Company Growth, Ambition Drive Ultragenyx’s Continued Success

Two years after its acquisition of Dimension Therapeutics, Bay Area-based Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc. continues to see success in its clinical programs for the company’s adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy treatments and in its overall growth. At the end of December 2018, the company had more than 600 employees and it aims to add even more. Currently, the company is hiring for more than 80 open positions that will continue to strengthen Ultragenyx’s growth strategies. About 40 percent of the open positions are in Massachusetts, which is where Dimension, now headquarters of Ultragenyx Gene Therapy, is located.

Spotlight

BioBridge Global

BioBridge Global is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide.

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MedTech

Better Purification and Recovery in Bioprocessing

Article | July 13, 2022

In the downstream portion of any bioprocess, one must pick through the dross before one can seize the gold the biotherapeutic that the bioprocess was always meant to generate. Unfortunately, the dross is both voluminous and various. And the biotherapeutic gold, unlike real gold, is corruptible. That is, it can suffer structural damage and activity loss. When discarding the dross and collecting the gold, bioprocessors must be efficient and gentle. They must, to the extent possible, eliminate contaminants and organic debris while ensuring that biotherapeutics avoid aggregation-inducing stresses and retain their integrity during purification and recovery. Anything less compromises purity and reduces yield. To purify and recover biotherapeutics efficiently and gently, bioprocessors must avail themselves of the most appropriate tools and techniques. Here, we talk with several experts about which tools and techniques can help bioprocessors overcome persistent challenges. Some of these experts also touch on new approaches that can help bioprocessors address emerging challenges.

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MedTech

How to Choose a Reliable Biotech Clinical Trial Management System?

Article | July 11, 2022

Introduction The medical and life-science industries are experiencing a robust transformation with the increasing prevalence of various types of diseases, including infectious diseases, chronic disorders, and acute conditions around the world. As a result, a significant rise in demand for more effective therapeutic drugs and bionics is being witnessed, leading to a swift increase in the number of clinical trials. For a successful trial, it is important for biotech companies to ensure the data submitted to regulatory bodies regarding clinical trials is accurate, reliable, and definitive from an ethical point of view. A reliable clinical trial management system plays a vital role in collecting, monitoring, and managing clinical data. The availability of high-quality clinical data also helps clinical research institutions make efficient treatment decisions and provide proper patient care. Hence, a number of biotech companies and research organizations are focusing on leveraging innovative clinical trial management solutions to handle a large amount of data, particularly in multi-center trials, and generate reliable, high-quality, and statistically sound data from clinical trials. However, selecting the most appropriate and reliable clinical trial management system is vital for the clinical trial's success. Let's see some of the steps that will assist these firms in choosing the right CTMS. Key Steps for Selecting Right Biotech Clinical Trial Management System Prioritize Study Needs Considering and prioritizing study needs is a crucial step in choosing the most reliable clinical trial management system for biotech companies. Prioritizing helps them to identify a solution that improves the study's quality and removes uncertainty for researchers when faced with difficult choices. Hence, biotech and life-science organizations should choose a clinical trial system that is simple to use, well-organized, and suitably designed to minimize the number of clicks required to complete a task. Select CTMS with Multiple Integrations Integrated clinical trial management systems provide the best value for the companies’ funds as they guarantee the smooth functioning of research protocols. In addition, integrations are necessary to fully understand the importance and advantages of clinical trial management software for ensuring smooth transitions between site management and data collection. Biotech and clinical research should look for CTMS platforms that can integrate with electronic medical record (EMR) platforms and clinical research process content (CRPC) billing grids. This will allow them to use the same billing designations and ensure compliance while minimizing the need for duplicate processes. Ensure System Compliance and Security Clinical research organizations need to adhere to a plethora of complex regulations in order to ensure compliance with one of the most challenging environments of principles, which is information security and privacy. Security and system compliance are vital aspects of choosing the right CTMS solutions for biotech firms as they assist in building trust and form a part of the system’s duties. While selecting CTMS systems, it is essential for companies engaged in clinical research to ensure that these platforms are able to configure both, group and individual permissions, along with having a data backup and recovery plan for hosted systems. This will allow companies to assess the privacy and security implications of research and anticipate complications that may arise in each phase of the project. Assess the Scalability Choosing a scalable CTMS that can accommodate various types of fluctuations and expansions enables biotech and clinical firms to quickly adapt to fast-changing trends and demand spikes while reducing maintenance costs and enhancing user agility. As scalability also means secure and expanded data storage, these businesses should instead use SaaS solutions than manually manage an ever-growing collection of hard drives. The right CTMS ensures accommodating the firm’s availability requirements without incurring the capital costs associated with expanding a physical infrastructure. The Closing Thought A well-executed and successful clinical trial involves multiple stages and processes. Several quality controls and stringent adherence to regulations are essential for the steps, along with efficient cross-departmental processes and procedures. Incorporating the right CTMS paves the way for paperless data collection, regulatory filing, and fiscal management tools for biotech researchers and administrative personnel.

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MedTech

Top 3 Biotech Clinical Data Management Trends to Watch in 2022

Article | July 12, 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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MedTech

Immunology: A New Frontier in Medical Science

Article | July 16, 2022

Introduction Recent developments in the bioengineering of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have revolutionized the treatment of numerous rheumatic and immunological disorders. Currently, several immunological disorders are successfully being targeted and treated using innovative medical techniques such as immunotherapy. Leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities to expand the usage and application of immunology for the treatment of various infectious diseases, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disorders, lupus, and psoriasis, leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities. Today, the efforts of researchers in immunology, with a long history of study and research, have borne fruit, as bioengineered mAbs are now being employed in clinical practices. Accelerating Investments: Paving the Way for Immunology The increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, cancer, and immune-mediated inflammatory disorders (IMIDs) is raising the need for more precise classification and an in-depth understanding of the pathology underlying these ailments. Numerous leaders in the biotechnology domain are thus focusing on undertaking numerous strategies, such as new facility launches and collaborations, to address the need by finding deeper inroads into immunology and its use in disease treatments. For instance, in 2022, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced the launch of a visionary research and innovation hub, the James P. Allison Institute, to find new roads in immunotherapy, develop new treatments, and foster groundbreaking science. These developments will result in better diagnosis through the use of selective biomarkers, and early detection of fatal diseases and their treatment, which will prevent complications from happening. Also, the identification of high-risk populations through a deeper understanding of genetic and environmental factors can assist in the prevention of disease through immunotherapy. The Way Forward Immunology has led to the development of biotechnology, making it possible to develop novel drugs and vaccines, as well as diagnostic tests, that can be used to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of autoimmune, infectious, and cancerous diseases. With the rapid advancement in technology and the integration of artificial intelligence, immunology is finding its way into an array of domains and industries, encompassing several research areas including medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and space. Today, not only researchers but also leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies have recognized that conventional therapies with pharmaceutical and chemical products are being replaced by products derived from immunology. This is because they work well for health problems, are environmentally friendly, and are also emerging as a wealth-generating business in the medical field.

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Spotlight

BioBridge Global

BioBridge Global is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide.

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Cell and Gene Therapy, Diagnostics

NorthX Biologics, a leading Nordic development and manufacturing organisation announces acquisition of a biologics manufacturing unit from Valneva

Globenewswire | July 04, 2023

NorthX Biologics (‘NorthX’), a leading Nordic development and manufacturing organisation with a focus on advanced biologics, CGT (cell and gene therapy) and vaccines, announced today the successful acquisition of the Stockholm-based Clinical Trial Manufacturing unit from Valneva Sweden, significantly expanding capabilities. The acquisition includes the transfer of a multi-purpose facility, situated in the Stockholm life science cluster, close to Karolinska University Hospital. In addition, 30 staff members who currently operate the facility will also join NorthX. The site and staff have a long history with extensive experience of serving both Valneva internally and also working with external customers on a contract development and manufacturing basis. With expertise in mammalian expression systems and viral vectors, the capabilities complement those of NorthX’s existing business of advanced microbial based manufacturing of proteins and plasmid DNA. The acquired unit excels in process development, scale up, GMP production, quality control analytics, and quality assurance/release and is capable of working with Biosafety Level (BSL) 2/2+ and BSL 3 organisms. With this expansion, NorthX enhances its capabilities and can offer comprehensive services to a wider range of clients globally. Janet Hoogstraate, currently Managing Director of Valneva Sweden, will join the NorthX team. She commented, “I am very proud when looking back at what we have achieved within the unit over the past years and look forward with great enthusiasm to build on NorthX’s position as the go-to manufacturer of advanced biologics in Northern Europe.” Helena Strigård, CEO of NorthX, said, “We are delighted to join forces with our new colleagues in Stockholm to bring new innovative treatments to tomorrow’s patients.” Thomas Eldered, Chairman of NorthX, commented, “This strategic move marks a significant milestone in our growth journey and strengthens NorthX as Sweden’s Innovation Hub. We are now able to work with ATMPs and advanced biologics, including process development and manufacture for clinical trials and commercial requirements.” ABOUT NORTHX BIOLOGICS NorthX Biologics develops and manufactures advanced biologics and has over 30 years of GMP production experience. The team provides process development and GMP manufacturing services with expertise in plasmid DNA, mRNA, proteins, cell therapy and other advanced biologics. Headquartered in the heart of Sweden, the team serves customers worldwide. In 2021 NorthX was recognised and appointed as the national innovation hub for GMP manufacture of advanced therapeutics and vaccines by the Swedish Government and Vinnova, Sweden's innovation agency. NorthX has the ambition to become a leading cell and gene therapy manufacturer and partner of choice for innovative drug development companies. For more information visit www.nxbio.com.

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Cell and Gene Therapy, AI

BenevolentAI Progresses BEN-34712 for the Potential Treatment of ALS into IND-Enabling Studies

Businesswire | June 05, 2023

BenevolentAI, a leader in the development of cutting-edge AI that accelerates biopharma discovery, announces the successful delivery of its pre-clinical candidate for the potential treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), BEN-34712. BEN-34712 is an oral, potent and selective brain penetrant RARɑβ (retinoic acid receptor alpha beta) biased agonist and will now enter investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies. Impaired retinoic acid signalling has been shown to result in neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, all hallmarks of ALS. In preclinical studies conducted by the Company, BEN-34712 was neuroprotective in a patient-derived, disease-relevant in vitro motor neuron/iAstrocyte co-culture model, demonstrating significant efficacy in both sporadic and familial subtypes of ALS. In addition, BEN-34712 has demonstrated both central nervous system (CNS) target engagement and functional protective effects in the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS after 50-day repeat dosing. BenevolentAI collaborated with the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) at the University of Sheffield on this programme, utilising their patient-derived motor neuron/iAstrocyte co-culture systems and in vivo model expertise. Anne Phelan, Chief Scientific Officer, BenevolentAI, said: “There remains a significant and urgent need for new and alternative therapies for patients with ALS. We are pleased by the promising advancement of our drug candidate, BEN-34712, towards clinical development, backed by the compelling preclinical data generated by our collaborators at SITraN.” Richard Mead, Senior Lecturer in Translational Neuroscience at SITraN, commented: "ALS patients suffering from this devastating neurodegenerative disease are in dire need of effective therapy, with the current standard of care options focusing on symptom management or offering limited clinical benefit. We believe BEN-34712 represents an exciting development in our research for a potential new treatment, particularly as it shows effectiveness in both the SOD1G93A mouse model system as well as familial and C9orf72 related ALS patient-derived cell models." About BenevolentAI BenevolentAI is a leading developer of advanced artificial intelligence technologies that unlock the value of multimodal data, surface novel insights, and accelerate biomedical discovery. Through the combined capabilities of its AI platform, its scientific expertise, and wet-lab facilities, the Company is developing an in-house drug pipeline of high-value assets. The Company is headquartered in London, with a research facility in Cambridge (UK) and a further office in New York. About ALS ALS is a progressive neurologic disorder characterised by the loss of cortical and spinal motor neurons, leading to the denervation of nerve endplates, axonal retraction and subsequent muscle atrophy. The average survival time following the initial diagnosis is around two-three years, and while there are drugs approved by the US FDA for ALS, they provide only modest benefits to patients, underwriting the urgent need for new and alternative therapies. About SITraN at the University of Sheffield The Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) is an essential development in the fight against motor neurone disease and other common neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's and dementia, as well as stroke and multiple sclerosis. SITraN has the potential to bring new treatments and new hope to patients and carers in the UK and worldwide, by significantly accelerating the pace of therapeutic development using technologies such as experimental modelling of disease, gene therapy and stem cell biology, gene expression profiling and bioinformatics analysis and modelling of the biological processes. Since its opening by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010, SITraN has grown immensely and developed into a leading global facility which is at the forefront of research and expertise.

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Cell and Gene Therapy

Mission Bio Develops Single-Cell Solution to Address Challenges in Genome Editing

PR Newswire | May 12, 2023

Mission Bio, the single-cell DNA and multi-omics company, announced today the Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution, an end-to-end product for genome editing analysis. The product will be previewed next week at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Conference (ASGCT) 26th Annual Meeting. By enabling robust single-cell insights impacting both efficacy and safety, the solution will be a powerful analytical tool for developing the next generation of gene-edited therapies. The first CRISPR-modified therapy is now under regulatory review, and many similar cell-based therapies are expected to follow for multiple intractable diseases. However, genome editing can result in complex, heterogeneous mixtures of edits that make it challenging to apply a level of process control over genome-edited cell products. The Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution addresses these challenges by measuring gene editing outcomes at single-cell resolution, capturing the co-occurrence of on- and off-target edits, as well as the zygosity of edits, which conventional bulk analyses cannot. Additionally, this analysis can be completed within days by processing thousands of cells at a time without any prior selection, while conventional analytical methods require months for clonal outgrowth. An early iteration of the Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution is currently being tested by key genome editing researchers and leading cell therapy developers in academia and industry, who are providing vital feedback on the analysis. Mission Bio recently collaborated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the Genome Editing Consortium, which provided qualified samples to collaborators to assess technologies that report variant size and frequency within a mixed cell population. Samantha Maragh, NIST Genome Editing Program Leader, will present results of the study at 12:00 p.m. PT on May 17 (Poster 533) at the ASGCT Annual Meeting. "We look forward to pulling back the curtain on our end-to-end Genome Editing Solution at ASGCT," said Todd Druley, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer at Mission Bio. "The data acquired under the Genome Editing Consortium further demonstrates the Tapestri® Platform's potential as a standard analysis tool within the genome editing community. Given the heterogeneous results of gene editing strategies, there is a great need to address both industry and regulatory genome editing concerns with a consistent and highly precise technology for accurately measuring gene editing outcomes, and our new offering will be a complete solution to do just that." About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others. The company's Tapestri® Platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri® is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution. The Tapestri® Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.

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Cell and Gene Therapy, Diagnostics

NorthX Biologics, a leading Nordic development and manufacturing organisation announces acquisition of a biologics manufacturing unit from Valneva

Globenewswire | July 04, 2023

NorthX Biologics (‘NorthX’), a leading Nordic development and manufacturing organisation with a focus on advanced biologics, CGT (cell and gene therapy) and vaccines, announced today the successful acquisition of the Stockholm-based Clinical Trial Manufacturing unit from Valneva Sweden, significantly expanding capabilities. The acquisition includes the transfer of a multi-purpose facility, situated in the Stockholm life science cluster, close to Karolinska University Hospital. In addition, 30 staff members who currently operate the facility will also join NorthX. The site and staff have a long history with extensive experience of serving both Valneva internally and also working with external customers on a contract development and manufacturing basis. With expertise in mammalian expression systems and viral vectors, the capabilities complement those of NorthX’s existing business of advanced microbial based manufacturing of proteins and plasmid DNA. The acquired unit excels in process development, scale up, GMP production, quality control analytics, and quality assurance/release and is capable of working with Biosafety Level (BSL) 2/2+ and BSL 3 organisms. With this expansion, NorthX enhances its capabilities and can offer comprehensive services to a wider range of clients globally. Janet Hoogstraate, currently Managing Director of Valneva Sweden, will join the NorthX team. She commented, “I am very proud when looking back at what we have achieved within the unit over the past years and look forward with great enthusiasm to build on NorthX’s position as the go-to manufacturer of advanced biologics in Northern Europe.” Helena Strigård, CEO of NorthX, said, “We are delighted to join forces with our new colleagues in Stockholm to bring new innovative treatments to tomorrow’s patients.” Thomas Eldered, Chairman of NorthX, commented, “This strategic move marks a significant milestone in our growth journey and strengthens NorthX as Sweden’s Innovation Hub. We are now able to work with ATMPs and advanced biologics, including process development and manufacture for clinical trials and commercial requirements.” ABOUT NORTHX BIOLOGICS NorthX Biologics develops and manufactures advanced biologics and has over 30 years of GMP production experience. The team provides process development and GMP manufacturing services with expertise in plasmid DNA, mRNA, proteins, cell therapy and other advanced biologics. Headquartered in the heart of Sweden, the team serves customers worldwide. In 2021 NorthX was recognised and appointed as the national innovation hub for GMP manufacture of advanced therapeutics and vaccines by the Swedish Government and Vinnova, Sweden's innovation agency. NorthX has the ambition to become a leading cell and gene therapy manufacturer and partner of choice for innovative drug development companies. For more information visit www.nxbio.com.

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Cell and Gene Therapy, AI

BenevolentAI Progresses BEN-34712 for the Potential Treatment of ALS into IND-Enabling Studies

Businesswire | June 05, 2023

BenevolentAI, a leader in the development of cutting-edge AI that accelerates biopharma discovery, announces the successful delivery of its pre-clinical candidate for the potential treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), BEN-34712. BEN-34712 is an oral, potent and selective brain penetrant RARɑβ (retinoic acid receptor alpha beta) biased agonist and will now enter investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies. Impaired retinoic acid signalling has been shown to result in neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, all hallmarks of ALS. In preclinical studies conducted by the Company, BEN-34712 was neuroprotective in a patient-derived, disease-relevant in vitro motor neuron/iAstrocyte co-culture model, demonstrating significant efficacy in both sporadic and familial subtypes of ALS. In addition, BEN-34712 has demonstrated both central nervous system (CNS) target engagement and functional protective effects in the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS after 50-day repeat dosing. BenevolentAI collaborated with the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) at the University of Sheffield on this programme, utilising their patient-derived motor neuron/iAstrocyte co-culture systems and in vivo model expertise. Anne Phelan, Chief Scientific Officer, BenevolentAI, said: “There remains a significant and urgent need for new and alternative therapies for patients with ALS. We are pleased by the promising advancement of our drug candidate, BEN-34712, towards clinical development, backed by the compelling preclinical data generated by our collaborators at SITraN.” Richard Mead, Senior Lecturer in Translational Neuroscience at SITraN, commented: "ALS patients suffering from this devastating neurodegenerative disease are in dire need of effective therapy, with the current standard of care options focusing on symptom management or offering limited clinical benefit. We believe BEN-34712 represents an exciting development in our research for a potential new treatment, particularly as it shows effectiveness in both the SOD1G93A mouse model system as well as familial and C9orf72 related ALS patient-derived cell models." About BenevolentAI BenevolentAI is a leading developer of advanced artificial intelligence technologies that unlock the value of multimodal data, surface novel insights, and accelerate biomedical discovery. Through the combined capabilities of its AI platform, its scientific expertise, and wet-lab facilities, the Company is developing an in-house drug pipeline of high-value assets. The Company is headquartered in London, with a research facility in Cambridge (UK) and a further office in New York. About ALS ALS is a progressive neurologic disorder characterised by the loss of cortical and spinal motor neurons, leading to the denervation of nerve endplates, axonal retraction and subsequent muscle atrophy. The average survival time following the initial diagnosis is around two-three years, and while there are drugs approved by the US FDA for ALS, they provide only modest benefits to patients, underwriting the urgent need for new and alternative therapies. About SITraN at the University of Sheffield The Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) is an essential development in the fight against motor neurone disease and other common neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's and dementia, as well as stroke and multiple sclerosis. SITraN has the potential to bring new treatments and new hope to patients and carers in the UK and worldwide, by significantly accelerating the pace of therapeutic development using technologies such as experimental modelling of disease, gene therapy and stem cell biology, gene expression profiling and bioinformatics analysis and modelling of the biological processes. Since its opening by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010, SITraN has grown immensely and developed into a leading global facility which is at the forefront of research and expertise.

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Cell and Gene Therapy

Mission Bio Develops Single-Cell Solution to Address Challenges in Genome Editing

PR Newswire | May 12, 2023

Mission Bio, the single-cell DNA and multi-omics company, announced today the Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution, an end-to-end product for genome editing analysis. The product will be previewed next week at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Conference (ASGCT) 26th Annual Meeting. By enabling robust single-cell insights impacting both efficacy and safety, the solution will be a powerful analytical tool for developing the next generation of gene-edited therapies. The first CRISPR-modified therapy is now under regulatory review, and many similar cell-based therapies are expected to follow for multiple intractable diseases. However, genome editing can result in complex, heterogeneous mixtures of edits that make it challenging to apply a level of process control over genome-edited cell products. The Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution addresses these challenges by measuring gene editing outcomes at single-cell resolution, capturing the co-occurrence of on- and off-target edits, as well as the zygosity of edits, which conventional bulk analyses cannot. Additionally, this analysis can be completed within days by processing thousands of cells at a time without any prior selection, while conventional analytical methods require months for clonal outgrowth. An early iteration of the Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution is currently being tested by key genome editing researchers and leading cell therapy developers in academia and industry, who are providing vital feedback on the analysis. Mission Bio recently collaborated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the Genome Editing Consortium, which provided qualified samples to collaborators to assess technologies that report variant size and frequency within a mixed cell population. Samantha Maragh, NIST Genome Editing Program Leader, will present results of the study at 12:00 p.m. PT on May 17 (Poster 533) at the ASGCT Annual Meeting. "We look forward to pulling back the curtain on our end-to-end Genome Editing Solution at ASGCT," said Todd Druley, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer at Mission Bio. "The data acquired under the Genome Editing Consortium further demonstrates the Tapestri® Platform's potential as a standard analysis tool within the genome editing community. Given the heterogeneous results of gene editing strategies, there is a great need to address both industry and regulatory genome editing concerns with a consistent and highly precise technology for accurately measuring gene editing outcomes, and our new offering will be a complete solution to do just that." About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others. The company's Tapestri® Platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri® is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution. The Tapestri® Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.

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