Ludwig scientists develop robust method to refine personalized cancer immunotherapy

Medical News | October 14, 2019

Ludwig Cancer Research scientists have developed a new and more accurate method to identify the molecular signs of cancer likely to be presented to helper T cells, which stimulate and orchestrate the immune response to tumors and infectious agents. The study, led by David Gfeller and Michal Bassani-Sternberg of the Lausanne Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, is reported in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology. The new method combines two powerful new technologies. One is a mass spectrometry technology developed by Bassani-Sternberg's lab to rapidly and inexpensively obtain the amino acid sequences of thousands of peptide antigens-;or protein fragments-;bound to a molecular complex known as HLA that is expressed on the surface of cells. The other is a novel computational tool developed in Gfeller's lab that is based on machine learning, the computational approach that powers face-recognition software, among other things.

Spotlight

Smart machines are reinventing how work is done across industries. Companies across sectors and regions are seeing an initial boost in process speed and performance by implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. However, there is significant untapped potential in reimagining business processes from the ground up as self-improving procedures that can sense, comprehend, act and learn—all in real time.


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MEDICAL DEVICES

Carestream Health Unveils New X-ray Detectors, Enhanced X-ray Rooms at World’s Largest Radiology Exhibition

Carestream Health | November 29, 2022

Carestream’s legacy of delivering quality medical imaging technology continues with the launch of new digital X-ray detectors that help improve clinical outcomes, while enhancements to its existing product portfolio reflect the company’s deep understanding of the radiology profession. At the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, the company is displaying its expanding portfolio of medical imaging systems that provide quantifiable benefits to healthcare organizations and their patients, including New Carestream Focus HD 35 and Focus HD 43 detectors that offer higher resolution with a 100 micron pixel pitch that allows for image magnification for better visibility of small objects and microstructures. The detectors’ Cesium (CsI) scintillator is ideal for dose-sensitive pediatric patients; and the detectors have an IP56 rating for better protection against dust and fluid ingress. Next generation of long-length imaging, the Carestream DRX-LC Detector (INVESTIGATIONAL – NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SALE) captures long-bone and spine images with a single exposure, making it ideal for pediatric imaging and long-bone and spine images of people with limited mobility. In contrast, the traditional multi-shot approach requires three to five exposures followed by manipulation and stitching of the images. The new detector is designed to capture the full image in a single exposure to minimize dose and mitigate motion artifact that can appear from patient movement with a multi-shot exam. The DRX-LC Detector is designed with X-Factor so the detector can be shared across different Carestream X-ray systems and is compatible with both rooms and mobile units. Enhancements to the Carestream DRX-Evolution Plus that provide improved patient comfort and a better ergonomic experience along with improved workflow for the radiographer. Its new tabletop design eliminates rails that can cause strain and discomfort for both radiographer and patient, enabling patients to be moved more smoothly and with less effort to the exam table. New features in the Carestream DRX-Excel Plus provide a better staff experience with faster workflow and better diagnostic image quality. Designed specifically for large and mid-size hospitals and medical centers, this innovative system combines fluoroscopy and general radiology capabilities in one compact unit. It delivers accelerated workflow, high-resolution images and a wide range of patient exam options. “Our commitment to quickly respond to the needs of the radiology community with ideas that clearly work is as strong as ever, and we are solidly positioned to continue developing solutions that have quantifiable benefits to our customers and their patients. Organizations can have complete confidence in our ability to provide high-value technology that helps lower costs, and improves imaging workflow for radiology departments, technologists and other healthcare professionals—all with the goal of improving patient care.” David C. Westgate, Chairman, President and CEO of Carestream About Carestream Health Carestream is a worldwide provider of medical imaging systems; X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing; and precision contract coating services for a wide range of industrial, medical, electronic and other applications—all backed by a global service and support network.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Study Reveals Florence Healthcare’s Site Enablement Platforms Can Accelerate Clinical Trials by Six Weeks and Reduce Costs by Over $1M per Study

Florence Healthcare | November 18, 2022

Florence Healthcare™, a clinical research technology company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, announced the completion of a year-long third-party study on the impact of Site Enablement Platforms™ on clinical research timelines and costs. The study by Marketcap Consulting is the first to compare how traditional site management approaches differ from site-first Site Enablement Platforms. The study looked at the impact of traditional sponsor portals and new Site Enablement Platforms on research sponsor and Contract Research Organization study timelines and budgets. “Pharma sponsors and CROs realize the importance of enabling sites to do their best work - but only recently have they discovered that traditional site portals are more hindrance than help. Yet, these organizations weren't able to measure the true impact of switching to a Site Enablement Platform. This year-long study aimed to fix that and highlight how linking fragmented workflows accelerates the full lifecycle of clinical trials.” Ryan Jones, CEO of Florence Healthcare Site enablement is a new technology category that prioritizes the needs of the site, a major shift from past technology that only looked at the experience of the sponsor. These platforms, including Florence Healthcare’s SiteLink™, insist on ease-of-use and ease-of-setup for the site, quality support, and simplified integrations. SiteLink works in conjunction with eBinders™, an electronic Investigator Site File solution used by over 12,000 research sites in 45 countries. About the Study Marketcap Consulting conducted interviews with clinical research operations leaders harnessing SiteLink, examined timelines and study costs, and analyzed the impact across the sites in the study. On average, the team found that SiteLink accelerated study start-up by four weeks and study close-out by two weeks at every site. For a 50-site study, this six-week acceleration reduced cash burn by one million dollars. “We can see a clear positive impact on study timelines and cash burn when research sponsors and CROs implement Site Enablement Platforms,” said Joel White, founder of Marketcap Consulting. “This early study reveals that by enabling sites to do their best work, the clinical research industry unlocks value across the full research cycle.” “While the financial impact of switching to SiteLink makes investing in site enablement an easy choice for sponsors and CROs, it’s really the acceleration of studies that gets our team at Florence Healthcare excited,” said Jones. “We aim to double the output of research teams by the end of the decade, and enabling sites is the way to do it.” About Florence Healthcare Florence Healthcare’s clinical trial software helps more than 12,000 research sites in 45 countries manage their documents, data, and workflows. The Florence Healthcare™ platform also provides remote access so sponsors and Contract Research Organizations can collaborate with their sites around the world. Florence Healthcare users now perform 5.8 million remote monitoring activities each month.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Antengene Announces ATG-101 Granted Orphan Drug Designation by the U.S. FDA

Antengene Corporation Limited | September 19, 2022

Antengene Corporation Limited a leading innovative, commercial-stage global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing first-in-class and/or best-in-class medicines for hematology and oncology, announced that ATG-101, the company's in-house developed novel PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody, has been granted an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. This ODD will help Antengene facilitate regulatory communication with the FDA, accelerate the clinical development and the future registration of ATG-101. At present, no PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody has been approved for the treatment of pancreatic cancer worldwide. Orphan Drugs, also known as Rare Disease Drugs, refers to pharmaceutical products developed for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of rare diseases or conditions. Orphan Drug Designations by the U.S. FDA are meant to support the development of drug candidates that could potentially bring substantial therapeutic benefits to patients with rare diseases and to provide incentives to the subsequent development, registration and commercialization to designated drugs. Those incentives include tax credit on expenditures incurred in clinical studies, a waiver of the New Drug Application (NDA) fee, and 7-year market exclusivity in the U.S. regardless of the patent status of the designated drug. Pancreatic cancer is a highly malignant type of gastrointestinal cancer. According to the statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), pancreatic cancer was ranked 13th and 7th globally by its incidence and mortality rates in 2012. In 2018, the U.S. reported over 55,000 newly- diagnosed pancreatic cancer cases and 44,330 related deaths. Whereas still defined as an orphan disease currently, it is projected that by 2030, pancreatic cancer will become the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths. ATG-101 is a novel PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody that was designed to block the binding of immunosuppressive PD-1/PD-L1 and conditionally induce 4-1BB stimulation, thus activating anti-tumor immune effectors, while delivering enhanced anti-tumor activity, with an improved safety profile. In preclinical studies, ATG-101 demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity in animal models of resistant tumors as well as those that had progressed on anti-PD-1/L1 treatment. Furthermore, ATG-101 has also shown an excellent safety profile in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) toxicology studies. ATG-101 is the first PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody entering clinical development in Australia and is currently being evaluated in clinical studies in Australia, China, and the U.S. "We are very encouraged by this Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. FDA and are hopeful that ATG-101 will offer a novel therapeutic to patients with pancreatic cancer. As Antengene's first in-house developed asset with global rights, ATG-101 has already entered clinical development in Australia, China, and the U.S. We will strive to accelerate the global clinical development of ATG-101 in efforts to provide a new treatment option to patients around the world." Dr. Bo Shan, Antengene's Chief Scientific Officer About Antengene Antengene Corporation Limited ("Antengene", SEHK: 6996.HK) is a leading commercial-stage R&D-driven global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, manufacturing and commercialization of innovative first-in-class/best-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, in realizing its vision of "Treating Patients Beyond Borders". Since 2017, Antengene has built a broad and expanding pipeline of 15 clinical and preclinical assets, of which 10 are global rights assets, and 5 came with rights for Asia Pacific markets including the Greater China region. To date, Antengene has obtained 24 investigational new drug (IND) approvals in the U.S. and Asia, and submitted 6 new drug applications (NDAs) in multiple Asia Pacific markets, with the NDA for XPOVIO® already approved in mainland China, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Athlete Training and Health Expands with New Facilities, Team Members

Athlete | September 27, 2022

Whether for active adults or Olympians, Athlete Training and Health (ATH) encourages its athletes to strive for their own personal best. ATH is raising its own bar on community health and performance training once again, with the announcement of two new facilities in the Houston area and the addition of another world-renowned coach to its executive staff. “What we know is that evidence-led training allows everyone to benefit from the science behind the best in health and performance. Expanding and offering this world-class environment and approach will benefit athletes of all ages and abilities. We are pleased to collaborate with healthcare systems, professional sports teams, universities and school districts to continue pursuing a new level of health and performance training for many communities.” Greg Centilli, chief operating officer for ATH and a recent addition to the growing ATH organization Construction has begun on a new ATH sports medicine and human performance facility in Pearland. Located on the Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital campus at 16100 South Freeway, the roughly 13K-square-foot facility will house unparalleled human performance expertise and opportunities to train in an adult fitness space, a professional sport-style weight room, and on indoor and outdoor turf fields. The facility, a collaboration between ATH, Memorial Hermann and UT Physicians Orthopedics, is expected to open fall 2023. Also in the works is an ATH facility in Cypress, also in collaboration with Memorial Hermann. On the campus of Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital at 27800 Highway 290, ATH will open and operate a roughly 13K-square-foot facility in 2024. At this location, student, collegiate, professional and adult athletes will find the expertise needed to up their game on their own performance. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Professor Cronin to ATH. His science-based expertise and educational experience, alongside his international standing, will help educate investors and the general markets on the significance and industry importance of ATH-led initiatives,” said Centilli. Cronin serves as professor of strength and conditioning at the Sports Performance Research Institute of New Zealand (SPRINZ) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). His research interests are in human movement, particularly around strengthening of muscle, injury resistance, return to play and high-performance sports. Cronin’s research has been published in more than 400 peer-reviewed papers. AUT and ATH have a long-standing history. Post-graduate fellows from AUT conduct research at ATH as part of a team involving coaches and select students, as well as collaborate on sport technology development. “I know the organization well, and my research interests and expertise align well with ATH’s interest in sporting performance and allied health, so I’m very excited to be advising ATH about the latest science-based studies and learnings to support their people, programs and products,” Cronin said. Celebrating Wins While its clients celebrate personal victories, ATH celebrates industry wins. Readers of Living Magazine recently voted ATH the “2022 Best Health Club/Gym” winner in McKinney/Allen and in Katy/Fulshear via an annual award competition that allows readers to nominate and then vote for their favorite companies by category and market. ATH also was honored to be named a “2022 Neighborhood Favorite” in NextDoor’s annual celebration of local businesses, and a finalist for “2022 Best Gym/Fitness Center in Houston” by readers of Houston Chronicle in an annual awards competition voted on by Houstonians. “While it’s important for us to acknowledge the hard work of our coaches and staff who make awards like these possible, it’s our job to continuously raise the bar, so we consider this just the beginning,” noted Centilli. “We are excited about what we have accomplished and are even more excited for the developments ahead.” Whether it’s losing the pandemic pounds, living in a healthier body, or even reaching the pinnacle of your sport, the certified, experienced sports performance experts at ATH have the expertise and a program tailored just for you. ABOUT ATHLETE TRAINING AND HEALTH (ATH) ATH is more than a gym. It’s a place of community, inspiration and results. ATH provides award-winning adult fitness and sports performance training for youth, collegiate and professional athletes. ATH utilizes best practices from human performance research to provide a world-class training environment for athletes and adults of all fitness levels collaborating with hospitals, professional sports teams, universities and school districts to set new standards for health and performance training. ATH invests heavily in the post-graduate education of its performance coaches, who in turn develop evidence-led training programs guaranteed to deliver sustainable results. ATH currently operates two training centers in the Houston metro area and one in Allen, north of DFW.

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Spotlight

Smart machines are reinventing how work is done across industries. Companies across sectors and regions are seeing an initial boost in process speed and performance by implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. However, there is significant untapped potential in reimagining business processes from the ground up as self-improving procedures that can sense, comprehend, act and learn—all in real time.

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