Solving Together Overview

The Life Science ecosystem is undergoing a transformation unlike any in its history. As we look across the field from research bench to patient bedside, synchronized innovation and evolution are required.

There are more than 15,000 new medicines in development global by traditional pharmaceutical companies and new players in biotech. Medicines that will impact hundreds, thousands or even millions of lives in the coming years.

Still, research, development and manufacturing of drugs remains slow and not as efficient as it could be. It currently takes 12 years and about $2.6 billion to bring a new medicine to the market. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is that trial and error necessitate a lot of iteration.

But, we are making progress. The way we discover, develop and manufacture the next generation of drugs will change in dramatic ways. To achieve this a variety of industries, from life science to pharmaceutical and biotech must work collaboratively.

Seven Trends Transforming Drug Discovery

Synthetic Biology

A multi-discipline approach to designing and producing biological functionalities not available in nature. This is done by reprograming living cells with artificial or foreign genes (gene-editing). Differentiating synthetic biology from gene editing is its use of larger portions of DNA.

What’s possible: Cells that can be programmed to detect key indicators in the body.

Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field –bioengineering, molecular biology, material science, to name a few—with the aim of developing functional substitutes for organs and tissues with applications in regenerative medicine, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and research.

What’s possible: Leveraging a patients own cells to grow tissue (or complete organs) with a lower chance of rejection.

Advanced Cell Culturing

Cell culture is the act of growing cells in vitro (outside organism), in specific conditions or environments. Constantly evolving techniques in cell culture are bringing cell models closer and closer the conditions found in vivo (inside organism). A pivotal development in cell culture is the use of 3D cell culture which brings cell models closer to in vivo conditions.

What’s possible: More accurate testing of new drugs in vitro prior to more expensive and time consuming trials.

Gene Editing

Gene-editing relies on insertion, deletion, or substitution mutations to interpret, eliminate, or correct defects in genes. Of the gene-editing technologies available, CRISPR-cas9 is one of the most promising for its ability to edit genomes faster, cheaper, more accurately, and more efficiently than other methods.

What’s possible: Utilizing CRISPR technology to modify T cells as a way to fight cancer.


Microbiomics is the study of microbial ecosystems and their role on human health. Our bodies, on average, are inhabited by a population of 100 trillion individual microbes that function as a “microbial organ” and play primary roles in the digestion of food, immune system regulation, protection against infection by harmful bacteria and effective B12 vitamin production which is associated with nervous system functioning.

What’s Possible: Utilize the the power of the microbiome to develop disease hypotheses and guide development of new therapeutic approaches.

Single Cell Techniques

Emerging single cell techniques, or single cell-omics, allow researchers to isolate single cells and conduct analyses of a far more precise nature. The process of clarifying cellular heterogeneity offers researchers a chance to more deeply identify and analyze limited subpopulations that tend to be more unexplored.

What’s possible: Conduct high efficiency or precision cellular manipulations such as cell transfection.

AI Enabled Drug Discovery

In order to more precisely and accurately identify whether drugs are safe and effective, AI-Enabled Learning Algorithms use data to identify and use patterns that make predictions or classify new data that can then be used for cheaper, more effective and faster drug discovery and development.

What’s possible: Utilizing AI technology to determine if a molecule will be toxic to humans before it’s even developed.

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Learn more about trends, advances and what’s coming next from experts in the field of life science, biotech and academia.

Visions of Sustainability

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Visions of Sustainability

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Visions of Sustainability

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