How do you prevent development of antibiotic resistance when suffering from tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis bacilli grow slowly, and grow inside human cells[1] . Slow growth tends to make bacteria intrinsically less susceptible to antibiotics, and being inside a host cell makes it more difficult to achieve a high, therapeutically-effective dose of an antibiotic. To add to the challenge, resistance to some of the most effective anti-TB antibiotics (like rifampin) Read More …

How do you find an investor for a biotech company that reverses damages of aging at a cellular level (requires 100 million)?

The first thing you need is a story. The story has many chapters – about technology, about your team, about clinical utility, about intellectual property, about risks – but it has to have a certain ending. That ending is one in which investors make a 10X return on their investment. At least. Few early-stage investors Read More …

Is it true that drug price regulation would be as bad as Mao’s Great Leap Forward?

“True” is far too strong a word. But the estimate is neither ridiculous nor a troll, despite the use of such an inflammatory comparator. The argument is simple – a cited RAND study estimates the disincentivization to pharma R&D of drug price regulation would end up costing the average North American or European of ages 55–65 about 0.7 year Read More …

How does CancerSEEK compare to other liquid biopsies?

This work[1] blows away previous efforts. The word “breakthrough” is used far too often to describe results that are incremental, or that are promising but not well-supported. CancerSEEK is a genuine breakthrough. The gold standard for cancer diagnosis is the biopsy – a bit of suspect tissue is excised and studied, and determined to be benign Read More …

How is Trump reducing the cost of drugs?

He’s reducing the cost of drugs the same way he is responding to the opioid epidemic: by saying whatever sounds good at the moment and then ignoring the problem. As with all policy issues that require more than a tweet, Trump will simply follow the lead of the Republicans in Congress. So the real question is what Read More …

Is natural genetic mutation within a bacteria within an infected host the most likely origin of an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria?

As with all things biological, it depends. Some antibiotics, like rifampicin and chloramphenicol, readily give rise to spontaneous resistance mutations. These drugs target transcription and translation, respectively, and alterations of a single nucleotide in the bacterial genome can confer resistance. Since point mutations like these arise spontaneously at about one per million bacteria, there are Read More …