The World Health Organisation is today convening its first expert advisory committee on developing global standards for the governance and oversight of human genome editing. The aim of the two-day meeting, in Geneva, is to examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges of gene-editing and create guidelines and standards for it.
The meeting follows a call last week by some 16 leading scientists from 7 countries: USA; China; Canada; France; Germany; Italy and New Zealand for a global moratorium on heritable genome editing.
Maintaining a highly skilled workforce is vital to business; I can’t imagine anyone reading this blog would dispute that. Similarly indisputable is the need for business to keep up with the latest developments in research and technology. Doctoral training partnerships can help your business to achieve both of these goals, by strengthening ties with academia, shedding light on new ways of working, and increasing recruitment of multi-skilled graduates. UKRI-BBSRC believes that partnerships with the users of research are important in shaping our doctoral training programmes through better understanding of industry’s needs, concerns and aspirations. By working with companies, UKRI-BBSRC seeks to train students capable of becoming future leaders in industry.
The in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry is an incredibly innovative sector and has an important story to tell. As part of a brand-new initiative to raise awareness of the IVD industry in the UK and the vital role it plays in improving outcomes for patients and in overcoming health challenges, BIVDA has produced the first in a series of videos highlighting the value of IVDs. The release of this video follows the launch of BIVDA’s new channel on YouTube.
A key part of the BIA’s work on the Spending Review (SR) is engaging parliamentarians, who have a role in scrutinising and approving the Government’s decisions. To start this process, two weeks ago we teamed up with partner organisations across the life sciences sector to organise an event in the House of Commons – “Keeping the UK a world leader in medical research: the need for cross-government coordination”.
I hope this week that you have been heartened by the news that the first child has been given pioneering CAR-T cancer therapy on the NHS. We also saw announced the death of Dr Stewart Adams, the 95 year old Boots scientist who pioneered the painkiller ibuprofen in the East Midlands in the late 1950s and early 1960s (by curing his own hangover, no less). As Professor Kevin Shakesheff, from the University of Nottingham, said "He is remembered for his successes in creating one of the most important painkillers in the world but, as with many inspirational people, he had to bounce back from failures in earlier clinical trials before he and his team created ibuprofen.
"Epidemic"; "crisis"; "timebomb"; these are the dramatic terms used to describe the impact opioids continue to have on society. Evolving issues are sparking increasing concern for those involved in the development, manufacture and supply of prescription drugs, including their insurers.
Supported by a prestigious Research Training Fellowship, Dr Apostolos Papandreou is leading a study to help children with the rare, devastating and, sadly, life limiting neurological disease known as BPAN.
What inspired you to investigate this particular area?
As a paediatric neurology registrar, I specialise in caring for children with conditions that affect the nervous system, including a disease called BPAN. After a period of developmental delay and, often, epilepsy in early childhood, children with BPAN deteriorate significantly over time, developing abnormal muscle tone, features resembling Parkinson’s disease and symptoms of dementia. Unfortunately, it is a progressive, life-limiting disorder and there are currently no drugs that can improve or cure BPAN.
Key M&As set a positive tone for JPM 2019, as the sector shrugged off US stock market setbacks at the end of 2018. First out of the blocks were GSK taking Tesaro in a £3.8bn deal (announced before the conference) and since ringing in the new year we’ve seen Takeda complete their acquisition of Shire, Bristol-Myers Squibb acquire Celgene in a record breaking £70bn deal and Eli Lilly purchase Loxo Oncology for £6.24bn. These large pharma deals show desire for a strategic pipeline and prove the inherent value of biotech as a driver of innovation. More than half of new drugs registered in the coming years are expected to be made by small companies which large players may then look to add to their portfolio. The outlook for M&As looks strong and venture are keen to put money to work knowing the