CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Enlaza Therapeutics | December 19, 2022
Enlaza Therapeutics, the first covalent biologic platform company, announced its official launch with the closing of $61 million in seed financing. The financing was led by Avalon Ventures and joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Frazier Life Sciences, and Samsara BioCapital. The financing will be used to further advance Enlaza’s proprietary War-LockTM platform and build a pipeline of covalent biologics with an initial focus on developing novel, differentiated cancer therapeutics with targeted efficacy and low toxicity.
“We’ve combined recent breakthroughs that allow introduction of proprietary unnatural amino acids to protein drugs, which enables specific covalent binding to their target proteins. Our covalent biologic platform is white-space technology, and we are pioneering an entirely new class of biologic therapeutics with the potential for significantly improved efficacy and safety to address numerous indications and disease areas.”
Sergio Duron, Ph.D., CEO of Enlaza Therapeutics
“Enlaza has built a highly differentiated therapeutic platform which, for the first time, will enable covalent biologics,” said Jay Lichter, Ph.D., Managing Partner of Avalon Ventures. “The platform provides the opportunity to develop drugs against multiple target classes, offering opportunities across all therapeutic areas.”
The War-Lock platform creates highly specific therapeutic warheads that lock onto targets of interest, producing broadly applicable therapeutic candidates with excellent drug-like properties. For example, protein drugs derived from the platform can be modified to incorporate various payloads, creating antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) or radioligand therapies (RLTs) with specific target tissue delivery, without the need for half-life extension engineering. Enlaza has generated preclinical data for its oncology drug candidates showing fast tumor penetration coupled with high systemic clearance, high tumor retention, and low off-target toxicity.
“The breadth of Enlaza’s platform will be transformative across multiple modalities,” said Shelley Chu, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Marcos Milla, Ph.D., Venture Partner at Samsara BioCapital said, “The Enlaza platform opens the possibility to enhance the therapeutic index of biologic drugs in a way that is not accessible with platforms relying on conventional recombinant technologies. It also offers an opportunity to address hard to target cell surface molecules in a highly specific fashion.”
“We are impressed with the in vitro and in vivo data the team has generated and believe that Enlaza can build an industry leading pipeline of important new protein drugs employing its incomparable technological advantage,” said Jamie Topper, M.D., Ph.D., Managing Partner of Frazier Life Sciences.
Enlaza’s War-Lock platform is based on technologies exclusively licensed from UCSF, negotiated through UCSF’s Innovation Ventures’ Office of Technology Management & Advancement, which leads licensing and business development efforts on behalf of the University, and The Scripps Research Institute.
About Enlaza Therapeutics
Enlaza Therapeutics is pioneering the field of covalent biologics. These novel classes of protein therapeutics deliver more efficacious and safer treatments for patients. The company's proprietary War-LockTM platform leverages leading synthetic biology technology for site-specific covalent coupling driven by drug binding. Enlaza is building a pipeline of first-in-class covalent biologics.
Alloy Therapeutics | November 18, 2022
Alloy Therapeutics, a biotechnology ecosystem company, announced an antibody discovery collaboration spanning multiple precision immuno-oncology programs for Normunity, a biotech company that recently announced its $65 million Series A financing. The collaboration will support the advancement of Normunity’s immune normalizers, antibody therapies designed to target novel mechanisms that free the body’s normal immunity to fight cancer, which are conceived through a unique biotech-academic collaboration with a renowned immuno-oncology university research lab.
Alloy democratizes access to tools, technologies, and services that are foundational for discovering and developing therapeutic biologics and has partnered with more than 130 discovery teams across academia, biotech, and large biopharma organizations. Through its discovery services offering, Alloy conducts high-touch, bespoke therapeutic discovery campaigns against partners’ targets of interest.
“Our partnership reflects an exciting opportunity to pair Normunity’s insights in immune disruption and cancer disease biology with Alloy’s world-class antibody discovery expertise. We value Alloy’s collaborative approach and look forward to working together to advance the best therapeutic antibodies to target mechanisms discovered through Normunity’s platforms.”
Normunity Chief Scientific Officer William LaRochelle, PhD
The collaboration between Alloy and Normunity is leveraging Alloy’s high velocity antibody discovery services offering, Daedamab, which takes a sequencing-first approach to antibody discovery that reduces discovery timelines without sacrificing quality. The Daedamab team is based in Alloy’s research facility in Athens, GA, and its workflow comprises the ATX-Gx™, Alloy’s proprietary mice platform for human therapeutic antibody discovery, in addition to robust B cell isolation, next generation sequencing, cloning-free expression and a high throughput screening process—all supported by a rich informatics engine.
“We are very excited to work with Normunity on its set of unique immuno-oncology targets using our high velocity NGS-based antibody discovery methods leveraging the ATX-Gx platform," said Richard Shimkets, PhD, SVP of Genetics and New Technologies at Alloy Therapeutics and CEO of the Daedamab site. “This relationship is emblematic of Alloy’s expertise in deploying the right technologies and processes to find our partners the best therapeutic antibodies against the novel targets they bring us.”
Normunity is advancing into the clinic with programs that target mechanisms that drive the exclusion of T cells into immune-sensitive tumors and aim to deliver an active and effective immune system into cold tumors.
Alloy’s Daedamab discovery service offers a novel, fast, powerful sequence-first approach to finding and making the best antibodies. The team is based in Athens, GA and supports Alloy collaborators with complete antibody discovery services, antibody sequencing of customer-provided material, expression and testing of customer-provided antibody sequences, humanization, and optimization services.
About Alloy Therapeutics
Alloy Therapeutics is a biotechnology ecosystem company empowering the global scientific community to make better medicines together. Through a community of partners across academia, biotech, and the largest biopharma, Alloy democratizes access to pre-competitive tools, technologies, services, and company creation capabilities that are foundational for discovering and developing therapeutic biologics across six modalities, including antibodies, TCRs, genetic medicines, peptides, cell therapies, and drug delivery. Partners may access all current and future technologies for a flat annual fee through Alloy’s Innovation Subscriptions offering. As a reflection of Alloy’s relentless commitment to the scientific community, Alloy reinvests 100% of its revenue in innovation and access to innovation.
Normunity, Inc., is a biotechnology company creating a new class of precision immuno-oncology medicines, called immune normalizers, that target novel mechanisms that free the body’s normal immunity against cancer. Based on an ongoing, interactive academic-biotech partnership with the lab of Dr. Lieping Chen at Yale School of Medicine, Normunity is targeting newly-discovered mechanisms of immune disruption in cancer based on proprietary discovery platforms that elucidate the complex interactions between human cancer and the immune system. The company is advancing an emerging pipeline of immune normalizers, including initial drug programs that target mechanisms that drive the exclusion of T-cells from immune-sensitive tumors and other mechanisms that are barriers to normal immune function in cancer. Normunity is located in Boston, Mass. and West Haven, Conn.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, MEDICAL
Be The Match BioTherapies® | January 18, 2023
On January 17, 2023, Be The Match BioTherapies, a company that provides solutions for organizations that develop and commercialize cell and gene therapies, introduced its offering of CIBMTR® clinical research organization services (CRO services), which significantly reduces the time needed to launch and execute high-impact clinical trials.
These CRO services are the outcome of a collaboration between Be The Match BioTherapies and CIBMTR, resulting in expertise and access to unmatched research, sites, donors, partnerships, scientific and operational knowledge, and other resources.
CIBMTR CRO services offer unique capabilities such as
Established relationships with over 225 clinical locations domestically
Nearly 20 years of expertise in transplant and cellular therapy trials and study management, as well as clinically-trained staff
On-staff transplant physicians provide direct contact with patients and donors for clinical and research insights.
A link to the CIBMTR outcomes database for over 575,000 patients
The new CRO services offer turn-key solutions, including protocol development and approval oversight, site selection, project management, site start-up, research sample/laboratory coordination, data management, study monitoring, patient-reported outcomes, statistical analysis, and financial administration. For certain services, such as data analysis, surveys, site selection and administration, and sample management, businesses may instead rely on the expertise of CIBMTR CRO services.
About Be The Match BioTherapies®
Be The Match BioTherapies is the sole supplier of cell and gene therapy solutions with fully configurable services to assist the cell therapy supply chain. It is committed to accelerating patient access to life-saving cell and gene treatments by delivering the best-quality cellular source material from Be The Match Registry®, the most-varied registry of prospective blood stem cell donors in the world, with over 7 million potential blood stem cell donors. Through global collaborations with apheresis, bone marrow collection, and transplant centers, the firm creates, onboards, trains, and maintains extensive collection networks to advance cell treatments.