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Interviews

Section: Biopharma Insights     View all sections


[Interview] How COVID-19 Catalyzed AI-assisted Open Science Drug Discovery

   by Andrii Buvailo    248
[Interview] How COVID-19 Catalyzed AI-assisted Open Science Drug Discovery

Biopharma companies are now racing to find much-needed cures against SARS-CoV-2, a virus that caused the largest global pandemic of our time. One notable effort is the COVID Moonshot project, organized by an international consortium of scientists from academia, biotechs, contract research organizations (CROs), and pharma -- all working pro bono or via crowdfunding, philanthropy, and grants. 

The aim of the project is to rapidly develop easily manufacturable antiviral drugs that can inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, which is believed to be an Achilles heel of the coronavirus. The project is managed by PostEra, a startup company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to map routes for chemical synthesis to speed the drug-discovery process.

[Interview] Advancing Off-the-shelf Cellular Medicines to Fight COVID-19

   by Andrii Buvailo    1208
[Interview] Advancing Off-the-shelf Cellular Medicines to Fight COVID-19

Mesoblast Limited (Nasdaq:MESO; ASX:MSB), a world leader in developing allogeneic (off-the-shelf) cellular medicines, just announced that the first COVID-19 infected patients have been dosed with remestemcel-L, the company’s proprietary allogeneic cellular medicine. This study is conducted within the framework of the 300-patient randomized placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial underway in North America which focuses on patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) on ventilator support.

[Interview] Hacking Metabolomics With AI To Improve Clinical Research

   by Andrii Buvailo    451
[Interview] Hacking Metabolomics With AI To Improve Clinical Research

Personalized medicine has become a paradigm-shifting trend in healthcare - the hegemony of  “one-size-fits-all” drugs is increasingly challenged by novel innovative modalities and therapies, laser-sharped for a specific group of patients, or even a single patient in some cases. This is a complex story, and the progress in personalized medicine will take time and tectonic shifts in the pharmaceutical research workflow. 

On the other hand, the advent of personalized medicine is only possible with a more personalized system for health assessment, new robust biomarkers, and novel approaches to run and monitor clinical trials. This will require diagnostics that can provide sufficient insight into the metabolic status of individuals, and relatively new science of metabolomics is now taking off in the biotech industry.  

[Interview] Building Canada’s Life Sciences Community and Thinking Global

   by Andrii Buvailo    383
[Interview] Building Canada’s Life Sciences Community and Thinking Global

Canada has a firm place in the global life sciences ecosystem, being the tenth largest market for pharmaceutical sales, and home to America’s second-largest life sciences corridor. The country has a long history of life science research, including the creation of the first pacemaker and discovery of stem cells. 

According to a survey conducted by BIOTECanada and Deloitte in 2018, conducted in 2018, the Canadian life sciences sector includes many early-stage companies with substantial growth potential -- 67% of responders identified themselves as being in the discovery or emerging phase of development in 2017. Surveyed organizations reported intentions to raise additional capital in the coming years and reported access to capital as the primary issue in the life sciences sector in Canada.

[Interview] Shaping European Life Sciences with AI

   by Andrii Buvailo    484
[Interview] Shaping European Life Sciences with AI

There is a great deal of hype and a lot of misconceptions among life science experts as to how AI can or can’t be applied in pharmaceutical research and business. Judging by the rapidly increasing number of AI-involved deals and partnerships tapped by big pharma recently, it becomes obvious that life sciences decision-makers are eager to understand what this new and disruptive technology can bring to the table, and how it can be adopted efficiently with tangible ROI.

In order to get valuable first-hand insight and new ideas about the technology and its emerging role in the life sciences industry, I have asked several questions to Dr. Loubna Bouarfa, Founder and CEO at ​OKRA Technologies ― a leading AI company for healthcare, which builds a sophisticated AI-driven engine specialized in supporting faster and more accurate decisions for life science executives and field teams. Loubna is also a member of the European Union AI High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) and the winner of several prestigious awards, such as MIT Innovator Under 35 and Forbes Top 50 European Women in Technology. Last year, OKRA was named the Best Female-Led Startup at the StartUp Europe Awards.