Cell and Gene Therapy, Medical
prnewswire | August 25, 2023
Synthego, a leading provider of industrialized genome editing solutions that accelerate discovery to clinic journey, and bit.bio, the company coding human cells for novel cures, today announced a strategic partnership to build a platform centered on the implementation of synthetic circuitry in cells for therapeutic application.
bit.bio is building a pipeline of cell therapies focused on areas of unmet clinical need. The partnership will apply Synthego's expertise in gene editing to bit.bio's opti-oxTM precision cell programming technology, with the aim of discovering and developing advanced genetic engineering solutions for cell therapies.
Synthego will rapidly design, build, test and deliver an end-to-end optimized multiplexed genetic editing strategy. The implementation of the multiplexed opti-ox engineering approach will reduce the number of engineering steps required, with the potential of shortening clinical cell engineering and development timelines by up to 10 months.
"bit.bio is the leading synthetic biology company focussed on human cells. We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with bit.bio to facilitate a leap forward in the development of synthetic biology-based cell therapies," said Paul Dabrowski, CEO at Synthego. "By coordinating our respective technologies, expertise and resources, we will unlock new opportunities for addressing critical challenges in the field by advancing the R&D cycle of innovative cell therapies."
"Synthego are experts when it comes to industrialized cell engineering," stated Mark Kotter, CEO at bit.bio. "Teaming up with Synthego will boost our genetic engineering capabilities. We expect efficiency gains across bit.bio's platform which will allow us and our partners to deliver transformative therapies more rapidly to patients in need."
Synthego is a genome engineering company that enables the acceleration of life science research and development in the pursuit of improved human health. The company leverages machine learning, automation, and gene editing to build platforms and products for science at scale. With its foundations in engineering disciplines, the company's platform technologies vertically integrate proprietary hardware, software, bioinformatics, chemistries, and molecular biology to advance basic research, target validation, and clinical trials. With its technologies cited in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and utilized by thousands of commercial and academic researchers and therapeutic drug developers, Synthego is at the forefront of innovation, enabling the next generation of medicines by delivering genome editing at an unprecedented scale.
bit.bio is a synthetic biology company focused on human cells that is advancing medicine (UN SDG9) and enabling curative treatments (UN SDG3). The company does this by industrializing the manufacture of human cells and making them more accessible. The company was spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2016 and has since raised approximately $200m from investors such as Arch Ventures, Foresite Capital, Milky Way, Charles River Laboratories, National Resilience, Tencent, Verition Fund and Puhua Capital.
bit.bio's opti-ox™ precision cell programming and manufacturing technology enables conversion of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into any desired human cell type in a single step. This can be achieved within days and at industrial scale, while maintaining exceptional purity and unparalleled consistency.
Our discovery platform extends this approach to any desired cell type by identifying the transcription factor combinations that define cell states (including identity, cell subtype identity, maturity) using high throughput screens and advanced data analysis. We believe that opti-ox can revolutionize regenerative medicine similarly to how CRISPR is unlocking gene therapy.
bit.bio's cell therapy pipeline is focused on serious diseases that currently lack effective treatments. Our preclinical research areas include liver, immunology and metabolic disease, and we have a collaboration with BlueRock Therapeutics (Bayer AG) to create therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. In addition, our extensive ioCells™ research cell product portfolio, which includes wild type and disease model cells, is opening up new possibilities for studying human biology and developing new medicines in both research and high throughput and high content drug discovery.
Cell and Gene Therapy
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.
businesswire | September 26, 2023
BenevolentAI a leader in the development of advanced AI that accelerates biopharma discovery, announces that it has signed a strategic collaboration with Merck, a leading science and technology company headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany.
The collaboration will enable Merck to leverage BenevolentAI’s powerful end-to-end AI platform capabilities and gain access to an expert team of interdisciplinary drug discovery scientists with the aim of identifying and developing innovative compounds, through Hit Identification (Hit ID) to pre-clinical stage.
BenevolentAI will leverage its suite of AI chemistry design tools, in combination with its fully equipped wet lab facility in Cambridge (UK), to deliver small molecule drug development candidates into the Merck pipeline, ready for onward pre-clinical and clinical development.
Under the terms of the agreement, BenevolentAI will be eligible for payments of up to $594 million, consisting of a low double-digit million dollar upfront payment on signing and then potentially discovery, development and commercial milestones. Tiered royalties will also be payable on net sales of any commercialised products.
Joanna Shields, Chief Executive Officer of BenevolentAI, said: “Our strategic collaboration with Merck exemplifies BenevolentAI’s unique capability to leverage AI to accelerate drug discovery. Our proprietary technology and extensively validated approach of combining AI, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, and in vivo pharmacology supports the discovery of innovative drug candidates in fewer cycles. We look forward to working with the Merck team and are excited at the opportunities in our partnership.”
Public disclosure of inside information in accordance with article 17(1) of the Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 on market abuse (Market Abuse Regulation)
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.