Bacterial Colonies Engineered to Mimic Another Aspect of Multicellular Lifeforms

Although bacteria may form colonies and biofilms, they do not constitute multicellular lifeforms like, well, us. Bacteria lack the ability to coordinate the basics of multicellularity, which include intercellular communication, cell adhesion, and asymmetric cell division. If this ability could be engineered into bacteria, they would become wonderfully strange a science fiction nightmare, perhaps, or more likely a synthetic biologist’s dream. Each of these three basics of multicellular life has already been engineered into bacteria separately, not as components of a controllable, coordinated system. Both intercellular communication and cell-cell adhesion technologies are available to module-minded synthetic biologists. And now, thanks to the efforts of scientists based at Rice University, the third puzzle piece—asymmetric cell division—has become available. How might all the puzzle pieces fit together in future research? The imagination reels. The Rice scientists, led by synthetic biologist Matthew R. Bennett, PhD, have created a genetic circuit that can produce genetically distinguished cells of Escherichia coli as the bacterium divides. The circuit helps bacteria accomplish, in their own way, stem-cell-like differentiation. Properly controlled, the circuit can lead to diverse communities of microbes that exhibit complex, nonnative behaviors.

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Frontage Laboratories Acquires Accelera S.r.l.'s Bioanalytical and DMPK Businesses

Frontage | January 02, 2024

Frontage Laboratories, Inc. announced that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Frontage Europe S.r.l., it has completed the acquisition of the Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics businesses of Accelera S.r.l (Accelera). Accelera is a premier Contract Research Organization located in Nerviano, within the Lombardy region of Italy, part of the well-established NMS Group S.p.A. which has positioned itself as a global niche player in delivering discovery & preclinical studies and clinical bioanalysis to pharma and biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and other healthcare stakeholders. "Today marks a very significant achievement in the 23-year history of Frontage Laboratories, as we establish a base of operations in continental Europe. Accelera has developed a tremendous reputation for high quality R&D services and we look forward to welcoming their Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics teams to the Frontage family," said Dr. Abdul Mutlib, CEO of Frontage. "We envision this strategic acquisition as a first step in establishing Frontage's footprint in Europe, with the intent of adding other service areas in the continent. We believe both existing Frontage and Accelera clients stand to benefit greatly by leveraging Frontage's increasingly global platform. In addition, we are looking forward to partnering with the remaining Accelera business on exciting opportunities to service clients across our organizations." According to Dr. Song Li, Founder and Chairman of Frontage: "It has been a long-standing goal of Frontage to expand our operations in Europe. We consider ourselves fortunate to capitalize on our outstanding relationship with the Accelera team, which has enabled us to bring our plans to fruition. We are very enthusiastic about working together as we further develop the Frontage platform in Europe, starting from a footprint in the Biopark in Nerviano Lombardy, where Accelera and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl have already established a long-standing and efficient value chain. As always, our ongoing focus will remain on delivering the highest levels of quality, technology and expertise to our clients." "We are thrilled to join forces with Frontage as part of this strategic acquisition that marks a significant milestone in Accelera's journey," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera. "Accelera has built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality R&D services through all phases of drug research and development with extensive experience in oncology. This unique occasion opens up new horizons for collaboration and growth. On one hand, we will further focus on offering top-notch In-vivo (end-to-end services) for multiple emerging modalities. At the same time, we look forward to exploring exciting opportunities to serve our clients across continents through our ongoing collaboration. This partnership reflects our commitment to advancing research and providing innovative solutions in the European market and beyond," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera S.r.l. "Having Frontage as part of the growing partners operating from our Biopark is a landmark moment for us. In addition to the endless potential of the Accelera-Frontage collaboration, Nerviano Medical Sciences can leverage Frontage's world-class capabilities to drive breakthrough advancements in our drug discovery and development process. By uniting our strengths, we believe we can accelerate the pace of innovation and make a lasting difference in the field where all companies of this strong alliance operate and thrive here in Nerviano," said Hugues Dolgos, CEO of NMS Group S.p.A and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl.V About Frontage Frontage Holdings Corp together with its wholly owned subsidiary Frontage Laboratories, Inc., is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) which provides integrated, science-driven, product development services from drug discovery to late phase clinical process to enable biopharmaceutical companies to achieve their development goals. Comprehensive services include drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, analytical testing and formulation development, preclinical and clinical trial material manufacturing, bioanalysis, preclinical safety and toxicology assessment and early phase clinical studies. Frontage has enabled many biotechnology companies and leading pharmaceutical companies of varying sizes to advance a myriad of new molecules through development and to successfully file global regulatory submissions.

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Industrial Impact

Nimbus Therapeutics Announces Expansion of Its Immunology Drug Discovery Pipeline

Nimbus Therapeutics | January 08, 2024

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Cell and Gene Therapy

Solvias to Perform Release Testing on World's First CRISPR-based Gene-Editing Therapy

Solvias | January 23, 2024

Solvias, a global provider of chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) analytics, announced that it will perform analytical release testing services on the world's first CRISPR/Cas9 genome-edited cell therapy. The company has signed a long-term agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for CASGEVY™ (exagamglogene autotemcel or exa-cel) which received U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD) in patients 12 years and older with recurrent vaso-occlusive crises. Solvias and Vertex Pharmaceuticals have worked together for several years to develop and validate test methods that are critical for the final release of patients' own edited cells, so that they can be delivered back to patients. The companies' collaboration included establishing the testing methods that will be scaled for commercializing CASGEVY. Solvias also has invested significantly in preparing one of its global facilities to support the commercial release work for this transformative therapy. Archie Cullen, Chief Executive Officer, Solvias, stated "Solvias is honored to be playing a critical role in delivering this breakthrough therapy to patients. Our decades of experience offering comprehensive GMP analytical services uniquely positions us to partner with companies in bringing their therapies to market. This collaboration highlights our deep scientific knowledge and creative solutions serving to advance even the most cutting-edge therapies." In addition to gaining FDA approval, CASGEVY recently received a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency's (EMA's) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use for conditional approval of the treatment of severe SCD and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT). About Solvias Solvias is a global provider of chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) analytics to the pharmaceutical, biotech, material science, and cosmetic industries. Its team of scientists and regulatory experts have years of experience in small molecules, biologics, and cell and gene therapies. The company offers comprehensive solutions from raw materials to drug products to final release testing, as well as API development and manufacturing for small molecules. Headquartered near Basel, Switzerland, Solvias operates five facilities to the highest standards and in accordance with ISO, GMP, GLP and FDA regulations.

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