The elegant designs of many common viruses have made them perfect conscripts in the war against disease. We look back through time from the days of Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner to a recent breakthrough using a strain of the common cold virus to target, infect and destroy cancer cells in patients with bladder cancer. Plus, we speak to Paris-based biotech company SparingVision about the future of specialist eye interventions.

Also, with an advanced smart pill bottle designed to improve patient adherence entering a second clinical trial we find out how packaging can help patient to maintain their medication schedule, examine the commercial significance of being recognised on the World Health Organization’s essential medical list, and investigate why pharma is starting to move away from animal testing.

Plus, we take a look at ways that companies can improve data sharing in clinical trials, explore the challenges of building the world’s first and largest pan-African biobank with 54gene, and review two cases studies to find out if a Netflix-style subscription model could replace the current pay-per-prescription system.

Eloise McLennan, editor