The Danish government has appointed the BioInnovation Institute (BII) in Copenhagen as the site for a new project to support entrepreneurs involved in quantum science research. The initiative adds a new dimension to the institute, which was created in 2017 to advance research and enterprise in the life science industry. The institute was started by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, an independent charity which owns Novo Holdings A/S, the majority shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S.
Research & University News
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) of Ghana has approved a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, UK, to prevent malaria – the first regulatory clearance for the product globally. The vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, is a subunit vaccine made up of a protein secreted by the malaria parasite and fused to a fragment of the hepatitis B virus. It is delivered alongside a plant-based adjuvant that enhances a person’s immune response. The adjuvant was developed by Novavax Inc of the US.
The UK medical research charity, LifeArc, is one of three donors of a £1 million award to researchers at University College London, UK, who are pioneering new therapies for motor neuron disease. This is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord resulting in a person’s loss of voluntary movement. The two other donors are the Motor Neuron Disease Association and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
Cancer Research Horizons, a division of the UK charity Cancer Research UK, is to work with the Karolinska Institutet over the next five years to identify new opportunities for cancer treatments and move these projects forward through industrial partnerships.
Better treatments for ischaemic stroke have come a step closer thanks to research presented at the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC 2022) in Lyon, France in May. It has been appreciated for some time that there is a link between the intestinal microbiome and neurological development and aging, and some studies have suggested that impaired intestinal microflora can be a risk factor for stroke. Equally, an ischaemic stroke is believed to alter the composition on the intestinal microflora.
The European Commission has created a web portal for researchers based in Ukraine as well as those who have left the country through which they can find employment, locate housing and gain recognition of their academic credentials by institutions across the EU. The ERA4Unraine portal connects more than 600 centres and 43 national portals across the union as well as countries that are not members of the EU but participate in the Horizon European research programme. The information is in English and will soon be available in Ukrainian as well.
A woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and subsequently developed acute myeloid leukaemia, has reportedly seen her HIV go into remission four years after receiving a transplant of stem cells obtained from an infant’s umbilical cord blood. The case, reported by US media on 15 February, was described by scientists at the annual meeting of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection. It is the third time a patient with HIV has been reportedly cured of an HIV infection.
Hal Barron, the chief scientific officer at GlaxoSmithKline Plc, is to become chief executive of a new regenerative medicine company that will seek to understand the process of cellular rejuvenation with the goal of slowing or even reversing the effects of disease. The company, Altos Labs Inc, will combine basic science with translational medicine across two institutes in the US and one in the UK. It is being launched with $3 billion of start-up capital, according to a statement issued on 19 January.
A new study by researchers from the University of Oxford has shown that the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has the potential to increase infections among the population, including individuals who have already been vaccinated. However there is no evidence thus far that the variant can cause severe disease, hospitalisation or deaths in vaccinated populations.
A venture capital company backed by Swedish and Danish institutions has closed its first fund at €122.3 million. Designed to support promising life science companies in the Nordic region, Eir Ventures I AB has already invested in nine companies, two of which have completed initial public offerings (IPOs) on the US Nasdaq market.