Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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The women went blind as a result of the treatment. A.E. Kuriyan et al, 'Vision Loss after Intravitreal Injection of Autologous “Stem Cells” for AMD', NEJM, 376 (2017), 1047-53. 2017-03-16T00:00:00+0000Evidence collected from randomised, doublice-blind, placebo controled study of 27,000 patients in 49 countries between Feb 2013 and June 2015. MS Sabatine, et al, 'Evolocumab and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease', NEJM, 2017, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1615664.2017-03-17T00:00:00+0000Developed by EMD Serono, avelumab was the first FDA approved product to treat metastatic Merckel cell carcinoma. Approval was given on the basis of basis of a clinical trial of 88 patient, 33% of whom experienced a complete or partial shrinkage of their tumours. In patients who responded, 86% had a response that last 6 months, and 45% had a response that lasted more than 12 months. The drug is being developed through an alliance between Merck KGaA and Pfizer. 2017-03-23T00:00:00+0000J. S. Gootenberg, O.O. Abudayyeh, J. W. Lee, et al, 'Nucleic acid detection with CRISPR-Cas13a/C2c2', Science, 13 April 2017, eaam9321, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9321 2017-04-13T00:00:00+0000G. Fontana, J. Gershlak, M. Adamski, J-S Lee, S. Matsumoto, H. D. Le, B. Binder, J. Wirth, G. Gaudette, W. L. Murphy, 'Decellularized Plants: Biofunctionalized Plants as Diverse Biomaterials for Human Cell Culture', Advanced Healthcare Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.2017700382017-04-19T00:00:00+0000Collaborative research carried out by scientists at University of Edinburgh, University College London and Imperial College. 2017-04-20T00:00:00+0000The experiment was carried out by scientists at Sichuan University, Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh. It was published in C. Yin, et al, 'In Vivo Excision of HIV-1 Provirus by saCas9 and Multiplex Single-Guide RNAs in Animal Models', Molecular Therapy, 25/5 (2017), 1168-86.2017-05-13T00:00:00+0000The molecular structure of vancomycin was altered to enhance its attack on bacteria cell walls and have three mechanisms of attack so as to prevent bacteria developing resistance. A. Okano el al., 'Peripheral modifications of vancomycin with added synergistic mechanisms of action provide durable and potent antibiotics,' PNAS (2017), oi/10.1073/pnas.1704125114 2017-05-31T00:00:00+0000The drug CTL019 (tisagenlecleucel) was developed by Novartis. Treatment involves removing T cells from the patient and genetically modifying them to increase their capacity to bind to tumour cells in order to get the immune sytem to attack the tumours. It is targeted at children and young adults from three to 25 years old who have not responded to traditional treatments.2017-07-12T00:00:00+00002017-08-01T00:00:00+0000M. Hong, N. Marti-Gutierrez, S-W Park, et al, 'Correction of a pathogenic gene mutation in human embryos', Nature, doi:10.1038/nature233052017-08-02T00:00:00+0000World Hepatitis Alliance,' Study shows universal vaccination has wiped out hepatitis B and associated liver cancer in Alaska's young people', MedicalXpress, August 10 2017. The study was carried out by Brian McMahon and colleagues at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Hepatitis Program. The results was reported to the World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis in Anchorage, Alaska. 2017-08-08T00:00:00+0000The drug Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) is the first gene therapy to become available in the US. 2017-08-30T00:00:00+0000UK scientists modified 41 embryos shortly after fertilisation. N.M.E. Fogarty et al, 'Genome editing reveals a role for OCT4 in human embryogenesis', Nature, doi:10.1038/nature240332017-09-20T00:00:00+0000227 patient study showed drug from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals had benefits for rare hereditary disorder - ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, a rare disorder.2017-09-20T00:00:00+0000L. Xu, et al, 'Trispecific broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies mediate potent SHIV protection in macaques', Science, 20 September 2017, Science, 20 Sep 2017, eaan8630, DOI: 0.1126/science.aan86302017-09-20T00:00:00+0000The drug, a form of immunotherapy, is a PDL1 checkpoint inhibitor.2017-09-20T00:00:00+0000P. Liang, et al, 'Correction of beta-thalassemia mutant by base editor in human embryos', Protein and Cell (2017), doi.org/10.1007/s13238-017-0475-6.2017-09-23T00:00:00+0000Total of 17 boys treated in clinical trial, of which 15 showed marked improvement. Treatment used a modified form of HIV as the vector for infusing corrective genes to generate glial cells. F. Eichler, C. Duncan etl al, 'Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Gene Therapy for Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy', NEJM, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa17005542017-10-04T00:00:00+0000The method provided a means to fix genetic mutations without tampering with the genome. It was published in D.B.T. Cox, J.S. Gootenberg, O.O. Abudayyeh, B.Franklin, M.J. Kellner, et al, 'RNA editing with CRISPR-Cas13', Science (25 Oct 2017), eaaq0180, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq01802017-10-25T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
16 Mar 2017Follow-up of three women given stem cell treatment in 2015 to treat macular degeneration raises concerns KuriyanFlaum Eye InstituteStem cells
17 Mar 2017Monoclonal antibody shown to effectively cut cholesterol levels, thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes SabatineMonoclonal antibodies, Cardiovascular
23 Mar 2017FDA granted accelerated approval to avelumab, a PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, to treat Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer treatment, in patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin disorderEMD Serono, Merck KGaA, PfizerImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
13 Apr 2017CRISPR shown to be sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting single target of DNA or RNA moleculeAbudayyeh, Bhattacharyya, Collins, Daringe, Donghia, Dy, Essletzbichler, Freije, Hung, Joung, Koonin, Lee, Livny, Myhrvold, Regev, Sabeti, Gootenberg, Verdine, ZhangBroad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute CRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
Apr 2017Researchers at University of Washington-Madison demonstrated the possibility of growing skin, bone marrow and blood vessels using plant scaffolds with stem cells University of Washington-Madison, Olbrich Botanical GardensStem Cells
20 Apr 2017Diabetes research using transgenic mice shows the protein P2X7R plays important role in inflammation and immune system offering new avenue for treating kidney diseaseMenziesUniversity of Edinburgh, University College London, Imperial CollegeImunology, Transgenic animals
13 May 2017Research published demonstrating how CRISPR-CAS9 can be used to eliminate HIV in infected mice. Yin, Zhang, Qu, Chang, Putatunda, Xiao, Li, Zhao, Dhai, Qin, Mo, Young, Khalili, HuTemple University, University of Pittsburgh, Sichuan UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
31 May 2017Scientists report successfully re-engineering old antibiotic for combatting superbugsOkano, BodgerScripps Research InstituteAntimicrobial resistance, Antibacterial agents
12 Jul 2017US FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended the approval of the first adoptive cell therapy (CAR-T cell therapy) for B cell acute leukaemiaJuneNovartis, University of PennsylvaniaCancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Adoptive cell therapy, Gene therapy
Aug 2017UK, one of the last countries in Europe, rolled out hepatitis B vaccination programme for infants  Vaccine
2 Aug 2017Research published demonstrating possibility of editing gene defect in pre-implanted human embryos for preventing inherited heart diseaseHong, Marti-Gutierrez, Park, Mitalipov, Kaul, Kim, Amato, BelmonteOregon Health & Science University, Salk Institute, Center for Genome Engineering, Seoul National University, China National GeneBank,CRISPR-Cas9, Reproduction, Cardiovascular, Gene editing
8 Aug 2017Universal hepatitis B vaccination introduced for all newborns in 1980s reported to have wiped out hepatitis B infection and associated liver cancer cases in Alaskan indigenous population  Vaccine
30 Aug 2017USA FDA approved CAR-T therapy for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemiaJuneNovartis, University of PennsylvaniaCancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Adoptive cell therapy, Gene therapy
Sep 2017DNA of human embryos edited using CRISPR-Cas9 to study cause of infertilityFogarty, McCarthy, Snijders, Powell, Kubikova, Blakeley, Lea, Elder, Wamaitha, Kim, Maciulyte, Kleinjung, Kim, Wells, Vallier, Bertero, Turner, NiakanFrancis Crick Instiitute, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Seoul National UniversityCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Reproduction
20 Sep 2017Positive results reported from clinical trial with RNAi drug AlynlamRNA interference
20 Sep 2017Combination of three monoclonal antibodies reported to protect monkeys from HIV Xu, Pegu, Rao, Doria-Rose, Beninga, McKee, Lord, Wei, Deng, Louder, Schmidt, Mankoff, Wu, Asokan, Beil, Lange, Leuschner, Kruip, Sendak, Kwon, Zhou, Chen, Bailer, Wang, Choe, Tartaglia, Barouch, O’Dell, Todd, Burton, Roederer, Connors, Koup, Kwong, YangSanhofi, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Scripps Research Institute, Monoclonal antibodies, Infectious diseases
20 Sep 2017Nivolumab (Opdivo®) made available for NHS patients with advanced lung cancer Honko, FreemanMedarex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ono PharmaceuticalImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Immunotherapy, Monoclonal antibodies
23 Sep 2017Chinese researchers report correction of gene linked to beta thalassaemia, inherited blood disorder, in human embryos using base editing techniqueLiang, Ching, Sun, Xie, Xu, Zhang, Xhiong, Ma, Liu, Wang, Fang, Songyang, Zhou, HuangSun Yat-sen University, Baylor College of MedicineCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, Reproduction
4 Oct 2017Gene therapy shown in clinical trials to halt progression of adrenoleukodystrophy, a fatal brain disease inherited by boys Eichler, Duncan, WilliamsHarvard University, Bluebird Bio, Boston Children’s Hospital Stem cells, Gene therapy
25 Oct 2017New CRISPR technique published for editing RNA Zhang, Cox, Gootenberg, Abudayyeh, B Franklin, Kellner, Essletzbichler, Verdine, Joung, Lander, Belanto, Voytas, RegevMassachusetts Institute of Technology, University of MinnesotaCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing, RNA

16 Mar 2017

Follow-up of three women given stem cell treatment in 2015 to treat macular degeneration raises concerns

17 Mar 2017

Monoclonal antibody shown to effectively cut cholesterol levels, thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes

23 Mar 2017

FDA granted accelerated approval to avelumab, a PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, to treat Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer treatment, in patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin disorder

13 Apr 2017

CRISPR shown to be sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting single target of DNA or RNA molecule

Apr 2017

Researchers at University of Washington-Madison demonstrated the possibility of growing skin, bone marrow and blood vessels using plant scaffolds with stem cells

20 Apr 2017

Diabetes research using transgenic mice shows the protein P2X7R plays important role in inflammation and immune system offering new avenue for treating kidney disease

13 May 2017

Research published demonstrating how CRISPR-CAS9 can be used to eliminate HIV in infected mice.

31 May 2017

Scientists report successfully re-engineering old antibiotic for combatting superbugs

12 Jul 2017

US FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended the approval of the first adoptive cell therapy (CAR-T cell therapy) for B cell acute leukaemia

Aug 2017

UK, one of the last countries in Europe, rolled out hepatitis B vaccination programme for infants

2 Aug 2017

Research published demonstrating possibility of editing gene defect in pre-implanted human embryos for preventing inherited heart disease

8 Aug 2017

Universal hepatitis B vaccination introduced for all newborns in 1980s reported to have wiped out hepatitis B infection and associated liver cancer cases in Alaskan indigenous population

30 Aug 2017

USA FDA approved CAR-T therapy for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Sep 2017

DNA of human embryos edited using CRISPR-Cas9 to study cause of infertility

20 Sep 2017

Positive results reported from clinical trial with RNAi drug

20 Sep 2017

Combination of three monoclonal antibodies reported to protect monkeys from HIV

20 Sep 2017

Nivolumab (Opdivo®) made available for NHS patients with advanced lung cancer

23 Sep 2017

Chinese researchers report correction of gene linked to beta thalassaemia, inherited blood disorder, in human embryos using base editing technique

4 Oct 2017

Gene therapy shown in clinical trials to halt progression of adrenoleukodystrophy, a fatal brain disease inherited by boys

25 Oct 2017

New CRISPR technique published for editing RNA