Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. | August 23, 2022
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, opened its largest single-use technology manufacturing site in Greater Nashville. The $105 million, 400,000-square-foot facility enables the company to help meet rapidly growing demand for the bioprocessing materials needed to produce vaccines and breakthrough therapies for cancer and other diseases. This new site is part of Thermo Fisher’s $650 million multi-year investment to expand its bioprocessing production capabilities.
“Customers depend on our best-in-class technologies, services and expertise. This continued investment in bioprocessing manufacturing allows us to better serve them in delivering greater supply through scalable solutions. As the largest single-use manufacturing site in Thermo Fisher’s network and one of the largest in the world, the Lebanon facility near Nashville enables customers to bring medicines to patients faster than ever before.”
Daniella Cramp, senior vice president and president, bioproduction, Thermo Fisher Scientific
The Lebanon facility will manufacture customizable, single-use BioProcess Containers and fluid transfer assembly systems that are in high demand by biopharma companies. The completed site will include 92,000 square-feet of clean room and will also include a dedicated line for the recently released Thermo Scientific DynaDrive™ Bioreactor. The site location is bringing critical materials closer to biopharma customers in the region, with Nashville among the top ten fastest-growing biotech hubs in the U.S.1
The Lebanon site currently employs approximately 300 people, and the completed facility will create 1,400 new jobs in roles across engineering, procurement, quality, warehousing, site leadership and more. This site is part of Thermo Fisher’s global bioprocessing supply network that expands across 100 countries to help ensure critical medicines reach patients. The Thermo Fisher network of sites have enabled more than 12 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses and partnered with customers to supply its technology and materials for many currently approved COVID vaccines and therapeutics.
“Tennessee’s strong business climate and thriving healthcare sector make our state the ideal location for a company like Thermo Fisher Scientific to thrive,” said Governor Bill Lee. “I thank Thermo Fisher for its decision to invest in Wilson County and create new jobs across the region so that Tennessee continues to lead the nation in innovation and opportunity.”
“Tennessee is emerging as a global leader in biotechnology, and new investment from Thermo Fisher Scientific will bring even more innovation to the region,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn. “This new facility will provide high-paying jobs to Tennesseans and create cutting-edge technology to keep our research and development communities thriving.”
About Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue of approximately $40 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, increasing productivity in their laboratories, improving patient health through diagnostics or the development and manufacture of life-changing therapies, we are here to support them. Our global team delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, Patheon and PPD.
Arbor Biotechnologies Inc | August 29, 2022
Arbor Biotechnologies, a biotechnology company discovering and developing the next generation of genetic medicines, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Acuitas Therapeutics, a leader in the development of lipid nanoparticles.
As part of the agreement, the companies will combine the optimized delivery of Acuitas' highly validated LNP technology with Arbor’s differentiated, proprietary CRISPR gene editing technology designed for use in vivo in patients with rare liver diseases.
“We are building a robust, proprietary portfolio of genomic medicines, beginning with severe liver diseases, for which LNPs are known to provide an optimal delivery approach with their ability to efficiently target hepatocytes, limit off target toxicity and have minimal immunogenicity. We are looking forward to working with Acuitas, a leading global developer of clinically-validated LNP technology. Importantly, we believe this partnership accelerates our path to the clinic, with an ability to leverage established and scalable manufacturing.”
Devyn Smith, Ph.D., CEO, Arbor Biotechnologies
Commented Dr. Thomas Madden, President & CEO of Acuitas Therapeutics: “We are excited to collaborate with Arbor on the development of novel genomic medicines for patients who currently have few, if any, therapeutic options. Arbor’s commitment to addressing this unmet clinical need resonates with Acuitas. We look forward to supporting their advance into the clinic.”
About Arbor Biotechnologies
Arbor Biotechnologies is a next-generation gene editing company focused on discovering and developing potentially curative genomic medicines. Founded by Feng Zhang, David Walt, David Scott, and Winston Yan, our proprietary discovery engine is focused on discovering genetic editing capabilities spanning knockdowns to whole gene insertions, which has enabled us to generate the most extensive toolbox of proprietary genomic editors in the industry to date. Leveraging our wholly-owned nucleases as the chassis for genetic modification, we can work backward from disease pathology to choose the optimal editing approach that specifically addresses the underlying cause of disease, resulting in a potentially curative medicine for a wider range of genetic disorders. As Arbor continues to advance its pipeline toward the clinic with an initial focus in liver and CNS disease, the Company has also secured several partnerships around gene editing and ex vivo cell therapy programs to broaden the reach of its novel nuclease technology.
About Acuitas Therapeutics
Founded in February 2009, Vancouver-based Acuitas Therapeutics is a private biotechnology company that specializes in the development of delivery systems for nucleic acid therapeutics based on lipid nanoparticles. The company partners with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as non-governmental organizations and academic institutes to advance nucleic acid therapeutics into clinical trials and to the marketplace. The team works with partners to develop new therapies to address unmet clinical needs based on its internationally recognized capabilities in delivery technology. Acuitas Therapeutics has agreements in place with several partners to use its proprietary lipid nanotechnology in the development of COVID-19 vaccines. These include Pfizer/BioNTech for COMIRNATY®, which has received full approval in the U.S. and Canada and is authorized for Emergency Use in Europe, the UK and many other countries. The Acuitas team is currently working on therapeutics focused on addressing cancer, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, rabies, and other serious diseases.
Biocytogen | July 21, 2022
Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. entered a strategic collaboration with LiberoThera Co., Ltd to co-develop fully human GPCR antibodies using Biocytogen’s advanced antibody discovery platform based on fully human antibody RenMabTM mice combined with LiberoThera’s outstanding membrane antigen preparation technology. In around a year since the collaboration was established, the two parties have screened out a number of fully human therapeutic antibody clones with excellent anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo against the first mutually selected GPCR target, CCR8, which has the potential to become a best-in-class product. These antibody clones exhibit high affinity binding to human CCR8 with species cross-reactivity and good manufacturability. Mechanistically, these clones can deplete Tregs from the tumor micro-environment through enhanced ADCC activity, and can also inhibit the activities of Tregs in the tumor micro-environment by inhibiting CCR8 signaling mediated by its ligand CCL1, thereby enhancing the anti-tumor immune response. In the future, the collaborations between two parties will also be extended to other GPCR targets.
GPCRs are seven-transmembrane proteins with short extracellular domains and high homology among them which make it difficult to find antibodies against them with high specificity and desired functions. However, both the success rate and the speed of GPCR antibody discovery have greatly increased by combining Biocytogen’s target knocked-out fully human antibody mice RenMab KO, various immunization and antibody discovery technologies, high-throughput in vitro and in vivo screening platform and LiberoThera’s deep understanding of GPCR target structures plus membrane antigen preparation technologies.
“We are very pleased that with the joint efforts of us and LiberoThera, the drug development of CCR8, a potential target for tumor immunotherapy, is progressing smoothly. This undoubtedly validates that LiberoThera's advanced antigen preparation technology synergizes with our RenMice KO platform to generate diverse fully human antibodies. Furthermore, our high-throughput in vivo and in vitro screening capabilities ensured that antibodies against GPCRs can be efficiently obtained. We look forward to advancing our CCR8 antibodies into the clinic soon and we also look forward to continue working with LiberoThera to tackle more GPCR targets.”
Dr. Yuelei Shen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Biocytogen
“Many GPCRs are important drug targets for a variety of indications. However, due to the special structure of such targets, the development of antibody drugs against them has always been challenging,” said Dr. Toru Kanke, CEO of LiberoThera. “The structural GPCR antigens prepared with LiberoThera’s proprietary cell-free membrane synthesis technologies together with non-natural amino acid incorporation methods can provide a solution for generating quality antibodies against the challenging targets. Biocytogen’s streamlined fully human antibody development platform greatly accelerates the translation of GPCR research. We are very happy to see the rapid progress and discovery of the best-in-class therapeutic antibodies against CCR8 under the collaboration of both parties. We also look forward to the collaborations in the future with Biocytogen to work on more GPCR targets so that to benefit more patients around the world.”
Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. is a global biotechnology company that drives the research and development of novel antibody-based drugs with innovative technologies. Using its proprietary RenMabTM /RenLite® mice platforms for fully human monoclonal and bispecific antibody development, Biocytogen has integrated its in vivo drug efficacy screening platforms and strong clinical development expertise to streamline the entire drug development process. Biocytogen is undertaking a large-scale project to develop antibody drugs for more than 1000 targets, known as Project Integrum, and has entered ongoing collaborations with dozens of partners worldwide to produce a variety of first-in-class and/or best-in-class antibody drugs. At present, many GPCR projects from Project Integrum are under development that are important for treating cancer, metabolic diseases and beyond. In the future, Project Integrum will continue producing more fully human antibodies against GPCRs and other difficult targets. Biocytogen wishes to collaborate with partners around the world to discover, develop and deliver new medicines through innovative technologies that benefit human health. The company's pipeline includes 12 core products, among which two products are in phase II multi-regional clinical trials and two products are in phase I. Headquartered in Beijing, Biocytogen has branches in Haimen Jiangsu, Shanghai, Boston, USA and Heidelberg, Germany.
LiberoThera is a drug discovery company targeting membrane proteins including GPCRs. Founded on the revolutionary research by Prof. Shigeyuki Yokoyama, Emeritus Professor at The University of Tokyo and Distinguished Senior Scientist at RIKEN, LiberoThera utilizes its cutting-edge cell-free protein expression system and non-natural amino acid technology which enable complexed membrane proteins to be prepared in natural forms with structural and functional integrity. LiberoThera is developing novel therapeutic candidates targeting physiologically important membrane proteins, such as GPCRs, in collaboration with multiple partners.