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Pharmatech: building tomorrow’s solutions

26 August 2016

In a recent blog we explored some of the latest innovations that were helping patients to be more in control of their health and wellbeing. Now we turn the focus to how the latest technological advances are changing medicine and providing HCPs with improved diagnostic methods, new treatment options and innovative ways to monitor patients. Here are some of the things that caught our eye that have real potential to change how HCPs care for their patients in the future.

NHS Genome sequencing project: The NHS has pledged to sequence the genomes of 70,000 patients with cancer, rare diseases or infectious diseases to help aid the development of new diagnostic tests and treatments that are targeted to the genetic makeup of the individual.1 This has the potential to help HCPs administer the right medicine, in the right dose, first time – leading to reduced side effects and improved patient outcomes.1

IBM Watson
An artificial intelligence computer with the ability to learn and interpret scientific data is currently being used by Johnson & Johnson to assist in drug development by establishing links between diseases and the medicines used to treat them. IBM Watson can be taught to read medical literature, ask questions about adverse events, and consider alternative pathways by which a molecule might work. Its capacity to analyse vast amounts of data in a fraction of the time it would take a human researcher provides the potential to speed up the process of drug development and the provision of effective new treatment options.2

WYSS project for dyslexia
A new method of external brain stimulation, known as transcranial alternating current stimulation, is being researched to help repair disrupted neural pathways in people with dyslexia.3 Recent research showed that the auditory cortex produces neural oscillations at a slightly higher frequency in people with dyslexia compared to normal readers.3 The WYSS project is focused on trying to slow down this dysfunction using transcranial electrical stimulation.3 If the technique proves successful it may be possible to extend the approach to aid people with other neurodevelopmental language disorders, such as autism, providing HCPs with a new, non-pharmacotherapy treatment option to offer their patients.3

3D drug printing
Recently, the epilepsy drug Spritam became the first 3D printed drug to be approved by the FDA.4 Manufacturing the drug using 3D printing technology, where it is constructed layer upon layer until the correct dose is achieved, allows delivery of up to 1,000 mg of the drug while still maintaining a porosity that makes it easy to dissolve.4 Improving patients’ adherence is a key objective among HCPs, and easy to take formulations are welcomed as a positive step towards achieving this goal.

Nanotechnology
Nanoparticles, microscopic particles that are small enough to travel around the body in the blood stream, have already proven successful in aiding the delivery of cancer medications and lowering toxicity.4 Now researchers are developing technology to feedback via a mobile app when patients have taken their medication, in order to provide reminders when a dose is due and encourage adherence.4

Creating red blood cells from stem cells
A sustainable source of lab-grown, infection-free blood has the potential to save millions of lives, something that Dr Joanna Mountford at the University of Glasgow is well aware of. Her research, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Funding Council, is focused on creating blood cells from stem cells, and upscaling the project to enable future production of blood for transplantation.5 The project is still in its infancy but, if successful, it could enable the ready supply of blood to hard to reach locations, such as conflict zones or remote medical centres.


Cuttsy+Cuttsy are lovers of innovation that has the potential to make a positive difference to people’s lives. By staying informed on the latest initiatives, and being aware of what’s coming next, we ensure that our own thinking is influenced by the latest ideas and technology.

One of our recent campaigns used a 360˚ virtual reality detail aid as a stand attract at a major European congress. Delegates visited an underwater world where they were exposed to our client’s key messages in an innovative, all-immersive, and memorable way. The positive reception and high volume of traffic to the booth demonstrated how integrating novel technology can help generate interest, while providing a memorable experience that makes users more likely to recall key brand messages.

If you’d like to find out more about some of the projects we’ve been involved with, or discuss a new initiative, get in touch with the team.


References

1. www.genomicsengland.co.uk/the-100000-genomes-project

2. fortune.com/2014/10/09/johnson-and-johnson-ibm-watson-new-drugs

3. www.wysscenter.ch/projects/brain-stim-to-help-dyslexia

4. blog.proclinical.com/top-5-emerging-innovations-in-pharma

5. www.wired.co.uk/article/red-blood-cells-grown-in-lab