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Biotech Briefing: UCSD Researchers Activate Cancer-Killing Cells with Ultrasound

January 18, 2018 Comments (0) Views: 307 Biotech, Biotech Briefing, Blog

Biotech Briefing: San Diego Startups Raised $1.93 Billion in Venture Capital in 2017

Plus: TSRI scientists find therapeutic target for Marburg virus

Reports + Research

San Diego Companies Raised $1.93 Billion in Venture Capital in 2017

PitchBook’s Venture Monitor reported that 215 San Diego startups raised $1.93 billion last year, compared with 231 companies raising $1.9 billion in 2016. San Diego healthcare and biotech companies raised the bulk of venture capital dollars. The top deals of Q4 2017 were also reported, with Progenity leading the list. Overall, fundraising in San Diego was similar to 2016, which was different from the national trend of fewer deals but larger dollars.

 

TSRI Scientists Find Therapeutic Target for Marburg Virus

The Marburg virus has the same pandemic potential as the Ebola virus, and no treatment is available. By mapping the virus structure, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) could see how a specific antibody can neutralize the Marburg virus. By blocking the receptor binding site, the antibody prevents the virus from attaching human cells and spreading infection. Other insights into the difference between Marburg and Ebola will help develop much needed therapeutic interventions for these deadly viruses.

 

CIRM to Ask Voters for $5 Billion for Stem Cell Research

Stem cell research proponents — including the same advocacy group, Americans for Cures, that backed Proposition 71 — are planning to ask voters in the November 2020 election for $5 billion in bond money to continue the work of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM. Described as building the “intellectual infrastructure” of California, an independent report estimated that CIRM’s grants plus matching funds results in an average of over 4,000 jobs created per year, and $205 million in state tax revenue.  In addition, research funded by CIRM has lead to cures for life-threatening human diseases.

 

Read + Listen

POW!  Podcast of the Week

As more people get genetic testing, it might be helpful to know that “you are more than your DNA.” Listen to this podcast, n=1, from UCSD San Diego Health to understand more about the interplay of our genes and our environment.

BOW!  Book of the Week

From one of the leading researchers on gene editing, A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution details the history and potential impact of one of the most interesting scientific breakthroughs of our time.

 

Events

It’s Happening Here

January 18
The Junior League of San Diego, a local chapter of an international organization of women that promotes voluntarism, is putting on a certification program for people interested in serving on boards of directors for nonprofit organizations. Applications for the program, called Board Academy, are open through January 18.

February 1
The 2018 International Demo Day will showcase tech and life science startups from CONNECT affiliates from around the globe. This exclusive demo day luncheon is open to the public (registration required) and will be held at the CONNECT office in UTC on February 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

February 3–7
SLAS2018 will be held February 3–7 downtown at the San Diego Convention Center. The conference will include an expansive educational program focused on life sciences discovery and technology.

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