Feature

Spotlight: Cannabidiol (CBD) Based Medication Heralds New Promise in Neurological Therapies

By Bhavya Ravi, Ph.D. Overview Among the 100 or so phytocannabinoids that have been identified in the Cannabis sativa herb, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been explored the most for pharmacological use. Although 33 states have approved the use of cannabis in the U.S. for medicinal purposes, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recognizes it as a Schedule I drug. This has impeded the use of cannabis in clinical research, potentially obscuring physicians and nurses about its safety, efficacy, and dosage for pharmaceutical applications through rigorous double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies. Besides, cannabinoid-containing substances obtained for research purposes are not chemically or physically representative of the legal cannabis market. There are, at present, three FDA-approved pharmaceutical-grade THC products-dronabinol (Marinol), dronabinol solution (Syndros), and nabilone (Cestamet), which are prescribed as antiemetics and appetite stimulants. Nabiximols (Sativex), an oromucosal spray of a formulated extract containing THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio, has...
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Spotlight: Cannabidiol (CBD) Based Medication Heralds New Promise in Neurological Therapies
Feature

Another Pharmaceutical Giant Enters the Field of CD47

On September 8, 2020, Pfizer made a US$25 million equity investment in Trillium Therapeutics. However, Pfizer's investment has nothing to do with any partners or pre-emptive rights acquired by Trillium Therapeutics, and these options remain open. So, what assets are attracting Pfizer? CD47 is a glycoprotein widely expressed on the surface of a variety of cells. It releases a "don't eat me" signal by connecting with SIRPα on phagocytes' surface to prevent macrophages from engulfing healthy cells. However, cancer cells cunningly use this mechanism to induce immunosuppression and escape the phagocytosis of macrophages. In recent years, CD47 has gradually become a star target in immuno-oncology, and investment in this field has also shown substantial growth. Pfizer’s Talzenna approved for breast cancer treatment Trillium Therapeutics is a Canada-based immuno-oncology company dedicated to developing innovative immunotherapies to treat cancer. The company's clinical projects TTI-621 and TTI-622 are two unique SIRPαFc decoy receptors...
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Another Pharmaceutical Giant Enters the Field of CD47
Industry News Investment

Magic Mushrooms Have the Potential as Depression Therapy?Compass Pathways Filing for IPO

Compass Pathways, a British company, established in 2016. Since two out of three founders have a mental illness family history, the company bears a deepened understanding of the lack of mental disorder treatments. This firmed the founders’ decision to establish the company and focus on benefiting more depression-related patients through innovative, supportive therapy. By Ray Jhang, Ph.D. Candidate With the prevalence of psychotic diseases rises dramatically, an increasing number of patients are suffering, while effective medical relief and compact guidelines are far from perfect. Limited medical support spurs Compass Pathways to come up with a synthesized compound made of Psilocybin extracted from over 200 kinds of psilocybe fungi (Known as “Magic Mushrooms”). Synthesized Psilocybin (COMP 360) along with FDA approved therapists, could provide patients with medical assistance aside from standard treatments.  Related Article: FDA Approves New Drug for Specific Treatment of Postpartum Depression Psilocybin Therapy A licensed therapist would conduct...
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Magic Mushrooms Have the Potential as Depression Therapy?Compass Pathways Filing for IPO
Industry News

Moderna Gives Updates on Its Diversified Pipeline at R&D Day

It was Moderna’s R&D day on 17th September. Starting with the COVID-19 front's progress, the company discussed new developments in the oncology and rare diseases avenues. Here are some of the highlights from Moderna’s R&D day. By Ruchi Jhonsa, Ph.D. Update on Prophylactic Vaccination Even before the COVID pandemic struck, Moderna had been developing mRNA vaccines against viral diseases where there is an unmet medical need. This list includes nine vaccines for common diseases as well as for diseases posing a global threat.  Moderna’s much-touted vaccine for novel coronavirus is currently leading the lot. It is already in the Phase 3 study and as of September 12, the study has enrolled 25,296 participants in the trial. The interim analysis of the Phase 1 trial of the mRNA-1273 vaccine resulted in rapid and strong immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 with no reported serious adverse events.  Moderna’s CMV vaccine is second in line,...
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Moderna Gives Updates on Its Diversified Pipeline at R&D Day
Technology

Can Your Smartwatch Help You Manage Asthma Better?

The future of healthcare is precision medicine which combines patient clinical data, analytics and data science. Huge strides have been made in collecting critical information from patients to provide them with personalized and well-suited treatment options for diseases such as cancer. By Sahana Shankar, Ph.D. Candidate The latest development is a virtual study by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), in collaboration with Apple Inc and Anthem Inc to understand how wearable tech like Apple Watch could be leveraged to help asthma patients to monitor and improve their clinical conditions. Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects nearly 25 million people in America. Self-management is critical, with no cure available since uncontrolled situations can lead to permanent lung damage and premature death. Asthma has different symptoms and triggers. Hence there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach for self-management. Several articles have made a case for a practical and evidence-based approach...
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Can Your Smartwatch Help You Manage Asthma Better?
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INTERVIEW

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Asia Insight Feature Interview

Building a Biomedical Value Chain and Accelerating the Development of the Biomedical Industry

Interview with Hsi-Wen Tsai, Director of the Incubation Center, NHRI   Currently, there are more than one hundred incubation centers in Taiwan, which mainly provide resources for startups and small to medium-sized enterprises in their early stages of development. Those resources include spaces, instruments, technology, capital, business-related services, management consulting, etc., to reduce their initial start-up cost and risk. Most incubation centers are set up within the universities and government agencies. Among them, the Incubation Center of the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) has immense experience in focusing on the biotechnology and biomedical sector and has played a vital role in developing Taiwan's biomedical industry. Foundation of NHRI’s Incubation Center "During the year 2000, Taiwan's biotechnology and biomedical industry were...
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Building a Biomedical Value Chain and Accelerating the Development of the Biomedical Industry
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INDUSTRY

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Magic Mushrooms Have the Potential as Depression Therapy?Compass Pathways Filing for IPO

Compass Pathways, a British company, established in 2016. Since two out of three founders have a mental illness family history, the company bears a deepened understanding of the lack of …

ASIA INSIGHT

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Eisai Enters Vietnam With a Subsidiary

Japanese pharma Eisai Co., Ltd announced a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on September 14, 2020. With Vietnam emerging as a sizeable market within South East Asia, …

TECHNOLOGY

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Can Your Smartwatch Help You Manage Asthma Better?

The future of healthcare is precision medicine which combines patient clinical data, analytics and data science. Huge strides have been made in collecting critical information from patients to provide them …

NORTH AMERICA

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Takeda Established Capabilities to Engine Cell Therapy Manufacturing

In particular, immunology cell therapy is a rapidly growing field, where foundational discoveries about our immune system fighting cancer and novel approaches to the manufacturing of complex biologics yield promising …

TODAY IN HISTORY

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