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Personalized Medicine? Not Today

Two years ago, Pfizer announced it had partnered with biotech company Celldex to develop a brain cancer vaccine. At the time, many people thought the move heralded the beginning of pharmaceutical companies developing personalized treatments for patients, says Robert Langreth on Forbes' Treatments blog. But now Pfizer has dissolved the partnership, leaving Celldex to try and develop the drug on its own. Instead of aiming broadly at tumors, the vaccine was supposed to be aimed at about 40 percent of brain glioblastoma patients, Langreth says. "Exactly why Pfizer dropped the vaccine is unclear," he adds. "Certainly a definitive trial would have been difficult to perform, and the odds of success are slim thanks to the aggressive nature of glioblastoma. The early trials of the vaccine all had no control group, making the seemingly good survival times reported difficult to interpret."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.