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Tag: Biotech

THCB’s Bookclub, September 2020 – NEO.LIFE

By JESSICA DAMASSA & MATTHEW HOLT

The THCB Book Club is a discussion with leading health care authors, which will be released on the third Wednesday of every month.

This month we hosted Jane Metcalfe (Founder of NEO.LIFE) to talk about her 2020 book NEO.LIFE. You can get a copy of it here!

NEO.LIFE is a very unusual book. It’s over 25 very short chapters (ranging from 1 page to 78) which include interviews, concepts, art, science, science fiction, and one short story. All from different authors or groups of authors that are all edited into place by Jane Metcalfe and Brian Bergstein.

The topic is the future of humans! And the loose focus is on biotech, human engineering, and well watch along and get a copy!

You can see the video below (and the podcast version will be in our iTunes & Spotify channels very soon).

In October the THCB BookClub will feature Mike Magee’s book, Code Blue.

Detecting Heart Conditions Faster: The Case for Biomarkers-PLUS-AI | Dean Loizou, Prevencio

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

Can artificial intelligence help prevent cardiovascular diseases? Biotech startup, Prevencio, has developed a proprietary panel of biomarkers that uses blood proteins and sophisticated AI algorithms to detect cardiovascular conditions like coronary and peripheral artery disease, aerotic stenosis, risk for stroke and more. Dean Loizou, Prevencio’s VP of Business Development, breaks down the process step-by-step and explains exactly how Prevencio reports its clinically viable scores to doctors. How does the AI fit into all this? We get to that too, plus the details around this startup’s plans for raising a B-round on the heels of this work with Bayer.

Filmed at Bayer G4A Signing Day in Berlin, Germany, October 2019.

Science-Driven Innovation and Tech-Driven Innovation: A Marriage of Convenience or a Marriage Made in Heaven?

NEHI recently convened a meeting on health care innovation policy at which the Harvard economist David Cutler noted that debate over innovation has shifted greatly in the last decade. Not that long-running debates about the FDA, regulatory approvals, and drug and medical device development have gone away: far from it.

But these concerns are now matched or overshadowed by demands for proven value, proven outcomes and, increasingly, the Triple Aim, health care’s analog to the “faster, better, cheaper” goal associated with Moore’s Law.

To paraphrase Cutler, the market is demanding that cost come out of the system, that patient outcomes be held harmless if not improved, and it is demanding innovation that will do all this at once.   Innovation in U.S. health care is no longer just about meeting unmet medical need. It is about improving productivity and efficiency as well.

In this new environment it‘s the science-driven innovators (the pharma, biotech, and medtech people) who seem like the old school players, despite their immersion in truly revolutionary fields such as genomic medicine. It’s the tech-driven innovators (the healthcare IT, predictive analytics, process redesign, practice transformation and mobile health people) who are the cool kids grabbing the attention and a good deal of the new money.

To make matters worse for pharma, biotech and medtech, long-held assumptions about our national commitment to science-driven innovation seem to be dissolving. There’s little hope for reversing significant cuts to the National Institutes of Health. User fee revenues painstakingly negotiated with the FDA just last year have only barely escaped sequestration this year. Bold initiatives like the Human Genome Project seem a distant memory; indeed, President Obama’s recently announced brain mapping project seems to barely register with the public and Congress.

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Clinical Trials for Beginners

Have you ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes—how new drugs are magically produced and brought forth? We’ll continue to take the mystery out of clinical research and drug development and to provide background information so that both patients and physicians can make more informed decisions about whether they wish to participate in clinical trials or not.

Why care?

To develop a medicine, from the time of discovery of the chemical until it reaches your drug store, takes an average of 12-15 years and the participation of thousands of volunteers in the process of clinical trials (Fig 1).

Very few people participate in clinical trials—it is even less than 5% for patients with cancer—due to lack of awareness or knowledge about the process. We’ll go into detail about how drugs are developed in later posts.

An inadequate number of volunteers is one of the major bottlenecks in drug development, delaying the product’s release and usefulness to the public. Of course, many people may suffer or even die during this wait, if they have an illness that is not yet otherwise treatable. So if you want new medicines, learn about—and decide if you wish to participate in—the process. I have, as a volunteer subject, researcher, and advocate.Continue reading…

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