Week of July 31, 2023

This week we spotlight a groundbreaking wearable ultrasound scanner, the invention of a tiny tentacled robot for potential early lung cancer detection, as well as the appointment of a new director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Additionally, we look at the approval of a naloxone nasal spray for over-the-counter use and an experimental Alzheimer’s vaccine that shows promise.

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

Researchers have created a wearable ultrasound scanner that attaches to a bra using magnets, enabling frequent at-home breast tissue imaging. The device aims to detect breast cancer earlier, especially in high-risk patients, potentially improving survival rates. The scanner offers image resolution comparable to medical imaging center probes capable of reaching a depth of up to 8 centimeters. The researchers are also developing a smartphone-sized version for home use. The device targets interval cancers, which are tumors that develop between scheduled mammograms. Researchers are working to enhance image resolution and accuracy for better breast abnormality detection. Plans involve artificial intelligence analysis and exploring adaptations for other body parts.

Researchers have developed a tiny tentacled robot measuring 2 millimeters designed to explore deep into the lungs for potential early detection of lung cancer. Doctors can control the robot externally using magnets, allowing for a more precise and potentially less invasive approach to diagnosing and treating lung tumors. While tests on a deceased body showed the robot’s ability to reach 37% deeper than conventional equipment, it’s essential to note that the technology is still in the early stages of development. Further research and human trials are required to validate its effectiveness in real medical scenarios. Despite its potential, the robot’s application in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment is yet to be fully proven.

The National Institutes of Health has announced the appointment of Dr. Jeanne M. Marrazzo as the new director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Currently serving as the director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Marrazzo is expected to assume her new role in the fall. She brings a wealth of leadership experience from her previous roles, including leading international clinical trials, translational research and managing complex organizational budgets. As the NIAID director, she will oversee a budget of $6.3 billion, supporting research to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases.

The Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for ReVive, a naloxone hydrochloric nasal spray to be sold over-the-counter without a prescription. ReVive is manufactured by Harm Reduction Therapeutics Inc., the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company to receive FDA approval for a naloxone nasal spray. The approval was based on a study that demonstrated ReVive’s effectiveness was like that of a prescription naloxone product. The nasal spray will be available early next year to harm reduction organizations and state governments at lower costs compared to other opioid antagonist nasal sprays.

An experimental vaccine aimed at slowing down or preventing Alzheimer’s disease progression, has shown promising early results in mice. The vaccine targets the senescence-associated glycoprotein (SAGP) found in senescent cells that trigger inflammation. Mice engineered with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms received the SAGP vaccine and showed fewer amyloid plaques, reduced brain inflammation, and improvement in behavior and awareness. The vaccine also targeted specialized brain cells called microglia, suggesting it could control inflammation and repair deficits in Alzheimer’s disease. Although the findings are yet to be peer-reviewed, the study provides hope for potential future treatments for Alzheimer’s in humans.

Get more life sciences insights in our industry outlook.

Source link: https://realeconomy.rsmus.com/5-things-to-know-in-life-sciences-week-of-july-31-2023/ by Justin Culbertson at realeconomy.rsmus.com