Business Wire | 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.
PR Newswire | October 25, 2023
Flagship Pioneeringannounced the combination of Laronde and Senda Biosciences to launch Sail Biomedicines, a company pioneering the design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail harnesses the power of first-in-category programmable payloads of Endless RNA™ (eRNA), first-in-category programmable nanoparticles, and emerging, proprietary AI technologies, to unlock the comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., MBA, who is also CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering, will become Sail's CEO and board member, while John Mendlein, Ph.D., who also serves as Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering, will become the company's Executive Chairman.
Sail unites Laronde and Senda Biosciences, two companies that deliver more than eight years of combined data and multi-product platform building. Senda's platform was the first to leverage a universal chemical code of natural nanoparticles that enables directed and repeatable deployment of payloads, such as translatable RNA, directly to cells and tissues of choice. Laronde pioneered eRNA, a new class of synthetic, translatable RNA that can be programmed to express diverse proteins inside the body, with vast therapeutic potential.
"Endless RNA has the potential to create an entirely new class of programmable medicines across therapeutic areas that we will now be able to deliver directly to cells and tissues via deployment molecules with unique properties to confer specificity and greater tolerability," said Mendlein. "We believe these programmable medicines will be greatly enhanced via our proprietary generative AI technologies and rapid prototyping abilities to achieve breakthroughs currently beyond the grasp of the human mind. I look forward to working with the Sail Biomedicines team in this exciting new chapter."
"Our deployment platform utilizes natural nanoparticles to shuttle biomolecules into human cells, with unique tropism, potency, and redosability," said Pfefer. "I look forward to leading the integration of these two teams to accelerate the development of new product candidates, build strategic partnerships, and enable diverse value pools, with the goal of swiftly delivering life-changing vaccines and therapies for the people who need them."
"Sail Biomedicines builds on the progress made by two leading Flagship bioplatform companies and will enable integrative design for more effective programmable medicines," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. "I am confident the combined leadership team and board will carry forward this company to realize its bold ambitions and ultimately deliver maximum impact for patients."
In addition to Mendlein and Pfeffer, the Sail Biomedicines Board of Directors will comprise all current members of the Laronde and Senda Biosciences boards, as follows
Pablo Cagnoni, M.D., President and Head of Research & Development, Incyte
Jose "Pepe" Carmona, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, ADC Therapeutics
Paula Hammond, Ph.D., Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., General Partner, Flagship Pioneering
Ignacio Martinez, MBA, General Partner, Flagship Pioneering
Sheri McCoy, M.S., MBA, Former Vice Chairman, Johnson & Johnson
Mary Szela, MBA, CEO and President, TriSalus Life Sciences
About Sail Biomedicines
Sail Biomedicines is pioneering the integrative design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail's platform combines first-in-class programmable circular RNA technology (Endless RNA™ or eRNA), and an industry-leading platform of programmable nanoparticles, utilizing natural components, to unlock comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. By leveraging cutting-edge eRNA and nanoparticle deployment technology, Sail is building a wealth of data, enabling unparalleled use of generative AI techniques to identify and design fully programmable medicines that are potent, targeted, versatile, and tunable. Sail was founded by Flagship Pioneering.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering is a biotechnology company that invents and builds platform companies, each with the potential for multiple products that transform human health or sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, Flagship has originated and fostered more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $90 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.4 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $26 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions.
PR Newswire | October 17, 2023
Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, and Zenfold Sustainable Technologies, a company focused on developing and manufacturing specialty ingredients using sustainable technologies and precision fermentation, today announced a collaboration to leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services in its effort to discover an enzyme critical to the manufacturing of veterinary products. This partnership aims to replace traditional chemical processes in veterinary active ingredient production with a sustainable biological method.
"This collaboration marks a significant step forward in Zenfold's mission to bring sustainable manufacturing technology to the veterinary medicine industry," said Dr. BSV Prasad, CEO and Managing Director of Zenfold Sustainable Technologies. "By utilizing Ginkgo's expertise and innovation, we are well-positioned to develop a sustainable solution that will have a lasting impact on the Indian market and beyond."
"We are excited to partner with Zenfold, which brings a powerful vision of sustainable biotechnology to veterinary active ingredient development. This collaboration will enable us to apply our state-of-the-art enzyme discovery module to enable more innovation in the veterinary medicine space," said Jennifer Wipf, SVP, Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering at Ginkgo. "The project involves creating a broad library of cDNA candidates from a metagenomic collection of billions of enzyme sequences. That's the kind of scale visionary projects like this need, and Ginkgo is committed to scaling up this solution for the betterment of animal health and the environment."
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.
Zenfold Sustainable Technologies is a pioneer in the field of sustainable biology, with a focus on veterinary actives and enzyme supply. This collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks marks Zenfold's expansion into the global veterinary market and further emphasizes their commitment to environmental responsibility and innovative biological solutions.