Life Sciences
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/27/2020

Scientists and drug researchers are accelerating the development of experimental vaccines that can be used to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan City, China. The Baylor College of Medicine and several US biotech firms, including Moderna, Vir Biotechnology and Novavas, are already working on potential vaccine candidates.

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PMLive (UK)
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Vir Biotechnology
1/27/2020

China's National Health Commission office in Beijing has begun using AbbVie's HIV combo drug Kaletra, or lopinavir and ritonavir, as its treatment plan for the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China. A trial is already underway to assess the regimen as a treatment for the new coronavirus, and the country's Center for Disease Control and Prevention will initiate the development of a vaccine, as over 2,000 persons have been infected globally, including 56 who have died in China.

1/27/2020

Krystal Biotech has begun construction of its second commercial gene therapy manufacturing facility, a 100,000-square-foot plant in Findlay Township, Pa., which will produce medicines such as B-VEC, a treatment developed for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

1/27/2020

Results from a new study published in the journal Nature Catalysis details how scientists re-engineered brewer's yeast to generate more molecules to produce fuel for use in internal combustion engines. Although yeast is already being used to produce biofuels such as ethanol, the crop can also produce a variety of chemicals similar to hydrocarbon fuels.

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Ars Technica
1/27/2020

An announcement was issued by the US Department of Energy regarding its plan to award up to $96 million for research and development of bioenergy projects. Awards will be granted to studies from seven topic areas consisting of scale-ups of bench applications, waste-to-energy strategies, algae bioproducts and CO2 direct-air-capture and efficiency, bio-restore, efficient wood heaters, biopower and products from urban and suburban wastes, and scalable carbon dioxide electrocatalysis.

1/27/2020

Smith & Nephew has paid an undisclosed amount for Tusker Medical, developer of the FDA-approved Tula System to treat recurrent ear infections in patients ages 6 months and older. "Tula is a highly complementary addition to our [ear, nose and throat] portfolio, and we are excited to significantly improve the treatment options for surgeons and patients with the launch of this technology," said Brad Cannon, Smith & Nephew's president of sports medicine and ENT.

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Smith & Nephew, Tusker Medical
1/27/2020

The worldwide transcatheter aortic valve replacement device market will surpass $7 billion by 2024, with a growth rate of almost twofold, according to Moody's Investors Service. This will contribute to an annual growth rate of up to 7% for the cardiology market, while the wider medical device market will grow at a rate of 4% to 5% over the next two to three years, Moody's said.

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MedTech Dive
1/27/2020

A direct offering of 3.5 million shares of common stock is expected to bring in around $5 million in proceeds for Utah-based molecular diagnostics company Co-Diagnostics. The proceeds will be used for further commercialization of assays, acceleration of sales and licensing efforts and product development for additional liquid biopsy and next-generation sequencing applications.

1/27/2020

Boston Scientific's Vici and Becton Dickinson's Venovo self-expanding nitinol stents demonstrated primary patency rates of about 80% or higher and repeat revascularization rates of around 10%, without signs of stent fracture or movement, according to two-year data presented at the annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy. The stents are intended for treating patients with symptomatic iliofemoral venous outflow obstruction.

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TCTMD
1/27/2020

A team of researchers at the Korea Institute of Medical Microrobotics has created a magnetic microbot that can treat damaged cartilage in the knee by delivering stem cells to the injured site. The team is working toward approval to conduct human trials of the device.

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Cosmos Online