Under a collaboration agreement, Medigene's T-cell receptor platform will be used by bluebird bio for the development of TCR cancer immunotherapy candidates for four undisclosed indications. Bluebird bio will pay an upfront fee of $15 million, milestone payments that might eclipse $1 billion, royalties on net sales, and research and development funding.
Neurobiologist Cornelia Bargmann will step down from AstraZeneca's board of directors to lead the science arm of the newly formed Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Pediatrician Priscilla Chan and her husband, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have pledged more than $3 billion to discover ways to prevent, cure or manage diseases, including through the establishment of a bioscience research center in San Francisco.
Abbott has obtained approval from the FDA for its FreeStyle Libre Pro System for use in professional continuous glucose monitoring. The system, which provides health care professionals with patient data to support clinical decision-making for diabetes management, comes with a sensor to be worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days that monitors blood glucose every 15 minutes without the need for finger-stick calibration.
Japan-based medical device firm Terumo has made an offer to buy a portion of Abbott Laboratories' medical device business, including the cardiovascular device segment, in an effort to expand its global footprint. A potential deal with Terumo could be valued at up to $1.47 billion.
Musician Grace Potter's video for the song "Look What We've Become" was filmed in collaboration with NASA's Johnson Space Center and features women working in Mission Control and on ground experiments, floating in space aboard the International Space Station, training in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab and preparing for launch. "NASA's goal with this video is to inspire young women everywhere to plot a course for a career in science, technology, engineering and math, and then stay on that trajectory, no matter the challenges, and become a part of something historic," NASA said in a statement.
Fires burning for more than 50 years in coal seams beneath now-abandoned Centralia, Pa., may be a goldmine for scientists such as Ashley Shade, who studies the evolution of microbes. She found that microbial communities are resilient in the inhospitable landscape, and she suspects that certain bacteria lay dormant as spores until the right conditions allow them to flourish. The findings suggest the aftermath of fires might be a source of rare microbes, including some that could yield potential antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents.
Yale University graduate Olivia Pavco-Giaccia raised money through a Kickstarter campaign to start LabCandy, a company that sells colorful lab coats, bedazzled goggles and female-led storybooks to encourage young girls to get involved in science. She credits her mentors with giving her the confidence to pursue her goals.
Bioengineer Rebecca Richards-Kortum, director of Rice University's Institute for Global Health, won a MacArthur genius grant for her efforts to invent durable, inexpensive diagnostic equipment for the poorest regions of the world. She and her team have already developed a high-resolution microscopic endoscope that allows analysis of cervical tissue at the point of care and fluorescent dyes that indicate oral cancer.
Twenty female leaders in Australia's STEM fields recently collaborated on potential solutions to the problem of women leaving science careers early. The group agreed on three broad ideas: set up women for success at the outset of their careers; engage the team, or "tribe," in supporting women; and promote based on trust of merit, not proof involving biased metrics.
The Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis has created a Bloodless Surgery and Medicine Program, developed in part from research involving patients who are Jehovah's Witnesses. The program includes an electronic records system firewall that bars orders for donated blood products for patients who have refused them, and instead offers alternatives such as drugs that stimulate blood production.
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