Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Scientists at the University of Nottingham develop a new stem cell micro-environment which allows for the self-renewal of cells and their evolution into cardiomyocyte (heart) cells. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319685111.2014-03-31T00:00:00+0000The decision was based on lingering problems associated with delivering RNAi therapeutics. It marked a major set back for the development of RNAi therapeutics. 2014-04-14T00:00:00+0000Edelman shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discoveries concerning the chemical structure of antibodies. 2014-05-17T00:00:00+0000Researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, reported the generation of stem cells by putting the nucelus of an adult skin cell inside an egg that went through the initial stages of embryonic development. YG Chung, JH Eum, JE Lee, SH Shim, V Sepilian, S W Hong, Y Lee, NR Treff, Y H Choi, EA Kimbrel, R Dittman, R Lonza, DR Lee, 'Human Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Using Adult Cells', Cell Stem Cell, 14/6 (2014), 777-80.2014-06-05T00:00:00+0000The drug was developed by scientists at Medarex2014-09-01T00:00:00+0000Yi et al, 'CCR5 Gene Editing of Resting CD4+ T Cells by Transient ZFN Expression From HIV Envelope Pseudotyped Nonintegrating Lentivirus Confers HIV-1 Resistance in Humanized Mice', Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids, 3 (2014),:e198.2014-09-10T00:00:00+0000Paralysed patient able to walk after his spinal cord was treated with olifactory ensheathing cells, specialist cells that aid the sense of smell, taken from his nose. The treatment was developed by Geoff Raisman and colleagues at University College London's Institute of Neurology together with Pawel Tabakow at Wroclaw Medical University. The research was supported by the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and the UK Stem Cell Foundation. 2014-10-21T00:00:00+0000The drug, a monoclonal antibody, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with melanoma. 2014-12-22T00:00:00+0000The application was submitted by Sangamo BioSciences. The therapy is based on a platform that uses zinc finger nucleases to replace a defective gene that causes haemophilia.2015-01-01T00:00:00+0000W Feng, Y Dai, L Mou, D Cooper, D Shi, Z Cai, 'The potential of the combination of CRISPR/Cas9 and pluripotent stem cells to provide human organs from chimaeric pigs', International Journal of Molecular Science, 16/3 (2015): 6545-56.2015-03-23T00:00:00+0000E Lanphier, F Urnov et al, 'Don't edit the human germ line', Nature, 519 (2015): 410-11.2015-03-26T00:00:00+00002015-04-01T00:00:00+0000More than 82 per cent of the patients went into remission. 2015-04-01T00:00:00+00002015-04-15T00:00:00+00002015-04-22T00:00:00+0000P Liang , Y Xu , X Zhang et al, 'CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes', Protein and Cell, 6/5 (2015): 363-72. 2015-05-01T00:00:00+0000Rose shared the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for contributing to understandings about how cells break down proteins. 2015-06-03T00:00:00+0000Results presented to American Society for Clinical Conference from trials involving monoclonal antibody drugs for lung and skin cancer. The drugs block a protein known as PD-1, which functions as an immune checkpoint, being responsible for preventing the activation of T-cells.2015-06-05T00:00:00+0000Launched by Isis Pharmaceuticals in partnership with Roche, the trial aims to study the first therapy designed to silence the Huntingdon's disease gene and reduce the production of a protein responsible for the disease. 2015-07-21T00:00:00+0000K.B. Chiappinelli, P.L. Strissel, A. Desrichard, et al, 'Inhibiting DNA methylation causes an interferon response in cancer via dsRNA including endogenous retroviruses', Cell, 162 (2015), 974-86.2015-08-27T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
Mar 2014Breakthrough for manufacturing stem cells University of NottinghamStem cells
Apr 2014Novartis shut down RNAi research programme  RNA interference
17 May 2014Gerald M Edelman diedEdelmanRockefeller UniversityAntibodies
5 Jun 2014Cloning successfully deployed to make stem cells from adult human cellsChung, Eum, Lee, Shim, Sepilian, Hong, Lee, Treff, Choi, Kimbrel, Dittman, LonzaUniversity of PennsylvaniaStem cells
Sep 2014FDA approved nivolumab (Opdivo®), an immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD1, for treating melanoma  Immune checkpoint inhibitors, Immuotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
10 Sep 2014Mice trials show CD4 T-cells genetically modified with Zinc fingers could be effective HIV-1 gene therapy Yi, Choi, Bharaj, AbrahamTexas Tech University, University of North CarolinaGene therapy, Gene editing, Zinc fingers
Oct 2014Stem cells taken from nose demonstrated to repair spinal cord injury Raisman, TabakowUniversity College London, Wroclaw Medical UniversityStem cells
22 Dec 2014First immune checkpoint inhibitor drug targeting PD-1 (nivolumab, Opdivo®) approved in US Honko, Freeman, LonbergMedarex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ono PharmaceuticalImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
1 Jan 2015US FDA cleared Investigative Drug Application for clinical trial of gene therapy for haemophila B. The therapy was the first in vivo genome editing application to enter the clinicEwing, ZaiaSangamo Biosciences, City of Hope National Medical CenterGene therapy, Gene editing, Zinc fingers
Mar 2015Scientists suggest the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in conjunction with stem cells to provide human organs from transgenic pigsFeng, Dai, Mou, Cooper, Shi, Cai Shenzhen University, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Guangxi UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
26 Mar 2015US scientists call for a voluntary worldwide moratorium on the use of genome editing tools to modify human reproductive cellsLamphier, Urnov CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
Apr 2015Chinese regulatory authorities approved Chidamide, a histone deactylase inhibitor, for peripheral T cell lymphoma  Epigenetics, Oncology
Apr 2015 - Aug 2016Adoptive cell therapy (CAR-T therapy) trial conducted with 63 leukaemia patients in 11 countriesJuneNovartisCancer immunotherapy, Onoclogy, Adoptive cell therapy
Apr 2015National Institutes of Health declares it will not fund any use of genome editing technologies in human embryos  CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
22 Apr 2015UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics launched a new working group to look into institutional, national and international policies and provisions relevant to genome editing  CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
May 2015Chinese scientists, led by Junjiu Huang, publish first experiments modifying the genome of human embryos with CRISPR-Cas9 technique, prompting bioethical debate over use of the technology Huang, Liang, Xu, ZhangSun Yat-sen UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
3 Jun 2015Irwin Rose diedRoseUniversity of California IrvineBiochemistry, Cell
5 Jun 2015Two immunotherapy drugs reported to stop cancer cells avoiding destruction by immune system   Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
Jul 2015Phase 1 clinical trial launched with RNAi treatment for Huntingdon's disease  RNA interference
27 Aug 2015Experiments with mice showed that azacytidine treatment enhanced the responsiveness of tumors to anti–CTLA-4 therapy  Cancer immunotherapy, Epigenetics, Immune checkpoint inhibitors, Oncology

Mar 2014

Breakthrough for manufacturing stem cells

Apr 2014

Novartis shut down RNAi research programme

17 May 2014

Gerald M Edelman died

5 Jun 2014

Cloning successfully deployed to make stem cells from adult human cells

Sep 2014

FDA approved nivolumab (Opdivo®), an immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD1, for treating melanoma

10 Sep 2014

Mice trials show CD4 T-cells genetically modified with Zinc fingers could be effective HIV-1 gene therapy

Oct 2014

Stem cells taken from nose demonstrated to repair spinal cord injury

22 Dec 2014

First immune checkpoint inhibitor drug targeting PD-1 (nivolumab, Opdivo®) approved in US

1 Jan 2015

US FDA cleared Investigative Drug Application for clinical trial of gene therapy for haemophila B. The therapy was the first in vivo genome editing application to enter the clinic

Mar 2015

Scientists suggest the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in conjunction with stem cells to provide human organs from transgenic pigs

26 Mar 2015

US scientists call for a voluntary worldwide moratorium on the use of genome editing tools to modify human reproductive cells

Apr 2015

Chinese regulatory authorities approved Chidamide, a histone deactylase inhibitor, for peripheral T cell lymphoma

Apr 2015 - Aug 2016

Adoptive cell therapy (CAR-T therapy) trial conducted with 63 leukaemia patients in 11 countries

Apr 2015

National Institutes of Health declares it will not fund any use of genome editing technologies in human embryos

22 Apr 2015

UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics launched a new working group to look into institutional, national and international policies and provisions relevant to genome editing

May 2015

Chinese scientists, led by Junjiu Huang, publish first experiments modifying the genome of human embryos with CRISPR-Cas9 technique, prompting bioethical debate over use of the technology

3 Jun 2015

Irwin Rose died

5 Jun 2015

Two immunotherapy drugs reported to stop cancer cells avoiding destruction by immune system

5 Jun 2015

Phase 1 clinical trial launched with RNAi treatment for Huntingdon's disease

27 Aug 2015

Experiments with mice showed that azacytidine treatment enhanced the responsiveness of tumors to anti–CTLA-4 therapy