Weekly Quick Hits (BioHealth Capital Region) – Week of February 6, 2023

By Sarah Ellinwood, Alex Keown, and Mark Terry
February 10, 2023


CytoRecovery Awarded NSF SBIR Research Grant

Titled “Bioelectrical Cell Enrichment, Sorting, and Recovery with On-Chip Sample Prep and Monitoring,” the grant will provide $952,558 in research funding to develop new features for the company’s CytoR2 Platform for advanced cell sorting. The research will be conducted in the laboratories of Dr. Rafael Davalos, Virginia Tech’s L. Preston Wade Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Nathan Swami, UVA Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the CytoRecovery laboratory located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VT CRC) in Blacksburg, VA, under the direction of Dr, Alex Hyler, who is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the grant.

Spectrum Science Receives Strategic Investment from Knox Lane to Fuel Continued Growth

The partnership will support the continued expansion of Spectrum’s strategic communications capabilities, while also enabling the team to grow its approach to clinical trial recruitment, broaden consultative capabilities for medical affairs clients and drive enhanced tech enablement throughout the organization.

In the Clinic

Kite’s Tecartus® CAR T-Cell Therapy Demonstrates Overall Survival Benefit in Three-Year Follow-up of ZUMA-3 Trial in Relapsed/Refractory B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), shared three-year follow-up results from the ZUMA-3 study of the CAR T-cell therapy Tecartus® (brexucabtagene autoleucel). Results showed a median overall survival (OS) of 26 months and demonstrated that responses remained durable in adults with relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (R/R B-ALL).

Theradaptive’s AMP2 Beats Spinal Fusion Standard of Care

Theradaptive, which specializes in therapeutic delivery platforms, has shown that the efficacy and safety of the company’s AMP2 protein technology in rabbit PLF and sheep interbody fusion models. Data presented at the Orthopaedic Research Society’s annual meeting demonstrate how coating an implant with material-binding osteoinductive AMP2 protein resulted in precise localization of bone formation and consistent spinal fusion without off-target effects. Researchers observed 100% fusion compared to the 60% associated with current autograft technologies in PLF.

On the Hill – Regulatory and Advocacy

BD Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19, Influenza A/B, RSV Combination Test

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX) has received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new molecular diagnostic combination test for SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A + B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) to help combat illness in the current and future respiratory virus seasons. The test, for use on the BD MAX™ Molecular Diagnostic System, uses a single nasal swab or a single nasopharyngeal swab sample to identify and distinguish if a patient has COVID-19, the flu, RSV or some combination of the three, with results available in as little as two hours. The test helps eliminate the need for multiple tests or doctor visits and can help clinicians implement the right treatment plan quickly. The co-testing approach also helps to increase testing capacity during the busy flu/RSV season and speed time to diagnosis.

People on the Move

CraniUS Appoints New Vice-Chair on Board of Directors

CraniUS, who is focused on building groundbreaking diagnostics and treatments for neurosurgical patients with chronic brain disease, appointed Sharon Wolfington as Vice Chair to its Board of Directors. Wolfington brings nearly four decades of medical device leadership amongst numerous global companies including Stryker, DJO Global, and Acumed.  

DIA Appoints Marwan Fathallah as President and Global Chief Executive

Fathallah will lead DIA to help drive thought leadership and innovation in therapeutic development. His broad ranging global experience spans 30 years ranging from operations, end-to-end supply chain, manufacturing, research and development, quality and regulatory, clinical, medical affairs and commercial execution in the Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Drug Delivery and Diagnostics industries.