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 …

Will human immunity to Cas9 make CRISPR useless?

This paper shows that a large fraction of humans have antibodies agains Cas9. This is not a surprise. Why? Because Cas9 is a bacterial protein, and its common bacterial sources (Staph and Strep) colonize or infect most humans at some point in their lives. Even though Cas9 is an intracellular protein, lysis of bacterial cells or Read More …

Which countries put the highest value on human life and health?

Relatively few countries set an explicit Quality-Adusted Life-Year (QALY) value  the way that the UK does – and even there, it is a guideline (about $40K), not a hard and fast number. The World Health Organization does, however, suggest that the cost-effective level of a QALY should be 1–3X the per-capita GDP of a given Read More …