Welcome to the first of many of our life science monthly roundup articles, where I take a look at industry news related to digital marketing, life sciences, and both combined.
Have some news you think I should be sharing, or want to get yourself / your company featured on this list? Send me a message to be considered for future monthly roundups!
Digital Marketing Updates
Google Core Update Set to Impact SEO Results
After I recently wrote about the Google Helpful Content Update, Google announced on the 12th September that it had released the September 2022 core update which has the potential to impact organic traffic – positively and negatively. At the time of writing, there is no official update as to what this update entails, but is likely to be published here at a later date.
Adobe Set to Acquire Figma
Computer software company Adobe has announced a purchase price of UX design tool Figma for a sum of $20 billion (USD). In light of the announcement – which caused the share price of Adobe to drop 20% – both companies aim to reimagine the future of creativity, productivity and advance product design.
Science In The News
‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in 65% of School Uniforms
In a study published by Environmental Science & Technology, the toxic chemicals PFAS were detected in 65% of children’s uniform and textile products across the U.S and Canada. Also known as ‘forever chemicals’ due to their inability to naturally break down, PFAS have been linked with serious health concerns including cancer, birth defects and reproductive problems.
Sleep Deprivation Makes You Selfish
The effects of sleep deprivation are well known and documented widely. But a recent study demonstrated that we as humans are less likely to help each other due to lost sleep, caused by ‘deactivation of key nodes within the social cognition brain network that facilitates prosociality’, which may be causing issues within civil society, particularly amongst first-world nations.
Scientific Innovations & Awards
AlphaFold Developers Win $3 Million Breakthrough Prize
AlphaFold – an AI system developed by DeepMind – a tool that is used to predict the 3D structure of proteins from their amino acid sequence has won a $3 Million (USD) Breakthrough prize, one of the most lucrative science awards going. The tool which has already predicted the structure of many of the known proteins in existence is set to transform the fields of structural biology.
Face Mask Detects The Presence of Airborne Viruses
A wearable bioelectronic face mask that is integrated with ion-gated transistors has been developed to provide a real-time detection platform for respiratory infectious diseases. The mask can detect viruses in the air as micro-droplets or aerosols, which can then provide an alert before infection occurs, such as that seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Startups, Financing & Acquisitions
Colossal Biosciences Launches Form Bio
Colossal Biosciences – the company behind bringing the woolly mammoth out of extinction – has announced the launch of spin-off company Form Bio, offering its breakthrough computational life sciences platform to enable scientists to find the next scientific breakthrough with less time and effort. Recently coming out of stealth mode, the company has raised a $30M Series A funding round, led by JAZZ Venture Partners.
Rivus Pharmaceuticals Raises $132 Million
Biopharmaceutical company Rivus Pharmaceuticals has announced the completion of a $132 million (USD) funding round to support the clinical advancement to treat cardio-metabolic disease. The lead candidate HU6 showed encouraging data from a Phase 2a clinical trial in obese patients, with the financing set to advance future development.
Sesen Bio & Carisma Therapeutics Announce Merger
Sesen Bio – a late stage company that develops fusion protein medicine – have agreed a merger with Carisma – a company who develop chimeric antigen receptor macrophage (CAR-M) therapies – to form a clinical-stage biotechnology firm. The new company aims to revolutionise the field of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancers and other serious disorders.
Policy, Legislation and Regulation
Biden Announces Biotechnology & Biomanufacturing Initiative
On Monday 14th September, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order to launch a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing initiative, pledging more than $2 billion (USD) aimed at leveraging biotechnology for strengthened supply chains, expanding domestic biomanufacturing, fostering innovation across the United States and more, as announced in the White House fact sheet.
Liz Truss Backs UK Life Science Sector
With Liz Truss recently replacing Boris Johnson as the new UK Prime Minister, she goes about a mission to grow the UK’s economy and prevent an economic recession. With a focus on business growth, she was a strong advocate for the UK life sciences sector during her election campaign, and we can only hope she follows through on promises like in this tweet.