Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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The 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+0000The NYSCF's Initiative of Women in Science and Engineering recommended: 1) grant-making organisations provide flexible funding to pay for childcare, eldercare and family-related expenses; 2) creation of gender-neutral award programmes for newly independent young investigators who are primary care givers to be able to hire extra assistance for their research; 3) funders adopt gender-conscious review committees and speaker selection committee recruitment policies; 4) development of a record card system like the UK Athena SWAN scheme to assess gender equality institutions for grant applications; 5) expand upon existing searchable database of women in science, medicine and engineering. K A Smith, et al 'Seven Actionable Strategies for Advancing Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine', Cell Stem Cell 16/3 (2015), 221-24.2015-03-05T00:00:00+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. Human organs produced in pigs have the potential to make up for the shortfall in human donors. They are also less likely to provoke immune responses in patients and thereby rejection. 2015-03-23T00:00:00+0000One of the scientists calling for the moratorium was Fydor Urnov who had helped develop the first genome editing technology known as zinc-finger nucleases. The scientists were concerned that genetic modifications to human reproductive could pose serious risks to future generations and the therapeutic benefits were tenuous. E Lanphier, F Urnov, S E Haecker, M Werner, J Smolenski, '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+0000NIH issued its ban after researchers in China announced experiments altering the gene in non-viable zygotes. 2015-04-15T00:00:00+00002015-04-22T00:00:00+0000The work was carried out by a team of scientists led by Junjiu Huang at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. The team used CRISRPR-Cas to modify a gene responsible for a blood disorder in spare embryos from fertility clinics that could not progress to a live birth. They published their results in P 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 was an American biochemist who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for contributing to understandings about how cells break down proteins. He first became the puzzle of how cells identify and destroy unwanted proteins in the 1950s. In the late 1970s he showed that ubiquitin, a protein present in countless tissues, helped tag other proteins that needed to be destroyed. It would then attach itself to another protein that was no longer functioning and take it to the proteasome chamber to be broken down and recycled. Rose also helped in the development of a drug to treat multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. The drug works by disrupting the protein disposal mechanism and kills the cancer cells with a pile-up of protein. 2015-06-03T00:00:00+0000The drugs use a monoclonal antibody to block a protein known as PD-1, which functions as an immune checkpoint, being responsible for preventing the activation of T-cells. Promising results were presented to American Society for Clinical Conference from trials directed towards treating lung and skin cancer. 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+00002015-09-02T00:00:00+0000The group is made up of academic scientists, funders and regulators with an interest in embryo and stem cell research. It calls for the establishment of a roadmap for the management of the use of CRISPR in any human reproductive applications.2015-09-11T00:00:00+0000The group is made up of academic scientists, funders and regulators with an interest in embryo and stem cell research. It calls for the establishment of a roadmap for the management of the use of CRISPR in any human reproductive applications.2015-09-11T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
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
5 Mar 2015Guidelines issued to promote and ensure gender equality in science by New York Stem Cell Foundation working partySmith, Arlotta, Watt, Soloman Women, Initiative
Mar 2015Scientists suggest CRISPR/Cas9 used with stem cells could 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, Zinc fingers
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
15 Apr 2015National Institutes of Health declared it will not fund any use of genome editing technologies in human embryos  CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Reproduction
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
1 May 2015First report of genes edited in human embryos ignited global ethical debate about gene edting technologyHuang, Liang, Xu, ZhangSun Yat-sen UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
3 Jun 2015Irwin Rose diedRoseUniversity of California IrvineBiochemistry, Cell, Oncology
5 Jun 2015Two immunotherapy drugs reported to stop cancer cells avoiding destruction by immune system Allison 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
Sep 2015UK Medical Research Council and other leading UK research councils declared support for using CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome editing techniques in preclinical research  CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
11 Sep 2015Hinxton Group issues a statement indicating that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have been debated before  CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
11 Sep 2015Hinxton Group issues a statement indicating that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have been debated before  CRISPR-Cas9

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

5 Mar 2015

Guidelines issued to promote and ensure gender equality in science by New York Stem Cell Foundation working party

Mar 2015

Scientists suggest CRISPR/Cas9 used with stem cells could 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

15 Apr 2015

National Institutes of Health declared 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

1 May 2015

First report of genes edited in human embryos ignited global ethical debate about gene edting 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

Sep 2015

UK Medical Research Council and other leading UK research councils declared support for using CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome editing techniques in preclinical research

11 Sep 2015

Hinxton Group issues a statement indicating that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have been debated before

11 Sep 2015

Hinxton Group issues a statement indicating that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have been debated before