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Patent Set for Long-Term Drug Capsules

Star-shaped drug delivery

Researcher Giovanni Traverso holds the star-shaped drug delivery device (Mass. Institute of Technology)

10 Dec. 2018. Techniques for delivering drugs in capsule form that last a week or longer in the patient are expected to receive a patent soon from U.S. authorities. Lyndra Therapeutics Inc. in Watertown, Massachusetts that owns the rights to the technology first developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says it received a notice of allowance — a document indicating intent to issue a patent — from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Lyndra Therapeutics develops a process for delivering drugs as capsules that dispense their contents over one week or more. Taking medications once a week or less is expected to make it easier for many people to stick to their drug regimens. Medication adherence is a continuing problem, particularly for older individuals with chronic diseases, who must take multiple medications at different times during the day. A study published in 2011 found about half of chronic disease patients do not take their medications as prescribed, which the authors attribute to a factors including lack of health literacy by patients, ineffective communication by clinicians, and care given by multiple health care providers.

The company’s technology is based on research in the MIT lab of Robert Langer, a biotechnology and materials science professor, and gastroenterologist and biomedical engineer Giovanni Traverso at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School. They devised a six-armed snowflake or star made from polycaprolactone, or PCL, a biodegradable polymer. The delivered drug is loaded on each PCL arm, held together with with a softer, rubber-like plastic. That soft middle section makes it possible to fold the arms into an ingestible capsule, with the softer plastic also degrading faster than the more rigid PCL.

After the capsule is swallowed, stomach acid breaks down the outer capsule, releasing and unfolding the drug-laden star. Tests with pigs that have digestive systems similar to humans, using a malaria drug, shows the PCL star can last as long as 2 weeks in the stomach, but also passing through the animals without affecting normal digestive processes. A more complex drug delivery task loaded 3 different antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV infections on the star that needed to release their drugs at different times. As reported by Science & Enterprise in January 2018, the polymer stars delivered the 3 drugs in pigs at different rates over a 7-day period, also with the polymer stars passing through the pigs without a problem.

Lyndra Therapeutics, a 3 year-old enterprise, is developing once-a-week oral deliveries for drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease and psychiatric disorders, both in early-stage clinical trials. Weekly oral-drug deliveries are in earlier stages for opioid use disorder, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, HIV infections, and for therapies that invoke the immune system. The company is also developing a biweekly delivery mechanism for malaria in early-stage trials and a once-a-month oral contraceptive.

The patent application was filed by MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which covers not only delivery of therapies, but also for diagnostics. A notice of allowance is considered the last step before granting a patent, indicating the USPTO fully reviewed the application and is ready for final issuance. Lyndra is the exclusive licensee of the technology.

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Companies Partner on High-Resolution 3-D Tissue Printer

Holograph-X bioprinter

Holograph-X bioprinter (Cellink)

10 Dec. 2018. Two developers of tissue engineering technologies are building a three-dimensional bioprinter that produces high resolution, finely structured human tissue, including tiny blood vessels. Financial details of the collaboration between Cellink in Gothenburg, Sweden and Prellis Biologics in San Francisco were not disclosed.

Under their agreement, Cellink plans to adapt and commercialize the Prellis Biologics technology for 3-D printing extracellular matrix, the structural component of human cells, and tiny blood vessels, or capillaries. The companies plan to market its first product, the Holograph-X bioprinter, in early 2019.

The Prellis technology uses laser holograms that put down fine layers of extracellular matrix, secretions from cells that provide structural and biochemical support, already containing cells at near instantaneous speeds. Unlike most current tissue engineering methods, the Prellis process, according to the company, does not require previous cell seeding or additional culturing to produce tissue matrix. As a result, it achieves high printing speeds, which are critical for tissue production since densely packed cells will die in less than 30 minutes unless oxygen and nutrients can be supplied immediately with blood carried through capillaries.

The company says its process also lends itself to cell encapsulation, down to the level of single cells. Prellis says it can produce encapsulated single cells in less than 5 milliseconds, and produce many cells simultaneously to increase production speeds. In addition, the company uses far-red lasers in its process that do not harm the cells during production of tissue. Prellis says it achieves high resolution as well, producing capillaries as small as 5 to 10 microns in diameter; 1 micron equals 1 millionth of a meter.

Cellink’s main business is bioprinting inks, but is also an integrator of 3-D bioprinting technologies. Cellink’s bioinks are made from a synthesized form of fibrin, a protein in blood that combines with platelets to coagulate and stop bleeding. The company extends fibrin’s capabilities into bioinks for producing a wide range of human tissue such as skin, bone, and cartilage, as well as tissue in organs including brain, kidney, liver, and intestines. The company also has inks for producing stem cells.

Cellink and Prellis Biologics are developing the Holograph-X printer for producing human tissue with blood vessels in place. The companies say the system can support tissue production 10 times the size of other technologies, including samples for drug screening and transplantation. The Holograph-X can print from a computer-assisted design, or CAD, file, enabling researchers or clinicians to first prepare a detailed map for the printer. The companies expect to price the system at $1.2 million.

Both Cellink and Prellis were founded in 2016. Prellis, as reported by Science & Enterprise, is a spin-off enterprise from University of California in San Francisco, which in September 2017 gained $1.8 million in seed funding. “We believe in the democratization of science,” says Prellis’s founder and CEO Melanie Matheu, in a joint statement. “Putting this technology into the hands of dedicated researchers is the fastest path to bring scientific advancements to the field and solutions to real people.”

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Your Bigger Business – Growing with Smarter Methods

– Contributed content –

Laptop, side view

(John Schnobrich, Unsplash)

10 Dec. 2018. The struggle to grow your business is something that many can relate to. With growing competition, particularly online, it can be tough to find a way to boost your business so that it can reach as many people as possible. Using smart tools to grow your business can be the best way forward, giving you the chance to capitalize on the things that are out there that others are already taking advantage of.

Learn about the ways you can grow your business using smarter tools.

Automate your sales calls

Automating your sales calls can make it much quicker to get through your lists and speak to more potential clients. You won’t have to manually dial, and whether you choose to record your message or speak to people directly, the process will be much quicker. You can also benefit from being able to use a local caller ID, which will make people more likely to pick up.

Make processes shorter through the cloud

The cloud is a useful tool to benefit any company, particularly if you’re a startup or a business with many remote workers. Through cloud working, you can store data easily, allowing many people to access and work with information at once. There are several ways you can use cloud working to help your business grow, and if you don’t have the resources to invest in servers, etc. the cloud computing could help you develop your business. Cloud computing can also be beneficial financially, thanks to the ability to use cloud software which is often much cheaper than local software. Software is updated automatically, which keeps your costs and maintenance straightforward and hassle-free.

Use machine learning to improve your business

Machine learning often promises to deliver extraordinary results to businesses looking to enjoy growth. A form of AI, machine learning works by improving performance using data explored. It can help you to solve a problem by working out new and improved solutions over time, and will gather and analyze data on your behalf, freeing you up for other tasks. You can learn more about machine learning via this useful link. Not all businesses have the skills or the time to analyze data and find ways to use it effectively, making machine learning a useful tool to grow your business.

Make your web site shine

Your web site is one of your business’ most valuable assets, and you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a strong website. While your original web site might have been cutting edge and relevant at the time of launch, it’s good to review and analyze your website’s performance regularly to make sure it remains competitive and worthy of a visitor’s time. You can make your web site stand out from the crowd by making your web site mobile-friendly, or even going mobile-first. Most importantly, you must provide stand-out content. Engaging, informative and entertaining content, coupled with a great-looking web site can help you make the splash needed to stand out from your competitors.

Add color and style to your promotion

How effective are your marketing efforts? If you want your business to grow and succeed, you’re going to need to invest a lot of time and energy into your promotion. Thinking outside the box to generate new ideas can help you reach different kinds of demographics, and build a growing customer base. Creative marketing ideas that will boost your business include pulling of stunts in different locations, unlikely sponsorship ideas, and involving your customers in your content creation. Dated, old-fashioned promotional methods will be unlikely to get you anywhere, so don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and try something new to make an impact.

Even those who lack design skills can create amazing visuals to help content pop. Try online tools like Canva to help you create anything from social graphics to infographics and be smarter with how you produce content.

Take the hassle out of social scheduling

How much time do you writing and publishing posts for social media? Do you often find yourself posting randomly simply to have something to say? These methods of social media marketing are difficult to keep up with and will eventually tail off – unless you do something about it.

Social scheduling using tools such as Hootsuite are a big time saver. They can help you schedule content for weeks in advance that will free up your time and ensure that accounts keep posting great content. With basic social publishing taken care of, you can use the extra time to put more effort into your posts by using better imagery and writing better copy.

Many social scheduling platforms are available on a trial or free basis, helping you to test them out to choose the right one for your social needs.

Keep an eye on top trends

If you’re going to grow your business by bringing on new customers, you’re going to need to know where to find them and how to attract them. Keeping up with consumer trends is very important for staying ahead of your competition and ensure that what you’re offering continues to appeal. Whether you choose to use social media-based tools or other types of trend analytic applications, be sure to keep your finger on the pulse.

Go virtual with your customer service

Good customer service is important for many reasons. It will make a great first impression on people engaging with your business for the first time, making them more likely to return to you the next time they need your product or service. Meanwhile, a positive experience will also encourage word of mouth, helping to build trust for your brand. One way to help improve your customer service is to use a virtual customer service tool. This can help create a ticketing system for all queries that come in, allowing you to categorize them and access customer data in one handy tool.

Groove is a great example of this software. An AI-based customer service tool could also help you to answer common queries without the need for a customer service agent, freeing up time and resources to handle more complex queries. Providing a good service is a must for any business, and using the right tools could help you get there.

Make the most out of online advertising

If your marketing budget doesn’t allow for big press ads, a TV spot or even a billboard, you’re not alone. Many new and small businesses have to get by on very little advertising budget, which can be challenging – especially when competing with established, global businesses. However, as more and more people use the internet to watch their favorite shows and read the news, moving your advertising online is the smart way to promote your business.

Through online advertising, you’ve got a wide choice of where you can place your promotions. Some of the ways you can advertise online include search engine ads, banner ads, and YouTube ads, which are becoming very popular at the moment, (and a great way to reach younger demographics). With online advertising, you can tailor your requirements to fit your budget, allowing you to better manage your advertising spend to help your business grow.

Being in a position where you’re ready to grow your business is a fantastic achievement. However, the methods you choose can determine whether or not your efforts are worthwhile or are a waste of time and money. When it comes to investing your money, putting money back into the business is one of the most sensible approaches. Make sure you pick smart tools to help you achieve that coveted business growth and look forward to even greater future business success.

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Infographic – U.S., Canada Top National Carbon Footprints

Chart: national carbon footprints

Click on image for full-size view. (Statista)

9 Dec. 2018. The report last week from the United Nations Environment Program shows carbon dioxide emissions worldwide are rising again after 3 years of stable or dropping CO2 levels. And that report comes soon after alarming findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which notes that carbon emissions need to stop immediately to keep temperatures under the 1.5 degrees C targets and prevent permanent harm to the planet.

Both of these reports give a special urgency to the UN’s Climate Change Conference, known as COP24, now underway in Katowice, Poland. While the problem is global, remediating actions are taken by individual countries, and our friends at Statista offered last week a list of the CO2 emissions per capita for the world’s largest economies in 2016, this weekend’s infographic on Science & Enterprise. The results — from data offered by the International Energy Agency and International Monetary Fund — show the U.S. and Canada each emit nearly 15 metric tons of CO2 per person, leading the list of top national polluters.

Following the North American countries are South Korea and Russia, with emissions per capita greater than the OECD country average of 9.02 metric tons, then Japan and Germany at about the OECD average. China, the U.K., and Italy have emissions per capita lower than the OECD average, but still greater than the global mean of 4.35 metric tons. France registers at about the global level, while Brazil and India have lower per capita emissions than the worldwide average.

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Boost Your Business, Take a Break From the Office

– Contributed content –

Laptop in the woods

(Lukas, Pexels.com)

9 Dec. 2018. The office is one of those things that can feel like is on our side, but which, from time to time, actually holds us back. While there’s a lot to be said for getting into the rhythm of making the commute, settling into the office, and getting down to work for a set number of hours, it’s not all good. Indeed, it’s recommended that we get out of the office and mix up the routine every now and again.

If you’re the boss, then what’s stopping you? You get to decide where you’ll work. By packing up and getting a change of scene, you’ll be able to get a unique perspective on your business, and influx your mind with new ideas. Below, we take a look at how you can temporarily wave goodbye to your everyday office space and try something new.

Where will you go?

Now that you’ve decided to get out of the office, where are you going to go? The world’s smaller than ever before, which means all corners of the globe are open. The only prerequisite is that they have an internet connection! As a starting point, ask yourself two questions. Do you want to stay within the country, or board a plane and go somewhere else?

There are advantages to both. It’s easier to meet other people when you stay within your own country, but heading overseas can waken up the brain cells in a way that familiar (ish) surroundings can’t. Aside from the country, ask yourself if you want to be in the city or nature. Both have that advantages and drawbacks; it’s about whatever you feel most drawn to.

When to take a break

It’s relatively easy to pack up and work elsewhere for a while. But there’ll be times when it’s not a good idea. As well as figuring out where you want to go, you’ll also need to take a look at when you want to go. Take a look at your reports from the past few years, and figure out when is your “low period.” You obviously shouldn’t take off on a working vacation when you and your staff are swamped with work! Go when you know it’s going to be quiet. It’ll make everything much more straightforward, and you’ll have to deal with fewer phone calls from stressed staff members.

Working on a project

It doesn’t make much sense to take yourself off somewhere new and just work on the same old, same old. For starters, it’s a bit of a waste of a trip. You don’t need to think creatively or get a new perspective if you’re just filling out forms you’ve filled out a thousand times before. No, it’s better to get to work on a new project while you’re away. You’ll want to dedicate your time and energy to push your company forward in some way; it’s those types of things when perspective and creativity are most valued. So take a look at your list of “projects to get around to” list, pick one or two, and make developing them the focus of your trip.

The essentials

You’re going to need some work supplies with you. Luckily, in the digital age, this is no problem at all. Wherever you are, you can have access to all the same software and documents, just as if you were in the office. But you will need to set these up. You can visit Netstride.com today, and get web-based software applications which will allow you to access, via the internet, the same software you use in the office. You’ll also want to have all your documents in the cloud, so you pull up those spreadsheets when you’re in the planning stages of your new project. And of course, it goes without saying that a trusty laptop and solid internet connection are a must, too.

Staying in touch

There might be a time when you want to go completely off-grid and spend a week disconnected from it all, but it’s more likely that’ll just a want a brief change of scene, not be cut-off entirely. In any case, your staff will have lost their commander in chief, so it’s probably a good idea for their sake as well as yours that you check in. Make a habit of calling in the mornings and afternoons to make sure everything’s running smoothly, and make sure they know that they can always call you if they need anything.

Down time

While you’ll want to get into work while you’re away, don’t forget that you’ve got a golden opportunity to have some fun, too! There’s no point in visiting a new space and only working. Give yourself time to enjoy your new surroundings. It’ll help you fall into that relaxed state of mind which will help you return to work refreshed and ready to go. This is all about breaking up the routine, remember, and that means all of your routine, including how you’re spending your mornings and evenings.

Meeting new people

No-one builds a successful business all on their own. They also involve other people. By leaving the office and heading elsewhere, you’ll have a chance to speak to people from a different background to your own. Make the most of this opportunity! Many of us live in a bubble, an echo-chamber. Listening to different opinions and observing other ways of being can get our creative processes going. Make the most of it!

Final thoughts

Setting up camp somewhere new on a short-term basis is one of those things that people typically don’t think about doing, but which they should. There are a lot of benefits to it, and the exciting thing is, you don’t really know what they’re going to be until you’ve done it. You might just stumble upon an idea that takes your company to the next level. So break out of the routine, go big, and see what comes of it. If nothing else, it might just make you feel refreshed and more focused.

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RNA Biotech Raises $604M in IPO

NASDAQ share price display

(Julien Gong Min, Flickr)

8 Dec. 2018. Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology enterprise developing therapies with synthetic RNA, issued its initial public stock offering, or IPO, on Thursday, raising more than $604 million. The next day, however, the company’s stock, trading as MRNA on the Nasdaq exchange, took a major hit falling more than 19 percent from its IPO share price.

On Thursday, Moderna released its long-awaited IPO, issuing nearly 26.3 million shares at $23.00 a share, and raising more than $604 million, in what financial observers called the largest biotechnology IPO ever. Moderna develops therapeutic proteins with a technology that synthesizes messenger RNA, a nucleic acid based on the genetic code from DNA, and used by cells to produce the amino acids in proteins for cellular functions. 

Moderna manipulates the coding region in the messenger RNA chemistry to provide instructions for cells to produce proteins with specific therapeutic properties. Those coding instructions are contained in a standard package that appears in most cases like natural RNA to avoid triggering an immune response, and reach the desired cells where the therapeutic protein is needed.

Moderna’s pipeline focuses largely on infectious diseases and cancer immunotherapies. For infectious diseases, Moderna has vaccine candidates in early-stage clinical trials to prevent a influenza, Zika, Chikungunya, and respiratory syncytial viruses. As reported by Science & Enterprise in February 2018, Moderna is also testing a vaccine to prevent cytomegalovirus, a common virus related to herpes.

The company’s cancer immunotherapies address mainly solid tumor cancers, but also lymphoma. Science & Enterprise reported in November 2017 on a clinical trial of Moderna’s personal vaccine using messenger RNA, in combination with the immunotherapy drug Keytruda, made by Merck. In June 2016, drug maker Merck and Moderna began their collaboration to develop personal RNA vaccines for cancer.

On 7 December, the day after issuing the IPO, investors turned sour on Moderna Therapeutics as well as the broader stock markets. By the Nasdaq’s closing bell yesterday, Moderna shares dropped from $23.00 to $18.60, a 19.1 percent decline. Moderna, however, was in good company. The Nasdaq overall dropped more than 3 percent that day, with the Dow-Jones and Standard and Poor’s stock indexes declining almost as much.

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You Should Migrate To the Cloud Sooner Than Later

– Contributed content –

Brainstorming with laptops

(Helloquence, Unsplash)

8 Dec. 2018. If your business hasn’t yet migrated to the cloud, you’ve got a lot to think about. Migrating to the cloud is probably one of the smartest things you will do for your business, helping you to save time and money in the long run. Below we’ll talk about why you should do this sooner rather than later.

What are the benefits of cloud computing?

Using cloud computing within your business offers many benefits. You are able to connect to your business anywhere, any time, and you can allow your employees to work remotely and do the same, too. Access to your data is even easier thanks to the smartphone/tablet technology available.

Reduced IT costs

When you migrate to the cloud, you’ll likely reduce the cost of managing/maintaining your IT systems. You may no longer need to pay wages for expert staff, your energy consumption costs may be reduced, and there are fewer time delays and down time when you switch to the cloud. You’ll save money in the long run.

A more scalable business

Working on the cloud can allow you far more flexibility as your needs change. You will be able to scale up or scale down your operation and storage needs in a way that better suits your situation. Using the cloud frees up more of your time so you can get on with running your business.

Able to collaborate more efficiently

Traditional methods of communicating in business usually involve meetings, and they can waste a lot of time and manpower to hold. However, collaboration in a cloud environment can give employees, contractors and third parties access to the same files. It can be an extremely quick and secure way of sharing important files with anybody you want. Cloud services for businesses are the most efficient way of ensuring seamless collaboration.

Become more flexible

With cloud computing, your employees will be able to become more flexible in the way they work. They can do work at home, on vacation, or even on the commute to and from work to save time. A virtual office can be created almost anywhere, super quickly.

Get access to automatic updates

While this will depend on your cloud computing service provider, you may get access to automatic updates for free, helping you to save money in the long run. A system should be regularly updated with the latest technology, so enquire whether this will included in your service fee. This could include up-to-date versions of software, as well as upgrades to servers and computer processing power.

Migrating to the cloud might sound like a big job that you want to procrastinate on, but the longer you procrastinate, the more your business falls behind and the more you put it at risk. All businesses should be using the cloud – it’s the only logical way to do business in this day and age. With more automatic updates, more flexibility, the ability to collaborate easily, reduced IT costs, a more scalable business, and much more: you shouldn’t wait any longer.

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Post-Surgical Opioid Prescriptions Safely Cut

Pills and capsules

(stevepb, Pixabay)

7 Dec. 2018. A cancer center reduced its opioid pain prescriptions for surgery for a year, without patients reporting more pain, complications, or requests for more pills. A team from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York reports its findings in today’s issue of the journal JAMA Network Open.

Researchers led by Roswell Park cancer specialist Emese Zsiros are seeking alternatives to wholesale prescriptions of opioid-based medications to manage pain of patients following surgery. The problem of opioid addiction is intertwined with relief and management of pain, for which opioid drugs are usually prescribed. Opioids work by reducing the intensity of pain signals to the brain, particularly regions of the brain controlling emotion, which reduces effects of the pain stimulus. Examples of leading opioid prescription pain medications are hydrocodone, oxycodon, morphine, and codeine. Heroin is also considered an opioid.

Despite state laws in New York restricting prescriptions of opioid pain pills to 7-day supplies, cancer patients are exempt from these rules, which led Zsiros and colleagues to examine Roswell Park’s own policies for a solution. Beginning in June 2017, the cancer center changed its opioid pain prescription policies for patients undergoing gynecologic and abdominal surgery, eliminating or sharply reducing the amount of opioid medications. Individuals having ambulatory or minimally invasive surgery received no opioids, while those undergoing major surgery received only a 3-day supply, with exceptions for those patients needing more than 5 doses while in the hospital. All patients received non-opioid pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen — Advil or Tylenol, respectively — as needed for 7 days.

Beginning in June 2017, the Roswell Park researchers tracked women having gynecologic and abdominal surgery under these prescription policies through June 2018. In that time, 605 women had one of these surgeries under the new policies, and the team compared the results to 626 women receiving the same procedures in the 12 previous months, particularly the 60-day period immediately before, during, and after the surgery.

As expected, the number of opioid pan pills prescribed dropped drastically after the new policies took effect. With ambulatory surgery, for example, patients received about 14 pills on average before the restrictions, compared to an average of 0.2 pills per patient after the new policies were implemented.

The results show the amount of reported pain by the patients was about the same for patients under the restrictive prescription policies as before the policies went into effect. In addition, more than 8 in 10 patients (84%), both before and after the restrictive policies went into effect, did not request more pain pills. And according to the state-wide opioid tracking system in New York called I-STOP, the researchers confirmed patients did not get opioid medications elsewhere.

Zsiros notes in a Roswell Park statement that, “our study clearly shows that patients can recover from major surgery just as well with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen and minimal or no opioids, with no increase in pain or postoperative complications — and without the side effects of opioids, such as nausea, constipation, sluggishness and dizziness, as well as the risk of long-term opioid use, abuse and diversion.”

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How A Brand Climbs To Top Of The Market

– Contributed content –

Tablet with charts

(Pexels.com)

7 Dec. 2018. As every entrepreneur should know, a strong brand is essential to a business’ growth and success. It’s all about creating an identity that resonates with consumers. But how can a brand climb to the top of the market?

By displaying authentic values

Your brand could climb to the top of the market by displaying authentic values. Rather than focusing solely on sales, you should focus on your current and intended customers as human beings. Show them that you value what they value. You could run your company in an environmentally friendly way to demonstrate that you value the planet, for instance.

You might also want to donate a portion of your profits to charity so that you give something back to society. Plus, customers will be more likely to buy your goods over similar goods from your competitors if they know that some of their money will go to a worthy cause. Consumers want to make ethical purchasing decisions.

You could even set up your own charity to directly help your local community or wider target market. Cane Bay Partners is a business that started the Cane Bay Cares organization to provide relief aid to residents of St. Croix island in the wake of two recent hurricanes. This is a genuine act of kindness that has helped many people in that area to rebuild their lives.

And that’s the key to your brand displaying authentic values; you have to genuinely care about your customers as people. Given that you’re also a person (right?), it should be easy to connect with the market by championing human values. Show that you care about more than making money. Give your brand a kind personality.

By encouraging teamwork

Of course, another essential component of any successful brand is the team that brings it to life. Your business needs a dedicated workforce, whether they operate behind the scenes or deal directly with customers on a face-to-face level. Whatever the job role, you shouldn’t underestimate or undervalue a single employee at your company. The IT support technicians are just as important as the customer service team, for example. Every employee works towards creating the complete brand image you project.

If you want to deliver a high-quality service then you need a high-quality team. It’s not just about hiring people who are passionate about the business but ensuring you keep them passionate. You should award the ‘employee of the month’ with a plaque on the wall and maybe even a bonus. This will motivate your employees to work hard so they get recognition and rewards.

By promoting itself well

Relevance is essential to a good marketing campaign. If your business is going to promote itself well then, first of all, you need to know your audience. If you’re reaching for a young demographic then you might want to prioritize newer social networks such as Instagram over Facebook, for example. You need to think about your potential customer and the type of marketing that would impact them.

That being said, you shouldn’t completely neglect any platform; Facebook is still a useful marketing tool. After all, it has a targeting function that allows you to reach potential customers based on age, interests, location, and other important factors. You need a varied marketing campaign to climb to the top of your respective industry, but you should prioritize the advertising techniques that’ll best make an impact on your specific target audience. For example, if you have big clients then you might want to send them personal handwritten letters as a way of thanking them for their custom.

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Report – 289 Cell and Gene Therapies in Development

Human T-cell

Scanning electron micrograph of a healthy human T-cell (NIH.gov)

6 Dec. 2018. A report by a pharmaceutical industry organization says nearly 300 new therapies that transfer live cells or genes as treatments for disease are in clinical trials or being reviewed by Food and Drug Administration. The report was issued by today Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, in Washington, D.C.

PhRMA defines cell therapies as the introduction of new cells into patients to grow into replacement cells, or to repair damaged cells or tissue from a disease. In this group, PhRMA includes stem cell therapies, as well as immune system cells such as lymphocytes and dendritic cells, and islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Cell therapies can be derived from donated cells or autologous cells, those from the patients themselves. Among these treatments are synthetic T-cells with chimeric antigen receptors, also called CAR T-cells, new therapies being developed for several types of blood-related and solid tumor cancer.

Gene therapies, says PhRMA, introduce healthy or modified genes into a patient’s cells to produce properly functioning proteins or block damaging proteins from being produced. Included in gene therapies are treatments that edit a patient’s genes to remove mutations causing a disease. with Crispr — clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats — among the more well-known technologies. This group also has gene silencing treatments, such as RNA-interference that harnesses a natural process for turning off production of disease-causing proteins.

Gene transfers can take place in the lab, then infused in the patient, or given transferred directly into the patient, often using benign viruses for delivery. Treatments that genetically alter cells as treatments, such as in CAR T-cells, are a hybrid form of cell and gene therapy.

PhRMA’s review, from government and industry sources as well as the Adis Insight drug development database, shows by a wide margin more cell and gene therapies are being developed to treat cancer than other types of disease. Of the 289 cell and gene therapies in development, 111 or 38 percent are designed to treat some form of cancer. Between 20 and 30 of these therapies are developed as treatments for eye disorders (28), cardiovascular disease (26), neurological disorders (22), and blood disorders (21). All of the other 15 disease categories each have less than 20 new treatments.

While all of the disease categories included cell and gene therapies in various stages of clinical trials, only 2 of the disease groups — neurological disorders and infectious diseases — have treatments currently in FDA review. Cancer, which accounts for nearly 4 in 10 of all new cell and gene therapies, has none of these treatments yet reaching FDA.

PhRMA considers cell and gene therapies part of the broader field of regenerative medicine. A blog post announcing the report on the PhRMA web site quotes John DiPersio, president of American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, who notes, “The field of regenerative medicine is enhancing science, education and clinical care that will provide patients with expanded and genetically modified stem and immune effector cells for the treatment of inherited diseases, solid tumors, and hematologic malignancies to live longer lives.” DiPersio is an oncologist at Washington University in St. Louis medical school.

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