Beyond Biotech podcast 37: Natural killer cells, biopharma revenue, toxic shock syndrome vaccine

Beyond Biotech podcast 37

This week our guests are Marit Inngjerdingen from the Institute of Clinical Medicine in Norway; Kyle Forcier, senior director of life sciences product marketing at Model N; and Dr. Andreas Roetzer, head of R&D for vaccines at Biomedical Research & Bio-Products.

The next breakthrough in cancer treatment?

In our body, we have an innate immune system and an immune system that is developed throughout life. Part of the innate immune system consists of so-called NK (natural killer) cells. 

This is a type of immune cell that specializes in killing cancer cells. These cells may be of great importance for cancer treatment in the future. NK cells kill cancer cells with the help of small “killer torpedoes,” or vesicles, that the NK cells secrete. 

Vesicles are small bubbles with a fatty wall of lipids and a space filled with toxic proteins. 

Researchers at the Institute of Clinical Medicine in Norway have recently discovered new things about these killer vesicles.

We have discovered that we can separate the killer torpedoes from other types of vesicles so that they form a kind of arsenal of weapons. Our research also shows that this type of vesicle is probably stored in a separate room inside the NK cell,” Miriam Aarsund Larsen said.

Model N publishes revenue report

Model N, Inc. recently announced the results of its fifth annual State of Revenue Report. The report captures detailed data intended to help life sciences and high-tech industry executives grappling with how to grow company revenue and market share. Most executives named inflation as a significant headwind, with 84% calling it the single biggest impact on innovation.

“Our findings show three main themes: Innovation collides with current market realities, innovation directly impacts revenue management, and the use of technology for revenue management is expanding,” said Suresh Kannan, chief product officer, Model N. 

“As organizations continue to navigate the current economic climate, the quality and reliability of technology solutions are more important than ever. These insights help us understand how to empower our customers to create and bring life-changing products to market.”

Phase 2 study of breakthrough vaccine against toxic shock syndrome successfully completed

The first vaccine to potentially prevent Staphylococcal-induced toxic shock syndrome (TSS) has successfully completed a phase 2 study. TSS is a life-threatening condition caused by toxins that can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Nosocomial pathogen Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are resistant to widely used antibiotics. Infections with MRSA are harder to treat and therapies are more expensive as the length of hospital stays is significantly prolonged. If the treatment does not lead to rapid clearance of the bacterial pathogen, dangerous symptoms such as septic or toxic shock can occur – a potentially life-threatening condition.

Researchers at Biomedical Research & Bio-Products AG, under the direction of Martha Eibl, in cooperation with MedUni Vienna’s Department of Clinical Pharmacology, conducted the study. The promising results showed the TSST-1 vaccine is safe and effective, with immunization lasting for at least two years.

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