Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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2013-10-01T00:00:00+0000The drug, developed by Alynylam, aimed at lowering cholesterol. It was tested in 32 patients. 2013-10-03T00:00:00+0000A pioneer of antibody engineering, Neuberger developed some of the first techniques for the generation of chimeric and humanised antibodies. He also helped create the first transgenic mice for the production of human monoclonal antibodies. His work paved the way for the generation of safer and more effective monoclonal antibody drugs. 2013-10-26T00:00:00+0000The first to determine the DNA sequence of insulin, Sanger proved proteins have a defined chemical composition. He was also pivotal to the development of the dideoxy chain-termination method for sequencing DNA molecules, known as the Sanger method. This provided a breakthrough in the sequencing of long stretches of DNA in terms of speed and accuracy and laid the foundation for the Human Genome Project.2013-11-19T00:00:00+0000US patients start campaign to reverse FDA decision2013-12-27T00:00:00+0000Sanofi pays US$700 million for 12 percent stake in Alynlam. Signals renewed interest in RNAi therapeutics.2014-01-01T00:00:00+0000Treatment involved inserting a gene into the eye to revive light-detecting cells. Research led by Robert MacLaren based in the Nuffield Laboratory of Opthalmology.2014-01-01T00:00:00+0000The study used induced pluripotent stem cells in six patient with advanced AMD. 2014-01-01T00:00:00+00002014-01-01T00:00:00+00002014-01-01T00:00:00+00002014-01-01T00:00:00+0000Aimed at deepening understanding of how microbiome affects disease.2014-01-01T00:00:00+0000The device called MiniOn, was developed by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. The company first announced the device to the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference in Florida in Feburary 2012. The device measures the change in current resulting from DNA strands interacting with a charged protein nanopore. These measurements are used to determine the nucleotide sequence of the DNA.2014-01-01T00:00:00+0000Roche agreed to pay US$148 million in upfront and milestone payments. Deal signals renewed optimism in RNAi therapeutics.2014-01-10T00:00:00+0000The meeting brought together a group of women at different stages in their careers and from different disciplines and institutions to identify not just how to encourage women to enter science but also remain and progress to senior positions. 2014-02-01T00:00:00+0000Twelve patients with HIV treated between 2009 and 2014 report benefits from genetically engineered virus with a rare mutatiuon known to protect against HIV (CCR5 deficiency).2014-03-01T00:00:00+0000Tebas, T, Stein, D, Tang, W W, Frank, I, 'Gene editing of CCR5 in autologous CD4 T cells of persons infected with HIV', New England Journal of Medicine, 370/10 (2014): 901-10.2014-03-06T00:00:00+0000Scientists at the University of Nottingham lwed by Kevin Shakesheff announced the development of a new stem cell micro-environment which allows for the self-renewal of cells and their evolution into cardiomyocyte (heart) cells. The new technique opens up new avenues for exploring the development of stem cells for therapy. The work was published in J E Dixon, D A Shah, et al, 'Combined hydrogels that switch human pluripotent stem cells from self-renewal to differentiation', PNAS, 111/15 (2014), 5580-85, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319685111.2014-03-31T00:00:00+0000Novartis shut down its collaborative programme with Alynlam based on lingering problems associated with delivering RNAi therapeutics. It marked a major set back for the RNAi therapeutics field as a whole. 2014-04-14T00:00:00+0000Edelman was an American biologist renowned for his research on antibodies, the body's defense against harmful foreign substances like viruses and bacteria. His research helped determine the chemical structure of antibodies in the early 1960s. It showed that antibodies were made up of two light and heavy chains linked together by disulfide bonds. The breakthrough immediately galvanised feverish activity in all fields of immunological science, paving the way to the development of antibodies for both diagnostics and therapy. Edelman was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1972 for his work. 2014-05-17T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
Oct 2013Fiven children with ADA-SCID successfully treated with gene therapy  Gene therapy
3 Oct 2013RNAi drug was indicated to be safe and well-tolerated in a phase I trial  RNA interference
26 Oct 2013Michael Neuberger diedNeubergerLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies, Transgenic animals
19 Nov 2013Fred Sanger, the inventor of DNA sequencing, died at the age of 95SangerCambridgeDNA Sequencing
Dec 2013FDA rejected approval of Lembrada for MS treatment SanofiCampath
Jan 2014Sanofi invests in Alynlam  RNA interference
Jan 2014Eyesight reported to improve in six patients suffering from choroideremia after receiving gene therapyMacLarenOxford UniversityGene therapy
2014Japanese scientists completed successful skin-to-eye stem cell transplant in a 70 year old patient with age-related macular degeneration, a blinding disease.  Stem cells
2014Davies elected Fellow of Royal SocietyDavies  
2014Davies persuaded UK Prime Minister to commission review of rising antimicrobial resistanceDavies Antimicrobial resistance
2014Padmanee Sharma and James Allison got marriedSharma, Allison  
2014Integrative Microbiome Project launched National Institutes of HealthMicrobiome
2014Palm-sized DNA sequencer using nanopore technology made publicly available  DNA sequencing, Genomics
Jan 2014Roche entered RNAi therapeutics alliance with Santaris  RNA interference
Feb 2014The New York Stem Cell Foundation convened meeting to identify ways to help women excel in their careers   
Mar 2014Promising results announced from trial conducted with HIV patients  Gene therapy, Recombinant DNA
6 Mar 2014Phase I trial using Zinc finger nuclease modified CD4 cells to treat 12 HIV patients shows the approch is safe.Tebas, Stein, Tang, FrankUniversity of PennsylvaniaGene therapy, Gene editing, Zinc fingers
Mar 2014Breakthrough for manufacturing stem cellsDixon, Shah, Rogers, Hall, Weston, Parmenter, McNally, Denning, ShakesheffUniversity of NottinghamStem cells
14 Apr 2014Novartis suddenly pulls plug on RNAi research NovartisRNA interference
17 May 2014Gerald M Edelman diedEdelmanRockefeller UniversityAntibodies, Immunology

Oct 2013

Fiven children with ADA-SCID successfully treated with gene therapy

3 Oct 2013

RNAi drug was indicated to be safe and well-tolerated in a phase I trial

26 Oct 2013

Michael Neuberger died

19 Nov 2013

Fred Sanger, the inventor of DNA sequencing, died at the age of 95

Dec 2013

FDA rejected approval of Lembrada for MS treatment

Jan 2014

Sanofi invests in Alynlam

Jan 2014

Eyesight reported to improve in six patients suffering from choroideremia after receiving gene therapy

2014

Japanese scientists completed successful skin-to-eye stem cell transplant in a 70 year old patient with age-related macular degeneration, a blinding disease.

2014

Davies elected Fellow of Royal Society

2014

Davies persuaded UK Prime Minister to commission review of rising antimicrobial resistance

2014

Padmanee Sharma and James Allison got married

2014

Integrative Microbiome Project launched

2014

Palm-sized DNA sequencer using nanopore technology made publicly available

Jan 2014

Roche entered RNAi therapeutics alliance with Santaris

Feb 2014

The New York Stem Cell Foundation convened meeting to identify ways to help women excel in their careers

Mar 2014

Promising results announced from trial conducted with HIV patients

6 Mar 2014

Phase I trial using Zinc finger nuclease modified CD4 cells to treat 12 HIV patients shows the approch is safe.

Mar 2014

Breakthrough for manufacturing stem cells

14 Apr 2014

Novartis suddenly pulls plug on RNAi research

17 May 2014

Gerald M Edelman died

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