Biogen bets $45M on Ionis' phase 1 Alzheimer's med

FierceBiotech | December 19, 2019

Looks like Biogen is going all in on Alzheimer’s disease—the Big Biotech is picking up a tau-targeting treatment from Ionis Pharmaceuticals for $45 million upfront.  Currently in phase 1, the antisense treatment, IONIS-MAPTRx, is designed to cut down on the production of tau proteins in the central nervous system. Formally known as MAPT (microtubule-associated protein tau), these proteins can form tangles in the brain and are thought to cause neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and some types of dementia. However, Alzheimer’s research has focused on tau tangles and amyloid plaques but has not seen a new treatment approved in more than 15 years. Many treatments have shown promise through phase 2 before crashing and burning in phase 3.

Spotlight

As plastics continue to enter the environment, understanding their global impact is vital to addressing microplastic pollution. Since its emergence as an environmental and potential human health threat, researchers have strived to develop tools for accurately measuring microplastics in environmental and food matrices using FTIR-based techniques and automated data handling.

Spotlight

As plastics continue to enter the environment, understanding their global impact is vital to addressing microplastic pollution. Since its emergence as an environmental and potential human health threat, researchers have strived to develop tools for accurately measuring microplastics in environmental and food matrices using FTIR-based techniques and automated data handling.

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MEDTECH

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Selects Landing AI's LandingLens Visual Inspection Software Platform to Enhance the Antibody Discovery Platforms

Ligand Pharmaceuticals | July 29, 2021

Landing AI announced today that it has entered into a software licensing deal with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated to integrate LandingLens into Ligand's OmniAb and xPloration antibody discovery platforms. LandingLens is a software platform that offers an end-to-end process for developing, experimenting and delivering AI-powered visual inspection solutions. The new AI-powered tools enhance Ligand's high-throughput single B cell screening accuracy and throughput in a wide range of complex biological assays, possibly increasing the output of antibodies with desired characteristics in less time. "Landing AI, led by world-renowned AI pioneer Andrew Ng, is a proven and trusted partner in enabling their clients to achieve the business value of computer vision," says Bob Chen, Ph.D., Ligand Pharmaceuticals' Director, Systems Engineering. "We selected Landing AI because of its unique data-centric approach, which puts collecting high-quality data at the core of AI development. Notably, the LandingLens software platform includes plenty of data preparation tools and features that enable us to create reliable and consistent datasets that we can iterate on over time to improve our existing AI systems continuously." "Deep learning and AI have emerged as strong technologies for enabling a wide range of vision-based applications. We are happy to be working with Ligand Pharmaceuticals and are dedicated to providing the best tools to assist our customers in unlocking the promise of AI, "said John Reuter, Landing AI's Vice President of Sales. About Ligand Pharmaceuticals Ligand is a revenue-generating biopharmaceutical company that focuses on creating or acquiring technologies that aid pharmaceutical companies in discovering new medicines. Ligand's business strategy adds value to stockholders by offering a diverse portfolio of biotech and pharmaceutical product revenue streams backed by an efficient and low corporate cost structure. Ligand's goal is to provide investors with the chance to participate in the biotech industry's promise through a profitable, diversified, and lower-risk business than a typical biotech firm. Ligand's business strategy is built on what the company specializes in drug discovery, early-stage drug development, product reformulation, and partnering. In addition, Ligand collaborates with other pharmaceutical firms to capitalize on their capabilities (late-stage development, regulatory management, and commercialization) to generate revenue. About AI Landing Using enablement tools, Landing AI enables clients to realize the business and operational benefits of computer vision. LandingLens, the company's main product, is an enterprise MLOps system that enables end-to-end processes for developing, iterating, and deploying AI-powered visual inspection solutions. As data quality is important to the achievement of production AI systems, LandingLens includes plenty of specially designed data preparation tools and processes to assist users in achieving optimum data accuracy and consistency. Dr. Andrew Ng, the co-founder of Coursera, former chief scientist of Baidu, and founding lead of Google Brain, founded Landing AI, guided by a data-centric AI approach, and is uniquely positioned to help companies successfully move their AI projects from proof-of-concept to full-scale production.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Second Genome Announces Bayer Exercised Option Following Completion of Multi-Year Collaboration

Second Genome | March 03, 2022

Second Genome, a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary platform to discover and develop precision therapies and biomarkers, announced today it has completed its multi-year collaboration with Bayer to discover proteins for potential development of next-generation insect-control products. During the collaboration, Second Genome generated and explored environmental metagenomes that include genomic information from bacteria that are yet to be identified and cultured. "We are proud to have successfully executed a collaboration with Bayer following our discovery of thousands of novel proteins using our machine learning-enabled platform that have the potential to be developed into next-generation products. The discoveries Second Genome made are an important validation for the broad potential of our platform to develop novel therapeutic approaches for human health." Karim Dabbagh, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Second Genome Under the terms of this multi-year agreement, Second Genome generated a large microbial metagenomic dataset that was subsequently evaluated using a machine learning driven platform to identify novel insecticidal proteins. "With our vast human datasets, as well as our platform's machine learning, metagenomic and data standardization and analytic capabilities, we can efficiently analyze vast and geographically diverse data to advance Second Genome's pipeline of precision therapeutics and biomarkers and collaborators' portfolios," said Susannah Cantrell, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Chief Business Officer of Second Genome. "We look forward to continuing to demonstrate the potential of our approach through additional industry collaborations in the health care field as we advance our lead mucosal healing and oncology programs toward the clinic this year." About Second Genome Second Genome is a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary technology-enabled platform to discover and develop transformational precision therapies based on novel microbial genetic insights. We built a proprietary drug discovery platform with machine-learning analytics, customized protein engineering techniques, phage library screening, mass spec analysis and CRISPR, that we couple with traditional drug development approaches to progress the development of precision therapies for wide-ranging diseases. Second Genome is advancing lead programs in IBD and cancer into IND-enabling studies. We also collaborate with industry, academic and governmental partners to leverage our platform and data science capabilities. We hold a strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc., utilizing our proprietary platform and comprehensive data sets to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead's investigational medicines. We also hold a strategic collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals to identify microbiome biomarkers associated with clinical response for their lead program in gastroenterology, etrasimod.

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MEDTECH

GP-write Partners with DNA Script to Accelerate DNA-Writing Technology and Accessibility

Genome Project-write | October 18, 2021

GP-write’s CAD is a one-stop shop for microbe, plant and animal genome writing and redesign. Its automated workflow allows users to rapidly upload a genome, redesign it and synthesize the new sequence. The tool enables researchers to directly order synthetic DNA or related products and services from GP-write’s affiliated members. DNA Script’s SYNTAX System, a benchtop DNA printer powered by their groundbreaking enzymatic DNA synthesis (EDS) technology, enables users to print sequences designed on GP-write’s CAD tool right in their lab. The first-of-its-kind DNA printer expedites workflows, making DNA writing as simple and efficient as next-generation sequencing. DNA Script will host a roundtable at the GP-write 5.0 conference on October 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET to engage attendees in a discussion centered on biosecurity as it relates to emerging technologies, including GP-write’s new CAD tool and DNA Script’s SYNTAX System. “We’re pleased to join GP-write and their industrial partners to drive innovation on the forefront of DNA printing technologies. Just as NGS, or DNA 'read,' and CRISPR, or DNA 'edit,' have brought significant advances to research and clinical care, we believe the broad accessibility of synthetic DNA printing, or DNA 'write,' offered by our SYNTAX System will be equally transformative and power the next bio-revolution.” Thomas Ybert, co-founder and CEO of DNA Script GP-write President and General Counsel, Amy Cayne Schwartz, notes that the organizations are partnering to work toward realizing “a shared vision of a future where writing genomes is facile, democratized and safely accessible.” Schwartz explains that “this will open up new frontiers for development of novel therapeutics and solutions for environmental health.” About Genome Project-write GP-write, conceived as a sequel to the Human Genome Project, applies lessons learned from HGP to pursue scientific exploration fully integrated with the development of genome engineering technologies. The primary goal of the project is to drive dramatic cost reductions and expedite whole-genome writing and redesign over the next decade, empowering researchers to uncover complex biological behavior and reprogram organisms to address defining global challenges in medicine, biotechnology and environmental health. About DNA Script Founded in 2014, DNA Script is a pioneering life sciences technology company developing a new, faster, more powerful and versatile way to design and manufacture nucleic acids. The company has developed an alternative to traditional DNA synthesis called Enzymatic DNA Synthesis, or EDS, allowing this technology to be accessible to labs with the first benchtop enzymatic synthesis instrument, the SYNTAX System. By putting DNA synthesis back in the lab, DNA Script aims to transform life sciences research through innovative technology that gives researchers unprecedented control and autonomy.

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