New vaccine production plant; Police Records Detail Arrest Of Seagen CEO – GeekWire

Inventprise CEO Yves Leurquin in the company’s new vaccine factory. (GeekWire Photo / Charlotte Schubert)

Here’s a roundup of the top life sciences and health news in the Pacific Northwest this week.

Bill Gates helps open new vaccine manufacturing facility: Seattle area biotech company Inventprise built the facility with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “For the Gates Foundation, Inventprise is a super important partner,” said Gates, who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tested positive for COVID-19 the next day.

Former Athira Pharma director weighs in: Xue Hua, the company’s former head of clinical development and research, published a blog post criticizing the company’s handling of an investigation that led to the resignation of longtime CEO Leen Kawas in October.

Seagen CEO on Leave Over Domestic Violence Allegations: Police records detail the night Seagen CEO Clay Siegall was arrested at his home last month and charged with a gross infraction of fourth-degree domestic violence. Seagen announced Monday that Siegall is on leave and the company has launched its own investigation.

GeekWire Awards winners: The GeekWire Awards were held live and in person for the first time in three years on Thursday. Learn more about the winners here, including health data company Truveta, which took home the health innovation of the year award. Other finalists in the category were: A-Alpha Bio, Parse Biosciences, Tasso and the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington.

The California two-spotted octopus (Octopus bimaculoides† (Z. Yan Wang photo)

More life sciences news:

Recognition: Four faculty members from the University of Washington have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences: Elizabeth Buffalo, Joseph Mougous, Jay Shendure and Professor Emeritus Jim Truman.

Ambassador: Sister Dr. Jenna, a self-proclaimed “spiritual mentor,” joined Paris Hilton as an ambassador for the Seattle-area microbiome company Viome. After using the company’s “precision supplements,” the radio show host America Meditating began to “feel such a shift in my energy and feelings,” she said in a press release.

To investigate:

  • After laying and nursing her eggs, the female octopus dies in a process known to be mediated by glands between her eyes. The animals sometimes even injure themselves or eat their own limbs in the process. A new study led by University of Washington assistant professor of psychology and biology Z. Yan Wang outlines the chemical pathways controlling the event.
  • According to research led by the Institute for Systems Biology, the composition of gut microbes can influence the body’s response to statins, drugs commonly prescribed for cardiovascular disease. The group found that certain classes of bacteria were associated with a stronger response to the drugs. The findings could lead to new ways to predict who is likely to respond and to more accurate calibration of drug dosage.
  • Scientists have long speculated that individuals may have varying susceptibility to accumulating mutations in their DNA. Assistant professor Kelley Harris of the University of Washington and her colleagues have now found a gene in mice that influences the rate at which mutations accumulate in the rest of the genome. The findings have implications for understanding heredity and cancer susceptibility.
  • Fred Hutch and researchers at the University of Washington have identified some of the unique immune cells found near human solid tumors, providing potential targets for new therapies.

Event: The UW Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine is host five speakers at the Stem Cell Symposium on Thursday 19 May. The event is personal and virtual.

Leave a Comment