Technological advances have paved the way for researchers to access a wealth of data about the biological cause of disease. Yet translating these discoveries into treatments remains a challenge. Promising drugs often fail in late phase clinical trials, costing time and money, and leaving patients’ lives hanging in the balance. One reason is that the right biological targets were not chosen from the start.
To improve the current model for developing new diagnostics and treatments, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and several biopharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations formed the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), www.nih.gov/amp. “The good news is that recent dramatic advances in basic research are opening new windows of opportunity for therapeutics…But this challenge is beyond the scope of any one of us and it’s time to work together in new ways to increase our collective odds of success,” NIH Director Francis Collins, MD said in a press release. “We believe this partnership is an important first step and represents the most sweeping effort to date to tackle this vital issue.” Dr. Collins will be among the distinguished panelists at the “AMP-lifying Innovation” discussion on Wednesday, June 25 at the BIO International Convention in San Diego http://convention.bio.org/ #BIO2014 Continue reading →
Matthew Gevaert and David Orr developed an innovative approach to cancer research, testing new drug compounds using live cells from patients with a device that resembles a Lego. Gevaert and Orr’s “3DKUBE,” a cell cultured plasticware, creates a 3Dmodel of patient cells that allows researchers to study the growth of the cells in a cultured environment that mimics the conditions of the human body. The process is designed to produce more relevant data on drug safety and efficacy, and determine which drugs are most effective for treating cancer patients. To expand use of this technology, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded a $295,000 Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to Matthew and David’s company KIYATEC to develop a 3D model specifically for breast cancer patients. The company plans to eventually use the model to more accurately predict a patient’s response to certain drugs for lung and brain cancer.