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January 24, 2018 Comments (0) Views: 440 Biotech, Biotech Briefing, Blog

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

Plus: Salk names interim president and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals plans to open research center in San Diego

Reports + Research

Medical Device Tax Suspended for Two Years

Included in the January 22 legislation passed by Congress to fund the government for the next two weeks was a two-year retroactive delay of the medical device tax. Both Biocom and CLSA applauded the suspension as they advocate for full and permanent repeal.


Salk Names Interim President

Rusty Gage, Ph.D., was recently named interim president of the Salk Institute.  Dr. Gage told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he sees his main objectives as stabilizing the institute after recent gender discrimination allegations, and preparing the institute for the next incoming president. Recruitment for that position is underway, and Salk’s Board Chairman Daniel Lewis said he expects to have candidates in the next three to six months.


UCSD Researchers Activate CAR T Cells with Ultrasound

In a PNAS paper, researchers from UCSD, USC, and MSKCC show that ultrasound can specifically activate the cancer-killing CAR T cells within a tumor, possibly preventing uncontrolled immune reactions. The researchers achieved the activation by creating a CAR T cell variant that is activated by the mechanical force of the ultrasound. WIRED also recently covered new medical uses of ultrasound.


Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Plans to Open Research Center in San Diego

One of China’s largest pharmaceutical firms has indicated plans to open a San Diego research center, possibly as early as this year. The company is also looking for potential business partners and acquisition targets in the United States and Europe. In addition, parent company Shanghai Industrial Investment plans to set up a large biotechnology fund with financial institutions and industry investors to invest in mid to advanced stage drug development programs.


Read + Listen

POW!  Podcast of the Week

Don’t have a lot of time for podcasts? Try Scientific American’s 60-Second Science.


BOW!  Book of the Week

Are you looking for a book you can read in a day? Maybe one with cartoons? Try this illustrated book on climate change. Speaking of cartoons – check out these science funnies by San Diego scientist Dzung Nguyen.



It’s Happening Here

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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