Bain creates $1.1B fund for fresh round of life science bets

Bain Capital has raised a $1.1 billion life sciences fund to place another round of big bets. The fund sets Bain up to continue striking eye-catching deals such as the Pfizer spinouts it bankrolled through its first life science investment vehicle. Private investment firm Bain set up its first life science fund in 2016, pulling in $600 million from third parties and adding $120 million from its own coffers. Since then, Bain has been involved in some of the biggest investments in biotech, eschewing early-stage companies in favor of businesses that have gone some way toward validating their pipelines. That focus led Bain to commit $350 million to a startup that acquired Pfizer’s neuroscience pipeline and help another Pfizer spinout raise $228 million. Now, Bain has raised another $900 million from outside investors for its second life science fund, Bloomberg reports. With Bain committing around $180 million of its own money to the investment vehicle, the overall fund is about 64% bigger than its predecessor.

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Capricor Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with the National Institutes of Health for Clinical Trial of Novel Exosome-Based Multivalent Vaccine

Capricor Therapeutics | January 24, 2024

Capricor Therapeutics a biotechnology company developing transformative cell and exosome-based therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of rare diseases, today announced that Capricor’s proprietary StealthX™ exosome-based multivalent vaccine (StealthX™ vaccine) for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 has been selected to be part of Project NextGen, an initiative by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to advance a pipeline of new, innovative vaccines providing broader and more durable protection for COVID-19. As part of Project NextGen, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, will conduct a Phase 1 clinical study with Capricor’s StealthX™ vaccine, subject to regulatory approval. NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) would oversee the study. “We are extremely pleased with the external support from the NIH, which highlights the clinical potential of our StealthX™ exosome platform technology and provides non-dilutive support for the advancement of our vaccine candidate,” said Linda Marbán, Ph.D., Capricor’s chief executive officer. “Our proprietary vaccine is multivalent, delivering both the highly mutagenic S protein (Spike) and the more stable N protein (Nucleocapsid) which potentially may offer broader and longer lasting immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We view the NIH SARS-CoV-2 project as the first clinical step towards development of a next generation vaccine platform that may be extended to other infectious diseases. Our platform is designed to combine the speed of response of an mRNA vaccine with the potential efficacy of a protein vaccine. Further, our StealthX™ vaccine is free of both adjuvant and lipid nanoparticles and in preclinical studies has generated a strong immune response at low doses. We believe our StealthX™ vaccine may offer a clinically meaningful alternative for highly mutating or novel infectious agents.” Dr. Marbán continued, “This is the opportunity we have been waiting for as it allows the exosome technology to be brought into the clinic as we continue to focus our resources on CAP-1002 for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Beyond SARS-CoV-2, we look forward to exploring the potential therapeutic utility of this platform, and more broadly, expanding our pipeline into therapeutics and future partnership opportunities.” About Capricor’s StealthX™ Vaccine The StealthX™ vaccine is a proprietary vaccine developed internally by Capricor utilizing exosomes that were engineered to express either spike or nucleocapsid proteins on the surface. Preclinical results from murine and rabbit models published in Microbiology Spectrum, showed the StealthX™ vaccine, resulted in robust antibody production, potent neutralizing antibodies, a strong T-cell response and a favorable safety profile. These effects were obtained with administration of only nanogram amounts of protein and without adjuvant or synthetic lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). Exosomes offer a new antigen delivery system that potentially could be utilized to rapidly generate multivalent protein-based vaccines. Exosomes, first identified as extracellular vesicles, are small vesicles enriched in specific subsets of proteins, RNAs and lipids and responsible for cell-to-cell communication. About Capricor Therapeutics Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the development of transformative cell and exosome-based therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of rare diseases. Capricor’s lead candidate, CAP-1002, is an allogeneic cardiac-derived cell therapy currently in Phase 3 clinical development for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Further, Capricor has entered into a partnership for the exclusive commercialization and distribution of CAP-1002 for DMD in the United States and Japan with Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd. (U.S. subsidiary: NS Pharma, Inc.), subject to regulatory approval. Capricor is also developing its exosome technology as a potential next-generation therapeutic platform. Our proprietary StealthX™ exosome platform has potential for a broad range of new therapeutic applications in the field of vaccinology as well as targeted oligonucleotide, protein and small molecule therapeutics to treat or prevent a variety of diseases.

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CCM Biosciences Announces Launch of 5Prime Sciences Business Unit

CCM Biosciences | January 01, 2024

Diversified biotechnology company CCM Biosciences (CCM Bio) announced the launch of its business unit CCM 5Prime Sciences (5Prime) focused on the development and application of proprietary technology in the domain of DNA biotechnology. 5Prime’s technology platform includes multiple patent-protected, globally commercialized compositions and methods for molecular cloning, next-generation DNA sequencing and molecular diagnostics. 5Prime has two focus areas: 1) in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests: a wide array of companion diagnostics (CDx) tests for targeted cancer, rare disease, and prenatal/preimplantation diagnostics, developed using the droplet digital Polymerase Chain Reaction (ddPCR) and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) methodologies, which accompany the personalized medicine therapeutic (Rx) pipeline of CCM Bio; 2) synthetic biology: engineered DNA- and RNA-manipulating enzymes that improve upon the enzymes used in IVD tests, in PCR reagents, and also in enzymatic DNA/RNA synthesis. Proven technology behind market-leading DNA sequencing products and diagnostic tests; including one of the 5 highest revenue-generating technologies invented in the history of Princeton University Focus areas 1 and 2 are based on the company’s patented technology originating in the PhD thesis work of Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Raj Chakrabarti at Princeton University. According to the Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing, patents in this portfolio, which are now controlled by 5Prime, are among the top 5 revenue-generating patents in the history of the university, having been commercialized in collaboration with companies such as Celera Diagnostics, Quest Diagnostics, Abbott, New England Biolabs, and Toyobo Life Sciences. Diagnostic tests and products based on the company’s intellectual property include the XSense test from Quest Diagnostics, which is the leading DNA-based carrier screening test for autism (Fragile X syndrome); and the Q5 polymerase kit marketed by New England Biolabs, which is the leading high-fidelity polymerase kit for DNA sequencing. In the context of molecular diagnostics, NGS is typically applied to diagnose in high-throughput the patterns of DNA mutations in genes. A related method called RNA-Seq, which applies NGS to RNA rather than DNA to measure real-time gene expression levels, has emerged as a foundation for modern personalized medicine. However, a notorious difficulty in both traditional NGS and RNA-Seq is sequence bias, which results in inaccurate estimates of the relative copy numbers of different genes and associated disease-causing mutations, and which has limited the transformative potential of these methods. ddPCR is a sensitive method for diagnosing mutations in specific disease-associated genes that is also limited by problems of sequence bias. 5Prime’s technology enables the efficient polymerization and amplification of nearly any DNA or RNA sequence to overcome sequence bias in nucleic acid amplification and associated diagnostic methods like NGS and ddPCR, the global markets for which were valued at $10B and $6B, respectively, in 2022 and expected to surpass $44B and $14B, respectively, by 2032. Its state-of-the-art synthetic biology platform for polymerase enzyme engineering generates proprietary polymerases with optimal properties for NGS or PCR-based diagnostic tests, by applying machine learning algorithms to the big data generated from ultrahigh-throughput, microfluidic experimental screening of enzyme activity. In addition, the company’s technology platform applies proprietary nonaqueous media and computational systems biology methods in conjunction with such enzymes to dramatically improve nucleic acid polymerization and amplification efficiency. About CCM Biosciences CCM Biosciences, Inc. is a biotechnology company dedicated to discovering and developing novel drugs - including small molecules, gene therapies, biologics, and nanomedicines - as well as associated companion diagnostics. CCM Bio’s patented molecular discovery platforms were developed at Chakrabarti Advanced Technology, a privately funded R&D institute founded in 2010 with scientists in the US, France and India and with publications in leading scientific journals including PNAS, Nucleic Acids Research, American Chemical Society journals and Nature Publishing Group journals. CCM Bio is partnered with the global chemical and pharmaceutical services company PMC Group, Inc. for fully integrated discovery, development and manufacturing of drugs and diagnostics.

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PanGIA Biotech Plans Expanded Multi-Cancer Early Detection Liquid Biopsy Study

PanGIA Biotech, Inc. | January 05, 2024

PanGIA Biotech, a US based biotechnology company with a mission to develop true liquid biopsy technology that is scalable for global impact, today announced that it is finalizing its three-year, prospective, multicenter, clinical study on prostate cancer liquid biopsy. This announcement comes as the company prepares to launch additional clinical studies in multi-cancer early detection using the PanGIA® Liquid Biopsy Platform. “The PanGIA urine based true liquid biopsy technology has been developed for global impact by diagnosing, monitoring, and managing cancers earlier to save lives using urine as the sample type to create vastly improved availability and scalability in cancer diagnostics,” according to PanGIA Biotech’s CEO, Holly Magliochetti. In 2020, the company received IRB approval and launched a novel AI integrated urine based liquid biopsy study. The company immediately began recruiting urologists in US-based academic as well as large and small group community practices to enroll men who were scheduled for prostate biopsy. Results of the study are pending publication. “Based on the high sensitivity and high specificity of the PanGIA prostate study, PanGIA Biotech is now preparing to significantly expand the platform by launching follow-on studies in ten additional cancer types,” said Tricia Schumann, Chief Investment Officer of PanGIA Biotech. Additional cancer types in the PanGIA follow-on study will include breast, ovarian, lung, renal, bladder, colorectal, stomach, pancreas, liver, and brain. The company will begin recruiting experienced medical professionals across the United States as clinical study sites as well as listing the study on ClinicalTrials.gov. PanGIA Biotech intends to launch the expanded study in mid-2024. Interested researchers may contact the company for additional information. About PanGIA Biotech, Inc. PanGIA Biotech develops novel, AI integrated, true liquid biopsy technology that is scalable for global impact. The PanGIA® platform allows rapid development of non-invasive testing for detecting, monitoring response to therapy, and managing a variety of diseases and disorders, including cancers as early as Stage 1. The company combines expertise in molecular biology with advanced computational biology and machine learning to detect disease-associated patterns using proprietary technology.

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