2021 Biotech IPOs Get Off to a Roaring Start

The year is starting off with a number of biopharma and life sciences initial public offerings (IPOs). Last year was a record number of IPOs in the biotech industry, with 81 raising $13.5 billion. With this kind of a start, 2021 may be scorching.

TCR2 Therapeutics – The Cambridge, Mass. company announced pricing for its underwritten offering of 4,590,164 shares on January 20 of $30.50 per share. The company hopes to raise $140 million of common stock, which will be used to advance its clinical and earlier stage programs and for R&D, working capital and general corporate purposes. TCR2 is developing novel T-cell therapies for solid tumors and hematological cancers. Its T-cell receptor (TCR) Fusion Construct T cells (TRuC-T cells) recognize and kill cancer cells by leveraging signaling from the entire TCR.

TC-210 is currently in a Phase I/II trial for mesothelin-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ovarian cancer, malignant pleural/peritoneal mesothelioma, and cholangiocarcinoma. TC-110 is in a Phase I/II trial for CD19-positive adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (aALL) and with aggressive or indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

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With Rare Speed, Gene Editing Emerges as Biotech’s New Cutting Edge

The Nobel Prize got Wall Street’s attention. On Oct. 7, the Swedish Academy awarded 2020’s Nobel in chemistry to two scientists for the development of Crispr-Cas9—a molecular scissors that can find and edit almost any sequence in a cell’s DNA. The 2012 discovery by Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna had been commercialized with rare speed, and the Nobel was a boost for three companies founded to develop Crispr gene-editing therapies: Crispr Therapeutics,Intellia Therapeutics,and Editas Medicine.The three gene-editing stocks have more than doubled in the past few months, reaching a total market value above $23 billion.

Medical Syringe & Vaccine

Biotech Companies Working on a COVID-19 Vaccine For Cats

A group of bio technology companies are currently developing a COVID-19 vaccine for cats.

The Italian startup Takis Biothech is partnering with Applied DNA Sciences, a company based in New York, to create a two-dose vaccine that will hopefully be administered to cats by the end of the year.

Biotech 3

How Data Science is Driving Innovations in Medical Biotechnology

It is fair to say that the human body contains a lot of data. Not only is our DNA made up of about three billion genome bases, if you laid out all the DNA in the human body, it would stretch to twice the diameter of the Solar System and each cell’s DNA would be three-metre long — now amounting to a lot of data.

Biotechnology, the use of living organisms or biological systems and their derivatives to make products, is propelled forward by data, information, and statistics. In 2014, according to Science magazine, bioinformatics became a discipline in its own right rather than a tool in a biologist or biotechnologist’s armoury. Business intelligence, data analytics, and technological advances are crucial to the development of new technologies and treatments, and to overcome current challenges. By making sense of big data, from genomics or from sensors, we can identify potential drug targets, improve processes, bring new drugs to market, and reduce errors in clinical trials.

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Female Biotechnician

Economic Forecast: In Order For The Biotech Industry To Move Forward it Must First Look Back

For all of the darkness of this past year — from a deadly plague to the delusional and autocratic ambitions of a disgraced president — 2020 also will be remembered as the global coming-out event for the biotechnology sector.

The previous record for vaccine development speed was four years. Because of the cutting-edge biotech platforms made possible by the mapping of the human genome, two U.S. companies delivered safe and stunningly effective Covid vaccines to the market in just 10 months this year, a harbinger of medical cures to come.

The challenge before us for 2021 will be to restore trust in our public institutions and peer-reviewed science so we can vaccinate enough Americans to achieve herd immunity and end this pandemic once and for all.

COVID 19 Test

COVID-19 Test Gives Results Within Minutes

The method is published on MedRxiv, where the researchers headed by Professor Tim Dafforn from the University of Birmingham also demonstrate the rapidity and sensitivity of their method.

“We have designed a new method for testing that combines the ease of use and speed of lateral flow testing with the inherent sensitivity of an RNA test”, explained Dafforn.  “It features reagents that can be used in existing point of care devices and meets the need for testing in high throughput, near-patient, settings where people may be waiting in line for their results.”

Standard RT-PCR assays take more than an hour per sample, and firstly use a reverse transcriptase enzyme to convert RNA to DNA.  Afterwards a DNA polymerase enzyme copies and amplified the DNA to detectable levels, which requires time-consuming cycles of heating and cooling.  Although isthermic processes have been developed, reducing this step below 20 minutes has proved challenging.  Lateral flow tests, which measure the presence of antibodies, can take up to 30 minutes.

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Covid Vaccine

The First Covid-19 Vaccines Have Changed Biotech Forever

For all the devastation the Covid-19 pandemic has caused, there is finally a bright spot: For the first time ever, drug companies created a vaccine against a novel pathogen within a year of its discovery—about a tenth of the time it usually takes. Regulatory authorities in the US, the UK, the EU, and Canada have all authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, a world-first for a vaccine based on messenger RNA. President-elect Joe Biden received his Pfizer jab on Dec. 21. A few days earlier, on Dec. 18, the US also authorized Moderna’s mRNA vaccine.

These nucleic acid vaccines, which use cells’ existing infrastructure to manufacture their own medicine, appear poised to kickstart new era of rapid-response vaccine development. But their success wouldn’t have been possible without a supportive technology that allows the shots to reach the right destination in the body: tiny bits of fat called lipid nanoparticles.


This Tiny, One-Drug Biotech Company is The Loudest Critic of Trump’s New International Drug Pricing Policy

WASHINGTON — A tiny biosimilar company called Coherus Biosciences is emerging as one of the loudest critics of President Trump’s plan to tie what the U.S. pays for pricey injectable drugs to what other countries pay.

In the three weeks since the Trump administration unveiled the controversial policy, the company has had roughly a dozen conversations with Trump administration officials, inserted itself into the ongoing lawsuit against the policy filed by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and already filed sharply worded comments on the regulation — six weeks ahead of the official deadline.

Biotech Concept

Silicon Valley-Based Biotechnology Company Moving Headquarters to Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Revance Therapeutics will relocate its global headquarters from Silicon Valley to Nashville, Governor Bill Lee announced Wednesday morning.

As part of the relocation, the governor said the biotechnology company will invest more than $10 million and create nearly 150 jobs over the next five years. Those jobs are in addition to the company’s more than 450 employees currently working in its California offices and throughout the rest of the country.

The new headquarters will include a training and education center where employees, healthcare providers, consumers and patients can learn about the latest innovations in the company’s aesthetics, therapeutics and financial technology products and services, Lee explained.

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White House

Biotech Trade Groups Sue Pres. Trump Over Drug Pricing Rule

SAN DIEGO — Pharmaceutical trade groups filed lawsuits last week over President Trump’s effort to lower Medicare drug prices.

San Diego biotech groups said the Trump plan would hurt new drug development across the industry.

Trump’s executive order announced last month was aimed at lowering prices on Medicare Part B drugs, which are administered at doctors’ offices, outpatient centers and hospitals. They include intravenous drugs for kidney patients, organ transplant patients, and cancer patients.

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