Cancer immunotherapy combination trials and a failure of the free market

What happens when commercial interests do not align? Over a decade ago in 2002 when Novartis announced it was moving its global headquarters to Boston MA, it was viewed at the time that the United State’s pharmaceutical market was the most robust and attractive, and it made sense for Novartis […]

PD-L1 Immunotherapy

Cancer immunotherapy and a clinical trial dilemma

There is a numbers problem, and a biomarker one as well. Annually the worldwide cancer drug market is on the order of $110 Billion, and individual immuno-oncology drugs cost the US healthcare system on the order of $100K to $150K per year. With such large financial incentives, there are currently over 900 […]

The immune system and cancer immunotherapy

A ‘gold rush’ multi-billion dollar business, three targets, four cancer drugs, four antibody-based companion diagnostic tests, sixteen FDA approvals The human immune system is remarkable. When you think about the preponderance of death by infectious disease throughout history, the top two causes of death in 1900 was influenza and pneumonia, […]

Exponential technologies and electronic DNA detection

We are living in a world of exponential technologies, and genomics is one of several where expectations are not set at something 30% better or cheaper or faster, but 300% within the space of a few years. The term ‘exponential’ is starting to gain traction in the general public; here […]

Biological Dynamics – An Electronic cfDNA Detection Platform

While at the CHI Molecular Tri-Conference a few weeks ago, you can learn first-hand what you may have heard in passing but due to constraints of time had not had the chance to look into more deeply. Biological Dynamics is one such company; a colleague at SeraCare told me briefly […]

A handheld single-molecule diagnostic platform Two Pore Guys

One of the long-held goals for molecular testing of any sort (from testing the food supply for food-borne illness, to livestock health, to forensic testing, to testing for infectious disease, to screening for cancer) is to obtain inexpensive results without a lot of expensive equipment. The latest effort at ‘point-of-care’ […]

Bionano Genomics goes human-genome scale

A while back I wrote about a San Diego company setting out to produce optical maps of genomes called Bionano Genomics. It was November 2012 when I saw them exhibit for the first time at the American Society for Human Genetics, held that year in San Francisco, and decided to […]

NanoString’s Hyb & Seq single-molecule sequencing platform at AGBT 2017 2

Last year at Advances in Genome Technology and Biology, NanoString’s Joe Beechem presented their proof-of-concept work around a new single-molecule sequencing technology that had fulfilled a long-lived goal going back many years: sequencing by hybridization. (By the way, if you are interested here’s a 1994 paper by Lee Hood and Rade […]