January 2017

Viewing posts from January , 2017

The Amazing World of Disordered Proteins

For more than a century, biologists have thought that the proteins carrying out functions like driving chemical reactions, passing signals up and down the cell’s information superhighway, or maybe hanging molecular tags onto DNA are like rigid cogs in the cell’s machinery.

From Quanta Magazine article

But according to an article in Quanta Magazine recent studies estimate that up to half of the total amino acid sequence that makes up proteins in humans doesn’t fold into a distinct shape. This fluidity — dubbed “intrinsic disorder” — endows proteins with a set of superpowers that structured proteins don’t have.

“The key now is that we need to understand how these proteins are functioning in biology,” said Peter Wright, a structural biologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

See the full article here.

Pharma Looking Early for Assets

Check out the recent post on Life Science Nation for a review on 2016 Pharma licensing activity and you will find that with increasing competition for assets, they are reaching out to smaller companies earlier, with preclinical assets leading the field.

Asset Stage Graph from Life Science Nation

LSN reports that over 70 pharma firms, located in every corner of the globe, announced a licensing deal last year. Click here for the post.

Liquid Biopsy Market Set to Explode

The Global Liquid Biopsy Market has been assessed as a swiftly growing market and it is expected that the market will reach high growth figures and boom in the coming future, according to a report from Market Research Future.

According to the report, there is enormous demand for liquid biopsy in the research laboratories of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as drug development is one of the major applications of the technology.
There has been a tremendous growth in the prevalence of cancer disease and the global population getting diagnosed with cancer. The firm estimates that the Liquid Biopsy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.6% from 2016 to 2022.

Early Cancer Detection Needed

This is one of the key focus areas for Forentis and our companies. A recent article in Med Device Online provides an overview of where we are at and where we are headed.

In the absence of vaccine, or a magic bullet drug that could cure any type of cancer, there is a need to focus on early diagnosis of cancer, which is the single most important – and often untapped – tool for success available to medical science in its fight against cancer.

Opportunities in this area are widely understood and discussed, particularly with regard to their cost, speed, accuracy, and potential for minimal invasion. Cancer diagnosis is a rapidly evolving field that openly accepts new technologies if they show clear improvement over established norms.

Read the entire article here.

Concussion Biomarkers

In this excellent article in Wired magazine, a new approach to assessing concussion risks may lead to more comprehensive and accurate determinations of head injury severity. The possibilities in biomarker discovery are virtually unlimited!

Scientists may have discovered a blood test for concussions, more sensitive and less biased than any human evaluator. When axons in the brain get damaged, they release a number of proteins into the cerebral spinal fluid. About one in a thousand of those proteins crosses the blood-brain barrier to enter the bloodstream. The more damage, the higher the blood protein concentration. The proteins are just hard to find.

“It’s like trying to find grains of sand in a thousand Olympic-size swimming pools,” says Jessica Gill, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health who studies brain trauma and PTSD in soldiers.

Check out the entire article here.

The Missing Link that Binds the Microbiome with Human Health

The human microbiome is large and complex. It is thought that there are as many indigenous microbes in your body as there are other cells. The only way to understand how the microbiome’s presence affects the body at any given time is through studying the comprehensive or global metabolome—the collection of metabolites that the microbiome and host produces and interacts with. Metabolites are the microbiome’s language.

human entrails under X-rays. 3d render.

In short, trying to resolve the link between the microbiome and human health without looking at the metabolome is like trying to predict a married couple’s compatibility without observing how they communicate with each other.

Since a metabolomics approach allows scientists to examine all the small molecules in our body, including hormones, amino acids, co-factors, neurotransmitters, and other compounds, it gives us a shot at understanding every step of disease etiology, from gene to phenotype.

Read the entire article in GEN

Epigenetics Drives Pancreatic Cancer Metastasis, Potentially Reversible

A multicenter study led by investigators at Johns Hopkins University just reported on a full genomic analysis of tumor samples from a small number of people who died of pancreatic cancer. The new data suggests that epigenetic changes control how DNA operates to confer survival advantages on subsets of pancreatic cancer cells.

“Changes in genes’ regulation—not in the DNA sequence of genes themselves—were the driving force behind successful metastases in our experiments, and, as far as we know, this is the first genome-wide experimental evidence for this phenomenon.”

Read more at GEN

Big Data: Precision Medicine Research in the Million-Genome Era

A major challenge for large-scale precision medicine research is in harmonizing data from different sources. As a simple example, researchers can use a whole genome sequence from a patient with a rare disease to find a list of potentially causal variants for further investigation. Moreover, these variants can be filtered effectively when combined with genomic data from 100,000 people without the disease. Bringing in the additional 100,000 samples can be nontrivial, both because of the size of the data involved and because of different methods of data collection among studies. Read the entire article at GEN

Precision Medicine Market Size to Exceed $87 Billion by 2023: Global Market Insights Inc.

“Global Precision medicine market size worth USD 39 billion in 2015, is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% over the period of 2016-2023, hitting USD 87.7 billion by 2023,” according to a recent study on Global Precision Medicine Market – Estimations & forecast (2016-2023) by Global Market Insights Inc.

Chart of Estimated Growth in Precision Medicine

“Increased global incidence of cancer and rise in cancer susceptible aging population will accelerate global precision medicine market growth.”

See More Here