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April 29, 2021 32 min
The discovery of the double helix, the twisted-ladder structure of deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA by James D. Watson, Ph.D., and Francis Crick, OM, FRS, was one of the great accomplishments in history, a milestone in science that gave rise to modern molecular biology, leading to the Human Genome Project, the international research effort to determine the DNA sequence of the entire human genome.

This year, on Sunday, April 25, 2021, during National DNA Day, we celebrated the successful completion of The Human Genome Project in 2003. The goal of this annual celebration is to learn about the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances impact science and medicine and, in turn, our lives.

In this edition of Physician’s Weekly Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Physician’s Weekly correspondent Shelly Reynolds about the developments revolutionizing science and medicine and how genomics is altering the treatment of disease, and how personalized medicine became a reality as a result of our understanding of DNA and the genome.

Also, in this episode of Physician’s Weekly:

Paul Smidt talks with Tony Polverino, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Early Development and Chief Scientific Officer of Zymeworks about zanidatamab, a novel, investigational biparatopic antibody that simultaneously binds 2 distinct sites on HER2, the trastuzumab-targeted (ECD4) and pertuzumab-targeted (ECD2) domains for the treatment of refractory HER2-amplified biliary tract cancer as well as several Phase 2 trials in HER2-expressing gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA) and breast cancer. The clinical candidate is currently enrolling in a pivotal trial. Initial preclinical results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) earlier this year. [1][2]

And later in the program, Rachel Giles, MD talks with Domenica Rubino, MD, from the Washington Center for Weight Management, Arlington, Virginia about the result of the STEP program (Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People with obesity) which aims to investigate the effect of semaglutide (Novo Nordisk) versus placebo on weight loss, safety, and tolerability in adults with obesity. [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

[1] Meric-Bernstam F, Hamilton EP, Beeram M, et al. Zanidatamab (ZW25) in HER2-expressing gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA): results from a phase I study. J Clin Oncol. 2021; 39(suppl 3):164. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.3_suppl.164
[2] Trial of ZW25 (Zanidatamab) in Patients With Advanced HER2-expressing Cancers - NCT02892123
[3] Research Study Investigating How Well Semaglutide Works in People Suffering From Overweight or Obesity (STEP 1) - NCT03548935,
[4] Research Study Investigating How Well Semaglutide Works in People With Type 2 Diabetes Suffering From Overweight or Obesity (STEP 2) - NCT03552757,
[5] Research Study to Look at How Well Semaglutide is at Lowering Weight When Taken Together With an Intensive Lifestyle Program (STEP 3) - NCT03611582
[6] Research Study Investigating How Well Semaglutide Works in People Suffering From Overweight or Obesity (STEP 4) - NCT03548987
[7] Two-year Research Study Investigating How Well Semaglutide Works in People Suffering From Overweight or Obesity (STEP 5) - NCT03693430
[8] Rubino D, Abrahamsson N, Davies M, Hesse D, Greenway FL, Jensen C, Lingvay I, Mosenzon O, Rosenstock J, Rubio MA, Rudofsky G, Tadayon S, Wadden TA, Dicker D; STEP 4 Investigators. Effect of Continued Weekly Subcutaneous Semaglutide vs Placebo on Weight Loss Maintenance in Adults With Overweight or Obesity: The STEP 4 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2021 Apr 13;325(14):1414-1425. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.3224. PMID: 33755728; PMCID: PMC7988425.
[9] Kushner RF, Calanna S, Davies M, Dicker D, Garvey WT, Goldman B, Lingvay I, Thomsen M, Wadden TA, Wharton S, Wilding JPH, Rubino D. Semaglutide 2.4 mg for the Treatment of Obesity: Key Elements of the STEP Trials 1 to 5. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Jun;28(6):1050-1061. doi: 10.1002/oby.22794. PMID: 32441473; PMCID: PMC731865
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