Orion Biotechnology | July 15, 2022
Orion Biotechnology Canada Ltd, a drug discovery company targeting previously undruggable G Protein-Coupled Receptors and Peptilogics, a biotech company engineering peptide therapeutics by combining computation and biology to improve the treatment landscape for patients with life-threatening diseases, announced today that they have entered a research and development collaboration to leverage AI for drug discovery against an undrugged GPCR target.
The collaboration will combine the capabilities of Peptilogics’ AI platform (NautilusTM) with Orion Biotechnology’s proprietary drug discovery platform. The companies will leverage expertise in peptide design and engineering to drive drug discovery against an undrugged peptidergic GPCR linked to highly prevalent, life-threatening diseases.
Peptilogics’ Nautilus™ platform enables in silico predictive peptide design across diverse targets to efficiently access new functional chemical space and custom-design therapeutics. Additionally, Peptilogics’ supercomputer accelerates model development, prediction and evaluation of peptide sequences to produce higher quality hits with greater chance of success. Synergistically, Orion Biotechnology’s platform explores receptor-ligand shape space using proprietary multiplex synthesis technology to generate precision-engineered peptides with enhanced potency and tailored signaling activity. Orion’s platform generates data matrices for AI-assisted lead optimization, offering one of the fastest drug discovery and development solutions to target peptidergic GPCRs.
On the announcement of this collaboration, Dr. Oliver Hartley, VP Drug Discovery at Orion Biotechnology, commented, “We are pleased to be partnering with Peptilogics to push the boundaries of receptor pharmacology and AI computing to accelerate innovation for improved patient outcomes. An AI-driven paradigm shift is happening in drug discovery, and Orion is pleased to be at the forefront of applying AI to the highly valuable space around GPCRs. The ideal fit between Orion’s platform and unique knowledge of receptor-ligand interactions with Peptilogics’ machine learning models will position us to make AI-driven GPCR drug discovery a reality.”
“Using Peptilogics’ Nautilus™ platform, we combine proprietary deep generative models, predictive models and biophysical simulation to design multiparameter-optimized peptides that have the potential to address historically challenging and novel drug targets. Our AI algorithms enable efficient navigation of the vast peptide design space, allowing us to uncover molecules that may not be discovered through traditional screening. We are excited to partner with Orion Biotechnology for their deep GPCR expertise. By combining the strengths of Peptilogics’ Nautilus™ AI-driven peptide design platform and Orion’s GPCR platform, we aim to reduce the risk, time and cost for drug design.”
Nicholas Nystrom, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of Peptilogics
About Orion Biotechnology
Orion Biotechnology Canada Ltd. is unlocking the therapeutic potential of previously undruggable G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). Orion’s world-renowned experts in GPCR pharmacology and peptide/protein engineering leverage Orion’s proprietary drug discovery platform to rapidly and efficiently advance a diversified portfolio of precision engineered GPCR-targeted therapeutic candidates for the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases.
Peptilogics engineers peptide therapeutic candidates to radically improve the treatment landscape for patients with life-threatening diseases. Through biological and pharmaceutical expertise, novel artificial intelligence algorithms, and purpose-built super-computing, Peptilogics is advancing an extensive therapeutic pipeline and accelerating discovery efforts at a pace and scale that was previously impossible. Peptilogics is backed by visionary investors in life science and technology including Peter Thiel, Presight Capital, Founders Fund, CARB-X, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
SIGA Technologies Inc. | July 16, 2022
SIGA Technologies, Inc. a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market, today announced a collaboration with KaliVir Immunotherapeutics to make TPOXX® available for use with KaliVir’s proprietary oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy platform. This novel oncolytic platform includes multiple proprietary genetic modifications that can be combined to generate a unique oncolytic virus that has been optimized for systemic delivery and anti-tumor immune stimulation. Under this partnership, SIGA is providing its TPOXX oral capsules to support future clinical programs.
“KaliVir is an innovator in the creation of oncolytic viral immunotherapies, and we are excited to enter into this collaboration with them. TPOXX is a powerful antiviral drug to vaccinia and allows the safe use of higher doses of vaccinia vectors; there is also the potential it could increase immunotherapeutic outcomes. This collaboration helps bring new levels of assurance to physicians, regulators, and especially patients receiving these promising investigational therapies.”
Dr. Phil Gomez, CEO of SIGA
“We are pleased to announce this collaboration with SIGA Technologies,” said Helena Chaye, Ph.D., J.D., CEO of KaliVir. “Pairing oncolytic immunotherapies with an effective antiviral agent is a critical part of the development of new treatments, and we look forward to enhancing our groundbreaking oncolytic immunotherapy programs with the support of SIGA’s TPOXX.”
On July 13, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved oral TPOXX for the treatment of smallpox to mitigate the impact of a potential outbreak or bioterror attack. In preclinical studies, TPOXX has been shown to be active against most orthopoxviruses, including vaccinia The unique mechanism of action of TPOXX coupled with published efficacy in animal studies, make it an important addition to development programs focused on vaccinia-based cancer therapies. In 2020, SIGA entered into numerous collaborations, including a partnership with Turnstone Biologics to supply TPOXX to support Turnstone’s clinical oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy programs. In 2021, SIGA entered into a preclinical research collaboration with Bioarchitech to investigate TPOXX enabling higher doses of vaccinia vectors when used in combination with Bioarchitech’s oncolytic vaccinia-based immunotherapy platform.
ABOUT SIGA TECHNOLOGIES, INC. and TPOXX®
SIGA Technologies, Inc. is a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market. Health security comprises countermeasures for biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks (biodefense market), vaccines and therapies for emerging infectious diseases, and health preparedness. Our lead product is TPOXX®, also known as tecovirimat and ST-246®, an orally administered and IV formulation antiviral drug for the treatment of human smallpox disease caused by variola virus. TPOXX is a novel small-molecule drug and the US maintains a supply of TPOXX under Project BioShield. The oral formulation of TPOXX was approved by the FDA for the treatment of smallpox in 2018. The full label is available by clicking here. Oral tecovirimat received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2022. The EMA approval includes labeling for oral tecovirimat indicating its use for the treatment of smallpox, monkeypox, cowpox, and vaccinia complications following vaccination against smallpox. The full label is available by clicking here. In September 2018, SIGA signed a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for additional procurement and development related to both oral and intravenous formulations of TPOXX.
ABOUT KALIVIR IMMUNOTHERAPEUTICS.
KaliVir Immunotherapeutics is a privately held biotech company developing cutting-edge, next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapy programs. The company has developed a unique vaccinia virus-based platform that can generate potent novel oncolytic vaccinia viruses with modifications to maximize viral replication and to enhance intravenous delivery and spread (Vaccinia Enhanced Template “VET” Platform). VET™ platform utilizes the large transgene capacity of the vaccinia virus to deliver therapeutics matched to tumor immunophenotypes to stimulate patients’ immune systems and modify the tumor microenvironment. KaliVir’s oncolytic product candidates are designed to be safe, potent and systemically deliverable to treat cancer patients across multiple tumor types. KaliVir is in the process of advancing multiple therapeutic candidates toward the clinic.
ProPhase Labs, Inc. | June 29, 2022
ProPhase Labs, Inc., a diversified biotech, genomics, and diagnostics company manufacturing homeopathic and health products, announced the formation of a new wholly-owned subsidiary, ProPhase BioPharma, Inc. (PBIO), for the development and licensing of new therapeutic compounds, drugs, and biotechnology. The subsidiary will be focused on advancements in technology across the biochemical industry and creating and developing new solutions that can transform the outcomes of healthcare.
The company has also entered into a license agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of DSS, Inc., Global BioLife, Inc. (Global BioLife), for Equivir G and Equivir, proprietary compounds that were developed by Global Research and Discovery Group (GRDG). According to the terms of the contract, ProPhase Labs will be the only company that can develop and sell Equivir G and Equivir, globally.
“We are thrilled to announce the formation of ProPhase BioPharma, our new wholly-owned subsidiary tasked with licensing and developing novel drugs, compounds, and biotechnology. We are equally pleased with our first licensing agreement for Equivir and Equivir G, which we believe have significant potential to improve human health outcomes worldwide.”
Ted Karkus, ProPhase Lab’s Chief Executive Officer
He further added, “We plan to pursue commercialization of Equivir as an OTC supplement, leveraging our distribution in over 40,000 Food Drug and Mass retail stores and online direct to consumer. We also look forward to applying to the FDA for an IND for Equivir G as a prescription antiviral.”
Frank. D. Heuszel, Chief Executive Officer of DSS, said “We are excited to team up with ProPhase Labs, which will apply its nearly three decades of experience enhancing the health of the public to Equivir, which we believe to be a ground-breaking treatment that will positively impact health in the U.S. and globally.”