BioTech

We explore which cell therapy, genetic editing and other innovative technologies are democratizing access to and costs of healthcare, and enabling better quality of life. 

As Drug-Resistant Bacteria Frustrates Big Pharma, Impact Investors See Opportunities

With more than 500,000 people dying each year due to their bodies rejecting currently available antibiotics, profits are drying up and the world’s largest drugmakers are backing off. This is leaving the field to a group of ambitious startups, according to a...

Frazier Healthcare Tops Target for Life Sciences Fund, Grabbing $617M on Soaring Biotech Demand

Frazier Healthcare raised a greater-than-expected $617 million for its latest fund, as private investors’ appetite for healthcare innovation shows no sign of slowing. Frazier Life Sciences X, the company’s third life sciences fund, is slated to invest in biotech products...

Death Toll From Heart Disease is Spiking, as Private Investors Race to Fund Treatments

Once thought manageable, heart disease is making a dangerous comeback in the U.S., killing more than ever with a surprising toll on city dwellers. While doctors cite increasing stress and spreading sedentary lifestyles, private investors are funding medical startups...

As Pleasure Morphs into “Wellness,” Multi-Billion Dollar Sex Tech Industry Raises Profile at CES

Karma_News Summary_Sex tech at CES
Sex tech was back at the annual Consumer Electronic Show, with the focus on more polite theme of “wellness,” and less on sex toys. The wellness technology goes beyond vibrators to tools intended to help improve sexual health and...

Novartis $2M Drug For Killer Genetic Disease to Be Dispensed for Free Via Lottery

Karma_News Summary_Novartis
It’s the world’s most expensive drug, and one of only two available for spinal muscular atrophy, the top genetic killer of children under two years old. And now the drug’s maker, Novartis, wants to give it away using a procedure considered controversial...

Biotech Epirium Raises $85M With Aim to Develop Anti-aging Technology

Karma_News Summary_anti-aging
It may be the final frontier in medicine -- slowing down or reversing the process of aging. Besides the promise of a longer life, it also means fortunes made -- think Ponce de Leon and his search for the Fountain of Youth.

Magic Mushrooms Move Closer to Mainstream Medicine As VC-Backed Compass Touts Safety, “Positive Mood Alteration”

Karma_News Summary_Magic mushrooms
Magic mushrooms as a treatment for depression took another step toward mainstream acceptance as a venture capital-backed company announced positive results from a psilocybin trial. Compass Pathways’ psilocybin medication was “well-tolerated in healthy volunteers,” a first step in seeking...

Private Equity, Biotech Industry Worried Pelosi Drug Plan Would Be ‘Destructive,’ Slow Innovation

Karma_News Summary_Pelosi drug plan
Private equity and venture capital firms, which have poured billions of dollars in biotech firms, are opposing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to cut drug prices, saying it would stifle the small firms that are often the source of new medications.

Genius or Mad Scientist? Epstein-Backed Harvard Researcher Wants to Bring Mammoths Back, Reverse Aging and Cure All Diseases

Karma_News Analysis_George Church
Key Takeaway: Even though his research opens up a variety of ethical issues and has received funding from donors like sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, geneticist George Church continues to enjoy backing from...

Despite Concerns About Gene Editing, Venture Investors, Big Pharma Remain a Captive Audience

Karma_News Summary_Gene Editing Big Pharma
A year after a Chinese scientist unleashed a storm of condemnation by announcing the birth of a baby whose genes he had edited, the medical and scientific community has yet to agree on rules guiding research into the practice.

Biotech Novoheart to Collaborate With AstraZeneca on Heart-in-a-Jar Model

Karma_News Summary_Heart in a Jar
Stem cell biotech company Novoheart and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced they would be partnering to develop the first test tube model of human heart failure, also called heart-in-a-jar. The companies said they would use heart tissue engineered by Novoheart...

How Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Fix Science

Karma_News Analysis_Facebook Healthcare
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s embattled co-founder and CEO, isn’t just interested in creating the biggest ad machine and political platform in history. He also wants to fix and accelerate the rate of scientific discovery. In a video conversation published on...

Blackstone Teams With Swiss Firm Ferring For $570 Million Effort to Make Cancer Killing Gene Therapy

Karma_News Summary_Blackstone invests in Ferring
Blackstone, which last year started up a life sciences investing arm, is pouring $400 million into a venture with a Swiss pharmaceutical firm to develop and commercialize a gene therapy for bladder cancer. Blackstone’s investment seeks to spur FerGene,...

GHO Capital, Spying European Healthcare Opportunities, Raises Record Fund

Karma_News Summary_GHO Capital
Private equity firm GHO Capital Partners, reflecting European investors’ bullishness for healthcare, topped expectations by raising almost $1.1 billion for its second fund.  The total, surpassing GHO’s $885 million goal, is a record for a fund targeting European healthcare,...

“New Era for Quantum Biology” Is Upon Us

Karma_News Summary_Quantum biology
It has been an exciting week for quantum biology enthusiasts, with two separate studies suggesting new ways to leverage quantum principles in life sciences applications. Researchers from the Quantum Nanophysics Group at the University of Vienna found a “quantum...

Brave New World: Investors Bet $100 Million on Success of Pig-to-Human Organ Transplants

Karma_News Summary_eGenesis
The transplantation of pig organs into humans moved a step closer to reality after investors upped their bets, pouring in $100 million, on the work of biotechnology company eGenesis. The Cambridge, Massachusetts company uses new gene-editing technologies to make...

FDA Will Consider Biogen’s Controversial Drug as First New Alzheimer’s Treatment Drug in 17 Years

Karma_News Summary_Alzheimer's treatment
A controversial drug that treats the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease might become the first medication for the disease in 17 years to win regulatory approval. Biogen Inc. said it plans to submit a regulatory filing for its aducanumab...

Nebula Genomics Puts DNA on Blockchain to Buoy Privacy-Concerned Consumers

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Key Takeaway: With concerns about the privacy of genetic data rising, Nebula Genomics has developed a Blockchain-based genomic marketplace, where users decide who gets access to their data and potentially receive compensation...

Researchers Use Gene Modification to Defeat Rice-Killing Disease

Karma_News Summary_CRISPR
Researchers successfully edited the genome of strains of rice grown in Southeast Asia and West Africa to block a pathogen that ravages yields of the staple crop, the latest example of gene modification that may reduce hunger throughout the world.Bacterial blight is...

U.S. Wants More Domestic Pharma Production as Quality Concerns Persist; Lawmakers Worry About China’s Power

Karma_News Summary_Pharmaceuticals
As concerns rise about the growing percentage of U.S. drugs manufactured in China, U.S legislators are seeking measures to bring more of the industry back onshore. During a congressional hearing Wednesday, regulators and lawmakers in both parties expressed interest...

FDA Warns Medical Devices May Be Vulnerable to Hackers, Highlighting Vulnerability of Equipment to Attacks

Karma_News Analysis_Medical device cybersecurity
Pacemakers, insulin pumps and other medical devices using software called IPnet contain potential flaws that make them vulnerable to cyber attacks, the Food and Drug Administration has warned.The agency is working with medical device makers to determine which devices, whether in health-care...

Microbiome Experts Call Out Technology’s Limits, Saying it’s Still Early Days of Personalized Medicine

Karma_News Analysis_probiotics
While the number of microbiome-focused products and investments rises, the science remains in a nascent stage, and expectations for the industry may be ahead of reality, according to speakers at a Bard College symposium on Thursday. Martha Carlin, CEO...

Mouse Microbiome Study May Point to Better Human Antibiotic Tolerance

Karma_News Analysis_Microbiome
A new study into how antibiotics affect beneficial bacteria living in human guts suggests ways in which dietary changes may reduce the medicines’ side effects and generate new treatments.Brown University researchers, conducting a study in mice, found that changes in the animals’...

Bristol-Myers Partners with Accelerator BioMotiv to Develop New Drugs

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Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb will become a limited partner in BioMotiv, a Cleveland-based biotech accelerator, to jointly fund new research into therapies in disease areas with unmet medical needs.  “Partnering with an innovative accelerator like BioMotiv strengthens our ability...

Johns Hopkins to Expand Psychedelics-As-Medicine Research With $17 Million Center

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Magic mushrooms as treatment for depression, PTSD other issues is getting a major boost at Johns Hopkins University, as researchers continue efforts, sometimes backed by venture capital, to find therapies in alternative, overlooked places. Johns Hopkins, which has been...

Creating Health’s Future: 5,000+ Leading Health Executives to Converge at HLTH 2019

HLTH
This content is brought to you in partnership with HLTH. How do we create the future of health? That’s the question HLTH is seeking to answer.  From Oct. 27-30, more than 5,000 executives, investors and entrepreneurs...

Biotech Achilles Raises $120 Million For Trials of Immune System-Harnessing Cancer Drugs

Secondary lung cancer, light micrograph
Achilles Therapeutics’s raising of $120 million to conduct clinical trials of a cancer treatment underscores the promise of therapies that use immune systems to target and eradicate tumor cells. The Achilles therapy uses a unique T-cell, a type of...

Glycomine Lands $33 Million for Trials of Therapy for Rare Genetic Disorder

Genetic Research, A human sample being pipetted into a multi well plate for genetic analysis sitting on DNA sequence
With a goal to stamp out a rare disease that takes the lives of about one-fifth of the children it affects, biotechnology company Glycomine is finding deep-pocketed support from investors including Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk.  The San Carlos,...

Startups Using Agility, Experience, to Move the Needle on Opioid Crisis

From a social network for addicts to robots that test sewage water for traces of drugs, startups and private companies are applying innovative solutions to one of the nation’s most pressing problems -- its opioid epidemic. Over 11.4 million people have misused...

Biotech Startup Luca Mines Women’s Biome Data to Treat UT Infections, Other Health Issues

When Luca Biologics began operations this spring, it was a startup in name only, since its co-founders had been collecting laboratory data on women’s health for nearly two decades.  Armed with that research, Luca is ready to develop biotherapies...
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