Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Aimed at treating a rare-inherited disorder that can cause severe pancreatitis, the drug (Glybera) made too little profit for its maker, uniQure, to justify continuing to market it. 2017-04-01T00:00:00+0000J. S. Gootenberg, O.O. Abudayyeh, J. W. Lee, et al, 'Nucleic acid detection with CRISPR-Cas13a/C2c2', Science, 13 April 2017, eaam9321, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9321 2017-04-13T00:00:00+0000G. Fontana, J. Gershlak, M. Adamski, J-S Lee, S. Matsumoto, H. D. Le, B. Binder, J. Wirth, G. Gaudette, W. L. Murphy, 'Decellularized Plants: Biofunctionalized Plants as Diverse Biomaterials for Human Cell Culture', Advanced Healthcare Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.2017700382017-04-19T00:00:00+0000Collaborative research carried out by scientists at University of Edinburgh, University College London and Imperial College. 2017-04-20T00:00:00+0000The experiment was carried out by scientists at Sichuan University, Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh. It was published in C. Yin, et al, 'In Vivo Excision of HIV-1 Provirus by saCas9 and Multiplex Single-Guide RNAs in Animal Models', Molecular Therapy, 25/5 (2017), 1168-86.2017-05-13T00:00:00+0000The molecular structure of vancomycin was altered to enhance its attack on bacteria cell walls and have three mechanisms of attack so as to prevent bacteria developing resistance. A. Okano el al., 'Peripheral modifications of vancomycin with added synergistic mechanisms of action provide durable and potent antibiotics,' PNAS (2017), oi/10.1073/pnas.1704125114 2017-05-31T00:00:00+0000Twenty-two adult patients classified as obese (BMI > 35) were randomized 1:1 to either the treatment or placebo group. The treatment group received an FMT with capsules followed by a monthly maintenance dose of oral capsules for 12 weeks total. While initial trial results did not show differences in weight loss or the GLP1 hormone (related to the feeling of having eaten enough), changes were detected in the microbiota of FMT recipients which show more similiarities to that of the lean donor. JR Allegretti et al, 'Effects of FMT with oral capsules in obese patients', Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology (2019), S1542-3565(19)30739-6. 2017-07-10T00:00:00+0000The drug CTL019 (tisagenlecleucel) was developed by Novartis. Treatment involves removing T cells from the patient and genetically modifying them to increase their capacity to bind to tumour cells in order to get the immune sytem to attack the tumours. It is targeted at children and young adults from three to 25 years old who have not responded to traditional treatments.2017-07-12T00:00:00+00002017-08-01T00:00:00+0000M. Hong, N. Marti-Gutierrez, S-W Park, et al, 'Correction of a pathogenic gene mutation in human embryos', Nature, doi:10.1038/nature233052017-08-02T00:00:00+0000World Hepatitis Alliance,' Study shows universal vaccination has wiped out hepatitis B and associated liver cancer in Alaska's young people', MedicalXpress, August 10 2017. The study was carried out by Brian McMahon and colleagues at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Hepatitis Program. The results was reported to the World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis in Anchorage, Alaska. 2017-08-08T00:00:00+0000The drug Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) is the first gene therapy to become available in the US. 2017-08-30T00:00:00+0000UK scientists modified 41 embryos shortly after fertilisation. N.M.E. Fogarty et al, 'Genome editing reveals a role for OCT4 in human embryogenesis', Nature, doi:10.1038/nature240332017-09-20T00:00:00+0000227 patient study showed drug from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals had benefits for rare hereditary disorder - ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, a rare disorder.2017-09-20T00:00:00+0000L. Xu, et al, 'Trispecific broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies mediate potent SHIV protection in macaques', Science, 20 September 2017, Science, 20 Sep 2017, eaan8630, DOI: 0.1126/science.aan86302017-09-20T00:00:00+0000The drug, a form of immunotherapy, is a PDL1 checkpoint inhibitor.2017-09-20T00:00:00+0000P. Liang, et al, 'Correction of beta-thalassemia mutant by base editor in human embryos', Protein and Cell (2017), doi.org/10.1007/s13238-017-0475-6.2017-09-23T00:00:00+0000The patient, Tom Patterson, was successfully given intravenous bacteriophage therapy to treat his necrotizing pancreatitis which had the complication of a multidrug resistant A. baumannii infection for which there was no effective antibiotic treatment. R.T. Schooley, B. Biswas, J.J. Gill, et al, 'Development and use of personalized bacteriophage-based therapeutic cocktails to treat a patient with a disseminated resistant A. Baumannii infection'. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 61/10 (2017).2017-10-01T00:00:00+0000Total of 17 boys treated in clinical trial, of which 15 showed marked improvement. Treatment used a modified form of HIV as the vector for infusing corrective genes to generate glial cells. F. Eichler, C. Duncan etl al, 'Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Gene Therapy for Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy', NEJM, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa17005542017-10-04T00:00:00+0000FMT strategy was evaluated to be 73% likely to be cost-effective compared with the conventional therapy in a Chinese patient group. The cost reduction mostly derived from savings on medical expenses. T Zhang et al, 'Cost-effectiveness analysis of fecal microbiota transplantation for inflammatory bowel disease', Oncotarget, 8/51 (2017), 88894-88903.2017-10-04T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
Apr 2017First gene therapy approved in Europe for lipoprotein lipase deficiency (Glybera) withdrawn from market uniQureGene therapy
13 Apr 2017CRISPR shown to be sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting single target of DNA or RNA moleculeAbudayyeh, Bhattacharyya, Collins, Daringe, Donghia, Dy, Essletzbichler, Freije, Hung, Joung, Koonin, Lee, Livny, Myhrvold, Regev, Sabeti, Gootenberg, Verdine, ZhangBroad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
Apr 2017Researchers at University of Washington-Madison demonstrated the possibility of growing skin, bone marrow and blood vessels using plant scaffolds with stem cells University of Washington-Madison, Olbrich Botanical GardensStem Cells
20 Apr 2017Diabetes research using transgenic mice shows the protein P2X7R plays important role in inflammation and immune system offering new avenue for treating kidney diseaseMenziesUniversity of Edinburgh, University College London, Imperial CollegeImunology, Transgenic animals
13 May 2017Research published demonstrating how CRISPR-CAS9 can be used to eliminate HIV in infected mice. Yin, Zhang, Qu, Chang, Putatunda, Xiao, Li, Zhao, Dhai, Qin, Mo, Young, Khalili, HuTemple University, University of Pittsburgh, Sichuan UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
31 May 2017Scientists report successfully re-engineering old antibiotic for combatting superbugsOkano, BodgerScripps Research InstituteAntimicrobial resistance, Antibacterial agents
10 Jul 2017Results published from first randomised controlled FMT trial for obesityThompsonBrigham and Women's HospitalFaecal microbiota transplant
12 Jul 2017US FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended the approval of the first adoptive cell therapy (CAR-T cell therapy) for B cell acute leukaemiaJuneNovartis, University of PennsylvaniaCancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Adoptive cell therapy, Gene therapy
Aug 2017UK, one of the last countries in Europe, rolled out hepatitis B vaccination programme for infants  Vaccine
2 Aug 2017Research published demonstrating possibility of editing gene defect in pre-implanted human embryos for preventing inherited heart diseaseHong, Marti-Gutierrez, Park, Mitalipov, Kaul, Kim, Amato, BelmonteOregon Health & Science University, Salk Institute, Center for Genome Engineering, Seoul National University, China National GeneBank,CRISPR-Cas9, Reproduction, Cardiovascular, Gene editing
8 Aug 2017Universal hepatitis B vaccination introduced for all newborns in 1980s reported to have wiped out hepatitis B infection and associated liver cancer cases in Alaskan indigenous population  Vaccine
30 Aug 2017USA FDA approved CAR-T therapy for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemiaJuneNovartis, University of PennsylvaniaCancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Adoptive cell therapy, Gene therapy
Sep 2017DNA of human embryos edited using CRISPR-Cas9 to study cause of infertilityFogarty, McCarthy, Snijders, Powell, Kubikova, Blakeley, Lea, Elder, Wamaitha, Kim, Maciulyte, Kleinjung, Kim, Wells, Vallier, Bertero, Turner, NiakanFrancis Crick Instiitute, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Seoul National UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Reproduction
20 Sep 2017Positive results reported from clinical trial with RNAi drug AlynlamRNA interference
20 Sep 2017Combination of three monoclonal antibodies reported to protect monkeys from HIV Xu, Pegu, Rao, Doria-Rose, Beninga, McKee, Lord, Wei, Deng, Louder, Schmidt, Mankoff, Wu, Asokan, Beil, Lange, Leuschner, Kruip, Sendak, Kwon, Zhou, Chen, Bailer, Wang, Choe, Tartaglia, Barouch, O’Dell, Todd, Burton, Roederer, Connors, Koup, Kwong, YangSanhofi, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Scripps Research Institute, Monoclonal antibodies, Infectious diseases
20 Sep 2017Nivolumab (Opdivo®) made available for NHS patients with advanced lung cancer Honko, FreemanMedarex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ono PharmaceuticalImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Immunotherapy, Monoclonal antibodies
23 Sep 2017Chinese researchers report correction of gene linked to beta thalassaemia, inherited blood disorder, in human embryos using base editing techniqueLiang, Ching, Sun, Xie, Xu, Zhang, Xhiong, Ma, Liu, Wang, Fang, Songyang, Zhou, HuangSun Yat-sen University, Baylor College of MedicineCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Reproduction
Oct 2017Successful treatment of antibiotic-resistant A. baumannii infection using personalised bacteriophagesSchooley Phage therapy, Antimicrobial resistance
4 Oct 2017Gene therapy shown in clinical trials to halt progression of adrenoleukodystrophy, a fatal brain disease inherited by boys Eichler, Duncan, WilliamsHarvard University, Bluebird Bio, Boston Children’s Hospital Stem cells, Gene therapy
4 Oct 2017Chinese study showed FMT to be more cost-effective than conventional treatment for inflammatory bowel diseaseZhangHospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityFaecal microbiota transplant

Apr 2017

First gene therapy approved in Europe for lipoprotein lipase deficiency (Glybera) withdrawn from market

13 Apr 2017

CRISPR shown to be sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting single target of DNA or RNA molecule

Apr 2017

Researchers at University of Washington-Madison demonstrated the possibility of growing skin, bone marrow and blood vessels using plant scaffolds with stem cells

20 Apr 2017

Diabetes research using transgenic mice shows the protein P2X7R plays important role in inflammation and immune system offering new avenue for treating kidney disease

13 May 2017

Research published demonstrating how CRISPR-CAS9 can be used to eliminate HIV in infected mice.

31 May 2017

Scientists report successfully re-engineering old antibiotic for combatting superbugs

10 Jul 2017

Results published from first randomised controlled FMT trial for obesity

12 Jul 2017

US FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended the approval of the first adoptive cell therapy (CAR-T cell therapy) for B cell acute leukaemia

Aug 2017

UK, one of the last countries in Europe, rolled out hepatitis B vaccination programme for infants

2 Aug 2017

Research published demonstrating possibility of editing gene defect in pre-implanted human embryos for preventing inherited heart disease

8 Aug 2017

Universal hepatitis B vaccination introduced for all newborns in 1980s reported to have wiped out hepatitis B infection and associated liver cancer cases in Alaskan indigenous population

30 Aug 2017

USA FDA approved CAR-T therapy for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Sep 2017

DNA of human embryos edited using CRISPR-Cas9 to study cause of infertility

20 Sep 2017

Positive results reported from clinical trial with RNAi drug

20 Sep 2017

Combination of three monoclonal antibodies reported to protect monkeys from HIV

20 Sep 2017

Nivolumab (Opdivo®) made available for NHS patients with advanced lung cancer

23 Sep 2017

Chinese researchers report correction of gene linked to beta thalassaemia, inherited blood disorder, in human embryos using base editing technique

Oct 2017

Successful treatment of antibiotic-resistant A. baumannii infection using personalised bacteriophages

4 Oct 2017

Gene therapy shown in clinical trials to halt progression of adrenoleukodystrophy, a fatal brain disease inherited by boys

4 Oct 2017

Chinese study showed FMT to be more cost-effective than conventional treatment for inflammatory bowel disease

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