It’s News Roundup Time! Lab Automation, the Nobel Prize, and More …

Try as we might, we can’t cover every bit of biotech news out there. So relax, and check out everything else that happened this week. 

Finance

  • The UK-based charity the Wellcome Trust has invested €5.2M in the UK biotech Prokarium to boost the development of oral vaccines for enteric fever such as typhoid. 
  • The UK lab automation company Arctoris has raised €3.6M in a seed round to fund the construction of a new facility and boost the commercial rollout of its automated lab technology.
  • The UK company Biofidelity has received a €567,945 grant from the public agency Innovate UK to fund the development of blood tests that can help to tailor cancer treatments to patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

Collaborations

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Launches

  • The German big pharma Bayer has announced the start of LifeHub, a center designed to boost the development of AI-assisted drug discovery technology.
  • The Finnish company Mobidiag has launched a genetic test designed to detect stool parasites in a quicker and more automated method than microscopy, the current standard of care. 

Research

  • The French gene therapy developer GenSight has demonstrated in primates that its gene therapy for genetic blindness is transferred from the injected eye to the placebo-treated eye. This is a step towards unraveling why the company’s gene therapy appeared to benefit both the treated eye and placebo-treated eye of patients in two phase III trials. 
  • An international collaboration of scientists has discovered an antibiotic called phazolicin from bacteria living on plants in the rainforests of Mexico. The antibiotic could lead to treatments making plants more robust against harmful bacteria, as well as to the development of new antibiotics for treating infections in humans.
  • A drug developed by researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, UK, has shown promise for treating breast cancer in mice. The drug is in a phase I trial, and could stop cancers becoming resistant to current treatments by making the tumor cells multiply out of control and die.
  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to two US researchers and one UK academic for their studies in cell mechanisms that detect the lack of oxygen. These mechanisms help animals to survive at high altitudes and have played a big role in the development of treatments for conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

Image via E. Resko

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