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COVID-19 vaccines developed in Seattle get green light, and more – GeekWire


Structure of the UW COVID-19 vaccine (right). (UW Photo)

Two COVID-19 vaccines developed in Seattle got the nod from regulatory agencies outside the U.S. this week. A University of Washington shot is ready for rollout in South Korea, and a shot linked to HDT Bio won emergency use approval in India. The UW shot is the first approved medicine based on computational protein design, “To me that is a watershed moment,” UW researcher Neil King told GeekWire earlier this month.

Read on for more life sciences news this week in the Pacific Northwest.

Structure of a bacterial protein, including a structure produced by open source tool OpenFold. (OpenFold Image)

Clinical trials and studies:

  • Fred Hutch researcher Jesse Bloom and his colleagues published a study outlining key teps in the evolution of Omicron and other COVID-19 variants.
  • South San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C.-based ESSA Pharma’s experimental therapy for prostate cancer showed “initial anti-tumor activity” in an early-stage study.
  • Seattle-area medical device company LumiThera reported data on its trial treating age-related macular degeneration with a type of light therapy.
  • Black women were more likely than white women to experience delays in obtaining a breast biopsy than white women, according to a UW-led study. The findings suggest that systemic racism may be a factor.

Approvals and deals:

  • Bristol Myers Squibb’s CAR T cell cancer therapy Breyanzi, manufactured in the Seattle area, was approved to treat patients at an earlier stage of disease.
  • Arzeda, a Seattle company that designs proteins for industrial use, announced a collaboration with global materials science company W. L. Gore & Associates.
  • Vancouver B.C.-based Poda, which developed nicotine-delivery devices, completed a $100.5 million sale to Altria Group.


In case you missed it:

  • Affini-T Therapeutics announced a partnership with gene editing company Metagenomi. Affini-T, which has operations in Seattle, will apply Metagenomi’s tech to its T cell receptor therapies directed against cancer-causing genes.
  • Healthcare innovation collaborative Matter launched an incubation program with Amazon Web Services to prepare startups from Europe, Africa and the Middle East to understand and enter the U.S. healthcare market.


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