Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Apr. 3, 2014

Gene therapy's big comeback
Elliott Sigal earned a reputation at Bristol-Myers Squibb as one of the drug industry's best research chiefs. His bets on risky technologies like cancer immunotherapy and new types of diabetes drugs helped Bristol turn from a laggard into a growth stock. But there was one technology he wouldn't touch: gene therapy, which tries to use engineered viruses to defeat disease at the DNA level. More

Obesity linked to genetics
Thinking of carbohydrates, many people immediately picture bread, potatoes and pasta, but carbs come in many healthy forms — whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Carbs are a necessary part of the diet and provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy. More

Ancient virus DNA gives stem cells the power to transform
National Geographic
A virus that invaded the genomes of humanity's ancestors millions of years ago now plays a critical role in the embryonic stem cells from which all cells in the human body derive, new research shows. The discovery sheds light on the role viruses play in human evolution and could help scientists better understand how to use stem cells in advanced therapies or even how to convert normal cells into stem cells.More

Personalized medicine requires data infrastructure, expertise
Algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning increasingly will be central to personalized medicine, outlining the need for talented biocomputing and bioinformatic human expertise, writes Eric Topol, M.D., in an article at Cell. Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, discusses how genetics will be used in varying ways from preconception and throughout a patient's life. More

Patients can now choose not to know their own DNA secrets
Scientific American
In 2030, Joe Johnson goes to the doctor with vision problems. The doctor does what doctors in 2030 do for almost any ailment: she runs a full scan of the patient's genome. The test gives the doctor crucial information she needs to understand Joe's troubles — and then some. When Joe gets his lab report back his doctor discovers Joe has about an 80 percent chance of developing colorectal cancer.More

Is gender a drug safety issue in the era of personalized medicine?
In January 2013, FDA told manufacturers to lower the dose of zolpidem, the insomnia treatment, for women, and suggested a 10 milligrams to 5 milligrams for immediate-release products (Ambien, Edluar, and Zolpimist) and from 12.5 milligrams to 6.25 milligrams for extended-release products (Ambien CR). That was based on evidence the drug is metabolized more slowly in women, which makes the side effect of next-day impairment more likely in women than men.More

Stem cell scientist guilty of falsifying data
Haruko Obokata, a stem-cell scientist at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, has been found guilty of misconduct by a committee of investigators led by her own government-funded institute after other researchers questioned the findings.More

Research report on global UCB stem cell market
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Stem Cell Umbilical Cord Blood Market — Size, Share, Global Trends, Analysis, Opportunities, Growth, Intelligence and Forecast to 2020" report to their offering. The study observed that the global umbilical cord blood stem cell market is forecasted to reach market value over $11.5 billion in 2014 from $6.5 billion in 2012. More

Mobile health market poised for growth, despite obstacles
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
The biggest challenges to widespread mobile health adoption in the U.S. are reimbursement and lack of regulatory clarification. But despite these challenges, the mobile health industry is expected to experience tremendous growth over the next few years and address many of the disparities plaguing healthcare in the U.S. This is according to a new report that looked at the mobile health market in both the U.S. and China. It found that despite the challenges the mobile health industry faces in both countries, together they will account for more than one-third of the entire world market by 2017.More

Technology, smartphones will shape healthcare's future
Many people hold the future of healthcare in their hands — or in their pockets. Smartphone technology, social media and data mining will drive change and shift the future of healthcare, said Wellpoint, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish, the Malcolm T. MacEachern Memorial Lecturer at the American College of Healthcare Executives Congress in Chicago. More

Becoming cyborgs: Wearable tech disrupts healthcare
Health and healthcare have typically been a personal relationship between doctors and patients — kept private and behind closed doors. More recently, however, healthcare is being opened up by technology. Medical questions are crowdsourced, records are electronic and doctors are connected directly with their patients &mdahs; before, during, after and sometimes instead of a visit to the office.More

Gene therapy's big comeback
Elliott Sigal earned a reputation at Bristol-Myers Squibb as one of the drug industry's best research chiefs.More

1st stem cell study of bipolar disorder offers hope for better treatments
Fox News
When it comes to understanding bipolar disorder, many questions remain unanswered &mdahs; such as what truly causes the condition and why finding proper treatments is so difficult.More

How your genes help you become a good parent
Or a bad one, for that matter. A new study suggests both genetic and environmental factors determine how a parent is likely to raise a child, both positively and negatively.More

Affordable Care Act's deadline day arrives — now what?
By Ross Lancaster
March 31 marks the last day of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's controversial and signature domestic policy achievement. Despite the well-publicized deadline, the White House has announced that those who have started the application process on will be granted an extension to complete the process. With a flood of last-minute applications, the day started out as something of a microcosm for the often-maligned law's rollout.More

Obamacare has led to health coverage for millions more people
Los Angeles Times
President Barack Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. More

FDA approves Biogen Idec treatment for hemophilia B
The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Biogen Idec Inc. treatment for hemophilia B, a largely inherited disorder that is the second-most common type of hemophilia. The investigational treatment—called Alprolix—won Canadian approval earlier this month. Alprolix is also under review by regulatory authorities in several other markets, including Japan and Australia.More

Alimera makes 4th bid for eye treatment approval from FDA
Alimera Sciences Inc. said it has applied a fourth time for U.S. regulatory approval to start selling an eye implant that delivers a drug to treat a form of blindness in diabetes patients. Alimera said it had provided a safety update and responded to questions the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised in October, when it rejected marketing approval for the treatment for a third time.More