CELL AND GENE THERAPY

AbbVie and Caribou Biosciences Announce Collaboration and License Agreement for the Research and Development of CAR-T Cell Therapeutics

AbbVie | February 11, 2021

AbbVie and Caribou Biosciences Announce Collaboration and License Agreement for the Research and Development of CAR-T Cell Therapeutics
AbbVie and Caribou Biosciences, Inc., a leading clinical-stage CRISPR genome altering biotechnology organization, reported today that they have gone into a cooperation and permit arrangement for the innovative work of fanciful antigen receptor (CAR)- T cell therapeutics. Albeit allogeneic, "off-the-shelf" CAR-T cell therapies have indicated early guarantee in some malignancy patients, the requirement for beating the dismissal of allogeneic CAR-T cells by the host immune system stays a vital test to their more extensive turn of events. Utilizing Caribou's CRISPR genome editing platform to engineer CAR-T cells to withstand have resistant assault would empower the advancement of the next-generation of "off-the-shelf" cellular therapies to benefit a broader patient population.

"We are excited to partner with AbbVie on the development of new CAR-T cell therapies. This collaboration validates Caribou's differentiated next-generation CRISPR genome editing technologies that provide best-in-class efficiency and specificity," said Rachel Haurwitz, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Caribou. "We believe AbbVie is an ideal partner for Caribou as we expand upon the number of targets and diseases addressable by our technologies. Genome-edited CAR-T cell therapies hold tremendous potential for patients, and this partnership accelerates our ability to address significant unmet medical need."

About AbbVie
AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women's health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio.

About Caribou Biosciences, Inc.
Caribou is a leading clinical-stage CRISPR genome editing biotechnology company founded by pioneers of CRISPR biology. Outside of this collaboration, Caribou is advancing an internal pipeline of allogeneic cell therapies for oncology. CB-010, Caribou's lead allogeneic CAR-T cell program, targets CD19 and is being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial for patients with relapsed/refractory B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. CB-011, Caribou's second allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy, targets BCMA for multiple myeloma, and CB-012, Caribou's third allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy, targets CD371 for acute myeloid leukemia. CB-011 and CB-012 are in preclinical development. Additionally, Caribou is developing iPSC-derived allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapies for solid tumors. Through its next-generation CRISPR genome editing technologies, Caribou is implementing multiple strategies to boost CAR-T and NK cell persistence to overcome cell exhaustion and to prevent rapid immune-mediated clearance. These sophisticated edits drive the durability of clinical benefit of these off-the-shelf medicines.

Spotlight

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a relatively new type of test that enables us to obtain a sequence of the entire genetic code – all of the DNA – of a person or organism.

Spotlight

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a relatively new type of test that enables us to obtain a sequence of the entire genetic code – all of the DNA – of a person or organism.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Novo Holdings Leads US$21M Series A Financing in BIOMILQ

Novo Holdings | October 21, 2021

BIOMILQ is developing a novel infant feeding option, derived from human mammary cells, to better meet infants' nutritional needs and with a lower carbon footprint than traditional bovine-based infant formula. Earlier this year, BIOMILQ announced it had successfully produced a milk product with many of the same macronutrients that are known to be abundantly present in breastmilk in its lab based in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, US. In the US, it is estimated that 75%1 of women are unable to exclusively breastfeed for the six months after birth as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization. Breastfeeding can be difficult due to latching issues, birth complications, discomfort or pain, exhaustion, inadequate milk supply, amongst other reasons. Alternative supplements, such as bovine-based infant formula, can lack the nutritional and bioactive composition found in breast milk. BIOMILQ's technology and solutions can be transformative in the field of infant nutrition, a market with a significant need for innovation. "Our mission is to make a growing and positive impact on health, science and society. We are delighted to support BIOMILQ through its journey pioneering mammary biotechnology. Its products have the potential to disrupt the infant supplemental feeding industry. We aim to use our scientific knowledge, operational expertise and global network to further strengthen the Company's ability to improve lives. Kartik Dharmadhikari, Partner at Novo Groand BIOMILQ Board Director Michelle Egger, Chief Executive Officer and Co Founder of BIOMILQ, added: "We are very pleased to have such experienced investors in our Series A financing. Novo Holdings, as a leading international life science investor, lends significant market experience and technical knowhow to BIOMILQ's mission to nourish healthier infants, empower parents through choice, and contribute to a healthier planet. The investor syndicate was led by Novo Holdings, with participation from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon, Spero Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, Green Generation Fund and Gaingels. About Novo Holdings A/S Novo Holdings A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding company of the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, and is responsible for managing the Novo Nordisk Foundation's assets. Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. Further information. About BIOMILQ BIOMILQ's mission is to close the nutritional gap between infant feeding options. In June 2021, BIOMILQ announced its capability of producing a milk product, derived from human mammary cells, that has macronutrient profiles that closely match the expected types and proportions of proteins, complex carbohydrates, fatty acids and other bioactive lipids that are known to be abundantly present in breastmilk. 1 "Breastfeeding Among U.S. Children Born 2011–2018, CDC National Immunization Survey." Centers for Disease Control

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AI

Peptilogics and Cerebras Systems Partner on AI Solutions to Advance the Future of Peptide Therapeutics

Cerebras Systems , Peptilogics | August 19, 2021

Cerebras Systems, the pioneer in high performance artificial intelligence (AI) compute, and Peptilogics, a biotechnology platform company and an emerging leader in leveraging computation to design novel therapeutics, today announced a collaboration to accelerate the development cycle of peptide therapeutics through AI. Leveraging the revolutionary Cerebras CS-2 system – powered by the world’s fastest AI processor – Peptilogics will be able to push the boundaries of innovation in drug design and novel peptide therapeutics. This cutting-edge exploration of innovation is a scientific game changer with the potential to meaningfully reduce the time from bench to bedside. “Our mission at Peptilogics is to radically alter drug development and realize the full potential of peptides as therapeutics,” said Nick Nystrom, PhD, SVP and Head of Computation and Data, Peptilogics. “By partnering with Cerebras, we will be able to accelerate our research by orders of magnitude for important areas such as membrane proteins, including G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Traditional drug discovery operates on the time scale of one new drug in ten years. We aim to flip that to ten new leads in one year.” Peptides are sequences of amino acids, essentially small proteins, that play critical roles in how our bodies operate. They offer relatively unexplored opportunities for therapeutics, conferring potential advantages over other types of drugs. The “design space,” or number of possible peptide structures, is vastly larger than could be explored through traditional drug discovery. AI – specifically deep learning – is well-suited to identify ideal peptide structures as drug candidates. Through this collaboration, Cerebras and Peptilogics scientists will use the CS-2 system to develop and run advanced models to identify novel peptide therapeutics that meet specific biological activity and biophysical criteria. By accelerating the slowest step of the research cycle and training deep learning models on big data, Peptilogics with Cerebras will be positioned to deliver better therapeutics sooner. Peptilogics joins other life science leaders, including GSK and AstraZeneca, in leveraging Cerebras’ industry-leading AI technology to advance drug discovery. “Peptilogics is operating at the forefront of AI-enabled drug design. With Cerebras, they are part of a select group of partners that share similar interests in pushing the boundaries of scientific research and AI computing to radically accelerate innovation for better healthcare outcomes,” said Andy Hock, VP of Product at Cerebras. “Cerebras Systems makes world-leading AI compute accessible and easy to use so that our partners at Peptilogics can test more ideas quickly, reduce the cost of curiosity, and achieve their mission of discovering peptide therapeutics in record time.” About Cerebras Systems Cerebras Systems is a team of pioneering computer architects, computer scientists, deep learning researchers, and engineers of all types. We have come together to build a new class of computer to accelerate artificial intelligence work by three orders of magnitude beyond the current state of the art. The CS-2 is the fastest AI computer in existence. It contains a collection of industry firsts, including the Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine (WSE-2). The WSE-2 is the largest chip ever built. It contains 2.6 trillion transistors and covers more than 46,225 square millimeters of silicon. By comparison, the largest graphics processor on the market has 54 billion transistors and covers 815 square millimeters. In artificial intelligence work, large chips process information more quickly producing answers in less time. As a result, neural networks that in the past took months to train, can now train in minutes on the Cerebras CS-2 powered by the WSE-2. About Peptilogics Peptilogics is a clinical-stage biotechnology platform company that designs and develops novel peptide therapeutics. The company is supported by investors including Presight Capital, Founders Fund, and Peter Thiel, who are known for their investments in companies such as AbCellera (NASDAQ: ABCL), Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS), SpaceX, and Synthego. Through its computational platform, Peptilogics is advancing drug discovery to uncover new, previously unexplored chemical design space, while ensuring biological viability and scalable manufacturing. Peptilogics’ anti-infectives pipeline includes a novel clinical stage anti-infective, PLG0206, that has been granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation and Qualified Infectious Disease Product Designation for its initial focus on the treatment of prosthetic joint infections, an urgent unmet medical need.

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AI

Deargen Announces New Model for Optimizing Drug Candidate Molecules With Nearly Doubled Performance Compared to Existing Models

Deargen | April 12, 2021

Deargen, a drug research and development biotech company based on artificial intelligence (AI), announced on April 9 that it presented study results on controlled molecule generator (CMG) technology at the ACM Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning (ACM CHIL) 2021. CMG technology can modify many properties of molecules at the same time. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), based in New York, is one of the world's most prominent academic organizations. The ACM was founded in 1947 and now has over 100,000 members worldwide. The ACM Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning 2021 was held online on April 8th as a healthcare conference. Deargen's latest CMG technology overcomes the limitations of current models for predicting molecule properties. Deargen's test results revealed that the new CMG method enhances efficiency by nearly doubling as compared to existing versions such as MolDQN and VJTNN. Deargen tried to improve aniracetam, which has the lowest binding affinity of dopamine D2-type receptor (DRD2) among 28 DRD2-targeted compounds in clinical or pre-clinical trials, in the most recent report. The study discovered that aniracetam's DRD2 binding affinity was highly enhanced while its other properties remained relatively unchanged. The technology of optimizing properties of candidate molecules in the process of developing new drugs, such as efficacy, toxicity, and structural similarity, is positioning itself as a key strategy for reducing costs and time required for drug development. Models that predict properties of previously proposed molecules, such as MolDQN, VJTNN, and VSeq2Seq, are considered to have limitations when used to produce new drugs because they either alter properties of molecules that must be retained by optimizing only one property or take very long to process data. Deargen's CMG model, on the other hand, will optimize only desired properties while minimizing changes in other properties that are meant to be retained as set by molecule design as it can consider multiple properties at the same time. Since it takes less time to examine, it can be directly applied to the development of new drugs. “Not only is our representative technology, MT-DTI, being used for discovering various new substances, including treatment prediction for COVID-19, but we are also poised to provide more advanced new drug development services by developing an ensemble of CMG models with our other platform MolEQ,” said Bonggeun Shin, Deargen's Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. Deargen President Kilsoo Kang said, "Deargen has accomplished drug development technologies on a global level and continues to invest in advancing these technologies and extending their support range." “The most recent technological advancement will provide an important momentum in the development of AI-powered new drugs.”

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