SIGA Technologies Inc. | July 16, 2022
SIGA Technologies, Inc. a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market, today announced a collaboration with KaliVir Immunotherapeutics to make TPOXX® available for use with KaliVir’s proprietary oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy platform. This novel oncolytic platform includes multiple proprietary genetic modifications that can be combined to generate a unique oncolytic virus that has been optimized for systemic delivery and anti-tumor immune stimulation. Under this partnership, SIGA is providing its TPOXX oral capsules to support future clinical programs.
“KaliVir is an innovator in the creation of oncolytic viral immunotherapies, and we are excited to enter into this collaboration with them. TPOXX is a powerful antiviral drug to vaccinia and allows the safe use of higher doses of vaccinia vectors; there is also the potential it could increase immunotherapeutic outcomes. This collaboration helps bring new levels of assurance to physicians, regulators, and especially patients receiving these promising investigational therapies.”
Dr. Phil Gomez, CEO of SIGA
“We are pleased to announce this collaboration with SIGA Technologies,” said Helena Chaye, Ph.D., J.D., CEO of KaliVir. “Pairing oncolytic immunotherapies with an effective antiviral agent is a critical part of the development of new treatments, and we look forward to enhancing our groundbreaking oncolytic immunotherapy programs with the support of SIGA’s TPOXX.”
On July 13, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved oral TPOXX for the treatment of smallpox to mitigate the impact of a potential outbreak or bioterror attack. In preclinical studies, TPOXX has been shown to be active against most orthopoxviruses, including vaccinia The unique mechanism of action of TPOXX coupled with published efficacy in animal studies, make it an important addition to development programs focused on vaccinia-based cancer therapies. In 2020, SIGA entered into numerous collaborations, including a partnership with Turnstone Biologics to supply TPOXX to support Turnstone’s clinical oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy programs. In 2021, SIGA entered into a preclinical research collaboration with Bioarchitech to investigate TPOXX enabling higher doses of vaccinia vectors when used in combination with Bioarchitech’s oncolytic vaccinia-based immunotherapy platform.
ABOUT SIGA TECHNOLOGIES, INC. and TPOXX®
SIGA Technologies, Inc. is a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market. Health security comprises countermeasures for biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks (biodefense market), vaccines and therapies for emerging infectious diseases, and health preparedness. Our lead product is TPOXX®, also known as tecovirimat and ST-246®, an orally administered and IV formulation antiviral drug for the treatment of human smallpox disease caused by variola virus. TPOXX is a novel small-molecule drug and the US maintains a supply of TPOXX under Project BioShield. The oral formulation of TPOXX was approved by the FDA for the treatment of smallpox in 2018. The full label is available by clicking here. Oral tecovirimat received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2022. The EMA approval includes labeling for oral tecovirimat indicating its use for the treatment of smallpox, monkeypox, cowpox, and vaccinia complications following vaccination against smallpox. The full label is available by clicking here. In September 2018, SIGA signed a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for additional procurement and development related to both oral and intravenous formulations of TPOXX.
ABOUT KALIVIR IMMUNOTHERAPEUTICS.
KaliVir Immunotherapeutics is a privately held biotech company developing cutting-edge, next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapy programs. The company has developed a unique vaccinia virus-based platform that can generate potent novel oncolytic vaccinia viruses with modifications to maximize viral replication and to enhance intravenous delivery and spread (Vaccinia Enhanced Template “VET” Platform). VET™ platform utilizes the large transgene capacity of the vaccinia virus to deliver therapeutics matched to tumor immunophenotypes to stimulate patients’ immune systems and modify the tumor microenvironment. KaliVir’s oncolytic product candidates are designed to be safe, potent and systemically deliverable to treat cancer patients across multiple tumor types. KaliVir is in the process of advancing multiple therapeutic candidates toward the clinic.
LUMICKS | May 26, 2022
LUMICKS, a leading life science tools company that develops instruments for dynamic single-molecule and cell avidity analysis, today announced the publication in Cancer Cell of preclinical research identifying "Avidity Enhancement" as a new strategy to improve therapeutic outcome of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
AML poses significant clinical challenges due to its resistance to therapies and its bleak prognosis. Approximately 20,000 people in the US and 300,000 worldwide die from AML every year, making it the most common form of acute leukemia in adults and a major public health issue.
The Cancer Cell paper (May 9, 2022), entitled "Non-cleavable hinge enhances avidity and expansion of CAR-T cells for acute myeloid leukemia," was authored by a team of CAR T cell researchers led by Dr. Marcela V. Maus, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Cellular Immunotherapy program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The study details a novel strategy for better cancer treatment with CAR T cells for AML. "Avidity Enhancement", increasing cell-cell binding from both the tumor and CAR T cell side, led to a more effective eradication of tumors in mouse models of AML. In this paper, data generated using the LUMICKS z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer provided superior correlation with CAR T cell activity in vivo compared to the standard in vitro assays in assessing the potency of CAR variants.
Building upon previous research from the Maus Lab indicating 'avidity escape' as an evasion mechanism when CAR T cell therapies are deployed against solid tumors, "avidity enhancement" is a promising strategy for improving clinical success of CAR T therapies.
We continue to be excited about the pivotal research emerging from The Maus Lab and other leading laboratories that demonstrates how researchers can leverage the technological and scientific power of measuring cell avidity with the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer, This work further solidifies the idea that cell avidity can be a unique biomarker to improve the selection of CAR T therapies for superior therapeutic outcomes in hematological malignancies as well as in solid tumors. We are delighted to collaborate with researchers worldwide in uncovering meaningful new insights, such as the new treatment approaches suggested for AML contained in this new paper in Cancer Cell."
Andrea Candelli, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of LUMICKS.
The z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyzer measures cell avidity, or level of binding, between immune cells and their targets, enabling researchers to identify the most potent immunotherapeutic effector cells. This unique technology provides predictive, reproducible, and fast results at single-cell resolution. LUMICKS' cell avidity solutions use acoustics to measure forces and interactions between cells, with the goal of shortening the drug development cycle of immunotherapies and reducing failure rates in clinical trials. First introduced in 2020, the z-Movi is being rapidly adopted by academic and biopharma laboratories around the world.
LUMICKS is a leading life science tools company that develops equipment for Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis, two rapidly emerging areas in biology research and immuno-oncology. LUMICKS' tools allow researchers to build the crucial and yet unfinished bridge between structure and function at both a molecular and a cellular level. This is achieved by applying and measuring forces around biological interactions, enabling the detailed real-time analysis of underlying biological mechanisms. LUMICKS' C-Trap® Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence & Label-free Microscopy, allows scientists to analyze complex biological processes in real-time. Similarly, the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer enables the measurement and selection of immune cells based on their real-time interactions with target cells.
Meridian | June 21, 2022
Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO), a leading global provider of diagnostic testing solutions and life science raw materials, announced today two new sample-specific master mixes, Lyo-Ready™ Direct DNA qPCR Stool Mix, and Lyo-Ready™ Direct RNA/DNA qPCR Stool Mix. These innovative master mixes improve the molecular detection of DNA and RNA from crude fecal specimens while allowing room temperature stabilization of diagnostic assays.
Stool samples are used in many gastrointestinal diagnostic tests to screen for harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses, autoimmune conditions, and colorectal cancer (CRC). The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) has been the most widely used gastrointestinal immunoassay to screen CRC for over three decades. However, recent large-scale studies have shown that the FOBT lacks the sensitivity to detect early stages of CRC. Better diagnostic tools are needed to improve assay accuracy, sensitivity, and affordability. Molecular testing is the newest alternative and offers significant improvement in sensitivity and accuracy, especially when multiple targets are detected in the results of a multiplex test. Detection of DNA or RNA from stool is challenging because it contains an array of PCR inhibitors including bile salts, polysaccharides, and catabolic substances. To overcome these challenges, assays typically require expensive and time-consuming sample processing and extraction steps which increase the time to results and cost – ultimately delaying physician diagnosis and patient treatment.
Meridian's new Lyo-Ready™ Direct DNA qPCR Stool and Lyo-Ready™ Direct RNA/DNA qPCR Stool Mixes remove the need for time-consuming nucleic acid extraction or lengthy component optimization. This enables test developers to quickly develop faster and more sensitive assays for stool sample analysis. In addition, the mixes can be used in liquid or lyophilized format when ambient temperature assay stabilization is needed, removing the need for cold storage.
The use of Lyo-Ready™ Direct qPCR Stool mixes for DNA and RNA is ideal for cancer biomarker detection, early cancer detection, and cancer treatment monitoring where assay sensitivity can be lifesaving. The specific adaptation of our chemistries to stool specimens makes our master mixes the perfect tool for any developer seeking faster new product introduction, shorter time to results, or the ability to transform a wet assay to an ambient temperature-stable assay with minimum developmental time."
Florent Chang-Pi-Hin, Ph.D., Vice President of Research & Development - Life Science.
About Meridian Bioscience, Inc.
Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic products. We are dedicated to developing and delivering better solutions that give answers with speed, accuracy, and simplicity that are redefining the possibilities of life from discovery to diagnosis. Through discovery and development, we provide critical life science raw materials used in immunological and molecular tests for human, animal, plant, and environmental applications. Through diagnosis, we provide diagnostic solutions in areas including gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections and blood lead level testing. We build relationships and provide solutions to hospitals, reference laboratories, research centers, veterinary testing centers, physician offices, diagnostics manufacturers, and biotech companies in more than 70 countries around the world.