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Archive - Jul 2015

Exosome Market Dynamics Report Published by GEN

“Exosome Market Dynamics, Part 1” produced by Select Biosciences was published on June 22, 2015 by Genetic Engineering &Technology News (GEN). Authored by Enal Razvi, Ph.D., and Gary Oosta, Ph.D., this report represents the first of three reports on the exosome marketplace that GEN plans on publishing. This first report is the Select Biosciences industry analysis on exosomes, focusing on the technology trends and evolution of this field. The report describes the penetrance of different technologies into the exosomes space and frame this into the overall evolution of this field—indeed, the utilization of different technology platforms foretells the expansion of specific segments—e.g., RNA cargo analysis vs protein cargo analysis derived from exosomes. In GEN’s belief, these data frame the big picture of the exosomes field. In the next report on this topic, GEN will be exploring the specific biomarkers that have been studied in exosomes/extracellular vesicles thus far. The entire report can be accessed at the link provided below. With regard to the authors, Enal Razvi, Ph.D., conducted his doctoral work on viral immunology and, subsequent to receiving his Ph.D., went on to the Rockefeller University in New York to serve as Aaron Diamond Post-Doctoral fellow under Professor Ralph Steinman (Nobel Prize Winner in 2011 for his discovery of dendritic cells in the early-70s with Dr. Zanvil Cohn). Subsequently, Dr. Razvi completed his research fellowship at Harvard Medical School. For the last two decades Dr. Razvi has worked with small and large companies and consulted for more than 100 clients worldwide. He currently serves as Biotechnology Analyst and Managing Director of SelectBio U.S. He can be reached at enal@selectbio.us. Gary M. Oosta holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A.

Possible Prevention and Treatment Developed for Deadly, Virus-Caused Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS); Partially Humanized Mouse Model Used in Study

As the South Korean epidemic of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) continues unabated, researchers have raced to find treatments for the deadly virus, which has killed more than 400 people since it was first discovered three years ago in Saudi Arabia. Now, scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., have discovered and validated two therapeutics that show early promise in preventing and treating the disease, which can cause severe respiratory symptoms, and has a death rate of 40 percent. These therapeutics are the first to succeed in protecting and treating animal models of the MERS virus. The study was published on June 29, 2015 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). "While early, this is very exciting, and has real potential to help MERS patients," says a lead researcher on the study, Matthew B. Frieman, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM). "We hope that clinical study will progress on these two antibodies to see whether they can eventually be used to help humans infected with the virus." The two antibodies, REGN3051 and REGN3048, showed an ability to neutralize the virus. This research, done in collaboration with Regeneron, a biopharmaceutical company based in Tarrytown, New York, used several of the company's proprietary technologies to search for and validate effective antibodies targeting the virus. MERS was first discovered in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. It appears that the disease spread to humans from camels, who may themselves have been infected by bats. Research has shown that MERS is similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS); both are caused by Coronaviruses, both cause respiratory problems, and both are often fatal.

Recurrent Depression Associated with Smaller Hippocampus In Large Global Study

The brains of people with recurrent depression have a significantly smaller hippocampus - the part of the brain most associated with forming new memories - than healthy individuals, a new global study of nearly 9,000 people reveals. Published on June 30, 2015 in an open-access article Molecular Psychiatry, the ENIGMA study is co-authored by University of Sydney scholars in Australia at the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI). The article is titled “Subcortical Brain Alterations in Major Depressive Disorder: Findings from the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder Working Group.” The research is the largest international study to compare brain volumes in people with and without major depression. It highlights the need to identify and treat depression effectively when it first occurs, particularly among teenagers and young adults. Using magnetic resonance imaged (MRI) brain scans, and clinical data from 1,728 people with major depression and 7,199 healthy individuals, the study combined 15 datasets from Europe, the USA, and Australia. Major depression is a common condition affecting at least one in six people during their lifetimes. It is a serious clinical mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, frustration, loss, or anger interfere with a person's everyday life for weeks, months, or years at a time. The key finding of the new study that people with major depression have a smaller hippocampus confirms earlier clinical work conducted at the BMRI. In this study, the key finding was largely explained by subjects with recurrent depression. People with recurrent depression represented 65 per cent of study subjects with major depression.