After closing one of China's biggest-ever raises, I-Mab Biopharma nabs $104M Nasdaq IPO

FierceBiotech | January 17, 2020

China-based cancer and autoimmune disease biotech I-Mab Biopharma has raised $104 million on the U.S. Nasdaq composite. It hit $14 a share, the midpoint in the range, and becomes the first Chinese biotech in more than two years (the last being Zai Lab back in 2017) to gain a U.S. IPO. According to recent reports out of Bloomberg, however, it had been quietly hoping for a $200 million offering. The offering seems relatively tame after the monster raises it has gained over the years, including $220 million in a third-round fundraising back in 2018 following on from a $150 million series B round a year earlier. It’s raised more than $400 million in total.

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Does eating breakfast really help you lose weight? Well, according to diet websites it is true. However, research has attempted to answer this question. In a 2016 study, researcher assigned randomly individuals who have body mass indexes (BMI) in the obesity range to either eat breakfast (about 700 calories) for 6 weeks or to avoid breakfast, also for six.

Spotlight

Does eating breakfast really help you lose weight? Well, according to diet websites it is true. However, research has attempted to answer this question. In a 2016 study, researcher assigned randomly individuals who have body mass indexes (BMI) in the obesity range to either eat breakfast (about 700 calories) for 6 weeks or to avoid breakfast, also for six.

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MEDICAL

CosmosID® Enters Microbiome Partnership with Locus Biosciences

CosmosID | June 22, 2022

CosmosID®, an American provider of end-to-end microbiome platforms and award-winning metagenomics services, announced entering into a microbiome partnership with a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a new class of precision-engineered bacteriophage treatments, Locus Biosciences, Inc. With this partnership, CosmosID focuses on providing its GCP-compliant and CLIA-certified laboratory services for Locus' clinical trial initiatives in the microbiome field. Locus is developing two innovative biotherapeutics categories to meet significant unaddressed medical needs. First, engineered bacteriophage therapies that use bacteria resident in specific body locations to dispatch therapeutic molecules. Second, precision CRISPR-enhanced bacteriophage (crPhage®) products to combat fatal infections, including the ones caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria. Locus is able to swiftly recognize, distinguish, engineer, and produce bacteriophage products against bacterial targets involved in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases by collaborating discovery automation, industry-leading informatics, synthetic biology, and sophisticated in-house manufacturing. CosmosID's infrastructure for providing access to compliant, higher resolution, and robust microbiome analysis will allow Locus to enhance its capability and add insight into precision therapeutics platforms. With its shotgun metagenomics, the company will assist Locus in understanding its products' effectiveness through CosmosID's robust resolution microbiome analysis, commencing with its urinary tract infection clinical program. We're thrilled to partner with Locus on its groundbreaking clinical pipeline as we help the company better understand the impact of these phages on the microbiome, Locus' robust and diligent approach to this study is much needed in the field and we look forward to helping them build a strong clinical data package." Manoj Dadlani, CEO of CosmosID. This partnership with CosmosID will allow Locus to monitor microbiome changes upon treatment of patients with antibiotics and with crPhage, helping us to evaluate the impact of preserving and protecting their microflora while clearing their infections." Paul Garofolo, CEO of Locus Biosciences.

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MEDICAL

CellCarta expands it proteomics portfolio with the acquisition of next-generation immuno-MRM assays from Precision Assays

CellCarta | May 23, 2022

CellCarta, a leading global provider of precision medicine laboratory services, announced today the acquisition of the commercial rights to the antibody panels and assays from Precision Assays, a leader in next-generation targeted proteomics testing solutions. A spin-off from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center ("Fred Hutch"), Precision Assays develops and deploys high-end multiplex quantitative immuno-MRM mass spectrophotometry-based assays for its pharmaceutical and biotech industry clients. The acquisition from Precision Assays of its large spectrum of targeted mass spectrometry assays characterized according to the National Cancer Institute's Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) Tier 2 guidelines greatly expands CellCarta's capabilities in off-the-shelf multiplex protein quantification offerings ready for deployment in immuno-oncology clinical and pre-clinical studies. Precision Assays' large portfolio of robust assays characterized according to CPTAC guidelines and its established proof of concept data will enable CellCarta to confidently support its clients' exploratory studies and therapeutic development strategies, offering them key solutions to address important clinical challenges and move their immuno-oncology programs forward. Given CellCarta's expertise in protein quantitation, these immuno-MRM panels can further be validated to support secondary and primary clinical endpoints." Lorella Di Donato, Chief Operating Officer of CellCarta, Immunology and Proteomics Divisions. Based on technology licensed from Fred Hutch, Precision Assays' platform is uniquely positioned to fully capture the unique advantages of multiplex protein quantification using targeted mass spectrometry. Founder Dr. Amanda Paulovich, a professor in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch who holds the Aven Foundation Endowed Chair, is an internationally recognized pioneer in targeted mass spectrometry and a clinically trained oncologist. Dr. Paulovich has set best-in-class standards to support precision medicine studies in cancer-specific protein expression analysis in a variety of matrices from FFPE cancer tissue biopsies to clinical serum-based samples. Precision Assays is one of the few CROs to offer large and immuno-oncology relevant multiplex off-the-shelf panels and is at the forefront of targeted-mass spec proteomics-based research. As a global CRO with expertise in targeted mass spectrometry and specializing in biomarker testing to support precision medicine, CellCarta is an ideal partner to deploy and industrialize our platform to support discovery, translational and clinical research, especially in precision medicine and immuno-oncology." Paulovich About CellCarta CellCarta is a leading provider of specialized precision medicine laboratory services to the biopharmaceutical industry. Leveraging its integrated analytical platforms in immunology, histopathology, proteomics and genomics, as well as related specimen collection and logistics services, CellCarta supports the entire drug development cycle, from discovery to late-stage clinical trials. The company operates globally with 11 facilities located in Canada, USA, Belgium, Australia, and China.

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MEDICAL

Be Bio and Resilience Announce Strategic Collaboration to Manufacture Engineered B Cells, a New Class of Cellular Medicines

Be Bio | May 20, 2022

Be Biopharma, Inc. (“Be Bio”) and National Resilience, Inc. (Resilience) today announced a strategic collaboration to advance initial programs in Be Bio’s rare disease pipeline. Be Bio’s proprietary engineered B Cell Medicines (BeCM) platform is harnessing the power of the human B cell to create a new class of autologous and allogeneic cellular medicines that durably and redosably produce therapeutic proteins in vivo without toxic pre-conditioning. The two companies are investing to drive innovation and reliability in cell therapy manufacturing, a critical success factor for broad and meaningful patient impact. As part of this unique partnership, Resilience will dedicate personnel solely to produce and supply Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-grade viral vector and cell therapy drug product for the initial programs in Be Bio’s rare disease pipeline. Through a creative cost and risk-sharing model, Resilience will be responsible for manufacturing costs and receive potential future milestones and royalties. Over the past year, Be Bio has built a strong foundation with our BeCM platform, pipeline, team, and recent $130 million financing. Manufacturing is critical to rapidly progress our BeCMs to the clinic and we have built non-GMP manufacturing capabilities in our Cambridge facility. This deal allows us to drive GMP manufacturing with an outstanding partner, and in a capital efficient manner, Resilience’s broad manufacturing capabilities, strong collaborative spirit and dedicated resources to our platform, make them an ideal partner for our BeCM programs.” Joanne Smith-Farrell, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Be Bio. Resilience will lead clinical GMP manufacturing of both the viral vector and the cell therapy drug product for Be Bio’s initial rare disease programs to support first-in-human clinical trials. Resilience will apply its pioneering bioprocessing solutions and network of cell therapy sites, including facilities in Research Triangle Park, NC, Philadelphia, PA, Waltham, MA and Marlborough, MA to conduct the work. This collaboration shows our excitement for the promising science of Be Bio’s proprietary BeCM platforms, and our confidence in their expertise to deliver transformative cell therapies, By working alongside Be Bio early in the drug development process, we aim to accelerate the development of their B cell medicines with the potential to unlock a pipeline of product candidates across a variety of serious diseases.” Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D., Chief Executive Officer of Resilience. About B Cells – A New Class of Cellular Medicines Imagine what could “Be?” In nature, a single B cell engrafts in the bone marrow and can produce thousands of proteins per second at constant levels over decades. B cells are nature’s exquisite medicine factories, manufacturing proteins to fight disease and maintain health. Unleashing the power of B cells is driving a new class of cellular medicines – Engineered B Cell Medicines (BeCM). BeCMs have the potential to be durable, allogeneic, redosable and administered without toxic conditioning. The promise of BeCMs could transform therapeutic biologics with broad application — across protein classes, patient populations and therapeutic areas. About Be Biopharma Be Biopharma (“Be Bio”) is pioneering Engineered B Cell Medicines (BeCM) to dramatically improve patients’ lives who are living with cancer, rare diseases and other serious conditions. With eyes locked on the patient, our team of purpose-driven scientists, technologists, manufacturing experts and business builders collaborate to create a bold new class of cell therapies. Be Bio was founded in October 2020 by Longwood Fund and B cell engineering pioneers David Rawlings, M.D., and Richard James, Ph.D. from Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Be Bio is backed by ARCH Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, RA Capital Management, Alta Partners, Longwood Fund, Bristol Myers Squibb and Takeda Ventures. Since our founding, Be Bio’s investors have committed over $180 million to enable the Company to re-imagine medicine based on the power of B cell therapy. About Resilience Resilience is a technology-focused biomanufacturing company dedicated to broadening access to complex medicines. Founded in 2020, the company is building a sustainable network of high-tech, end-to-end manufacturing solutions to ensure the treatments of today and tomorrow can be made quickly, safely, and at scale. Resilience seeks to free its partners to focus on the discoveries that improve patients’ lives by continuously advancing the science of biopharmaceutical manufacturing and development.

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