Infectious disease

Biomedical/pharma, Healthcare technology, Infectious disease, Personal/public health, Public health, Women’s health

While a vast majority of women experience vaginal yeast infections, research has fallen short in providing an effective treatment approach. However, hope has emerged recently with the development of new model systems that allow exploration of the complex vaginal environment. Organ-on-chip models enable researchers to examine the interactions between human cells and microbes in a more accurate manner, offering the potential for the development of new therapies.
Antibiotic resistance is a major concern for humans and animals. Increasing pressure to move away from antibiotics has created space for new solutions for disease management. Animab’s oral monoclonal antibody platform is a promising alternative, effectively guarding against infection during a vulnerable period in an animal’s development.
Obulytix, a spin-off based on research results from Ghent University and KU Leuven, has built a platform that creates new ways to tackle bacterial infections. The innovative, phage lysin-based platform – leveraging the power of artificial intelligence – attracted a significant four-million-euro investment from Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Qbic, and Gemma Frisius Fund.
Unprecedented collaborations between different pharmaceutical companies have resulted in extraordinary progress for HIV patients over the past four decades. From the first ever treatments, to single pills and now even long-acting injections, treatment options have come a long way. In this interview, Dr. Theresa Pattery (Head of Disease Management Programs at Janssen Pharmaceutica) tells us of this long journey and talks about the role of drones and phones in the world-wide fight against HIV.
The microbiome has been a trending scientific topic in recent years. Researchers have uncovered correlations between the human microbiome and a wide range of diseases and health states, ranging from digestive issues to mental wellbeing. But no matter how fascinating these academic findings may be, translating them into concrete clinical applications remains a challenge. How can we enable more efficient clinical valorization of microbiome insights, and pave the way from pattern to patient?
Venture capitalists have a vital role to play in guiding our planet’s future. By investing in technological advances that remediate environmental ruination, enable adaptation to new conditions, and heal challenging diseases, VC funds can help improve the world while also benefiting their bottom line. But there is an even bolder approach available to VCs who really want to do good: influencing governments by earmarking funds for advocacy groups.
Current cleaning and disinfection practices in food industries are insufficient to destroy unwanted bacteria lurking on surfaces, according to recent Belgian research. Cooperation between diverse types of bacteria makes them stronger and more resilient, causing huge damage in terms of food spoilage, recalls, and health issues. Understanding the development of these microbial communities and their underlying cooperation is vital for assuring food safety, and may lead to developing better forms of biocontrol.
Antimicrobial Resistance has become an enormous challenge for global health, yet remains largely ignored by companies. As this deadly race worsens, we urgently need to address the huge mismatch between the need and incentive for developing new antimicrobial drugs.
Long COVID is a less talked-about aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet its impact on society is already profound. Although this problem is still largely flying under the radar of the life sciences industry, a couple of first movers have already initiated clinical programs to address the condition. If more companies move into this space, long COVID may prove a catalyst for R&D in other related and underserved indications, like chronic fatigue syndrome.