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The hot topics at AGBT were spatial genomics and single-cell analysis. Illumina’s new NovaSeq X is on most labs buy (or wish) list, but Illumina’s attempt to upset PacBio’s hold on long reads wasn’t doing as well, with PacBio’s new Revio generating a lot of interest – and praise. Bionano piqued a lot of interest but didn’t have a real presence. 10x appeared to be holding its own but not really generating any excitement. NanoString has estab-lished itself and is doing some exciting research, but other companies to watch include: Akoya Biosciences, Element Biosciences, and Parse Biosciences.

Tandem Meetings: New Treatments for GvHD

There are a number of new therapies – and more in development – to treat graft-versus-host disease in transplant patients, particularly for pediatric patients. These range from microbiotics to IL-22, GLP-2 analogs, and integrin receptor antagonists to immunomodulators, JAK inhibitors, ROCK2 inhibitors, and even vitamin A. So, which one is right for which patient?


Among the promising new data at ASCO-GI were updates on drugs in: Biliary tract (bile duct) cancer: Compass Therapeutics’ CTX-009, that significantly improved PFS. Colorectal cancer (CRC): Agenus’ botensilimab improved survival, especially in patients without liver metastases and Taiho Oncology and Servier’s Lonsurf (trifluridine + tipiracil) prolonged overall survival when given with bevacizumab. Gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA): Zymeworks, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and BeiGene’s zanidatamab improved survival first line when added to chemotherapy.

American Academy of Ophthalmology: The FDA Perspective

At AAO, FDA officials offered some very interesting insight into their regulation of ophthalmic drugs, including: No ophthalmology drugs will face an advisory committee review until they can be in person. No new ophthalmic drug approvals are likely soon. Review times are expected to be met. A court decision means a re-review of many approved drugs to get its dispenser approved, and future drugs with a dispenser will be regulated as a combination product. Trials of more than 5 patients must have a concurrent control. When two drugs are compared, they must be compared at the same dosing interval.

Monkeypox: The Unanswered Questions

The monkeypox outbreak is spreading rapidly worldwide, but there are a lot of unanswered questions. How is the virus transmitted? Can you get it from blood? Is the blood supply safe? Why isn’t there more effort to boost the vaccine supply? While monkeypox is not as fatal as HIV/AIDS or Covid-19, will it become the next pandemic? Here is a discussion of these questions and others that need attention if the mistakes of HIV/AIDS and the Covid-19 pandemic are to be avoided.