Try as we might, we can’t cover all the fascinating biotech news that is out there. Here’s a roundup of what didn’t make the cut over the last couple of weeks. 

Clinical trials

  • Bayer, the partner of the German biotech Evotec, reports that the partners’ small molecule drug has reduced coughing episodes in patients with chronic cough in a phase IIa trial.
  • A small molecule developed by Janssen in partnership with the Swiss biotech Idorsia reduced the amount of relapses experienced by patients with multiple sclerosis in a phase III trial.
  • A group of five patients with age-related macular degeneration were able to identify letters 12 months after using a bionic eye implant and augmented reality glasses developed by the French company Pixium Vision.
  • The Swedish biotech Hamlet Pharma announced that its protein-based drug derived from breast milk has shown promise in treating bladder cancer in a phase I/II trial. 

Regulations and funding

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  • A European research consortium has received an €18M EU grant to develop new antibiotics that could kill drug-resistant strains of deadly infections such as tuberculosis.
  • The UK industrial biotech Green Biologics has been forced to close down its commercial bio-based chemical plant in the US due to a lack of funding.
  • The Swiss company InSphero announced the launch of 3D cell cultures modeling the liver disease non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This could potentially allow drug screening that models the complex condition more accurately than current preclinical tests.  

Collaborations

  • BiomX, an Israeli microbiome company, has merged with the US acquisition company Chardan Healthcare Acquisition Corp, giving BiomX further funds to develop bacteriophages to treat diseases such as cancer.

Science

  • Researchers in Switzerland have gene edited mice with CRISPR/Cas9 to cure them of deafness caused by a genetic mutation causing early deafness in humans.
  • German scientists have developed tattoos in detached pig skin able to change color in response to changing blood acidity and glucose levels, which they believe could one day lead to easy ways to monitor diabetic patients.

Images via E. Resko

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