Health/Life Sciences

Life sciences information: Seattle researchers make Time checklist; ‘blowing aside’ educational promotion; and extra

 UW Researchers Evan Eichler, left, and Tulio de Oliveira. (UW Photos)

It was a week of accolades, partnerships and new programs in the Pacific Northwest life sciences scene.

  • University of Washington geneticist Evan Eichler landed on Time magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People of 2022,” along with other researchers who sequenced the very last, very tough parts of the human genome. Time also recognized UW associate professor Tulio de Oliveira for alerting the world to Omicron from his lab at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
  • Mary “Nora” L. Disis, director of UW’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences, spoke at a Fred Hutch event this week featuring women leaders in cancer research. “Our academic promotion process needs to be blown apart,” she told GeekWire in an interview ahead of the event. She also outlined plans for $63 million in new funding.

Read on for more recent life sciences news. And check out these images below of brains, plants, and salamanders, taken on a 3D microscope showcased in a new study.

A whole mouse brain and other samples visualized in 3D. (Adam Glaser Video)

Partnerships and programs:

  • Amazon Web Services announced a program to support 10 U.S.-based startups focused on health equity through its next healthcare accelerator program. Applications are open.
  • Seattle-area cell therapy company Umoja Biopharma announced a collaboration with Lupagen. Lupagen’s “Side CAR-T” system enables cells to be infused with therapeutic cargo right at the patient bedside.
  • Bothell, Wash.-based AGC Biologics launched a program to support displaced Ukrainians and help them find jobs in its global network of life sciences and manufacturing facilities. Meanwhile, Enamine, a Kyiv-based manufacturer of compounds for research and drug development, resumed full operations.

Trials and studies:

  • Seagen’s breast cancer drug Tukysa showed positive results in a phase 2 trial of patients with a form of metastatic colorectal cancer; 38% had a complete or partial response.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia launched a study to treat type 1 diabetes with engineered, insulin-producing cells.
  • A dose of an antibiotic after unprotected sex reduced sexually transmitted infections in a population of men who have sex with men and transgender women. UW researchers helped lead the study.
  • In a new publication, Bristol Myers Squibb outlined how it optimized manufacturing of Breyanzi, its cell therapy product produced in Bothell, Wash.

Gene and Cell Therapy Meeting:

  • Biotech presenters at the recent meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy included: Shape Therapeutics, with three presentations; Umoja Biopharma with three presentations; and Lyell Immunopharma. Researchers from Lyell, Umoja and Outpace Bio were co-authors on an abstract outlining the preclinical development of LYL797, Lyell’s cell therapy for solid tumors now in a phase 1 trial.


  • Seattle-based Chinook Therapeutics seeks to raise $105 million in a public offering, on the heels of $183 million raised in November. The new cash will fuel phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for its kidney disease drug candidate.
  • The Angel Oregon Life and Bioscience startup competition awarded robotic exoskeleton startup Biomotum with $300,000 in angel funding.
Absci CEO Sean McClain, Biomotum CEO Ray Browning and Amanda Oborne, head of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, at the Angel Oregon Life and Bioscience startup event. (Angel Oregon Photo)

Podcasts and presentations:

  • UW researcher and Wavely Diagnostics co-founder Shyam Gollakota discussed how to diagnose ear infections with smartphones.  
  • Truveta CEO Terry Myerson talked about aggregating healthcare data from multiple care systems. Truveta partners with Microsoft, which presented the podcast.
  • Andrew Chadeayne, a chemist and CEO of Seattle-area psychedelics company CaaMTech talked about the compounds in magic mushrooms.
  • Fred Hutch brought together scientists, public health leaders and storytellers to discuss health equity and the indigenous populations of the U.S. and Canada.

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