ASCO: Viracta’s HDAC-inhibitor combo garners high response in EBV-linked lymphoma

fiercebiotech | June 03, 2019

he oncology community has long been aware of the association between Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and certain malignancies, including some forms of lymphoma, but targeting these cancers has proven challenging. Early data from a phase 1b/2 study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting suggests that combining HDAC inhibition with an anti-viral therapy may be effective against EBV-associated lymphoma.Patients in the trial are receiving a combination of Viracta Therapeutics HDAC inhibitor nanatinostat (formerly VRx-3996) and valganciclovir, a drug used to treat cytomegalovirus in patients with HIV/AIDS or in people who have recently received organ transplants.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

IPA’s Subsidiary BioStrand and BriaCell Announce Artificial Intelligence Collaboration and License Agreement

BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. | December 01, 2022

IPA an advanced biotherapeutic research and technology company, announced that BioStrand BV an AI in silico discovery subsidiary of IPA, has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in targeted immunotherapies for cancer. The collaboration will leverage BioStrand’s LENSai™ software, built upon IPA’s proprietary HYFT™ Universal Fingerprint™ technologies, and will focus on in silico antibody discovery to generate relevant clinical molecules for potential development. Under the terms of the Agreement, BioStrand and BriaCell will collaborate on the design, discovery, and development of anti-cancer antibodies. Upon successful antibody discovery, BioStrand will receive an upfront payment of US$500,000, and will be eligible to receive future success-based development milestones, including those for the submission of Investigational New Drugs clinical milestone payments, and commercial royalties on net sales of products. Further terms are not disclosed. “We are very excited to begin this program with BriaCell and apply our technology to the development of biologics that may have a huge clinical impact. Shortening timelines, while also integrating as much information as possible upstream to improve the efficiency of the process, is extremely important in the development of highly targeted therapies. It is a step towards realizing our long-term vision of significantly advancing precision medicine.” Dr. Ingrid Brands, General Manager and co-founder of BioStrand “We believe that BioStrand’s revolutionary AI-powered technology, combined with its cutting-edge protein engineering platform, will allow us to design and discover potent anti-cancer therapeutics,” stated Miguel A. Lopez-Lago, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of BriaCell. “This approach would complement BriaCell’s current immunotherapy pipeline of innovative anti-cancer therapeutics.” About BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. BriaCell is an immuno-oncology-focused biotechnology company developing targeted and effective approaches for the management of cancer. ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. has several subsidiaries in North America and Europe including entities such as Talem Therapeutics LLC, Biostrand BV, ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. and ImmunoPrecise Antibodies B.V. The IPA Family is a biotherapeutic research and technology group that leverages systems biology, multi-omics modelling and complex artificial intelligence systems to support its proprietary technologies in bioplatform-based antibody discovery. Services include highly specialized, full-continuum therapeutic biologics discovery, development, and out-licensing to support its business partners in their quest to discover and develop novel biologics against the most challenging targets.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

BioAge Labs to Present Data on Novel Brain-Penetrant NLRP3 Inhibitors for Treatment of Neurodegeneration and Brain Aging at Upcoming Conferences

BioAge Labs, Inc. | October 14, 2022

BioAge Labs, Inc. a privately held clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics that target the molecular causes of aging to extend healthy human lifespan, announced that it will present updates on its NLRP3 inhibitor program at two upcoming conferences in the United States, Neurodegeneration Targets and the Inflammasome Therapeutics Summit, and at the BIO-Europe 2022 conference in Leipzig, Germany. BioAge is developing its novel, proprietary class of NLRP3 inhibitors, which have distinct structural and biological properties and include molecules that penetrate the blood–brain barrier, for neurodegenerative and neurosensory disorders associated with aging. “Our family of potent, structurally differentiated NLRP3 inhibitors demonstrates BioAge’s capability to discover novel compounds for promising targets emerging from our discovery platform. I am excited about the potential of these drugs to treat diseases driven by brain aging, and our team is looking forward to the opportunity to share recent data from this program at multiple important scientific gatherings.” BioAge CEO and co-founder Kristen Fortney, PhD At the inaugural Neurodegeneration Targets meeting hosted by Cambridge Healthtech Institute [link], Rusty Montgomery, PhD, Vice President, Biology, will deliver a talk titled “Identification of a Novel Class of Highly Potent, CNS-Penetrant NLRP3-Specific Inhibitors with Excellent Drug-Like Physical Features” in Boston, MA on Oct. 20, 2022. Kevin Willhelmsen, PhD, Associate Director of Immunology, will present on the same topic at the Inflammasome Therapeutics Summit [link] in Boston on Nov. 29, 2022. In addition, at BIO-Europe [link], Peng Leong, PhD, MBA, Chief Business Officer and Head of Brain Aging at BioAge, will speak on a panel titled “Immuno-inflammation: A Gateway to Therapeutic Areas and New Partners” on Oct. 24, 2022. He will be joined by panelists Vishal Sahni, Director, Corporate Business Development and Strategy at H. Lundbeck A/S; Duncan Emmerton, Executive Director, Pharma Intelligence; and Andrew Mackie, Chief Business Officer, Imcyse. “The BioAge target discovery platform revealed that NLRP3 activity is correlated with mortality and cognitive decline,” Leong said, “Inhibition of NLRP3 and other mediators of chronic inflammation identified by our platform has the potential to prevent multiple age-related disorders driven by pathologic inflammation.” Leong will be available at BIO-Europe for potential partnership discussions. Attendees can send meeting requests to BioAge via the contact information in this release. About BioAge Labs, Inc. BioAge is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a pipeline of treatments to extend healthy lifespan by targeting the molecular causes of aging. The company uses its discovery platform, which combines quantitative analysis of proprietary longitudinal human samples with detailed health records to map out the key molecular pathways that impact healthy human aging. By targeting the mechanisms of aging with a large and mechanistically diverse portfolio of drugs, BioAge is unlocking opportunities to treat or even prevent age-related disease in entirely new ways. BioAge currently has multiple clinical-stage programs in its growing portfolio targeting muscle, immune, and brain aging. To date, BioAge has raised $127M from Andreessen Horowitz, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and others.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Alloy Therapeutics Raises $42 Million Series D Financing to Accelerate Discovery Technology Development Across Biologic Modalities

Alloy Therapeutics, Inc. | October 04, 2022

Alloy Therapeutics, a biotechnology ecosystem company, has closed $42 million in Series D financing led by its existing investors 8VC and Mubadala Capital and joined by return investors Thiel Capital, Presight Capital, Founders Fund, and other unnamed family offices and sovereign wealth funds. Alloy will use proceeds from the Series D financing to further support the drug discovery community with new pre-competitive drug discovery technologies in new biologic modalities and new partnership models designed to fuel innovation. Since Alloy’s Series C fundraise in March 2021, Alloy has expanded from its foundational antibody discovery technologies and discovery services into T-cell receptors with the launch of its Keyway TCR Discovery division, and genetic medicines through its collaboration with Dr. Sudhir Agrawal, the inventor of gapmer technology. Alloy has further expanded with three new research sites, in Basel, CH; Athens, GA; and San Francisco, CA. “After three years of hard work and planning, we were proud to formally launch Keyway TCR Discovery in January 2022. We envision a future in 20 years where engineered TCRs and TCR mimics are as successful a modality as monoclonal antibodies are today. Keyway believes this is possible by providing unrestricted access to enabling technologies and discovery services without pharma having to spend billions of dollars to acquire companies for proprietary technologies and people.” Dongxing Zha, CEO of Keyway and Alloy’s CTO for TCR Modalities In response to growing engagement from partners, Alloy will further leverage its Series D funds to continue to invest in expanded offerings across all six of its modalities. These will support the drug discovery community in the pursuit of multi-modal therapeutics while reducing or eliminating stacked downstream payments. Through its affiliated venture studio, 82VS, Alloy supports scientist-entrepreneurs with seamless access to its cutting-edge technologies and discovery services. 82VS companies are often the first customers of Alloy’s innovations, having full access to the Alloy suite of technologies and discovery services to advance the best drug candidates and invent new applications that can benefit the broader Alloy ecosystem and, ultimately, patients and their caregivers. To best serve the vast discovery needs of pharmaceutical companies, Alloy is pioneering an Innovation Subscription offering that gives its collaborators access to all current and future Alloy technology platforms for one flat, annual fee with no milestones or royalties. Partners benefit from Alloy as an ever-growing source of pre-competitive, foundational discovery technology. Alloy also supports complementary CROs, CDMOs and other discovery and development service providers as a critical part of the collaborative ecosystem to empower pharma in its mission to cure disease. In this subscription model, Alloy provides a new home for promising pre-competitive technologies and academic breakthroughs that have traditionally been underfunded or unavailable to all. “Our Innovation Subscription model is available now as an exciting next step in furthering our collaborative mission and unlocking the potential for sharing foundational, pre-competitive drug discovery technologies with the global drug discovery community,” said Alloy Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer and Founder Errik Anderson. “Including this financing, Alloy will have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in innovation that the largest pharma companies can access through a flat, annual subscription with no additional milestones or royalties. Emerging biotech and academics can access our tech through collaboration and more traditional and creative structures. Combined with the reinvestment of 100% of our revenue, including our subscription revenue, back into innovation and access to innovation, Alloy is a new for-profit business model that plays for the collective long game in a non-zero-sum way. The value of a subscription goes up every year, while the fees stay flat or even will decrease with scale. We price this so a single avoided royalty will pay for the entire platform access over a 20-plus-year period. We are grateful for our longstanding investors for supporting this vision of arming the drug discovery industry with the tools they need to discover and develop the best medicines for patients more quickly.” Alloy launched in 2017 to democratize foundational, pre-competitive technologies and capabilities for the discovery of therapeutic biologics and has since grown with over 130 partners across academia, biotech, and large biopharma. Its first platform was the ATX-Gx™, a suite of transgenic mouse strains for human antibody discovery that was originally in-licensed from a major pharma company and made broadly available to the drug discovery ecosystem by Alloy, with open access to newly introduced strains. Through its DeepImmune™ Antibody Discovery services, Alloy helps partners find the best therapeutic antibody candidates against targets of interest, by deploying a bespoke blend of its proprietary in vivo, in vitro, and in silico technologies and workflows. In 2022, Alloy launched Keyway™ TCR Discovery as its second fully integrated technology and services offering for the discovery of therapeutic engineered TCRs and TCR mimics. “Alloy has successfully expanded its flagship discovery offering in antibodies to multiple promising modalities to better serve the global drug discovery community,” said Alaa Halawa, Head of Mubadala Capital’s US Ventures business, which first backed Alloy as an investor in its Series C financing. “We are proud to partner with the company as it executes on its promise of enabling scientists through the development of transformative drug discovery technologies. We look forward to seeing how the partnership with large pharma partners and other venture firms will leverage Alloy’s platform to enable their therapeutic discovery teams and emerging startups to advance the best medicines.” About Alloy Therapeutics aAlloy 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. About Alloy’s Antibody Discovery Offering Alloy’s first foundational platform, the ATX-Gx™ mice, is a suite of proprietary transgenic mice strains for human therapeutic antibody discovery, which can be accessed in your lab or through DeepImmune™ Antibody Discovery. This service integrates Alloy’s full complement of proprietary in vivo, in vitro, and in silico discovery and optimization technologies into one comprehensive service offering for fully human monoclonal and bispecific antibody discovery. The technologies and protocols can be replicated in a partner’s organization through a platform transfer and as part of an Alloy Innovation Subscription. Alloy is a leader in bispecific antibody discovery and engineering services, utilizing its proprietary ATX-CLC common light chain platform integrating novel transgenic mice and phage display. About Keyway™ TCR Discovery In 2022, Alloy launched Keyway™ TCR Discovery, Alloy's second fully integrated platform and service offering. Led by a team of TCR therapeutic pioneers and experts and leveraging the full resources of the Alloy ecosystem, Keyway provides comprehensive proprietary technology and capabilities for end-to-end discovery of TCR mimics and engineered TCRs, which includes production and quality control of MHC/peptide complexes, biophysical characterization, specificity testing, reformatting, and engineering, affinity maturation, and in vivo and in vitro preclinical testing. Partners may access Keyway's technology and capabilities through a standard or bespoke one-stop-shop discovery campaign, platform transfer, or Innovation Subscription.

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