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Learn more about trends, advances and what's coming next from experts in life science, biotech and academia.

A Revolutionary Convergence

A Revolutionary Convergence
Biology, engineering, and a new age of scientific progress. By Bill Hamilton

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Tissue Engineering's Evolving Promise

Tissue Engineering's Evolving Promise
For thousands of patients waiting for organ transplants, new innovations can deliver new options. By Molly Aulson

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The Super Mind

The Super Mind
Tackling problems in life science with creativity, collaboration and community. By Bill Hamilton

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Beyond Aspirin

Beyond Aspirin
The next era of pharmaceutical manufacturing. By Karen Tiano

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Trends Transforming Drug Discovery


Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is a multi-discipline approach to designing and producing biological functionalities unavailable in nature. This involves reprograming living cells with artificial or foreign genes, which is differentiated from gene-editing technology by using larger portions of DNA.

What's possible? Programming cells that can detect key indicators in the body and act therapeutically to remedy health problems like inherited diseases.

Tissue Engineering

Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field — spanning bioengineering, molecular biology and material science, to name a few — that aims to develop functional substitutes for organs and tissues. This has applications in regenerative medicine, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and research.

What's possible? Leveraging a patient's own cells to grow tissue or complete organs with a lower chance of rejection.

Advanced Cell Culturing

Advanced Cell Culturing

Cell culture is the act of growing cells in vitro (outside an organism) in specific conditions or environments. Pivotal developments, like 3D cell culture, bring advanced techniques closer to resembling conditions found in vivo (inside an organism), better modeling physiological environments.

What's possible? Testing new drugs in vitro with more accuracy prior to expensive and time-consuming in vivo trials.

Gene Editing

Gene Editing

Gene editing is the insertion, deletion or substitution of mutations to interpret, eliminate or correct defects in genes. Of the available technologies, CRISPR-cas9 is one of the most promising for its ability to edit genomes faster and less costly, with increased accuracy and efficiency.

What's possible? Utilizing CRISPR technology to modify immune system T cells, increasing their ability to fight cancer.

Microbiomics

Microbiomics

Microbiomics is the study of microbial ecosystems and their impact on human health. Nearly 100 trillion microbes, functioning as a "microbial organ," inhabit our bodies and play primary roles in digestion, immune system regulation, protection against infection and effective B12 vitamin production.

What's possible? Investigating microorganisms in our bodies to develop disease hypotheses and guide new therapeutic approaches.

Single Cell Techniques

Single Cell Techniques

Single-cell techniques, or single-cell omics, are emerging methods that allow researchers to isolate individual cells and conduct extremely precise analyses. This process clarifies cellular heterogeneity, offering deeper identification and analysis of limited subpopulations that tend to go unexplored.

What's possible? Conducting high-efficiency or high-precision cellular manipulations such as cell transfection.

AI Enabled Drug Discovery

AI Enabled Drug Discovery

AI-enabled drug discovery is an ability to precisely and accurately identify whether drugs are safe and effective through artificial intelligence-based algorithms. AI learning and data can identify predictive patterns for use and classify new data for optimized drug discovery and development.

What's possible? Determining a molecule's potential toxicity to humans through AI technology before it is even developed.



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Solving Together with David Sun Kong
Global problems require global solutions. Hear from Dr. David Sun Kong, director of MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotech Initiative, on fueling community collaboration.

Solving Together with Riccardo Gottardi
Dr. Riccardo Gottardi of University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia discusses how diversity triggers scientific innovation.

Solving Together with Susan Hockfield
How do you problem solve effectively? Dr. Susan Hockfield, president emerita of MIT and author of The Age of Living Machines, gives her advice.

The Pharmaceutical Value Chain
Beyond the aspirin in your medicine cabinet — what is the pharmaceutical value chain and how does it work?



Solving Together: Collaborations. Innovations. Solutions.
Why We're Investing

The Life Science ecosystem is undergoing a transformation unlike any in its history.

More than 15,000 new medicines are in development globally1 from traditional pharmaceutical companies and new players in biotech — medicines that will impact hundreds, thousands or even millions of lives in the coming years.

Still, drug research, manufacturing and development remain slow and inefficient. It currently takes 12 years and an estimated $2.6 billion to bring a new medicine to market2. These statistics tell a story of abundant opportunity for improvement. From research bench to patient bedside, synchronized innovation and solutions must drive the industry towards an optimized future.

We are making progress. The way we discover, develop and manufacture the next generation of drugs is changing dramatically. With a variety of industries collaborating, from life science to pharmaceutical and biotech to regulatory bodies, we can solve together to achieve advancement.



  1. Llop C, Long G. The Biopharmaceutical Pipeline: Innovative Therapies in Clinical Development. Analysis Group, Inc. 2017; 5.

  2. DiMasi JA, Grabowski HG, Hansen RA. Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry: new estimates of R&D costs. Journal of Health Economics 2016; 47:20-33.