AbCellera and Versant Ventures | July 28, 2022
AbCellera and Versant Ventures announced a multi-year collaboration to discover therapeutic antibodies for multiple targets selected by Versant’s portfolio of biologics-focused biotechs. Versant and AbCellera already have enabled three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies under previous partnerships.
Under the terms of the deal, Versant portfolio companies will have rights to develop and commercialize the resulting therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera will receive research payments from the companies and will be eligible to receive downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments plus royalties on net sales of products. Further terms are not disclosed.
"In recent years we have made a series of investments into the next generation of therapeutic antibodies. We are seeing a wave of innovation in the antibody space that is allowing us to add novel functionalities to these molecules. Our partnership with AbCellera will further enable our portfolio companies to pursue these important biologic medicines.”
Markus Enzelberger, Ph.D., a partner at Versant
“AbCellera’s discovery technology provides a complete solution for antibody therapeutics that unlocks new opportunities and levels the playing field for smaller companies, allowing them to advance programs faster, more efficiently and with a competitive advantage,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO and President of AbCellera. “We are excited to deepen our relationship with the Versant team and look forward to helping them continue a strong track record of bringing together breakthrough science, experienced teams, and capital to create bold new biotech companies.”
Previously, Versant and AbCellera partnered in separate multi-target deals to enable three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies with new approaches to optimize and expand antibody therapies. These include antibody-focused newcos in the fields of immunology and oncology based in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare venture capital firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great companies. The firm’s emphasis is on biotechnology companies that are discovering and developing novel therapeutics. With $4.2 billion under management and offices in the U.S., Canada and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating and R&D expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm’s founding in 1999, more than 85 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs.
About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is a technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera partners with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.
BiOWiSH Technologies, Inc. | July 22, 2022
BiOWiSH Technologies, Inc. and SABIC Agri-Nutrients Company announced the successful completion of a year-long technical evaluation of BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid technology coated on SABIC’s urea in nine countries across five continents and nine different crop types.
BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid is a blend of proprietary microbial cultures that can be coated onto dry fertilizer or mixed with liquid fertilizers to create an enhanced efficiency fertilizer specifically designed to optimize yield potential and improve soil productivity.
Featuring the company’s proprietary HoloGene 3™ technology, BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid creates a high-performance partnership between the plant and BiOWiSH microorganisms. The new alliance has a combined genetic profilethat enhances native microbial activity in the soil, promotes soil quality, and supports the plant’s natural ability to resist environmental stress. This optimizes crop yield potential by increasing nutrient availability and improving soil productivity and plant vigor.
This unique mode of action, combined with the product’s industry-leading shelf life, is proven to achieve consistent desired results across a broad range of operating conditions, climates and environments – all at a low cost to farmers.
“We are thrilled to confirm that SABIC AN Bio-Enhanced Urea powered by BiOWiSH® has performed extremely well in the field,”
Munif Al-Munif, General Manager Agri-Nutrients Technology at SABIC AN
“Our uniform, high-crushing strength urea combined with the superior technology of BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid delivers extended stability and consistent performance at a price per acre farmers can afford. In an industry challenged with high regulatory pressures and global food demand, we are excited to offer a sustainable product that safely increases crop production and generates higher profits for growers,” he added.
The market launch of SABIC AN Enhanced Urea will initially be fulfilled through SABIC AN partners in select target countries while the teams work together to expand in other regions around the world. The launch follows extensive successful testing of the product across multiple international markets, including the United States.
The Bio-Enhanced Urea, powered by BiOWiSH®, will be available at the same price as standard urea through the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) and American Plant Food (APF) for a limited time in select areas. Customers can contact their ADM or APF representative for more details.
In addition, SABIC AN and BiOWiSH have constructed a joint development platform designed to advance further customizations across a range of SABIC AN’s high-efficiency fertilizers. This partnership is the foundation for future products and other agronomic innovations.
“We appreciate the close collaboration with SABIC AN’s team,” said BiOWiSH CEO Ian Edwards. “It is very exciting that a market-leading fertilizer company such as SABIC AN recognizes the importance of biologicals and is placing such high focus and energy on bringing Bio-Enhanced Mineral Fertilizer to customers across the globe. Together, we will work toward our shared goal of developing agricultural solutions that help farmers maximize productivity and increase income – while at the same time, improving environmental outcomes.”
SABIC AN Bio-Enhanced Urea will be available to farmers in additional locations in the future, enabling growers to experience the benefits of BiOWiSH®-powered fertilizer.
About BiOWiSH Technologies
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, BiOWiSH Technologies, Inc. is a global provider of biotechnology solutions for the agriculture, aquaculture, and environmental management industries. As a leader in the agricultural market, we help farmers increase crop production sustainably, safely and cost effectively. Our revolutionary BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid can be coated onto dry fertilizer or mixed with liquid fertilizer to create an enhanced efficiency fertilizer that optimizes yield potential, expresses plant vigor and improves soil productivity across a broad range of operating conditions, climates and environments. By unifying nature and science, BiOWiSH reinvents the way food is grown.
About SABIC Agri-Nutrients Company
SABIC AN is a public joint stock company listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange where SABIC owns 50.1% with the remaining 49.9% being held by the private sector and the public. It is one of the leading global fertilizer producers. SABIC AN portfolio includes urea, ammonia, phosphate and other specialized products.
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.