Latest From Biotech Now

Turning Urban Waste into Bioplastic

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Bacteria possible key to produce useful bioplastics from the gasification of urban waste Each year, the European Union produces three billion tonnes of waste. According to Eurostat (the statistical office of the European Union), this equates to six tonnes of solid waste for every EU citizen. A major challenge is finding ways to reduce and reuse a large amount of this waste. But now, the EU funded Synpol Project, which aims to propel the sustainable Read More >

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Why We Do This Work

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In her keynote remarks delivered yesterday at the 2014 BIO International Convention, Rachel King, president & CEO of GlycoMimetics and chairperson of the board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), talked about why entrepreneurs pursue opportunities in biotechnology and what sustains these industry leaders through the rollercoaster of raising money, clinical trials, road shows and all the ups and downs of bringing medical innovations from the lab to the bedside. “Working in biotechnology today, we Read More >

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Seeing is Believing

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PET and MRI imaging helps companies to make go/no go decisions earlier Attrition or failure of new drug programs is a major source of concern, with failure rates ranging from 75 percent in anti-infectives to 92 percent in CNS according to DiMasi’s 2010 study (Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. 87, 272-277). Molecular imaging – both Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can help improve these dismal statistics. Given the immense costs involved in the Read More >

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A Better Way to Make Unnatural Amino Acids Discovered by Yu

Make Unnatural Amino Acids

Certain amino acids that are not found in nature are highly sought after by pharmaceutical manufacturers. These “unnatural” amino acids have traditionally been very difficult to synthesize, so a new and improved technique for doing so is attracting a lot of attention. Amino acids are among the most basic components of living things. Long chains of them, translated from DNA, fold up to become proteins, some smaller groupings of amino acids form hormones, and a Read More >

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New Target for Alzheimer’s Disease

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Biotechnologists have developed a drug candidate that blocks production of diseasecausing neurotoxins in mouse models Reducing the concentration of cathepsin B using an enzyme inhibitor prevents the creation of the neurotoxic peptide, pyroglutamate-AB (pGlu-AB), which has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The candidate inhibitor drug, a cysteine protease inhibitor named E64d, was developed by scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina and Read More >

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