Asian longhorned ticks getting ready to spread further in the US

Krisztian Magori provides an update on the geographical distribution of the Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) in the United States, and his personal perspective getting involved in tracking this invasive tick. Last August I published a blog post here on Bugbitten featuring Haemaphysalis longicornis (the Asian longhorned tick). In that blog post, beyond the basic biology of this invasive tick, I discussed my efforts to predict the potential distribution of this tick in the United States, which I also published as a preprint on biorxiv. (If you have not heard of this tick before, please read that previous blog post).

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GENFIT

GENFIT is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drug candidates in areas of high unmet medical needs corresponding to a lack of suitable treatment and an increasing number of patients worldwide.

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MedTech

2 Small-Cap Biotech Stocks You Haven't Heard of, But Should Know About

Article | July 12, 2022

With everything that's going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare companies have grabbed plenty of spotlight during these challenging times. At the same time, a number of otherwise promising businesses have slipped under the radar. That's especially true for small-cap biotech stocks that aren't actively involved in developing tests, vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. Vaccine developers, protective equipment producers, and healthcare service providers are all attracting plenty of attention during this pandemic, but there are just as many promising biotech stocks that aren't involved in these areas. Here are two such companies that you might have missed, but they deserve a spot on your watch list.

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MedTech

Nanostructures: Emerging as Effective Carriers for Drug Delivery

Article | October 7, 2022

Natural remedies have been employed in medicine since antiquity. However, a large number of them fail to go past the clinical trial stages. In vivo instability, poor solubility and bioavailability, a lack of target-specific delivery, poor absorption, and side effects of the medication are only a few of the problems caused by the use of large-sized materials in drug administration. Therefore, adopting novel drug delivery systems with targeted medications may be a solution to address these pressing problems. Nanotechnology has received tremendous attention in recent years and has been demonstrated to help blur the boundaries between the biological and physical sciences. With great success, it plays a vital part in enhanced medication formulations, targeted venues, and controlled drug release and delivery. Limitations of Traditional Delivery Trigger the Adoption of Nanoparticles The field of nanotechnology and the creation of drug formulations based on nanoparticles is one that is expanding and showcasing great potential. It has been thoroughly researched in an effort to develop new methods of diagnosis and treatment and to overcome the limitations of several diseases' current therapies. As a result, nanoparticles are being used to improve the therapeutic effectiveness and boost patient adherence to treatment by increasing medication bioavailability, drug accumulation at a particular spot, and reducing drug adverse effects. The nanoparticles could be transformed into intelligent systems housing therapeutic and imaging agents by manipulating their surface properties, size, correct drug load, and release with targeted drug delivery. Nanostructures facilitate the release of combination medications at the prescribed dose since they remain in the blood circulation system for a long time. Therefore, they result in fewer plasma fluctuations with decreased side effects. Due to their nanoscale, these structures can easily enter the tissue system, promote the absorption of drugs by cells, make medication administration more effective, and ensure that the medicine acts at the targeted location. The Way Ahead Nanomedicine and nano-delivery systems are a comparatively new but fast-evolving science in which nanoscale materials are used as diagnostic tools to deliver drug molecules at precisely targeted sites in a controlled manner. It is finding applications for the treatment of diseases such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, cancer, ocular, AIDS, and diabetes, among others. With more research and technological advancement, these drug delivery solutions will open up huge opportunities for companies that work with them.

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MedTech

Wisconsin biotech companies could play key roles in long-term economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

Article | July 20, 2022

Whether it’s called a modern “Manhattan Project” or a medical moon shot, the concept of long-term economic recovery rests on how confident people are they won’t risk serious illness by venturing forth in public again. Wisconsin stands to be a significant part of such an undertaking, whatever it’s called. The shorter-term debate is well under way over the gradual lifting of COVID-19 emergency rules, such as the now-extended “safer-at-home” order in Wisconsin. At least a dozen states, including regional coalitions on the East and West coasts, are exploring next steps as they seek to balance responses to the virus with calls for reopening the economy, at least, in part. Wisconsin’s ability to shape longer-term responses will come from private and public resources, which range from companies engaged in production of diagnostics.

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MedTech

Top 3 Biotech Clinical Data Management Trends to Watch in 2022

Article | September 22, 2022

Introduction The administration of medical records and data has advanced significantly during the past few decades. Clinical data management, which was once only a small subset of biotech research organizations, has now developed into a mission-critical, specialized unit. In the late 1990s, electronic data capture (EDC) began to alter the traditional function of clinical data management. After that, the data configuration and management of data queries for the EDC system fell under the purview of clinical data management services. Today, clinical data management is not only responsible for managing the clinical data configuration and data queries but also developing and implementing data administration plans, ensuring data accuracy and completeness, and maintaining optimum data security. In recent years, as digital technologies have gained acceptance around the globe, data has become a vital aspect in decision-making across numerous industries, and the life sciences and biotechnology sectors are no exception. Using data has provided granular insights to biotech organizations, assisting them in creating breakthroughs in drug development and medical research and signifying the importance of clinical trial management systems in these medical verticals. The Biggest Biotech Clinical Data Management Trends to Know About Today The future of clinical data management is contingent upon the implementation of systems and regulations. It is imperative for all organizations participating in a medical or life science trial to have transparent rules in place for sharing and retaining patient data. Also, there is a need to have a standardized format for maintaining these records and documents related to trials. This assists biotech organizations in reducing the chances of ambiguity regarding who owns what kind of data or paperwork at any given time. Over the past couple of years, the focus of the life science and biotechnology industries has shifted towards developing more effective medications and therapies, implementing personalized treatment, and finding cures for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. In response to this, a substantial rise in the number of clinical trials is being witnessed globally. As the number of clinical trials continues to accelerate, the spending on these trials rises as well. In response to this, the worldwide cost of conducting clinical trials is anticipated to reach US$ 49.80 billion in 2022. With the transition of the world from traditional to digital, medical professionals and biotech businesses are increasingly shifting towards adopting high-tech and reliable clinical trial management systems for various applications, starting from diagnosis and clinical trials to patient data documentation. But, what are the future trends in biotechnology clinical data management? Let’s discuss. Cloud-Based Clinical Metadata Repositories Automation is emerging as a new frontier in the biotech clinical data management domain, along with other innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Because of this, life science establishments are witnessing a huge shift from paper-based documentation toward data-based documentation, which is creating mountains of research, compliance, and clinical data. The growing demand for new and more effective medications and drugs is augmenting the need to expedite clinical trials. This is resulting in an increased number of initiatives aimed at optimizing clinical trial processes to prepare and launch successful trials. However, pharmaceutical and biotechnology laboratories are encountering several challenges in collecting, managing, and analyzing metadata due to its complexities. So, what is the best solution to this problem? The answer to this is cloud-based clinical metadata repositories. Clinical research facilities are leveraging advanced, all-in-one, cloud-based clinical metadata repositories to assist them in centralizing and managing metadata; increasing metadata quality, consistency, and accuracy; and speeding up clinical trial management, documentation, and compliance processes. Shift Towards Digital Solutions Electronic Case Report Form Adequate research and accurate data are crucial for a clinical trial to succeed. Whether developing new drugs, medication, or therapies; conducting life science research; or studying the latest clinical trial systems, it is best to use electronic solutions as it reduces the room for mistakes during the transition of clinical data from paper-based format. Realizing this, biotech organizations are shifting towards using electronic case report forms to speed up record retrieval, improve record security, and cut down on operational costs associated with running clinical trials. The electronic case report form assists in lowering the failure rate of the clinical trial, enhancing efficiency, and optimizing security along with improving clinical trial documentation and productivity, further driving its adoption in the medical space. Electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment Electronic clinical outcome assessment is surfacing as one of the fast-growing future trends in biotechnology. It allows clinical trial facilities to automate data entry and improve the reliability of the collected information. The technology enables clinical trial institutions to automatically record patient-provided information about side effects, symptoms, drug timing, and other aspects during the clinical trial for increased precision. It also helps these institutions analyze the results of medication or therapy in clinical trials and lets clinical researchers use medical technologies like biosensor-enabled devices, self-service applications, and medical wearables for evaluation. Hence, biotech clinical facilities are increasingly deploying advanced electronic clinical outcome assessment systems to ensure adherence to protocols and regulations. Clinical Trial Customization The success of a new drug is determined by numerous factors other than its effectiveness, safety, and creativity of its developers, such as a successful clinical trial. Each clinical trial involves a number of decision-making points, and one wrong choice in any of these aspects can jeopardize the success of the entire endeavor. A crucial component of making well-informed decisions is data management, which is a part of clinical study as a whole. Clinical trial customization is emerging as one of the most prominent biotech clinical trial management trends. Every clinical trial is unique and needs a tailored approach to be successful. With the emergence of the trend of personalized treatment around the globe, biotech and pharmaceutical organizations are adopting innovative customized clinical trial management solutions to accelerate the pace of clinical trials and approvals. This is giving clinical researchers innovative ways to come up with new medicines for patients and streamline the clinical data as per the requirements for faster approvals. What Are the Key Clinical Data Management Challenges Faced by Biotech Companies? Groundbreaking medical interventions are of no use without reliable, accurate, and extensive clinical trial data. Without the data, biotech and pharmaceutical companies will not be able to provide the assurance of safety and efficacy required to bring the medication to market. Regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and others are putting stricter rules in place to ensure the quality of clinical data. In addition, the fast-changing clinical development environment is creating more obstacles for biotech and medical spaces to ensure the accuracy, standard, and completeness of the clinical trial data. Hence, clinical teams are spending valuable time cleaning up data instead of analyzing it. Time spent trying to figure out issues with clinical trial data is detrimental and expensive but also mission-critical. This is because a small issue in the data can lead to numerous consequences, from small delays to calamitous setbacks, making it necessary to rerun clinical trials. This problem will only get more challenging to address as the volume of data and the types of data sources continue to grow. Here are some of the major clinical data management challenges that biotech firms encounter Standardization of Clinical Metadata Stringent Regulatory Compliance Increased Clinical Trial Complexity Mid-Study Changes Why Are Clinical Data Management Systems Garnering Popularity in the Biotech Industry? With the changing regulatory and clinical landscape, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are facing several obstacles in the management of clinical data and clinical trials. In addition, regulatory agencies are moving toward integrated electronic systems, which is making it more and more important for clinical laboratories to change the format of their submissions. Because of this, several biotech clinical labs are focusing on adopting innovative laboratory solutions, such as biotech clinical data management systems, to meet the need for standardized data inputs and replace all manual ways of working with electronic systems. A clinical data management system establishes the framework for error-free data collection and high-quality data submission, resulting in speedier drug discovery and shorter time-to-market. These solutions are gaining huge traction among biotech and pharmaceutical companies, owing to their ability to effectively manage clinical data, accelerate clinical trials, and ensure compliance. Let’s see some of the features of biotech clinical data management software that are most sought after by life-science companies Controlled, standardized data repository. Centralized data analysis and administration. Reduced operational expenditures for clinical data processes. Enhanced process effectiveness. Superior submission quality Compliance with predefined standards. Clinical Data Management Systems: The Future The role of clinical data management systems is evolving at a rapid pace as the life science and medical industries continue to incorporate digital solutions for diverse operations. These systems are being used in a variety of biotech clinical settings, ranging from clinical data compliance to data science and analytics, to help them analyze large and growing volumes of clinical data. Hence, a number of high-tech medical companies are aiming at integrating innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, into clinical data management software to automate clinical data management tasks, improve clinical data submission, and enhance data quality. These new biotech clinical management technologies are anticipated to help life science laboratories gain a better understanding of diseases and speed up clinical trials in the coming years. FAQ What is a clinical data management system? A clinical data management system (CDMS) is a tool used in clinical research to track, record, and manage clinical trial data across medical establishments such as biotech laboratories. What are the key functions of the biotech clinical data management system? Some of the key functions of biotech clinical data management system are Documentation of Protocols and Regulations Patient Recruitment Real-time Clinical Study Analytics Reporting Investigator Relationship Management Electronic Visit Report Why is a clinical data management system needed for clinical trials today? A clinical data management system helps shorten the time from drug development to marketing by assisting in the collection of high-quality, statistically sound, and accurate data from clinical trials.

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GENFIT

GENFIT is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drug candidates in areas of high unmet medical needs corresponding to a lack of suitable treatment and an increasing number of patients worldwide.

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Flagship Pioneering Announces the Merger of Two Leading Programmable Medicine Platforms to Form Sail Biomedicines

PR Newswire | October 25, 2023

Flagship Pioneeringannounced the combination of Laronde and Senda Biosciences to launch Sail Biomedicines, a company pioneering the design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail harnesses the power of first-in-category programmable payloads of Endless RNA™ (eRNA), first-in-category programmable nanoparticles, and emerging, proprietary AI technologies, to unlock the comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., MBA, who is also CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering, will become Sail's CEO and board member, while John Mendlein, Ph.D., who also serves as Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering, will become the company's Executive Chairman. Sail unites Laronde and Senda Biosciences, two companies that deliver more than eight years of combined data and multi-product platform building. Senda's platform was the first to leverage a universal chemical code of natural nanoparticles that enables directed and repeatable deployment of payloads, such as translatable RNA, directly to cells and tissues of choice. Laronde pioneered eRNA, a new class of synthetic, translatable RNA that can be programmed to express diverse proteins inside the body, with vast therapeutic potential. "Endless RNA has the potential to create an entirely new class of programmable medicines across therapeutic areas that we will now be able to deliver directly to cells and tissues via deployment molecules with unique properties to confer specificity and greater tolerability," said Mendlein. "We believe these programmable medicines will be greatly enhanced via our proprietary generative AI technologies and rapid prototyping abilities to achieve breakthroughs currently beyond the grasp of the human mind. I look forward to working with the Sail Biomedicines team in this exciting new chapter." "Our deployment platform utilizes natural nanoparticles to shuttle biomolecules into human cells, with unique tropism, potency, and redosability," said Pfefer. "I look forward to leading the integration of these two teams to accelerate the development of new product candidates, build strategic partnerships, and enable diverse value pools, with the goal of swiftly delivering life-changing vaccines and therapies for the people who need them." "Sail Biomedicines builds on the progress made by two leading Flagship bioplatform companies and will enable integrative design for more effective programmable medicines," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. "I am confident the combined leadership team and board will carry forward this company to realize its bold ambitions and ultimately deliver maximum impact for patients." In addition to Mendlein and Pfeffer, the Sail Biomedicines Board of Directors will comprise all current members of the Laronde and Senda Biosciences boards, as follows Pablo Cagnoni, M.D., President and Head of Research & Development, Incyte Jose "Pepe" Carmona, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, ADC Therapeutics Paula Hammond, Ph.D., Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., General Partner, Flagship Pioneering Ignacio Martinez, MBA, General Partner, Flagship Pioneering Sheri McCoy, M.S., MBA, Former Vice Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Mary Szela, MBA, CEO and President, TriSalus Life Sciences About Sail Biomedicines Sail Biomedicines is pioneering the integrative design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail's platform combines first-in-class programmable circular RNA technology (Endless RNA™ or eRNA), and an industry-leading platform of programmable nanoparticles, utilizing natural components, to unlock comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. By leveraging cutting-edge eRNA and nanoparticle deployment technology, Sail is building a wealth of data, enabling unparalleled use of generative AI techniques to identify and design fully programmable medicines that are potent, targeted, versatile, and tunable. Sail was founded by Flagship Pioneering. About Flagship Pioneering Flagship Pioneering is a biotechnology company that invents and builds platform companies, each with the potential for multiple products that transform human health or sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, Flagship has originated and fostered more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $90 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.4 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $26 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions.

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Medical

Zenfold Leverages Ginkgo Enzyme Services to Enable Veterinary Active Ingredient Development with Sustainable Biology

PR Newswire | October 17, 2023

Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, and Zenfold Sustainable Technologies, a company focused on developing and manufacturing specialty ingredients using sustainable technologies and precision fermentation, today announced a collaboration to leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services in its effort to discover an enzyme critical to the manufacturing of veterinary products. This partnership aims to replace traditional chemical processes in veterinary active ingredient production with a sustainable biological method. "This collaboration marks a significant step forward in Zenfold's mission to bring sustainable manufacturing technology to the veterinary medicine industry," said Dr. BSV Prasad, CEO and Managing Director of Zenfold Sustainable Technologies. "By utilizing Ginkgo's expertise and innovation, we are well-positioned to develop a sustainable solution that will have a lasting impact on the Indian market and beyond." "We are excited to partner with Zenfold, which brings a powerful vision of sustainable biotechnology to veterinary active ingredient development. This collaboration will enable us to apply our state-of-the-art enzyme discovery module to enable more innovation in the veterinary medicine space," said Jennifer Wipf, SVP, Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering at Ginkgo. "The project involves creating a broad library of cDNA candidates from a metagenomic collection of billions of enzyme sequences. That's the kind of scale visionary projects like this need, and Ginkgo is committed to scaling up this solution for the betterment of animal health and the environment." About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a wide variety of biological threats. About Zenfold Zenfold Sustainable Technologies is a pioneer in the field of sustainable biology, with a focus on veterinary actives and enzyme supply. This collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks marks Zenfold's expansion into the global veterinary market and further emphasizes their commitment to environmental responsibility and innovative biological solutions.

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Medical

Ichnos Sciences Enters Licensing Agreement For Ox40 Antagonist Monoclonal Antibody Portfolio With Astria Therapeutics

PR Newswire | October 12, 2023

Ichnos Sciences, a global clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative multispecific antibodies for oncology, announced that the company has entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for its OX40 antagonist monoclonal antibody portfolio with Astria Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for rare allergic and immunological diseases. With the execution of this agreement, Ichnos has successfully licensed its two assets for inflammatory and immunological diseases, a key milestone in the company's prioritization of its pipeline of oncology drug candidates. Within the terms of the agreement, Astria will assume full cost and responsibility for the global development and commercialization of the licensed therapeutic program for all indications. In exchange, Ichnos will receive up to $320 million in upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in addition to up to low double-digit royalties. Ichnos has also agreed to allow Astria to draw down on its existing investigational drug substance and drug product stocks at normalized costs to facilitate development. Telazorlimab is a novel, humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that targets OX40 on T cells responsible for inflammation and immunity diseases. Excessive OX40 signaling, expressed on activated T cells, is the feature of several inflammatory diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD). Astria plans to develop an affinity-matured version of telazorlimab and apply YTE half-life extension technology to create a product that aims to address the need for a safe, effective, and infrequently administered AD treatment. "As Ichnos continues to grow as a biotechnology company, this agreement enables our team to focus on advancing our robust pipeline of clinical-stage multispecific antibodies in oncology generated by our proprietary BEAT® platform1, as well as continue the discovery and development of our NK-cell engaging programs for solid tumors," said Cyril Konto, M.D., President and CEO of Ichnos. "I am proud of the work achieved by the Ichnos team in successfully completing the Phase 2b with telazorlimab in atopic dermatitis and potentially opening up a new therapeutic class for this disease. Ichnos is confident in Astria Therapeutics' capabilities and vision for pursuing the development of its OX40 program and delivering a potentially life-changing treatment to patients with inflammatory and immune diseases." "We are looking forward to building on the foundational work that Ichnos has done with their OX40 portfolio," said Jill Milne, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Astria Therapeutics. "We believe that by using Ichnos' affinity-matured next generation monoclonal antibody OX40 antagonist and applying YTE half-life extension technology, we have the potential to deliver a best-in-class profile for atopic dermatitis patients; one that we think can be safe, effective, and long-acting. In addition to OX40 antagonism already being a clinically validated mechanism in atopic dermatitis, we also are excited about the opportunity for potential expansion into additional indications." About Ichnos Sciences Inc. A fully integrated, global biotech with the spirit of a start-up, Ichnos is shifting the way the world thinks about innovation in medicine through its research and development of transformative, disease-centric treatments in oncology. The company, with headquarters in New York, N.Y., is rapidly advancing a clinical-stage pipeline of novel, first-in-class candidates designed to address complex diseases and to treat patients holistically. With its patented BEAT® technology platform and pioneering teams, Ichnos Sciences has a mission to provide breakthrough, curative therapies that will extend and improve lives, writing a new chapter in healthcare.

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Medical

Flagship Pioneering Announces the Merger of Two Leading Programmable Medicine Platforms to Form Sail Biomedicines

PR Newswire | October 25, 2023

Flagship Pioneeringannounced the combination of Laronde and Senda Biosciences to launch Sail Biomedicines, a company pioneering the design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail harnesses the power of first-in-category programmable payloads of Endless RNA™ (eRNA), first-in-category programmable nanoparticles, and emerging, proprietary AI technologies, to unlock the comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., MBA, who is also CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering, will become Sail's CEO and board member, while John Mendlein, Ph.D., who also serves as Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering, will become the company's Executive Chairman. Sail unites Laronde and Senda Biosciences, two companies that deliver more than eight years of combined data and multi-product platform building. Senda's platform was the first to leverage a universal chemical code of natural nanoparticles that enables directed and repeatable deployment of payloads, such as translatable RNA, directly to cells and tissues of choice. Laronde pioneered eRNA, a new class of synthetic, translatable RNA that can be programmed to express diverse proteins inside the body, with vast therapeutic potential. "Endless RNA has the potential to create an entirely new class of programmable medicines across therapeutic areas that we will now be able to deliver directly to cells and tissues via deployment molecules with unique properties to confer specificity and greater tolerability," said Mendlein. "We believe these programmable medicines will be greatly enhanced via our proprietary generative AI technologies and rapid prototyping abilities to achieve breakthroughs currently beyond the grasp of the human mind. I look forward to working with the Sail Biomedicines team in this exciting new chapter." "Our deployment platform utilizes natural nanoparticles to shuttle biomolecules into human cells, with unique tropism, potency, and redosability," said Pfefer. "I look forward to leading the integration of these two teams to accelerate the development of new product candidates, build strategic partnerships, and enable diverse value pools, with the goal of swiftly delivering life-changing vaccines and therapies for the people who need them." "Sail Biomedicines builds on the progress made by two leading Flagship bioplatform companies and will enable integrative design for more effective programmable medicines," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. "I am confident the combined leadership team and board will carry forward this company to realize its bold ambitions and ultimately deliver maximum impact for patients." In addition to Mendlein and Pfeffer, the Sail Biomedicines Board of Directors will comprise all current members of the Laronde and Senda Biosciences boards, as follows Pablo Cagnoni, M.D., President and Head of Research & Development, Incyte Jose "Pepe" Carmona, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, ADC Therapeutics Paula Hammond, Ph.D., Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., General Partner, Flagship Pioneering Ignacio Martinez, MBA, General Partner, Flagship Pioneering Sheri McCoy, M.S., MBA, Former Vice Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Mary Szela, MBA, CEO and President, TriSalus Life Sciences About Sail Biomedicines Sail Biomedicines is pioneering the integrative design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail's platform combines first-in-class programmable circular RNA technology (Endless RNA™ or eRNA), and an industry-leading platform of programmable nanoparticles, utilizing natural components, to unlock comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. By leveraging cutting-edge eRNA and nanoparticle deployment technology, Sail is building a wealth of data, enabling unparalleled use of generative AI techniques to identify and design fully programmable medicines that are potent, targeted, versatile, and tunable. Sail was founded by Flagship Pioneering. About Flagship Pioneering Flagship Pioneering is a biotechnology company that invents and builds platform companies, each with the potential for multiple products that transform human health or sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, Flagship has originated and fostered more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $90 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.4 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $26 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions.

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Medical

Zenfold Leverages Ginkgo Enzyme Services to Enable Veterinary Active Ingredient Development with Sustainable Biology

PR Newswire | October 17, 2023

Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, and Zenfold Sustainable Technologies, a company focused on developing and manufacturing specialty ingredients using sustainable technologies and precision fermentation, today announced a collaboration to leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services in its effort to discover an enzyme critical to the manufacturing of veterinary products. This partnership aims to replace traditional chemical processes in veterinary active ingredient production with a sustainable biological method. "This collaboration marks a significant step forward in Zenfold's mission to bring sustainable manufacturing technology to the veterinary medicine industry," said Dr. BSV Prasad, CEO and Managing Director of Zenfold Sustainable Technologies. "By utilizing Ginkgo's expertise and innovation, we are well-positioned to develop a sustainable solution that will have a lasting impact on the Indian market and beyond." "We are excited to partner with Zenfold, which brings a powerful vision of sustainable biotechnology to veterinary active ingredient development. This collaboration will enable us to apply our state-of-the-art enzyme discovery module to enable more innovation in the veterinary medicine space," said Jennifer Wipf, SVP, Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering at Ginkgo. "The project involves creating a broad library of cDNA candidates from a metagenomic collection of billions of enzyme sequences. That's the kind of scale visionary projects like this need, and Ginkgo is committed to scaling up this solution for the betterment of animal health and the environment." About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a wide variety of biological threats. About Zenfold Zenfold Sustainable Technologies is a pioneer in the field of sustainable biology, with a focus on veterinary actives and enzyme supply. This collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks marks Zenfold's expansion into the global veterinary market and further emphasizes their commitment to environmental responsibility and innovative biological solutions.

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Medical

Ichnos Sciences Enters Licensing Agreement For Ox40 Antagonist Monoclonal Antibody Portfolio With Astria Therapeutics

PR Newswire | October 12, 2023

Ichnos Sciences, a global clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative multispecific antibodies for oncology, announced that the company has entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for its OX40 antagonist monoclonal antibody portfolio with Astria Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for rare allergic and immunological diseases. With the execution of this agreement, Ichnos has successfully licensed its two assets for inflammatory and immunological diseases, a key milestone in the company's prioritization of its pipeline of oncology drug candidates. Within the terms of the agreement, Astria will assume full cost and responsibility for the global development and commercialization of the licensed therapeutic program for all indications. In exchange, Ichnos will receive up to $320 million in upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in addition to up to low double-digit royalties. Ichnos has also agreed to allow Astria to draw down on its existing investigational drug substance and drug product stocks at normalized costs to facilitate development. Telazorlimab is a novel, humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that targets OX40 on T cells responsible for inflammation and immunity diseases. Excessive OX40 signaling, expressed on activated T cells, is the feature of several inflammatory diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD). Astria plans to develop an affinity-matured version of telazorlimab and apply YTE half-life extension technology to create a product that aims to address the need for a safe, effective, and infrequently administered AD treatment. "As Ichnos continues to grow as a biotechnology company, this agreement enables our team to focus on advancing our robust pipeline of clinical-stage multispecific antibodies in oncology generated by our proprietary BEAT® platform1, as well as continue the discovery and development of our NK-cell engaging programs for solid tumors," said Cyril Konto, M.D., President and CEO of Ichnos. "I am proud of the work achieved by the Ichnos team in successfully completing the Phase 2b with telazorlimab in atopic dermatitis and potentially opening up a new therapeutic class for this disease. Ichnos is confident in Astria Therapeutics' capabilities and vision for pursuing the development of its OX40 program and delivering a potentially life-changing treatment to patients with inflammatory and immune diseases." "We are looking forward to building on the foundational work that Ichnos has done with their OX40 portfolio," said Jill Milne, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Astria Therapeutics. "We believe that by using Ichnos' affinity-matured next generation monoclonal antibody OX40 antagonist and applying YTE half-life extension technology, we have the potential to deliver a best-in-class profile for atopic dermatitis patients; one that we think can be safe, effective, and long-acting. In addition to OX40 antagonism already being a clinically validated mechanism in atopic dermatitis, we also are excited about the opportunity for potential expansion into additional indications." About Ichnos Sciences Inc. A fully integrated, global biotech with the spirit of a start-up, Ichnos is shifting the way the world thinks about innovation in medicine through its research and development of transformative, disease-centric treatments in oncology. The company, with headquarters in New York, N.Y., is rapidly advancing a clinical-stage pipeline of novel, first-in-class candidates designed to address complex diseases and to treat patients holistically. With its patented BEAT® technology platform and pioneering teams, Ichnos Sciences has a mission to provide breakthrough, curative therapies that will extend and improve lives, writing a new chapter in healthcare.

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