Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Investing in Biotech

Randal Kirk, one of the only billionaires to make his money from investing in biotech, says his new synthetic biology company, Intrexon, will be the biggest thing he has ever done, says Forbes' Robert Langreth and Matthew Herper. The company is working on protein-based drugs, gene therapy, industrial enzymes, and ag-bio. "Kirk calls [lead scientist Thomas] Reed 'the Henry Ford of DNA' and says the new company will someday be the Google of the life sciences," Herper and Langreth say. Intrexon is still in the early stages with its lead drug being in early human trials. It's also working on making biofuels, bioplastics, and other consumer products, Herper and Langreth add. The company's gene therapy method involves delivering immune system proteins to targeted areas where they are needed to kill cancer cells while saving healthy tissues. It remains to be seen if Intrexon's promise will pan out, but judging from Kirk's other ventures, it may be a good bet to make, Herper and Langreth say.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.