Science Matters: Welcome To The Oncobiome
A new publication offers up proof of concept that the genetic signatures of microorganisms found in blood and tumor tissue could improve precision medicine cancer diagnostics. The study also bolsters the notion that targeting the microbiome could lead to innovative cancer therapies.
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Former Ignyta executive Zachary Hornby wasn't wowed by immuno-oncology pitches when looking for his next cancer drug development company, but was intrigued by ecDNA research at UCSD, which also could generate a tumor agnostic approach.
The 2021 collaboration between Abbvie and Regenxbio to develop an anti-VEGF gene therapy for chronic retinal diseases is a noteworthy deal in the gene therapy space. But for both clinical and commercial reasons, it is a one-off opportunity and not an indicator of the overall potential of gene therapies to address eye diseases. Interest in optogenetics, however, which is the introduction of light-sensing genes into cells in the eye to restore vison, may be on the rise.
Brazil has established an accelerated pathway for approval of drugs for ultra-rare diseases, encouraging development activity – but the definition of qualifying drugs is narrow. Expansion to include more treatments could boost clinical trials activity and companies’ overall development presence.