AquaBounty says go fish

July 7, 2020
Lots of interesting biotech updates today—on AquaBounty’s plans for harvesting sustainable biotech salmon, and on many developments on COVID-19 therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. Here are 615 words, or 3 minutes.

Lots of interesting biotech updates today—on AquaBounty’s plans for harvesting sustainable biotech salmon, and on many developments on COVID-19 therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. Here are 615 words, or 3 minutes.

AquaBounty says go fish

Remember AquaBounty Technologies (ABT)? They have big news this week on a salmon harvest—and what it means for feeding the world.   

Some background: BIO member AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. has developed genetically engineered Atlantic salmon that’s more efficient and sustainable to grow in the United States, “free of disease and antibiotics, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint and no risk of pollution to marine ecosystems as compared to traditional sea-cage farming,” explains the company.

Now, the company has successfully commenced commercial-scale harvest of conventional Atlantic salmon raised at their first U.S. farm.

It’s the first harvest at their land-based Albany, Indiana farm, to stress-test the model for raising Atlantic salmon, before they begin growing the biotech salmon. 

What they’re saying: “As the global population increases, we are seeking better ways to efficiently feed a hungry world with a sustainable source of nutritious food,” said AquaBounty’s CEO Sylvia Wulf. “Land-based aquaculture is a reliable method for supplying fresh and healthy salmon.”

What’s next: ABT will ramp up the harvest of conventional salmon through the summer and also prepare for the first harvest of its AquAdvantage Salmon in Q4 of 2020 in the United States and in Canada. 

But: It’s worth noting ABT is not only the sole provider of approved genetically engineered Atlantic salmon—but of any animal biotech food product in the United States, period. 

So, while we celebrate our member’s success, we also continue to work on the regulatory barriers to developing and the misconceptions about animal biotech—explaining how biotech food and crops are safe, healthy, and can help solve food-related challenges related to climate change and population growth.


More Agriculture and Environment News:

ABLC Digital 2020 feat. BIO’s Stephanie Batchelor
Stephanie Batchelor, VP of BIO’s Industrial and Environment Section, will speak during today’s Bioeconomy Policy Forum at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference 2020 at 1 PM ET. Click here to watch the livestream starting at 12:30 PM ET.


What’s new in the COVID-19 pipeline

As the United States approaches 3 million coronavirus cases, we want to take a look at some of the positive developments in the race to find vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

Regeneron is advancing its experimental antibody cocktail to Phase 3 trial, making it “the first company to begin late-stage efficacy research on an antibody-based drug,” explained Biopharma Dive

The therapeutic could act as a “surrogate for a vaccine” until one’s available by creating antibodies to protect the patient, as Regeneron’s Dr. George Yancopoulos explained on the I AM BIO Podcast earlier this year

Speaking of vaccines, Johnson & Johnson (another BIO member) announced a new deal with Emergent Biosolutions to scale commercial manufacturing of a vaccine, reported Biopharma Dive.

J&J’s vaccine will head to human trials by the end of the month. If the vaccine proves to be safe in Phase 1, the company plans to accelerate its timeline to Phase 3 with a goal of manufacturing 1 billion doses in 2021. 

We’ve also got news on diagnostics. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to Becton Dickinson for a COVID-19 antigen test, reports CNBC

The new type of test scans for proteins on or inside a virus—and it’s quick, cost effective, and can be administered in a variety of patient care settings, yet another example of how biotech will bring us out of this pandemic. 

But that’s not all! Learn more about what’s in the COVID-19 pipeline by taking a look at our tracker.


BIO Beltway Report

President Trump’s Tuesday: This afternoon, he and the First Lady will hold a roundtable on opening schools in the United States.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: More FY2021 markups today, as well as hearings on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education and on workers’ paychecks.

What We're Watching:

Wednesday, July 8

12:00 PM Homeland Security – Examining the National Response to the Worsening Coronavirus Pandemic
1:00 PM Budget Committee - Fueling American Innovation and Recovery: The Federal Role in Research and Development

Thursday, July 9

12:00 PM – E&C Committee - Consumers Beware: Increased Risks During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, July 10

12:00 PM – Homeland Security Subcommittee Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery – Pandemic Response: Confronting the Unequal Impacts of COVID

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