Week of Aug. 14, 2023

This week, we spotlight an increase in UK biotech funding, the approval of the first sterilization system for 3D-printed medical devices and the decline of radiation therapy in cancer treatment. We also delve into COVID-19 vaccine testing against new variants. Lastly, we examine the approval of a patient monitoring system in the U.S. that has been used in Europe with positive feedback from nurses.

Each week we highlight five things affecting the life sciences industry. Here’s the latest.

The United Kingdom Bioindustry Association’s latest report reveals a significant upswing in biotech funding during the second quarter of the year. The data indicates that both venture capital and public financing experienced a combined increase from £295 million to £382 million compared to the previous quarter. Venture capital investments surged from £258 million to £338 million, while public funding rose from £37 million to £44 million. Despite these gains, the figures remain below the remarkable funding levels of 2021, which saw a total of £2.52 billion. The report underscores the absence of new market launches and modest follow-on funding in the public markets. Nonetheless, the positive momentum, stable investment environment and forthcoming government policies are seen as promising signs for the UK’s biotech sector.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the first sterilization system specifically designed for 3D-printed devices in health care facilities. This landmark decision marks a significant advancement in the medical field, allowing for the safe and effective sterilization of 3D-printed medical equipment, thereby enhancing the potential applications and reliability of this technology in health care.

Radiation therapy, once a mainstay in cancer treatment, is experiencing a gradual reduction in use as oncologists explore less aggressive interventions. With advancements in engineered cancer-killing cells, immunotherapies, targeted drugs and better understanding of tumors, clinicians are increasingly omitting or de-escalating radiation for certain low-risk or early-stage cancers. This shift reflects a broader trend in oncology to balance the effects of treatments like radiation, chemotherapy and surgery with their efficacy. While radiation therapy will continue to play a role, especially in more advanced cancers, the focus is shifting towards reducing toxicity and long-term side effects without compromising cure rates.

Following a significant drop in COVID-19 vaccine demand, major biopharmaceutical companies are preparing to launch updated vaccines in the private market this fall. These vaccines are designed to target specific variants, including the newly dominant variant EG.5, also known as Eris. While the companies await FDA approval for the tweaked vaccines, they are also conducting studies to test their effectiveness against Eris. The upcoming launch is seen as a critical moment for these companies, especially after recent sales declines.

GE Healthcare has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its Portrait Mobile patient monitoring system, allowing its use in U.S. hospitals. The system, already approved in Europe, consists of wearable sensors that continuously collect vital sign data from hospitalized patients and wirelessly transmit it to a smartphone-like monitor. This real-time monitoring enables clinicians to track changes in the patient’s health and detect signs of deterioration early. The wireless design allows patients to move freely, aiding in recovery. A 2021 study in a London hospital found that 99% of surveyed nurses agreed the system could help detect patient deterioration earlier, and 96% rated the tool as “good” or “very good.”

Get more life sciences insights in our industry outlook.

Source link: https://realeconomy.rsmus.com/5-things-to-know-in-life-sciences-week-of-aug-14-2023/ by Justin Culbertson at realeconomy.rsmus.com