New research published in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that using an imaging agent called 18F-fluoroestradiol in PET scans can help predict responsiveness to less invasive treatments for patients with ER-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.   Dr. Hannah Linden Nearly two-thirds of invasive breast cancers are ER-positive, meaning that the cancer cells grow in response…
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Sana Biotechnology, an unusually heavily financed cell and gene therapy developer run by former Juno Therapeutics executives, has raised $588 million in an initial public offering, a strong sign that interest in emerging biotechs hasn’t waned after a record-setting 2020. The Seattle-based biotech sold 23.5 million shares at $25 apiece, well ahead of projections it set just last week. The offering gives…
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People hospitalized with COVID-19 can experience myriad symptoms. We’ve heard a lot about the virus’ ability to congest lungs, to fog the brain, to inhibit the senses of smell and taste, and to cause crushing fatigue. One of COVID-19’s lesser-reported injuries involves kidneys. Dr. Benjamin “Beno” Freedman, a UW Medicine nephrology researcher, has been studying these injuries since last summer. He’s…
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After regulatory delays and manufacturing issues caused Bristol Myers Squibb investors to miss out on Celgene contingent value rights, the closely watched CAR-T drug liso-cel has scored an FDA nod. Friday, the agency endorsed the drug, to be called Breyanzi, to treat patients with certain types of large B-cell lymphoma who haven’t responded to two other systemic treatments or who have relapsed after receiving those treatments. Like other CAR-T drugs, doses…
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Chinook Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: KDNY), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of precision medicines for kidney diseases, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted rare pediatric disease designation for CHK-336, an investigational oral small molecule inhibitor of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) for primary hyperoxaluria (PH). PH is a group (PH1, PH2 and PH3) of…
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What the New Variants Mean for the Future of COVID-19 Vaccines

THE ARRIVAL OF TWO CORONAVIRUS VACCINES in December allowed the world to breathe a small sigh of relief. But emerging variants of the virus — versions of SARS-COV-2 with slight genetic differences — are unwanted variables in an already precarious time. At least three are confirmed to be circulating, stemming from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil. An unpublished study also suggests a variant…
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Today’s installment is with BBI member Tim Cherry, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetic Medicine and a Principal Investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute in the Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine   BBI: Thanks for joining us today!   Tim Cherry: I’m happy to be here!  …
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Researchers at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) have published findings today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation concluding that the selection of immune interventions for COVID-19 should be based on disease presentation and early disease trajectory due to the profound differences in the immune response in those with mild to moderate disease, and those with the most severe disease. “There are lots of…
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The recent recognition of new SARS-CoV-2, variants, first detected in South Africa (B.1.135, 501Y.V2), Brazil (P1) and the UK (B.1.1.7) has become an urgent global concern.  UWARN (United World Antiviral Network) partners around the world are collaborating to understand the variants’ potential to override protection from vaccinations or prior COVID-19 infections. Network partners are taking leading roles in researching new…
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Sana Biotechnology Files IPO Plans to Raise $323M

Sana Biotechnology plans to raise approximately $323 million in an initial public offering, according to documents filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Seattle-based biotech, which filed plans to go public earlier this month, is looking to sell 15 million shares at a price range of $20 to $23 per share, according to the filing. The proceeds assume an IPO…
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