Scientist, pharmaceutical entrepreneur and philanthropist Professor Raymond F. Schinazi has donated £2 million to fund a chair at the University of Bath.
Head of the new Department of Life Sciences Professor Philip Ingham will be the first holder of The Raymond Schinazi and Family Chair of Life Sciences enabled by the Bath Alumnus, who is also making a donation to establish a new Life Sciences Innovation Fund, the Synergy Awards for Bath academics and students. A refugee from Egypt in 1964, Schinazi moved to the UK after winning a scholarship to sit his school exams, before joining Bath in 1968 where he completed an undergraduate degree and then a PhD in Chemistry.
The British Heart Foundation has appointed research leader and NHS Consultant Physician Professor Bryan Williams, as its first Chief Scientific and Medical Officer.??He will join the charity’s Executive Group in Autumn 2023 and succeed Medical Director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani in leading the BHF’s research and medical strategy.?Chair of Medicine at University College London, Director of the NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, and UCLH Director of Research, Williams oversees one of the largest clinical research portfolios in the UK, with more than 1,000 active clinical trials.??He is also an NHS Consultant Physician at UCLH and a Senior Director and Board Member of UCLH NHS Foundation Trust.??
German laboratory products manufacturer Starlab International GmbH has acquired the Swiss research labs product distributor Life Systems Design AG, renaming it Starlab Schweiz AG. One of the world's leading manufacturers of liquid handling laboratory products for the life science industry plus academic and commercial research, Starlab’s portfolio now comprises companies in France, the UK and Italy, in addition to Germany and Switzerland.
Australian biotech firm Vaxxas announced the receipt of A$5.4 million from the Wellcome Foundation to conduct clinical studies for the use of a typhoid vaccine on its proprietary needle-free vaccine patch technology platform, the high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP). The typhoid vaccine formulation used to coat the HD-MAP will be based on an approved typhoid conjugate vaccine jointly developed by Vaxxas’ collaborator in this project, SK bioscience, and the International Vaccine Institute. The typhoid vaccine candidate used in these studies will be formulated to be stable at higher temperatures than required for needle and syringe vaccination.
Elaine Gemmell, Head of Regulatory Affairs at InnoScot Health, has been conferred the title of Honorary Professor in the Heriot-Watt University School of Engineering and Physical Sciences. A five-year collaborative partnership was signed by InnoScot Health and Heriot-Watt University last year to help fast-track innovation in medical and healthcare technologies.
Risks of high blood pressure and heart related conditions rise markedly with consumption of ultra-processed foods, warned two studies presented to the European Society of Cardiology AGM in Amsterdam. One study surveyed 10,000 women over a period of 15 years, the other studied a third of a million men and women in a Chinese study. The first paper suggested women with high UPF consumption were nearly 40% more likely to develop high blood pressure than those with the lowest amount of UPF; the Chinese study said a 10% increase of UPF consumption was linked to a 6% increase in heart disease.
IBM scientists say they have achieved a significant milestone in the development of a new type of analogue chip that holds the promise of more environmentally friendly AI. The novel technology was unveiled in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Electronics. Chips based on analogue technology have the potential to achieve up to 140 times the energy efficiency of contemporary digital AI hardware, they say, adding that the new prototype achieves the highest throughput and computational precision ever reported with similar analogue AI technology.
Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII) has issued a US$400,000 grant to co-principal investigators, Dr Kevin Frankowski assistant professor for the Centre for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Professor Roslyn Bill, professor of biotechnology at Aston University, towards a three year project to develop treatments for central nervous system swelling.
The Midlands’ life science industry organisation Medilink Midlands has announced the permanent appointment of Melanie Davidson as Chief Executive Officer and Andrea Dawson as Chief Financial and Operating Officer. Both have held their posts in an interim capacity since March.
A published research paper by a team from Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, the University of Leeds, Tianjin University, and AbbVie Inc. has won an Outstanding Manuscript Award from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). Published in the scientific journal Pharmaceutical Research, the paper ‘Solid-State and Surface Structures of the Conformational Polymorphic Forms of Ritonavir in Relation to their Physicochemical Properties’ reports investigations into AIDS drug Ritonavir.
Stem cell research products and services provider ASMBIO doubled its sponsorship recipients for its aid to allow aspiring life scientists to attend and present posters at the recent ISSCR 2023 conference in Boston, USA. AMSBIO marketing manager Krystyna Joyce said the firm doubled the fund and awarded two grants based on the high quality of the submissions: “The entries were so impressive that we ended up sponsoring two winners instead of one: Kerstin Filippi, a doctoral student at the University of Bonn researching in BAG3-associated muscle diseases, and Miriana Dardano, a developmental biologist and doctoral student at the Hanover Medical School conducting research with blood-generating heart organoids”.
Blue Rock Therapeutics and bit.bio announced a research collaboration for discovery and manufacture of immune cell therapies and develop novel cures for immune and inflammatory diseases, focused on the discovery and manufacture of iPSC derived regulatory T cells (Tregs) — cells that are crucial to maintain balance within a body's immune system. Potentially therapies that utilise these specialised cells could treat various autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Early indicators of Parkinson’s disease may be presented with a variety of gut-related issues, says new research. A study of more than 24,000 US Parkinson’s sufferers were compared with similar sized cohorts of Alzheimer’s and brain bleed sufferers, as well as non-sufferers. It revealed Parkonson’s sufferers had a higher degree of gut problems in the years leading up to diagnosis, and that people with gut problems had a higher incidence of Parkinson’s. Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and swallowing difficuty were among the problems sited in Gut journal.
Kindeva, the global drug delivery device contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO), announced that the company has received a grant from the Government Life Sciences Innovation Manufacturing Fund to enhance capacity to manufacture the next generation of green pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) and deliver therapies for respiratory diseases.
Informatics solutions provider STARLIMS has acquired the Labstep R&D electronic laboratory notebook (ELN). The firm said that combining its Laboratory Information Management System technology with Labstep’s SaaS ELN platform would allow users to “remove complexity from the lab and unlock data’s true potential in a progressive, connected system”.
A study by analysts InvestinGoal.com identified the healthcare sector as third best sector for investment with an average return of 13.4%. It includes businesses engaged in providing medical services, producing medical devices or medications, offering medical insurance, or aiding in the overall delivery of healthcare to individuals. The survey analysed returns of all sectors that into which companies within the S&P 500 index are categorised. IT was the first placed sector with an average 2010-22 return of 18.1%, it stated.
Pic: Top left, Vaxxas technology; top right ASMBIO winners Filippi and Dardano; middle left and centre Medilink’s Davidson and Dawson; bottom row – BHF’s Prof Bryan Williams, Aston University’s Roslyn Bill and InnoScot Health’s Elaine Gemmell