As of Wednesday, more than 312.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the US, according to the CDC. Data also show nearly 146.5 million people are now fully vaccinated using vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
A consortium of 20 companies is developing process analytical technologies for gene and cell therapy manufacturing. The goal, according to the UK's Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, is to improve control during manufacturing, reduce batch failures and lower manufacturing costs.
Tessera Therapeutics is developing a technology based on mobile genetic elements that can rewrite DNA, with the goal of curing genetic diseases. The company is focusing its research first on rare genetic disorders and cancers but plans to use the technology for other diseases in the future.
Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart manufacturing technologies are set to have a significant impact on the pharma value chain, says Jackie Hunter, a board director of BenevolentAI. Meanwhile, smart manufacturing technologies including 3D printing could "enable a more personalized approach to medicine," she said.
Nautilus Biotechnology is developing a technology that uses machine learning to identify all proteins in the proteome at the same time. The Nautilus Proteomic Analysis Platform could speed drug development by making it more efficient to find the correct biomarkers.
The collaboration between academics and industry led to the successful development of COVID-19 vaccines at a record pace, but future collaborations should address ownership of data and intellectual properties, writes the editorial board of Nature. For example, a plan to offer time-limited IP relief on COVID-19 vaccines is backed by the World Health Organization and more than 100 countries, and it could remove obstacles to collaboration and decrease IP disputes, they write.
Penn State University has received a $1 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to research a protein coating that could remove the need for cold storage for COVID-19 vaccines. Fluorochemical dispersants called FTags "dissolve the proteins in a fluorine-based liquid, which yields proteins that we believe may be stable at elevated temperatures, without compromising their structure or function," said Scott Medina, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.
Results from a large UK trial showed Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' COVID-19 antibody cocktail REGEN-COV lowered the 28-day mortality risk by one-fifth in hospitalized seronegative patients with COVID-19. The therapy also reduced the number of days in the hospital and lowered the odds of needing mechanical ventilation among seronegative patients.
The first patients in a trial for Cytovale's IntelliSep test have been enrolled, the company announced. The rapid sepsis test assesses blood samples for sepsis risk and produces results in under 10 minutes.
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