A Cure for Cancer? How CAR T-Cell Therapy is Revolutionizing Oncology

Labiotech.eu | September 10, 2019

CAR-T therapy has been hailed as a cure for cancer, but what really is this ‘miraculous technology’ and what can we actually expect from it? The field of immuno-oncology is booming with billions of euros in investment. The ability to rewire our own immune system to fight cancer has certainly created huge expectations. After the success of the first checkpoint inhibitor drugs on the market, many are turning their attention to CAR-T cell therapy. There are two CAR-T therapies already on the market. The field is now booming, with over 800 CAR-T clinical trials running. But is this therapy really a cure for cancer, as many seem to believe? Can the technology meet such high expectations? Are side effects a concern? Is it worth the huge price tag? To answer the most burning questions, I talked with some of the leaders in this field to draw an overview of the current state of CAR-T technology.

Spotlight

The new QPix Software 2.0 release enables rapid detection of recombinant bacteria using a blue-white screen with an optical filter. The "Blue-White Picking" module intelligently selects either colored colonies using the Auto Select button. Users also have the flexibility to tune the detection threshold using by adjusting the histogram in the detection pane.

Spotlight

The new QPix Software 2.0 release enables rapid detection of recombinant bacteria using a blue-white screen with an optical filter. The "Blue-White Picking" module intelligently selects either colored colonies using the Auto Select button. Users also have the flexibility to tune the detection threshold using by adjusting the histogram in the detection pane.

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DIAGNOSTICS

Zoetis to Complete Acquisition of Basepaws to Strengthen its Portfolio

Zoetis | June 27, 2022

Zoetis Inc. is the world's largest animal health company committed to providing medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock. The company announced completing the acquisition of a privately held petcare genetics company, Basepaws, which offers early health risk assessments, genetic tests, and analytics to pet owners. The acquisition was first announced on June 7th. However, the financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Basepaws, founded by CEO Anna Skaya in 2017, provides genetic screening tools for the diagnosis of several pet diseases, health reports, and individualized breeds by identifying traits, potential hereditary conditions, and biomarkers. With the help of genetic insights from Basepaws, pet owners and doctors can better understand a pet's risk for the disease. This can result in more meaningful interactions and improve the chances of early identification and treatment of the disease. When we first met Basepaws CEO Anna Skaya and the team, we were immediately drawn to their passion for pets and the role that genetic testing and data analytics can have in advancing animal care – a purpose that drives us every day,The addition of Basepaws will enhance our portfolio in the precision animal health space and inform our future pipeline of petcare innovations. Working together, we can continue to provide veterinarians and pet owners with more comprehensive ways to proactively manage the health, wellness, and quality of care for their animals." Zoetis, CEO Kristin Peck.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Versant Ventures Collaborates with AbCellera to Accelerate Drug Development for its Portfolio of Biotech Companies

AbCellera and Versant Ventures | July 28, 2022

AbCellera and Versant Ventures announced a multi-year collaboration to discover therapeutic antibodies for multiple targets selected by Versant’s portfolio of biologics-focused biotechs. Versant and AbCellera already have enabled three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies under previous partnerships. Under the terms of the deal, Versant portfolio companies will have rights to develop and commercialize the resulting therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera will receive research payments from the companies and will be eligible to receive downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments plus royalties on net sales of products. Further terms are not disclosed. "In recent years we have made a series of investments into the next generation of therapeutic antibodies. We are seeing a wave of innovation in the antibody space that is allowing us to add novel functionalities to these molecules. Our partnership with AbCellera will further enable our portfolio companies to pursue these important biologic medicines.” Markus Enzelberger, Ph.D., a partner at Versant “AbCellera’s discovery technology provides a complete solution for antibody therapeutics that unlocks new opportunities and levels the playing field for smaller companies, allowing them to advance programs faster, more efficiently and with a competitive advantage,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO and President of AbCellera. “We are excited to deepen our relationship with the Versant team and look forward to helping them continue a strong track record of bringing together breakthrough science, experienced teams, and capital to create bold new biotech companies.” Previously, Versant and AbCellera partnered in separate multi-target deals to enable three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies with new approaches to optimize and expand antibody therapies. These include antibody-focused newcos in the fields of immunology and oncology based in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. About Versant Ventures Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare venture capital firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great companies. The firm’s emphasis is on biotechnology companies that are discovering and developing novel therapeutics. With $4.2 billion under management and offices in the U.S., Canada and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating and R&D expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm’s founding in 1999, more than 85 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. About AbCellera Biologics Inc. AbCellera is a technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera partners with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.

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MEDICAL

WILLOW BIOSCIENCES EXPANDS ITS PORTFOLIO WITH A NEW PARTNERED PHARMACEUTICAL PROJECT

Willow Biosciences | June 01, 2022

Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow" or the "Company") (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable ingredients is pleased to announce today that is has been engaged by a specialty pharmaceutical company (the "Counterparty") to optimize an enzyme vital to the development of a large volume Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) used in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. The Counterparty is partnered with a large-cap, multi-national healthcare company. This is a significant step forward in the evolution of Willow's business ,This new partnership highlights the capabilities of our scientific team, and demonstrates to our stakeholders the wide array of opportunities accessible to Willow's comprehensive FutureGrownTM technology platform. As Willow continues to expand its capabilities and add new partnerships, Willow is on a path to becoming the premier name in biobased manufacturing." Trevor Peters, Willow's President and Chief Executive Officer. The project consists of research & development and commercialization phases, with revenue coming from both research fees and milestone payments. Following commercialization, Willow anticipates an on-going revenue stream from license payments. About Willow Biosciences Inc. Willow develops and produces high-purity ingredients for the personal care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. Willow's FutureGrownTM biotechnology platform allows large-scale production with sustainability at its core. Willow's R&D team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products to benefit our B2B partners and their customers.

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