Bayer taps Roche's Foundation Medicine for Vitrakvi diagnostic development

Bayer has teamed up with Foundation Medicine to develop genetic diagnostic tests for several of its cancer therapies-starting with the tissue-agnostic Vitrakvi in solid tumors with TRK fusion mutations.Acquired from Loxo Oncology, Bayer’s Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) was the first targeted cancer drug to be developed and approved specifically for a pan-cancer indication, based not on a tumor’s organ site but on its genetic makeup.

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Ichnos Sciences Enters Licensing Agreement For Ox40 Antagonist Monoclonal Antibody Portfolio With Astria Therapeutics

PR Newswire | October 12, 2023

Ichnos Sciences, a global clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative multispecific antibodies for oncology, announced that the company has entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for its OX40 antagonist monoclonal antibody portfolio with Astria Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for rare allergic and immunological diseases. With the execution of this agreement, Ichnos has successfully licensed its two assets for inflammatory and immunological diseases, a key milestone in the company's prioritization of its pipeline of oncology drug candidates. Within the terms of the agreement, Astria will assume full cost and responsibility for the global development and commercialization of the licensed therapeutic program for all indications. In exchange, Ichnos will receive up to $320 million in upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in addition to up to low double-digit royalties. Ichnos has also agreed to allow Astria to draw down on its existing investigational drug substance and drug product stocks at normalized costs to facilitate development. Telazorlimab is a novel, humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that targets OX40 on T cells responsible for inflammation and immunity diseases. Excessive OX40 signaling, expressed on activated T cells, is the feature of several inflammatory diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD). Astria plans to develop an affinity-matured version of telazorlimab and apply YTE half-life extension technology to create a product that aims to address the need for a safe, effective, and infrequently administered AD treatment. "As Ichnos continues to grow as a biotechnology company, this agreement enables our team to focus on advancing our robust pipeline of clinical-stage multispecific antibodies in oncology generated by our proprietary BEAT® platform1, as well as continue the discovery and development of our NK-cell engaging programs for solid tumors," said Cyril Konto, M.D., President and CEO of Ichnos. "I am proud of the work achieved by the Ichnos team in successfully completing the Phase 2b with telazorlimab in atopic dermatitis and potentially opening up a new therapeutic class for this disease. Ichnos is confident in Astria Therapeutics' capabilities and vision for pursuing the development of its OX40 program and delivering a potentially life-changing treatment to patients with inflammatory and immune diseases." "We are looking forward to building on the foundational work that Ichnos has done with their OX40 portfolio," said Jill Milne, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Astria Therapeutics. "We believe that by using Ichnos' affinity-matured next generation monoclonal antibody OX40 antagonist and applying YTE half-life extension technology, we have the potential to deliver a best-in-class profile for atopic dermatitis patients; one that we think can be safe, effective, and long-acting. In addition to OX40 antagonism already being a clinically validated mechanism in atopic dermatitis, we also are excited about the opportunity for potential expansion into additional indications." About Ichnos Sciences Inc. A fully integrated, global biotech with the spirit of a start-up, Ichnos is shifting the way the world thinks about innovation in medicine through its research and development of transformative, disease-centric treatments in oncology. The company, with headquarters in New York, N.Y., is rapidly advancing a clinical-stage pipeline of novel, first-in-class candidates designed to address complex diseases and to treat patients holistically. With its patented BEAT® technology platform and pioneering teams, Ichnos Sciences has a mission to provide breakthrough, curative therapies that will extend and improve lives, writing a new chapter in healthcare.

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Repligen Announces Agreement to Acquire Fluid Management Innovator Metenova

GlobeNewswire | September 28, 2023

Repligen Corporation a life sciences company focused on bioprocessing technology leadership, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Metenova AB (Metenova) of Mölndal, Sweden. Metenova is projected to generate revenues of $24 million to $25 million for fiscal year 2023, led by the success of its magnetic mixing and drive train technologies that are widely used by global biopharmaceutical companies and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs). The company recently entered the single-use mixing market with the launch of its MixOne platform, leveraging the success of its existing stainless steel (repeat-use) product line. Metenova is expected to contribute approximately $5 million in revenue to Repligen in the fourth quarter of 2023, and to contribute $25 million to $27 million in revenue in 2024, with 20%-25% revenue growth in 2025 forward. The acquisition is anticipated to be accretive to Repligen’s adjusted gross and operating margins in 2024, and to be accretive to adjusted earnings per share in 2025. Over the past decade, Metenova has established market leadership through design innovation in magnetic mixing, with a state-of-the-art suite of both stainless steel and single-use impellers (mixer heads) and drive trains – key components of mixing vessels. The company offers a broad range of products, including high power solutions for efficient media and buffer preparation, and low shear solutions for gentle mixing of sensitive proteins. Metenova’s high performance aseptic mixing technologies are designed to minimize product damage and improve product yield and product consistency, contributing to improved ROI for customers. The company’s solutions are applicable to a wide range of small molecule and large molecule therapeutics and vaccines, including monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins, and cell and gene therapies. Tony J. Hunt, President and Chief Executive Officer at Repligen said, “The addition of Metenova further strengthens our Fluid Management portfolio, with a product line that expands on the market success of our systems and fluid management assemblies and complements our recently acquired single-use bag business from FlexBiosys. We are excited to welcome the Metenova team to Repligen and we look forward to further developing and integrating their differentiated magnetic mixing technologies into our portfolio.” Johan Westman, Chief Executive Officer at Metenova said, “We have made tremendous progress over the last ten years, building a market leading mixing portfolio. We are now at a stage in our development where we can benefit from more rapid expansion into the single-use market where many of our customers are scaling today. Repligen is the ideal partner for us to take this next step of growth and we look forward to working with our colleagues at Repligen to drive additional global demand for our single-use mixing products, while continuing to advance innovative single-use solutions for the industry.” About Metenova AB Metenova is a leading innovator and manufacturer of magnetic mixers for pharmaceutical and biotechnology use. We provide aseptic cutting-edge mixing technology for critical applications. Sales are mainly performed by distributors in over 30 countries with approximately one-third of sales in North America, one-third of sales in Europe and one-third of sales in Asia/ROW. Metenova recently entered the single-use mixing market with the launch of its MixOne platform, leveraging the success of its existing repeat-use (stainless steel) product line. Metenova is headquartered in Mölndal in the Gothenburg area and has approximately 50 employees. About Repligen Corporation Repligen Corporation is a global life sciences company that develops and commercializes highly innovative bioprocessing technologies and systems that enable efficiencies in the process of manufacturing biological drugs. We are “inspiring advances in bioprocessing” for the customers we serve; primarily biopharmaceutical drug developers and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) worldwide. Our focus areas are Filtration and Fluid Management, Chromatography, Process Analytics and Proteins. Our corporate headquarters are in Waltham, Massachusetts, and the majority of our manufacturing sites are in the U.S., with additional key sites in Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

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Flagship Pioneering Announces the Merger of Two Leading Programmable Medicine Platforms to Form Sail Biomedicines

PR Newswire | October 25, 2023

Flagship Pioneeringannounced the combination of Laronde and Senda Biosciences to launch Sail Biomedicines, a company pioneering the design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail harnesses the power of first-in-category programmable payloads of Endless RNA™ (eRNA), first-in-category programmable nanoparticles, and emerging, proprietary AI technologies, to unlock the comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., MBA, who is also CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering, will become Sail's CEO and board member, while John Mendlein, Ph.D., who also serves as Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering, will become the company's Executive Chairman. Sail unites Laronde and Senda Biosciences, two companies that deliver more than eight years of combined data and multi-product platform building. Senda's platform was the first to leverage a universal chemical code of natural nanoparticles that enables directed and repeatable deployment of payloads, such as translatable RNA, directly to cells and tissues of choice. Laronde pioneered eRNA, a new class of synthetic, translatable RNA that can be programmed to express diverse proteins inside the body, with vast therapeutic potential. "Endless RNA has the potential to create an entirely new class of programmable medicines across therapeutic areas that we will now be able to deliver directly to cells and tissues via deployment molecules with unique properties to confer specificity and greater tolerability," said Mendlein. "We believe these programmable medicines will be greatly enhanced via our proprietary generative AI technologies and rapid prototyping abilities to achieve breakthroughs currently beyond the grasp of the human mind. I look forward to working with the Sail Biomedicines team in this exciting new chapter." "Our deployment platform utilizes natural nanoparticles to shuttle biomolecules into human cells, with unique tropism, potency, and redosability," said Pfefer. "I look forward to leading the integration of these two teams to accelerate the development of new product candidates, build strategic partnerships, and enable diverse value pools, with the goal of swiftly delivering life-changing vaccines and therapies for the people who need them." "Sail Biomedicines builds on the progress made by two leading Flagship bioplatform companies and will enable integrative design for more effective programmable medicines," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. "I am confident the combined leadership team and board will carry forward this company to realize its bold ambitions and ultimately deliver maximum impact for patients." In addition to Mendlein and Pfeffer, the Sail Biomedicines Board of Directors will comprise all current members of the Laronde and Senda Biosciences boards, as follows Pablo Cagnoni, M.D., President and Head of Research & Development, Incyte Jose "Pepe" Carmona, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, ADC Therapeutics Paula Hammond, Ph.D., Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., General Partner, Flagship Pioneering Ignacio Martinez, MBA, General Partner, Flagship Pioneering Sheri McCoy, M.S., MBA, Former Vice Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Mary Szela, MBA, CEO and President, TriSalus Life Sciences About Sail Biomedicines Sail Biomedicines is pioneering the integrative design and deployment of fully programmable medicines to transform patient care. Sail's platform combines first-in-class programmable circular RNA technology (Endless RNA™ or eRNA), and an industry-leading platform of programmable nanoparticles, utilizing natural components, to unlock comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time. By leveraging cutting-edge eRNA and nanoparticle deployment technology, Sail is building a wealth of data, enabling unparalleled use of generative AI techniques to identify and design fully programmable medicines that are potent, targeted, versatile, and tunable. Sail was founded by Flagship Pioneering. About Flagship Pioneering Flagship Pioneering is a biotechnology company that invents and builds platform companies, each with the potential for multiple products that transform human health or sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, Flagship has originated and fostered more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $90 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.4 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $26 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions.

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