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 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 …

Genius MIT researchers propose feeding bacteria to fight infections

No, this is not a joke. Well, the “genius” part is, but the “feeding bacteria to fight infections” is not. I saw this press release in IDSA’s Twitter feed. I read it and wondered anew at the reality disconnect between academic research and clinical application. The gist of the story is that non-growing bacteria are 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 …

What is the potential of antivirulence antimicrobial therapy?

The most likely future for antivirulence therapies is that they become adjuncts rather than alternatives to antibiotic therapy. That’s the case for one of the first modern antivirulence therapies, bezlotoxumab (Zinplava) for prevention of recurrent C. difficile infections. Bezlotoxumab targets one of the toxins produced by C. diff, rather than the bug itself. It was shown to lower the recurrence Read More …