Have researchers found a new risk factor for schizophrenia?

January 14, 2019 | 125 views

Scientists have located an intriguing link between schizophrenia and the Epstein-Barr virus, a type of herpes virus. Now, they need to determine which way the risk lies. Schizophrenia, a condition characterized by a confused perception of reality, delusions, and altered behavior, affects more than 21 million people globally.

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Women's Healthcare Associates, LLC

We wake up for women, every day. We’re inspired by their strength, their stories and the choices they make in pursuing health for themselves and their families. Our vision is that every woman will have the care and knowledge she needs to lead a full and healthy life. Will you help us achieve it?

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MedTech

Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | July 11, 2022

The big question at the start of 2019 was whether the IPO window would stay open for biotech companies, particularly those seeking to pull off ever-larger IPOs at increasingly earlier stages of development. The short answer is yes—kind of. Here’s the long answer: In the words of Renaissance Capital, the IPO market had “a mostly good year.” The total number of deals fell to 159 from 192 the year before, but technology and healthcare companies were standout performers. The latter—which include biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies—led the pack, making up 43% of all IPOs in 2019. By Renaissance’s count, seven companies went public at valuations exceeding $1 billion, up from five the year before

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MedTech

Cell Out? Lysate-Based Expression an Option for Personalized Meds

Article | July 12, 2022

Cell-free expression (CFE) is the practice of making a protein without using a living cell. In contrast with cell line-based methods, production is achieved using a fluid containing biological components extracted from a cell, i.e., a lysate. CFE offers potential advantages for biopharma according to Philip Probert, PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Process Innovation in the U.K.

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MedTech

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | July 16, 2022

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

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Selexis Cell Line Development Strategies

Article | February 11, 2020

In today’s biotechnology landscape, to be competitive, meet regulations, and achieve market demands, “we must apply Bioprocessing 4.0,” said Igor Fisch, PhD, CEO, Selexis. In fact, in the last decade, “Selexis has evolved from cloning by limiting dilution to automated cell selection to nanofluidic chips and from monoclonality assessment by statistical calculation to proprietary bioinformatic analysis,” he added. Single-use processing systems are an expanding part of the biomanufacturing world; as such, they are a major component of Bioprocessing 4.0. “At Selexis, we use single use throughout our cell line development workflow. Currently, we have incorporated single-use automated bioprocessing systems such as ambr® and the Beacon® optofluidic platform for accelerated cell line development. By using these systems and optimizing our parameters, we were able to achieve high titers in shake flasks. Additionally, the Beacon systems integrate miniaturized cell culture with high-throughput liquid handling automation and cell imaging. This allows us to control, adjust, and monitor programs at the same time,” noted Fisch.

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Spotlight

Women's Healthcare Associates, LLC

We wake up for women, every day. We’re inspired by their strength, their stories and the choices they make in pursuing health for themselves and their families. Our vision is that every woman will have the care and knowledge she needs to lead a full and healthy life. Will you help us achieve it?

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Medical

AbCellera Expands Multi-Target Antibody Discovery Collaboration with Regeneron

businesswire | September 21, 2023

AbCellera announced that it has expanded its existing multi-target collaboration with Regeneron to discover therapeutic antibodies for up to eight targets selected by Regeneron, increased from the original four. “Having successfully delivered on two challenging discovery campaigns under the original agreement, we are excited to expand the scope of our collaboration with Regeneron to include up to four additional targets,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., founder and CEO of AbCellera. “We look forward to using our antibody discovery and development engine to bolster Regeneron’s preclinical portfolio and help identify promising candidates for their programs.” The collaboration, which began in March 2020, leverages AbCellera’s antibody discovery engine and Regeneron’s VelocImmune® mice to identify novel therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera has initiated programs for all four of the original targets, with Regeneron exercising its rights to advance antibody candidates into further preclinical development for the two programs that have been completed. Under the terms of the agreement, Regeneron has the right to develop and commercialize therapeutic antibodies resulting from the collaboration. AbCellera receives research payments and is eligible to receive downstream clinical and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products. About AbCellera Biologics Inc. AbCellera is breaking the barriers of conventional antibody drug discovery to bring better medicines to patients, sooner. AbCellera’s engine integrates expert teams, technology, and facilities with the data science and automation needed to propel antibody-based medicines from target to clinic in nearly every therapeutic area with precision and speed. AbCellera provides innovative biotechs and leading pharmaceutical companies with a competitive advantage that empowers them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.

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Cell and Gene Therapy

Ceres Nanosciences and Ginkgo Bioworks Partner to Bring Pathogen Monitoring Capabilities to Labs Around the World

prnewswire | September 14, 2023

Ceres Nanosciences, a global leader in developing wastewater testing methods based on its Nanotrap® technology, and Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, today announced that they are partnering to bring pathogen monitoring capabilities to laboratories around the world. Pathogen monitoring and analysis capabilities, including in wastewater, are designed to help public health institutions address regional biosecurity challenges. Supported by the NIH RADx Initiative, Ceres developed their Nanotrap technology for robust, sensitive, and time-saving methods to detect a wide range of pathogens in wastewater samples and has deployed those methods to a network of testing sites in the United States. These sites provide wastewater testing services nationwide to deliver valuable public health data, such as information about the relative abundance of COVID-19 variant groups over time in a community's wastewater, to the CDC's National Wastewater Surveillance System and to state, local, and Tribal decision makers. Recently, Concentric by Ginkgo, the biosecurity unit of Ginkgo Bioworks, as part of a CDC program, demonstrated in a study with partners from XPresCheck and Louisiana State University that coupling Ceres' aircraft wastewater testing methods with Concentric's analysis can enable early detection of variants of SARS-CoV-2. San Francisco International Airport was the first airport to announce that it will continuously monitor airplane wastewater samples as part of a CDC program operated by Concentric and XpresCheck. Under the partnership between Ceres and Concentric, labs in countries where Concentric has biosecurity programs receive on-site training and the materials needed to implement the standardized and proven wastewater testing workflow from Ceres. Labs also receive biosecurity tools and data infrastructure to leverage automation, data analysis, bioinformatics capabilities, and other critical genomic sequencing technologies. Together, Ceres and Concentric have set up labs in the Middle East and Africa through this collaboration, offering a cutting-edge approach to biosurveillance technologies and capacity building for labs around the world that are part of Concentric's global pathogen monitoring network. "Under our NIH RADx Initiative, we demonstrated that we can quickly stand up improved wastewater testing capabilities for labs that are experts or novices in the space," said Robbie Barbero, Chief Business Officer at Ceres Nanosciences. "We are delighted now to be partnering with a global leader like Concentric to build a robust public health framework worldwide." "Ceres Nanosciences has been a terrific partner in developing effective and innovative methods for identifying pathogens in wastewater," said Matt McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. "By combining their laboratory expertise with our global footprint, we are building a robust global biological radar to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats." About Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. Ceres Nanosciences is a privately held company, located in Northern Virginia, focused on incorporating its proprietary Nanotrap® particle technology into a range of diagnostic and research use products and workflows. Nanotrap particles capture, concentrate, and preserve low abundance analytes from biological samples, enabling early and accurate detection of diseases. The Nanotrap particle technology was developed with support from the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. 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.

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Medical

Nurix Announces Strategic Collaboration with Seagen Combining Industry Leading Technologies of Targeted Protein Degradation and Antibody-Drug

globenewswire | September 12, 2023

Nurix Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted protein modulation drugs designed to treat patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year, multi-target strategic collaboration agreement with Seagen Inc. to advance a new class of medicines called Degrader-Antibody Conjugates (DACs) for use in cancer. The collaboration between the two companies will focus on an innovative approach to combine two powerful technologies to target cancer—antibody-drug conjugation (ADC) and targeted protein degradation (TPD)—with the goal of creating drugs with new mechanisms of action as well as improved specificity and anti-cancer activity. “By combining the tissue and tumor specificity of antibodies with highly potent and catalytic targeted degradation of cancer driver proteins, we believe that DACs may represent a next generation of cancer medicine for a wide range of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies,” said Arthur T. Sands, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Nurix. “With Seagen, our strategic goal is to advance ADC technology to the next level to provide patients with new DAC drugs that deliver greater anti-tumor efficacy and safety compared to currently available agents.” “The targeted protein degrader modality provides unique advantages over payloads currently employed across the ADC field,” said Gwenn M. Hansen, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Nurix. “This collaboration is a new application of our DELigase technology, and we are delighted to work with Seagen, a pioneer in the development and commercialization of ADC therapeutics, to create a new generation of drugs to fight cancer.” Under the terms of the agreement, Nurix will receive an upfront payment of $60 million and has the potential to receive up to approximately $3.4 billion in research, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments across multiple programs. In addition, Nurix will be eligible for mid-single to low double digit tiered royalties on future sales, and Nurix retains an option for U.S. profit sharing and co-promotion on two products arising from the collaboration. As part of the multi-year collaboration, Nurix will use its proprietary DELigase platform to develop a suite of targeted protein degraders against multiple targets nominated by Seagen that are suitable for antibody conjugation. Seagen will be responsible for conjugating these degraders to antibodies to make DACs and advancing these DAC drug candidates through preclinical and clinical development and commercialization. Given the potential to conjugate multiple antibodies to unique degraders, several DAC drugs may be developed and commercialized within this collaboration. With the receipt of the $60 million upfront payment, Nurix expects that its existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, excluding any future potential milestones from collaborations, will be sufficient to fund its operating activities into the second quarter of 2025. About Nurix Therapeutics, Inc. Nurix Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines based on the modulation of cellular protein levels as a novel treatment approach for cancer and other challenging diseases. Leveraging extensive expertise in E3 ligases together with proprietary DNA-encoded libraries, Nurix has built DELigase, an integrated discovery platform, to identify and advance novel drug candidates targeting E3 ligases, a broad class of enzymes that can modulate proteins within the cell. Nurix’s drug discovery approach is to either harness or inhibit the natural function of E3 ligases within the ubiquitin-proteasome system to selectively decrease or increase cellular protein levels. Nurix’s wholly owned, clinical stage pipeline includes targeted protein degraders of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, a B-cell signaling protein, and inhibitors of Casitas B-lineage lymphoma proto-oncogene B, an E3 ligase that regulates activation of multiple immune cell types including T cell and NK cells. Nurix is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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Medical

AbCellera Expands Multi-Target Antibody Discovery Collaboration with Regeneron

businesswire | September 21, 2023

AbCellera announced that it has expanded its existing multi-target collaboration with Regeneron to discover therapeutic antibodies for up to eight targets selected by Regeneron, increased from the original four. “Having successfully delivered on two challenging discovery campaigns under the original agreement, we are excited to expand the scope of our collaboration with Regeneron to include up to four additional targets,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., founder and CEO of AbCellera. “We look forward to using our antibody discovery and development engine to bolster Regeneron’s preclinical portfolio and help identify promising candidates for their programs.” The collaboration, which began in March 2020, leverages AbCellera’s antibody discovery engine and Regeneron’s VelocImmune® mice to identify novel therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera has initiated programs for all four of the original targets, with Regeneron exercising its rights to advance antibody candidates into further preclinical development for the two programs that have been completed. Under the terms of the agreement, Regeneron has the right to develop and commercialize therapeutic antibodies resulting from the collaboration. AbCellera receives research payments and is eligible to receive downstream clinical and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products. About AbCellera Biologics Inc. AbCellera is breaking the barriers of conventional antibody drug discovery to bring better medicines to patients, sooner. AbCellera’s engine integrates expert teams, technology, and facilities with the data science and automation needed to propel antibody-based medicines from target to clinic in nearly every therapeutic area with precision and speed. AbCellera provides innovative biotechs and leading pharmaceutical companies with a competitive advantage that empowers them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.

Read More

Cell and Gene Therapy

Ceres Nanosciences and Ginkgo Bioworks Partner to Bring Pathogen Monitoring Capabilities to Labs Around the World

prnewswire | September 14, 2023

Ceres Nanosciences, a global leader in developing wastewater testing methods based on its Nanotrap® technology, and Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, today announced that they are partnering to bring pathogen monitoring capabilities to laboratories around the world. Pathogen monitoring and analysis capabilities, including in wastewater, are designed to help public health institutions address regional biosecurity challenges. Supported by the NIH RADx Initiative, Ceres developed their Nanotrap technology for robust, sensitive, and time-saving methods to detect a wide range of pathogens in wastewater samples and has deployed those methods to a network of testing sites in the United States. These sites provide wastewater testing services nationwide to deliver valuable public health data, such as information about the relative abundance of COVID-19 variant groups over time in a community's wastewater, to the CDC's National Wastewater Surveillance System and to state, local, and Tribal decision makers. Recently, Concentric by Ginkgo, the biosecurity unit of Ginkgo Bioworks, as part of a CDC program, demonstrated in a study with partners from XPresCheck and Louisiana State University that coupling Ceres' aircraft wastewater testing methods with Concentric's analysis can enable early detection of variants of SARS-CoV-2. San Francisco International Airport was the first airport to announce that it will continuously monitor airplane wastewater samples as part of a CDC program operated by Concentric and XpresCheck. Under the partnership between Ceres and Concentric, labs in countries where Concentric has biosecurity programs receive on-site training and the materials needed to implement the standardized and proven wastewater testing workflow from Ceres. Labs also receive biosecurity tools and data infrastructure to leverage automation, data analysis, bioinformatics capabilities, and other critical genomic sequencing technologies. Together, Ceres and Concentric have set up labs in the Middle East and Africa through this collaboration, offering a cutting-edge approach to biosurveillance technologies and capacity building for labs around the world that are part of Concentric's global pathogen monitoring network. "Under our NIH RADx Initiative, we demonstrated that we can quickly stand up improved wastewater testing capabilities for labs that are experts or novices in the space," said Robbie Barbero, Chief Business Officer at Ceres Nanosciences. "We are delighted now to be partnering with a global leader like Concentric to build a robust public health framework worldwide." "Ceres Nanosciences has been a terrific partner in developing effective and innovative methods for identifying pathogens in wastewater," said Matt McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. "By combining their laboratory expertise with our global footprint, we are building a robust global biological radar to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats." About Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. Ceres Nanosciences is a privately held company, located in Northern Virginia, focused on incorporating its proprietary Nanotrap® particle technology into a range of diagnostic and research use products and workflows. Nanotrap particles capture, concentrate, and preserve low abundance analytes from biological samples, enabling early and accurate detection of diseases. The Nanotrap particle technology was developed with support from the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. 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.

Read More

Medical

Nurix Announces Strategic Collaboration with Seagen Combining Industry Leading Technologies of Targeted Protein Degradation and Antibody-Drug

globenewswire | September 12, 2023

Nurix Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted protein modulation drugs designed to treat patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year, multi-target strategic collaboration agreement with Seagen Inc. to advance a new class of medicines called Degrader-Antibody Conjugates (DACs) for use in cancer. The collaboration between the two companies will focus on an innovative approach to combine two powerful technologies to target cancer—antibody-drug conjugation (ADC) and targeted protein degradation (TPD)—with the goal of creating drugs with new mechanisms of action as well as improved specificity and anti-cancer activity. “By combining the tissue and tumor specificity of antibodies with highly potent and catalytic targeted degradation of cancer driver proteins, we believe that DACs may represent a next generation of cancer medicine for a wide range of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies,” said Arthur T. Sands, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Nurix. “With Seagen, our strategic goal is to advance ADC technology to the next level to provide patients with new DAC drugs that deliver greater anti-tumor efficacy and safety compared to currently available agents.” “The targeted protein degrader modality provides unique advantages over payloads currently employed across the ADC field,” said Gwenn M. Hansen, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Nurix. “This collaboration is a new application of our DELigase technology, and we are delighted to work with Seagen, a pioneer in the development and commercialization of ADC therapeutics, to create a new generation of drugs to fight cancer.” Under the terms of the agreement, Nurix will receive an upfront payment of $60 million and has the potential to receive up to approximately $3.4 billion in research, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments across multiple programs. In addition, Nurix will be eligible for mid-single to low double digit tiered royalties on future sales, and Nurix retains an option for U.S. profit sharing and co-promotion on two products arising from the collaboration. As part of the multi-year collaboration, Nurix will use its proprietary DELigase platform to develop a suite of targeted protein degraders against multiple targets nominated by Seagen that are suitable for antibody conjugation. Seagen will be responsible for conjugating these degraders to antibodies to make DACs and advancing these DAC drug candidates through preclinical and clinical development and commercialization. Given the potential to conjugate multiple antibodies to unique degraders, several DAC drugs may be developed and commercialized within this collaboration. With the receipt of the $60 million upfront payment, Nurix expects that its existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, excluding any future potential milestones from collaborations, will be sufficient to fund its operating activities into the second quarter of 2025. About Nurix Therapeutics, Inc. Nurix Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines based on the modulation of cellular protein levels as a novel treatment approach for cancer and other challenging diseases. Leveraging extensive expertise in E3 ligases together with proprietary DNA-encoded libraries, Nurix has built DELigase, an integrated discovery platform, to identify and advance novel drug candidates targeting E3 ligases, a broad class of enzymes that can modulate proteins within the cell. Nurix’s drug discovery approach is to either harness or inhibit the natural function of E3 ligases within the ubiquitin-proteasome system to selectively decrease or increase cellular protein levels. Nurix’s wholly owned, clinical stage pipeline includes targeted protein degraders of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, a B-cell signaling protein, and inhibitors of Casitas B-lineage lymphoma proto-oncogene B, an E3 ligase that regulates activation of multiple immune cell types including T cell and NK cells. Nurix is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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