Kiadis to buy CytoSen, adding June to advisory board

Kiadis is set to buy CytoSen Therapeutics to expand into anti-cancer natural killer (NK) cell therapies. The all-stock transaction will give Kiadis control of a preclinical NK cell therapy and see it add CAR-T pioneer Carl June to its scientific advisory board. Dutch biotech Kiadis has focused its efforts to date on T cell therapies, specifically a drug designed to improve outcomes in cancer patients who undergo partially matched, haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT). That drug, ATIR101, could come to market in Europe later this year and is on the road to the phase 3 data needed to win global approvals. 

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Annexon Biosciences

Our mission is to develop disease-modifying therapeutics for patients suffering from neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease by targeting complement-mediated neurodegeneration (CMND).

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MedTech

Biotech in 2022

Article | July 13, 2022

The robust global channel of more than, 800 gene and cell curatives presently in trials will produce clinical readouts in 2022, revealing what lies ahead for advanced curatives. The impact will be felt in 2022, no matter how you slice it. Eventually, how well industry and non-supervisory bodies unite to produce new frameworks for advanced therapies will shape the year 2022 and further. Pacific Northwest talent will continue to contribute to the advancement of gene and cell curatives in both the short and long term, thanks to its deep pool of ground-breaking scientific developers, entrepreneurial directorial leadership, largely skilled translational scientists, and endured bio manufacturing technicians. We may see continued on-life science fund withdrawal from biotech in 2021, but this can be anticipated as a strong comeback in 2022 by biotech industry, backed by deep-pocketed life science investors who are committed to this sector. A similar investment, combined with pharma's cash-heavy coffers, can result in increased junction and acquisition activity, which will be a challenge for some but an occasion for others. Over the last five years, investment interest in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest has grown exponentially, from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Oregon. The region's explosive portfolio of new biotech companies, innovated out of academic centres, demonstrates the region's growing recognition of scientific invention. This created a belief that continued, especially because Seattle's start-ups and biotech enterprises are delivering on their pledge of clinical and patient impact. Talent and staffing will continue to be difficult to find. It's a CEO's market, but many of these funds' return, and are not rising in proportion to the exorbitant prices they're paying to enter deals. This schism has become particularly pronounced in 2021. Hence, everyone in biotech is concerned about reclamation and retention.

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MedTech

Expansion of BioPharma: Opportunities and Investments

Article | July 11, 2022

Biopharmaceutical innovations are among the most ingenious and refined achievements of modern medical science. New concepts, techniques, and therapies are emerging, such as the cell therapy Provenge, which can be used to treat cancer, and gene therapies, which provide even more amazing promises of disease remission and regenerative medicine. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge boom in the pharmaceutical industry. This is because more and more attention is being paid to increasing manufacturing capacity and starting new research on drug development. Biopharma: Leading the Way in the Pharma Sector In the past couple of years, the biopharmaceutical sector has deepened its roots across the medical and pharmaceutical industries, on account of the transformation of pharmaceutical companies towards biotechnology, creating opportunities for growth. Also, growing advancements in technologies such as 3D bioprinting, biosensors, and gene editing, along with the integration of advanced artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality are estimated to further create prospects for growth. According to a study, the biopharmaceutical sector makes nearly $163 billion around the world and grows by more than 8% each year, which is twice as fast as the traditional pharma sector. Massive Investments Directed Towards Biopharma Investing in biotech research and development (R&D) has yielded better returns than the pharma industry average. Hence, a number of pharmaceutical companies are shifting their presence toward biopharma to capitalize on the upcoming opportunities by investing in and expanding their biotechnology infrastructure. For instance, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., an American manufacturer of scientific instrumentation, reagents and consumables, and software services, announced an investment of $97 million to expand its bioanalytical laboratory operations into three new locations in the U.S. With this investment, the company will add 150,000 square feet of scientific workspace and install the most advanced drug development technologies to produce life-changing medicines for patients in need.

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MedTech

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

Article | July 16, 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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2 Small-Cap Biotech Stocks You Haven't Heard of, But Should Know About

Article | April 17, 2020

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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Annexon Biosciences

Our mission is to develop disease-modifying therapeutics for patients suffering from neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease by targeting complement-mediated neurodegeneration (CMND).

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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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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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