AI Outperformed Humans in Cervical Precancer ID

Techonology Networks | January 10, 2019

A research team led by investigators from the National Institutes of Health and Global Good has developed a computer algorithm that can analyze digital images of a woman’s cervix and accurately identify precancerous changes that require medical attention. This artificial intelligence (AI) approach, called automated visual evaluation, has the potential to revolutionize cervical cancer screening, particularly in low-resource settings. To develop the method, researchers used comprehensive datasets to "train" a deep, or machine, learning algorithm to recognize patterns in complex visual inputs, such as medical images. The approach was created collaboratively by investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Global Good (link is external), a fund at Intellectual Ventures, and the findings were confirmed independently by experts at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The results appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on January 10, 2019. NCI and NLM are parts of NIH.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Rocket Pharmaceuticals Completes Acquisition of Renovacor

Rocket Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | December 02, 2022

Rocket Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a leading late-stage biotechnology company advancing an integrated and sustainable pipeline of genetic therapies for rare childhood disorders with high unmet need, today announces that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Renovacor, Inc. a biotechnology company focused on delivering innovative precision therapies to improve the lives of patients and families battling genetically-driven cardiovascular and mechanistically-related diseases. Under the terms of the merger agreement entered into on September 19, 2022, Renovacor shareholders received, for each share of Renovacor common stock, 0.1763 shares of Rocket common stock. The acquisition provides Rocket with Renovacor’s most advanced program, REN-001, an AAV-based gene therapy targeting BAG3-associated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a severe form of heart failure. BAG3-DCM represents a significant unmet medical need in a patient population with rapidly progressive cardiac dysfunction in whom no treatments targeting the underlying mechanism of disease exist. Additionally, Rocket gains access to world-class scientific collaborators, a robust intellectual property portfolio and personnel with expertise in BAG3-DCM. These assets and capabilities altogether further extend Rocket’s leadership position in AAV-based cardiac gene therapy and help advance the Company’s goal of pursuing gene therapy cures for patients living with rare and devastating diseases. About Rocket Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Rocket Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is advancing an integrated and sustainable pipeline of investigational genetic therapies designed to correct the root cause of complex and rare childhood disorders. The Company’s platform-agnostic approach enables it to design the best therapy for each indication, creating potentially transformative options for patients afflicted with rare genetic diseases. Rocket's clinical programs using lentiviral vector (LVV)-based gene therapy are for the treatment of Fanconi Anemia (FA), a difficult to treat genetic disease that leads to bone marrow failure and potentially cancer, Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency-I (LAD-I), a severe pediatric genetic disorder that causes recurrent and life-threatening infections which are frequently fatal, and Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKD), a rare, monogenic red blood cell disorder resulting in increased red cell destruction and mild to life-threatening anemia. Rocket’s first clinical program using adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy is for Danon Disease, a devastating, pediatric heart failure condition. Rocket also has a preclinical AAV-based gene therapy program in BAG3-associated dilated cardiomyopathy.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Kriya Acquires Redpin Therapeutics, Adding Neurology Pipeline to Gene Therapy Portfolio

Kriya Therapeutics | November 17, 2022

Kriya Therapeutics, Inc., a fully integrated gene therapy company advancing a broad portfolio of innovative therapeutics announced the acquisition of Redpin Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company developing regulatable gene therapies for intractable diseases of the nervous system. The acquisition serves as the foundation for Kriya’s neurology therapeutic area portfolio, with two lead gene therapy programs focused on epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia. Redpin’s proprietary chemogenetics platform can selectively activate or silence disease-causing neurons, while leaving normal functioning cells unaffected. Currently available treatments for neurological disorders typically rely on systemically administered drugs or surgical interventions to address local neuron dysfunction. However, these approaches can have limited efficacy and off-target side effects. In contrast, chemogenetics leverages gene products that are selectively responsive to a chosen small molecule. Redpin’s technology utilizes gene therapy to express engineered ion channels that are responsive to modulation by the FDA-approved anti-smoking drug varenicline to either inhibit specific overactive neurons or stimulate underactive ones. “Redpin’s innovative chemogenetics platform has the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from intractable neurological conditions. We are looking forward to integrating Redpin’s platform and pipeline into Kriya’s gene therapy engine as we advance our mission to develop life-changing gene therapies that can address diseases affecting millions of patients around the world.” Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kriya “Redpin has a built a breakthrough, validated chemogenetics approach that could have significant potential in the targeted treatment of neurological disorders,” said Dr. Elma Hawkins, Redpin Therapeutics’ President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder. “Kriya Therapeutics is the perfect company to take this leading ion channel-based platform forward and deliver an effective treatment option for patients. We look forward to working with the Kriya team to progress these unique targeted therapies to patients in need as rapidly as possible.” Redpin’s investors include 4BIO Capital, Arkin Bio Ventures, Takeda Ventures Inc, New York Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments. About Epilepsy Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurrent spontaneous seizures. Approximately 3.4 million people in the U.S. suffer from active epilepsy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current treatments for epilepsy include medication, neurostimulation and surgery to remove sections of the affected part of the brain. However between 20% to 40% of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy will become refractory to treatment, and will continue to suffer seizures. Uncontrolled epilepsy can lead to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). About Trigeminal Neuralgia Trigeminal neuralgia also known as Tic Douloureux, is a severe and chronic disorder that affects the trigeminal, or fifth cranial, nerve. TN patients experience progressive intense stabbing facial pain attacks that can become more severe and last longer over time. Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 new cases of TN occur each year in the U.S., according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. While currently available treatments include anti-seizure medications and surgical procedures, a significant proportion of patients are refractory to these approaches. About Kriya Therapeutics Kriya is a fully integrated company pioneering novel technologies and therapeutics in gene therapy. The company aims to revolutionize how gene therapies are designed, developed, and manufactured, improving speed to market and delivering significant reductions in cost. The company is advancing a deep and diversified pipeline of innovative gene therapies in multiple therapeutic area divisions, with current pipeline programs in metabolic disorders, neurology and ophthalmology. Kriya is backed by leading life sciences and technology investors, and has core operations in Silicon Valley, California and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. About Redpin Based in New York City, Redpin Therapeutics is a privately held, preclinical stage gene therapy company developing a proprietary chemogenetics platform for targeted cell therapies to address currently intractable diseases of the central nervous system. Using a powerful and innovative technology that inverts traditional drug development by using gene therapy to target an engineered receptor to any cell type responsible for disease and modulating its function with an already-approved drug. This has the potential to deliver effective treatments for a wide range of currently intractable neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders. Redpin has a worldwide exclusive license from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the therapeutic use of this technology, and the company is working with urgency to apply it to advance important medicines for patients in desperate need of effective therapies.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Q² Solutions Launches Innovative Self-Collection Safety Lab Panel in Collaboration With Tasso

Q² Solutions and IQVIA, Tasso | October 07, 2022

Q² Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of IQVIA and a leading global clinical trial laboratory services organization, today announced the launch of the first self-collection safety lab panel for U.S. clinical trial participants by a leading global clinical trial laboratory. Developed in collaboration with Tasso Inc, a leader in clinical-grade blood collection solutions, this unique offering combines industry leading laboratory services, patient focused logistics and cutting-edge, self-collection technology. Participants in clinical trials can now provide a blood specimen for lab testing in the comfort of their own home, without the need to visit an investigator site or have a healthcare professional visit them. The first test panel available through this collaboration is designed to help monitor liver function by measuring the levels of select enzymes and proteins in the blood. The panel includes tests for ALT AST ALP total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, total protein, and albumin. “The global pandemic has accelerated the use of decentralized approaches in clinical trials. We at Q² Solutions are highly motivated to find ways to reduce patient burden related to laboratory testing, and I’m delighted that, through our collaboration with Tasso, we could make the self-collection liver panel a reality. Soon we will launch more than a dozen safety tests, and we are determined to continue to expand our catalog of tests available via the self-collection of blood.” Brian O’Dwyer, CEO of Q² Solutions “We are thrilled to be working with a leader like Q² Solutions on this important initiative to make laboratory testing truly patient-centric,” said Erwin Berthier, PhD, CTO and Co-Founder of Tasso. “Our clinical-grade remote sampling technology enables decentralized laboratory testing without sacrificing sample quality, a key hurdle that home testing has faced in the past. Together, Q² Solutions and Tasso are developing important solutions that make clinical trials better for both patients and sponsors.” This self-collection liver panel was developed with trial participants at the heart of the design. The offering includes easy to use at-home self-collection kits with instructions and videos, a methodology for direct-to-patient delivery, as well as simplified specimen processing and shipping requirements. About Q² Solutions Q² Solutions is a leading global clinical trial laboratory services organization that provides comprehensive testing, project management, supply chain, biorepository, biospecimen, and consent tracking solutions. Leveraging our next generation technologies, we deliver agile and precise services designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients. We provide scientific expertise and innovative solutions for ADME, bioanalytical, genomics, vaccines, and central laboratory services, including flow cytometry, anatomic pathology, immunoassay, molecular, companion diagnostics and translational science, with meticulous regional and global clinical trial implementation support and high-quality data delivery. At Q² Solutions, our work is rooted in research, grounded in collaboration, and guided by our passion to turn the hope of patients and caregivers around the world into the help they need. About IQVIA IQVIA is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. IQVIA creates intelligent connections across all aspects of healthcare through its analytics, transformative technology, big data resources and extensive domain expertise. IQVIA Connected Intelligence™ delivers powerful insights with speed and agility — enabling customers to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of innovative medical treatments that improve healthcare outcomes for patients. With approximately 82,000 employees, IQVIA conducts operations in more than 100 countries. IQVIA is a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. The company uses a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. IQVIA’s insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures. About Tasso Trusted diagnostics made easy. Tasso is an emerging healthcare technology company that is transforming the traditional blood collection paradigm with a patient-centric approach. The company’s devices enable simple, convenient, and virtually painless blood collection for users. Tasso technology has the power to bring healthcare anywhere, any time. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Tasso is privately held and funded by grants, investments, and co-development deals with various industry leaders.

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