Life science news roundup: COVID-19 vaccines developed in Seattle get green light, and more

Life science news roundup: COVID-19 vaccines developed in Seattle get green light, and more
Structure (right) of the UW COVID-19 vaccine. (UW Photo)

Two COVID-19 vaccines developed in Seattle get approval from regulatory agencies outside the US this week. A University of Washington shot is ready for rollout in South Korea, and a shot involving HDT Bio has received emergency use approval in India. UW Shot is the first approved drug based on computational protein design, “It’s a watershed moment for me,” UW researcher Neil King told GeekWire earlier this month.

Read on for more life science news this week in the Pacific Northwest.

Life science news roundup: COVID-19 vaccines developed in Seattle get green light, and more
Structure of a bacterial protein, including a structure produced by the open source tool OpenFold. (openfold image)

Clinical Trials and Studies,

  • Fred Hutch researcher Jesse Bloom and his colleagues published a study outlining key tips in the evolution of Omicron and other COVID-19 variants.
  • South San Francisco and Vancouver, BC-based ESSA Pharma’s Experimental Therapy for Prostate Cancer showed “early anti-tumor activity” in an early-stage study.
  • Seattle-area medical equipment company LumiThera reported data on its trial treating age-related macular degeneration with a type of light therapy.
  • Black women were more likely than white women to experience delays in receiving breast biopsies, according to a UW-led study. The findings suggest that systemic racism may be a factor.

Acceptances and Deals,

  • Bristol Myers Squibb’s CAR T cell cancer therapy Brynzi, manufactured in the Seattle area, was approved to treat patients in earlier stages of the disease.
  • Arjeda, a Seattle company that designs proteins for industrial use, announced a collaboration with global materials science company WL Gore & Associates.
  • Vancouver BC-based Poda, which developed nicotine-delivery devices, completed a $100.5 million sale to the Altria Group.

Financing:

Tech move:

  • Timothy Dellit served in interim positions as CEO of UW Medicine, executive VP of Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine. He replaces Paul Ramsey, who retired this summer.
  • Kinetta has a new Chief Scientific Officer, Thierry Guillaudex, as does ZymeWorks, which hired Paul Moore.
  • William Canestaro will be a fellow of the German Marshall Fund while keeping his job as managing director of the Washington Research Foundation.

In Case You Missed It:

  • Affini-T Therapeutics announced a partnership with gene editing company Metagenomi. Affini-T, which has operations in Seattle, will apply Metagenomi’s technology to its T cell receptor therapy.
  • Healthcare innovation partner Matter launched an incubation program with Amazon Web Services to prepare startups from Europe, Africa and the Middle East to understand and enter the US healthcare market.

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