Top 10 Biomedical Wins in 2017

Gene therapies, CAR-T and more good news

If you read the news, 2017 was a rough year.

I’ve seen a few good posts about positive press to balance out the negative, but they all chronically under-report biomedicine.

Here are just a handful of this year’s highlights:

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The first gene therapy approved in the US cures a rare form of childhood blindness.
  1. First approved gene therapy (it cures a form of childhood blindness)
  2. First approved treatment for children with Chagas Disease
  3. First approved drug for infants with spinal muscular atrophy
  4. Revenue for Hep C drugs is crashing because they cure so many people that they’re running out of patients
  5. First approved CAR-T drug (powerful new anti-cancer immunotherapy)
  6. Second approved CAR-T drug (cheaper than first)
  7. First approved biosimilar for cancer (cheap copy of effective brand drug)
  8. First test to screen out Zika in blood donations
  9. First drug for Erdheim-Chester Disease (rare blood cancer)
  10. And just this week measles deaths hit a record low worldwide

The biopharma industry gets a lot of flack (looking at you, Shkreli) but it’s also responsible for many of our greatest breakthroughs. 2017 was a banner year. Feel free to share around and brighten someone’s day.

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A young lady who received a CAR-T therapy in a clinical trial.

Happy New Year! —NBH

This post is part of a series of short essays about entrepreneurship, venture capital, and translating scientific research into applied technologies. If you enjoyed reading this one, check out the others and feel free to get in touch!

Written by

Biotech VC. Director or Observer on the boards of six RA Capital companies. Former CEO of Nivien Therapeutics. My writing does not represent RA Capital.

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