Seattle biotech startup Silverback Therapeutics raised a $78.5 million investment round to support development of its therapies for cancer, fibrosis, and other conditions. Founded in 2016, Silverback’s ImmunoTAC technology can deliver drugs systematically but only target parts of the body affected by disease. The approach could help prevent harmful side effects and make the therapies more effective. Clinical investigation for the company’s…
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has affected approximately 37.9 million people in the world as reported by HIV’s official website in 2018. Of those who are infected, roughly 96% are adults (15 and older). Although HIV can be fatal and was the seventh leading cause of death globally in 2000, new forms of treatment have substantially increased survival rates and it was no…
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Benaroya Research Institute Launches Gut Research Program

Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) has launched a new Gut Immunity Program with the support of a $3 million donation from a private donor. Leading the endeavor are researchers Adam Lacy-Hulbert, PhD, James Lord, MD, PhD, and Oliver Harrison, DPhil, a new principal investigator at BRI. The trio will use model systems, cell samples and clinical studies to…
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Century Therapeutics, developer of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived allogeneic cell therapies for cancer, today announced the opening of its Seattle-based Innovation Hub to develop next-generation product candidates that overcome barriers that have limited the effectiveness of cell therapies in solid tumor cancers. The site will advance the company’s novel iPSC science and allogeneic cell products by establishing expertise in data sciences…
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It’s been a busy week at the virology lab run by UW Medicine, which includes the University of Washington’s medical school and hospitals. “We’ve already gone to three shifts,” says Dr. Keith Jerome, a professor in the department of laboratory medicine who runs the lab. “People are going to be here basically all the time.” The lab is processing about 100 coronavirus…
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A New Guidebook to the Brain

Anyone navigating a new city needs a guidebook. What’s inside the enormous brick building on First and Main? Ask the guidebook. Where’s the natural history museum? The guidebook will get you there. A guidebook is also invaluable in navigating the brain. Intrepid brain explorers need to know how the different areas connect, as well as functions of the different neurons…
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Even as companies rush to develop and test vaccines against the new coronavirus, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health are betting that scientists can do even better than what’s now in the pipeline. If, as seems quite possible, the Covid-19 virus becomes a permanent part of the world’s microbial menagerie rather than being eradicated…
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Space exploration can take a toll on the human heart.  Astronauts are at risk for changes in their cardiac function and rhythm. To learn how microgravity and other physical forces in space exact their effects on heart muscle, a Tissue Chips in Space project has now been packed and is awaiting launch to the International Space Station. The experimental equipment…
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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is teaming up with Wellcome and Mastercard to form the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a $125 million effort to help find potential treatments for the coronavirus epidemic and future threats. The accelerator will bring together the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, government, and other philanthropic groups to develop therapies for COVID-19. There are currently…
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Millions of Americans live with the pain and physical limitations of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Steroids and other drugs can offer relief, but they can also come with a host of serious side effects. A new study suggests that a scorpion-derived mini-protein could one day help tame the sting of that toxic tradeoff. Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center…
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