. In addition, half the patients will have stem cells taken from their bone marrow and injected into their heart. This will happen within days of them suffering a heart attack.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “A Discussion on Expansion of Therapeutic Stem Cells using Plant-based biologics

“Coriell Life Sciences Prepares for the Whole-Genome Health Environment,” Bio-IT World

“When the Coriell Institute launched its Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC) research project in 2007, its mission was to understand how patients and their physicians react to having genetic information when planning out their health care strategies. The CPMC has now interviewed thousands of participants about their genetic disease risks, and has tended toward the center in debates about how well this information serves the patients who see it. Representatives from Coriell have sounded a more stringent tone than many direct-to-consumer testing companies about how risk information should be validated and presented, but remain confident that patients can understand their own genetic data if given the right tools.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Cell Culture, More Science Than Art – A Call For Care in Cell Culture Practices

“2014 Trends in Early-Stage Life Sciences Investment,” Xconomy

“The Affordable Care Act has certainly made headlines over the past year—and the ACA, along with several other developments in the current venture funding environment, is beginning to radically reshape value creation in the life sciences and for biotechnology firms. Below, I provide some updates on trends, challenges, and opportunities for life sciences companies in 2014—and advice for best navigating the current climate.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Paper or Plastic: A Study on Single-Use and Sustainability

“Mature Functioning Liver Cells Made from Stem Cells,” Medical News Today

“There have been several reports in recent years of scientists reprogramming skin cells so they transform into cells that are similar to cells from other organs, such as the heart, the pancreas and even brain cells. However, these have fallen short of producing mature, fully functioning versions of organ cells – essential if they are to be of any use in life-saving regenerative medicine. Now, a new study reported in Nature shows how it may be possible, with a new method, to transform skin cells into mature, fully functioning liver cells that are practically identical to native cells in liver tissue.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Choosing a Cell Culture Media Development Strategy for Biopharmaceutical Production

“Bringing New Rx Drug to Market in 2014,”

“I did something today that I haven’t done in years: I checked out the US pharmaceutical R&D spend versus the rest of the world. Having known since the 80’s that the US owned this space, a quick look at the latest R&D figures confirmed my decades old understanding of the industry’s worldwide position. Today, based on PhRMA’s 2012 survey of global member companies, about 75% of the world’s pharmaceutical R&D spending is taking place in the US (see Appendix on page 66). The closet individual country competing with the US in this space is the UK — with 3.6%.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled 2013 FDA New Drug Approvals

“Genetically Altered Stem Cells Generate Engineered Cartilage,” Genetic Engineering News

“Duke University researchers say they have moved a step closer to being able to generate replacement cartilage where it’s needed in the body by combining a synthetic scaffolding material with gene delivery methods. Initiating tissue repair with stem cells usually requires the use of large amounts of growth factors. Experience has demonstrated that this is expensive and can be challenging once the developing material is implanted within a body. In a new study (“Scaffold-mediated lentiviral transduction for functional tissue engineering of cartilage”) in PNAS, the Duke team found a way around this limitation by genetically altering the stem cells to make the necessary growth factors all on their own.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “A Review of Best Practices For Cell Culture Media Design And Processes

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