CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Lunaphore and Nucleai | September 09, 2022
Lunaphore, a Swiss life sciences company developing technology to enable spatial biology in every laboratory, and Nucleai, a leader in AI-powered spatial biology transforming precision medicine by unlocking the power of pathology data announced a collaboration to accelerate the discovery of novel biomarkers and drug targets using the latest spatial imaging and machine learning technologies.
“We are thrilled to announce the partnership with Lunaphore and combine Lunaphore’s best-in-class flagship COMET™, a hyperplex staining and imaging platform, with Nucleai’s ATOM platform that uniquely supports multiplex, IHC, and H&E data. This strategic partnership will allow us to utilize multiplex technology and provide a complete, actionable, and scalable solution to improve drug target discovery and development of our pharma and biotech partners.”
Avi Veidman, Chief Executive Officer of Nucleai
Mapping biological microenvironments with spatial mapping technology is an exciting area of discovery. Lunaphore’s novel COMET™ technology unlocks the power of immunofluorescence spatial biology with a robust and user-friendly system, permitting the use of any non-conjugated antibodies and enabling the wide adoption of spatial biology in laboratories. Nucleai has built a platform that makes spatial analysis scalable and operational, enabling the next generation of actionable insights from massive pathology data sets that have not been analyzed to their fullest potential and could provide significant value to pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic labs.
The partnership will utilize Lunaphore’s innovative COMET™ platform for hyperplex staining and imaging with Nucleai’s cutting-edge AI spatial models to derive new insights from tissue biopsies, including novel drug targets, mechanisms of action, and biomarkers to advance the field of precision medicine. The combined solutions will provide laboratories with an integrated end-to-end spatial biology workflow from automated, hyperplex sequential immunofluorescence staining and imaging to AI-enabled, state-of-the-art image processing, and data analytics. As part of the partnership, the companies also plan to develop predictive and prognostic spatial biomarker assays.
“Our partnership with Nucleai is based on our shared vision to advance next-generation spatial multiplex immunofluorescence imaging to accelerate drug and biomarker discovery and development,” said Déborah Heintze, Chief Marketing Officer of Lunaphore. “Connecting Nucleai’s solution with COMET™, we have the potential to more precisely characterize the immune system and disease microenvironment to provide deeper biological insights to drug developers.”
“Nucleai brings innovative spatial biology and machine learning platform (ATOM) to empower researchers with novel insights into drug discovery,” said Mridula Iyer, Ph.D., Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Nucleai. “The technology is designed to unlock and analyze valuable data from pathology slides previously inaccessible, leading to the development of new precise targeted therapy that is important for patient outcomes. This collaboration is another example of how both Lunaphore and Nucleai are accelerating efforts to partner with pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies, as well as medical research institutions and other biomedical organizations.”
COMET™ is a fully automated sequential immunofluorescence instrument, able to perform hyperplex staining and imaging, producing high-quality data in a robust and reproducible manner. With superior tissue profiling capabilities, the system allows multiplex analysis of up to 40 different spatial markers per tissue slide without human intervention. COMET™ has a wide range of research applications, allowing for a dramatic improvement in the understanding of disease pathology in areas such as immuno-oncology, neuroscience, and infectious diseases. The technology has the ability to revolutionize clinical applications such as drug discovery and biomarker development.
Lunaphore Technologies S.A. is a Swiss company born in 2014 with the vision of enabling spatial biology in every laboratory. Lunaphore has developed a game-changing chip technology that can extract spatial proteomic and genomic data from tumors and transform any simple assay into multiplex spatial biology without complexity. Lunaphore empowers researchers to push the boundaries of research to ultimately develop the next generation personalized therapies.
Nucleai is an AI-powered spatial biology company with a mission to transform drug development and clinical treatment decisions by unlocking the power of pathology data. Nucleai provides pharmaceutical companies, Contract Research Organizations, and diagnostics laboratories with a state-of-the-art AI platform to improve clinical trials and clinical decision-making.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Flagship Biosciences, Inc. | September 01, 2022
Flagship Biosciences, Inc., a leader in spatial biology and biomarker analytics services, announced the acquisition of Interpace Pharma Solutions® a division of Interpace Biosciences and provider of cytogenetic, molecular pathology, and genomic profiling solutions. This acquisition follows a growth equity investment in Flagship from Ampersand Capital Partners, BroadOak Capital Partners, and Research Corporation Technologies. The strategic combination of Flagship and IPS creates a full repertoire of biomarker lab and analytic services to advance precision therapeutic development and adds a state-of-the-art laboratory in Research Triangle Park, NC.
Flagship Biosciences offers cutting-edge spatial biology services, powered by its patented AI image analysis technology that improves the accuracy of tissue-based pathology by delivering thousands of measurements on every cell and enabling the discovery of biomarkers that might be missed using traditional histology methods. Experts in pathology and regulatory strategy, the team at Flagship offers advanced end-to-end biomarker and analytics services to support drug trials, biomarker discovery, and clinical diagnostics. They also offer guidance in the development of companion diagnostics.
To better serve their biopharma and diagnostics clients, Flagship Biosciences will integrate the technologies and services of IPS to support all phases of clinical trials and diagnostic development in immuno-oncology, hematology, solid tumors, and various non-oncology sectors. Flagship Biosciences' expanded services menu will now include advanced molecular biomarker solutions, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, genomics, and bioinformatics solutions. New genomic profiling capabilities will enhance biomarker characterization and improve patient stratification for clinical trials and treatment selection.
"By combining these organizations, we create a single-source provider offering a larger range of biomarker and analytics services while maintaining and expanding the proven expertise of each laboratory. This will allow our customers to gain deeper insights into their clinical projects through multiple biomarker testing paradigms with cohesive data and analytical capabilities, managed in a simplified project workflow."
Trevor Johnson, CEO at Flagship Biosciences
About Flagship Biosciences
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, Flagship Biosciences, Inc. is a technology-driven tissue analysis services company delivering the most accurate and informative data available. We are revolutionizing tissue analysis to improve drug development and diagnostics using the power of AI with a consultative approach. Our services and technology dramatically improve on the data and interpretation from traditional pathology methods, eliminating variability associated with typical tissue assessments, and bringing new insights to tissue analysis results. We provide expert scientific consultation for every client. Our team interprets results, contextualizes tissue biology, and identifies the best course for success. For more information, please visit flagshipbio.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Interpace Pharma Solutions
Based in Research Triangle Park, NC, Interpace Pharma Solutions provides complex molecular analysis services supporting clinical trials and diagnostic development. These services include genomic profiling, biomarker solutions, project and data management, bioinformatics analysis, and biorepository services.
About Ampersand Capital Partners
Founded in 1988, Ampersand is a middle market private equity firm with more than $3 billion of assets under management dedicated to growth-oriented investments in the healthcare sector. With offices in Boston, MA and Amsterdam, Netherlands, Ampersand leverages a unique blend of private equity and operating experience to build value and drive superior long-term performance alongside its portfolio company management teams. Ampersand has helped build numerous market-leading companies across each of the firm's core healthcare sectors.
About BroadOak Capital Partners
BroadOak Capital Partners, with headquarters in Washington, DC, and San Francisco, is a life-sciences focused boutique financial institution that provides direct investment and investment banking services to companies in research tools and consumables, diagnostics, biopharma services, and adjacent markets. BroadOak has led or participated in investments in more than fifty companies across multiple funds and investment vehicles.
About Research Corporation Technologies
Research Corporation Technologies is a Tucson, Arizona based technology investment and management company that provides funding and development for promising life science and biomedical companies. RCT has assets of more than $500 million to advance technology and product development through flexible, long-term investment options.
Ginkgo Bioworks | August 12, 2022
Ginkgo Bioworks the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, and the Rwanda Development Board representing the government of the Republic of Rwanda, today announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the intent of developing and implementing new biosecurity capabilities in Rwanda.
The initial goal of the planned partnership is to support Rwanda's public health institutions as they work to address biosecurity challenges in the region. Ginkgo, through its biosecurity and public health initiative, Concentric by Ginkgo, plans to collaborate on the ground with RDB to equip these institutions with biosecurity tools and training as well as the secure data infrastructure they need to leverage automation, data analysis, bioinformatics capabilities, and other critical genomic sequencing technologies.
Concentric leverages a nationwide laboratory network to provide pathogen monitoring capabilities across thousands of sites in the U.S., including schools, airports, and other congregate settings. Concentric aims to build sustainable global biosecurity infrastructure to prepare for the next new variant or novel pathogen, and this planned partnership with RDB is a significant milestone in its international expansion as it continues to scale its biosecurity offering.
RDB, a Rwandan government institution, was established in 2008 to accelerate Rwanda's economic development by enabling private sector growth. Ginkgo will build relationships with Rwandan public health institutions and private sector-led biotechnology initiatives in Rwanda; the RDB will contribute expertise in skills development and on-the-ground support for the partnership.
Concentric and RDB recognize the importance of international collaboration and cooperation to promote global health security as biological threats emerge. Effective pathogen monitoring and data sharing capabilities can empower government officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders to make informed public health decisions. In the long-term, these capabilities can also be leveraged to form the foundation for a sustainable regional bioeconomy. For example, in the context of this MOU, Ginkgo and RDB plan to collaborate to inform workforce development priorities in the areas of biotechnology, biomanufacturing, and bioengineering, and to explore potential opportunities for Rwanda to leverage its biodiversity as a foundation for innovation within its bioeconomy.
"The future of biosecurity is global—COVID-19 has shown us all that pathogens don't recognize national borders. To prepare for the next biological threat, we need the infrastructure in place to build a global weather map tracking the spread and evolution of infectious diseases. We deeply appreciate Rwanda's leadership working to define a new era of biosecurity, and we are incredibly excited to use our platform to support Rwanda's public health institutions with critical capabilities that we believe will help them face challenges ranging from this pandemic to agricultural and travel biosecurity."
Matt McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks
Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, noted, "The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the need for robust public health and biotechnology infrastructure in Rwanda and around the world. We are excited about our plans to partner with Ginkgo to bring cutting-edge biosecurity capabilities to Rwanda across various sectors including health and agriculture. We believe this will stimulate our growing bioeconomy and help us learn more about our biodiversity."
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery.
About the Rwanda Development Board
The Rwanda Development Board is a government agency responsible for leading the country's transformation into a dynamic global hub for business, investment, tourism and innovation. Its mission is to fast-track economic development in Rwanda by enabling private sector growth.