Cell and Gene Therapy
prnewswire | September 14, 2023
Ceres Nanosciences, a global leader in developing wastewater testing methods based on its Nanotrap® technology, and Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, today announced that they are partnering to bring pathogen monitoring capabilities to laboratories around the world. Pathogen monitoring and analysis capabilities, including in wastewater, are designed to help public health institutions address regional biosecurity challenges.
Supported by the NIH RADx Initiative, Ceres developed their Nanotrap technology for robust, sensitive, and time-saving methods to detect a wide range of pathogens in wastewater samples and has deployed those methods to a network of testing sites in the United States. These sites provide wastewater testing services nationwide to deliver valuable public health data, such as information about the relative abundance of COVID-19 variant groups over time in a community's wastewater, to the CDC's National Wastewater Surveillance System and to state, local, and Tribal decision makers.
Recently, Concentric by Ginkgo, the biosecurity unit of Ginkgo Bioworks, as part of a CDC program, demonstrated in a study with partners from XPresCheck and Louisiana State University that coupling Ceres' aircraft wastewater testing methods with Concentric's analysis can enable early detection of variants of SARS-CoV-2. San Francisco International Airport was the first airport to announce that it will continuously monitor airplane wastewater samples as part of a CDC program operated by Concentric and XpresCheck.
Under the partnership between Ceres and Concentric, labs in countries where Concentric has biosecurity programs receive on-site training and the materials needed to implement the standardized and proven wastewater testing workflow from Ceres. Labs also receive biosecurity tools and data infrastructure to leverage automation, data analysis, bioinformatics capabilities, and other critical genomic sequencing technologies.
Together, Ceres and Concentric have set up labs in the Middle East and Africa through this collaboration, offering a cutting-edge approach to biosurveillance technologies and capacity building for labs around the world that are part of Concentric's global pathogen monitoring network.
"Under our NIH RADx Initiative, we demonstrated that we can quickly stand up improved wastewater testing capabilities for labs that are experts or novices in the space," said Robbie Barbero, Chief Business Officer at Ceres Nanosciences. "We are delighted now to be partnering with a global leader like Concentric to build a robust public health framework worldwide."
"Ceres Nanosciences has been a terrific partner in developing effective and innovative methods for identifying pathogens in wastewater," said Matt McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. "By combining their laboratory expertise with our global footprint, we are building a robust global biological radar to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats."
About Ceres Nanosciences, Inc.
Ceres Nanosciences is a privately held company, located in Northern Virginia, focused on incorporating its proprietary Nanotrap® particle technology into a range of diagnostic and research use products and workflows. Nanotrap particles capture, concentrate, and preserve low abundance analytes from biological samples, enabling early and accurate detection of diseases. The Nanotrap particle technology was developed with support from the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
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.
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 05, 2023
Capsida Biotherapeutics Inc. and Kate Therapeutics announced a strategic partnership to leverage Capsida's expertise and adeno-associated virus (AAV) manufacturing capabilities to enable KateTx's initial internal portfolio of muscle and heart disease programs.
Under the terms of the agreement, Capsida will provide GMP manufacturing of KateTx's gene therapies as the medicines advance through preclinical and clinical development. In return, Capsida will receive undisclosed funding for the term of the agreement.
KateTx's publicly disclosed internal programs include myotonic dystrophy type 1 and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, which are two of the leading causes of adult-onset muscular dystrophy.
"Capsida possesses end-to-end expertise – which includes AAV capsid engineering, preclinical, clinical, and state-of-the-art manufacturing," said Peter Anastasiou, chief executive officer (CEO) of Capsida Biotherapeutics. "We are thrilled to be able to leverage our established capabilities in AAV manufacturing and support a peer company to reach patients in a complementary space, while continuing to advance our own internal and partnered pipeline in CNS and ophthalmology."
"KateTx is leading the way in developing capsid and cargo combinations to address muscle and heart diseases in ways that have not been previously possible," said Kevin Forrest, Ph.D., president and CEO of Kate Therapeutics. "Capsida's exceptional AAV manufacturing capabilities allow us to build our pipeline, de-risk our programs, and advance them into the clinic in the most rapid manner possible, so we can bring much-needed therapies to patients quickly."
"This collaboration between Capsida and KateTx leverages complementary expertise and overlapping needs across both innovative companies to advance programs in a capital-efficient manner. Capsida has established first-in-class engineered AAV manufacturing capabilities applicable across broad therapeutic areas, and this partnership with KateTx aims to bring these next-generation gene therapies to patients sooner than with traditional approaches," said Beth Seidenberg, M.D., co-founding managing director at Westlake Village BioPartners, member of the board of Capsida, and chair of the board at KateTx.
About Capsida Biotherapeutics
Capsida Biotherapeutics is an integrated gene therapy company developing treatments for rare and common diseases across all ages. Capsida's new class of engineered adeno associated virus (AAV)-based delivery technologies enables a broad range of therapeutic modalities, including DNA, RNA, gene editors, vectorized antibodies and other genetic cargoes, to be systemically delivered to specific organ systems while simultaneously limiting exposure to non-targeted organs. Capsida's proprietary capsid engineering and broad IP estate allows for identification and development of capsids with tropism for any tissue or cell type. The company's initial focus has been delivering therapeutic cargoes intravenously to the central nervous system (CNS) with high transduction levels to the desired tissues and cells. The company is developing a pipeline of both wholly owned programs in CNS and partnered programs with AbbVie (CNS and broad range of ophthalmic disorders), Lilly (CNS), and CRISPR Therapeutics (CNS). Capsida was founded in 2019 by lead investors Versant Ventures and Westlake Village BioPartners and originated from groundbreaking research in the laboratory of Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D., a neuroscience professor at Caltech.
About Kate Therapeutics
Kate Therapeutics (KateTx) is a patient-focused biotechnology company developing adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies to treat genetically defined muscle and heart diseases. The company is applying novel technology platforms that directly address the key limitations of current gene therapies, including tissue-specific delivery and gene regulation. These breakthroughs have the potential to improve the efficacy and safety of gene therapies and enable the pursuit of a broader set of targets that are otherwise difficult to drug with current technologies.