NiKang Therapeutics | May 31, 2021
NiKang Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing innovative small molecule oncology medicines to assist patients with unmet medical needs; today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $200 million Series C financing led by Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, and Octagon Capital Advisors with participation from a premier syndicate of funds, including new investors EcoR1 Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Wellington Management, Ally Bridge Group, Pavilion Capital, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, RA Capital Management, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Samsara BioCapital, PFM Health Sciences, Invus, Janus Henderson Investors and Logos Capital. All existing investors, including CBC Group, RTW Investments, LP, Lilly Asia Ventures, Matrix Partners China, and Casdin Capital, participated in the financing. About the funding, Bing Yao, Ph.D., former CEO and chairman of Viela Bio, and Ting Jia, Ph.D., founder and chief investment officer of Octagon Capital Advisors, will join NiKang’s Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to have such an outstanding group of investors as our shareholders,” said Zhenhai Gao, Ph.D., co-founder, president, and chief executive officer of NiKang. “Their support of our vision allows us to build the world’s leading precision oncology company. We are now well-positioned to rapidly advance our pipeline into the clinic, including our differentiated HIF-2 alpha inhibitor, and to bring our company to the next level of growth.”
“This financing is a testament to the quality of our science and team,” Kelsey Chen, Ph.D., MBA, chief financial officer, added. “Since joining NiKang, I have witnessed the passion and dedication of a group of talented scientists who are devoting their lives to advancing treatments for patients. We are grateful to be recognized by such a high-caliber group of investors.”
“NiKang has made remarkable progress over the last eight months since our initial investment,” said Ting Jia, Ph.D., a chief investment officer of Octagon. “We are impressed by the team’s accomplishment. We believe NiKang’s unique approach to attacking difficult-to-drug targets offers promising opportunities to develop breakthrough treatments for cancer patients. We are excited to co-lead the series C financing and partner with the NiKang team to accelerate its growth.”
“We are proud of what NiKang has achieved since its inception,” said Sean Cao, executive chairman of NiKang and managing director of CBC Group, which incubated the company. “The strength of this group of investors validates NiKang’s achievements and demonstrates their confidence in NiKang’s potential to grow into a leading innovative drug company.”
Proceeds will be used to advance the company’s lead drug candidates into the clinic, expand the pipeline, and fund internal drug discovery programs.
About NiKang Therapeutics
NiKang Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech company focused on discovering and developing innovative small molecule oncology medicines to assist patients with unmet medical needs. Our target selection is driven by deep insights into disease biology and molecular pathways. Our discovery approach is informed by target structure biology and capitalizes on structure-based drug design. The successful implementation of our strategy enables us to rapidly and efficiently discover and advance proprietary drug candidates with the most desirable pharmacological features into clinical studies. We strive to bring transformative medicines to patients in need.
TeselaGen Biotechnology | May 21, 2021
TeselaGen Biotechnology today announced the launch of a new protein optimization toolkit for biotherapeutic drug design and development, introducing significant enhancements to the company’s flagship TeselaGen® OS to form designing and developing pharmaceuticals and biotherapeutics faster and fewer expensive. The new capabilities, easily accessible via the cloud-based platform, simplify the planning of highly complex combinatorial protein libraries and support AI models for optimizing new peptides and proteins. New application programming interfaces (APIs) and integration tools have also been extended to further enhance users’ access to the new capabilities.
TeselaGen integrates the facility of AI with one end-to-end platform for design, construction, data gathering, and analysis of bioproduct performance, from pharmaceuticals to food and fabrics, significantly accelerating time to plug and reducing costs. The platform’s DESIGN, BUILD, TEST, and find out modules enable researchers to effectively collaborate across an organization's development pipeline to style and build experiments, standardize and share data, and learn and preserve project results by embedding them during a machine learning model.
TeselaGen’s DESIGN is an intuitive, user-interface-driven module that permits scientists to style highly complex combinatorial libraries. With this new release, the planning now supports aminoalkanoic acid parts which will be efficiently mapped to DNA. TeselaGen can then automatically generate biology protocols for efficiently synthesizing and assembling the corresponding DNA libraries.
TeselaGen’s DISCOVER now supports AI models which will recommend new peptides and proteins supported by the training of supervised and unsupervised learning models. The platform also supports the modeling of unnatural amino acids and multicriteria optimization of proteins. R&D groups can utilize the TeselaGen OS to hurry the invention process. Datasets are uploaded and arranged within the platform and immediately useful for model building within TeselaGen’s DISCOVER module.
TeselaGen has demonstrated that it can increase the planning and build speed of biological products and reduce the prices related to research & development by an order of magnitude. Current partnering companies are using the new capabilities for designing antibodies and optimizing their binding affinity, titer, specific productivity, immunogenicity, or other phenotypic variables of interest. Researchers also are looking to TeselaGen for rapidly engineering new vaccines - using methods like virus-like particles (VLPs), DNA, and RNA vaccines - opening the door to attacking rapidly mutating RNA and retroviruses like influenza, HCV, HIV, or coronaviruses.
About TeselaGen Biotechnology
TeselaGen Biotechnology has developed the primary artificial intelligence-enabled OS for biotechnology, enabling the event and commercialization of high-performance bioproducts – from pharmaceuticals to food to fabrics – faster and easier than ever. TeselaGen® connects biologists, lab technicians, and bioinformaticians so that they will collaboratively design and build experiments, organize and standardize data then test and continually learn from the info. TeselaGen has been deployed by Fortune 50 companies and emerging innovators in biopharmaceuticals, agriculture, and specialty chemicals. the corporate is privately held and based in San Francisco, California.
Iktos, Kadmon | May 19, 2021
Iktos, a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, announced today that it has signed a Research Collaboration Agreement with Kadmon, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in New York, USA, under which Iktos' generative modeling artificial intelligence (AI) technology will be used to allow the rapid and cost-effective design of novel drug candidates. Iktos will use its de novo structure-based generative modeling technologies to find novel compounds that meet a pre-defined target product profile as part of the deal, to speed up Kadmon's early-stage discovery efforts.
Kadmon discovers, develops, and delivers small molecules and biologics for the treatment of human diseases. Intending to identify and develop new product candidates for significant unmet medical needs, Kadmon is expanding and incorporating novel drug discovery platforms.
The AI technology developed by Iktos, which is focused on deep generative models, aids in the speed and efficiency of the drug discovery process. Iktos' technology creates virtual novel molecules that have all of the properties of a successful drug molecule automatically. This approach, which has been validated by Iktos' other collaborations, is an innovative approach to one of the most difficult problems in drug design: finding molecules that meet several important drug criteria at the same time, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties.
Iktos' technology enables the creation of new hits with optimal protein-ligand interactions in early-stage discovery projects, as predicted by molecular modeling technology. This technique allows for a one-of-a-kind discovery of chemical space, as well as the development of innovative molecule designs with greater Freedom to Operate. Furthermore, allowing multi-parametric in silico optimization from the start of a project greatly reduces the hit finding and hit-to-lead optimization phases.
Iktos, a French start-up founded in October 2016, specializes in the development of artificial intelligence technologies for chemical research, especially medicinal chemistry, and new drug design. Iktos is working on a proprietary and innovative approach focused on deep learning generative models that allow users to build molecules in silico that follow all of the performance criteria of a small molecule discovery project using existing evidence. Iktos technology allows for significant efficiency gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos' software is utilized as both professional services and a SaaS software platform, Makya. Spaya, a synthesis planning software built on Iktos' proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis, is also in the works.