Bioinformatics hub at UChicago enables infectious disease research

The University of Chicago has recently announced that it has setup a new bioinformatics research centre funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. The most valuable weapon against the next deadly disease outbreak may be data. Scientists aiming to stop or prevent the spread of viral or bacterial pathogens need rapid, comprehensive access to datasets on their genomics, structure, function and more, combined with computational tools to quickly analyse data and make predictions using artificial intelligence techniques. That critical service will be provided by the new Bacterial and Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center (BV-BRC), based at the University of Chicago. The big data resource, combines two independent efforts at UChicago and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) into a common infrastructure that will support richer scientific data and more powerful analytic tools.

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Personalis and ClearNote Health Announce Partnership to Advance Epigenomic Technology

Personalis, Inc. | February 05, 2024

Personalis, Inc. a leader in advanced genomics for cancer, and ClearNote Health, Inc., a pioneer in epigenomic technologies, today unveiled an alliance through which Personalis will expand its pharmaceutical service offerings by distributing ClearNote’s cutting-edge epigenomic 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) platform. “We have built a unique pharma channel based on our industry-leading tissue and MRD assays and ClearNote Health’s blood-based epigenomic approach is complementary to our offering as it helps our customers deepen their understanding of a patient’s response to immunotherapies,” said Chris Hall, CEO and President of Personalis. “Commercial partnerships such as this broaden our portfolio and are expected to appeal to a wide range of biopharma customers and accelerate our revenue growth.” Echoing this sentiment, Dave Mullarkey, CEO of ClearNote Health, remarked, “Partnering with Personalis presents an excellent opportunity to bring our 5hmC technology to the forefront of cancer research. This alliance is a testament to the synergy between our two companies, enabling us to expand our reach and significantly impact the biopharmaceutical industry. Together, we can accelerate the development of personalized therapies and make a real difference in the lives of patients.” ClearNote Health’s Epigenomics Platform represents a groundbreaking advance in cancer detection, offering real-time insights into disease-specific pathways. By tracking changes in 5hmC levels coupled with artificial intelligence-based analytical methods, the platform can detect cancer earlier, monitor disease progression, understand mechanisms of resistance, and identify promising drug targets and biomarkers. These insights are invaluable for optimizing drug development programs and delivering more effective treatments to patients. The Epigenomics Platform identifies changes in gene activation and gene regulation by labeling specific changes in the 5hmC landscape from plasma-derived cell-free DNA. This rich biological information, as part of clinical trials, enables the monitoring of cancer therapies in real time and contributes to an understanding of drug resistance mechanisms. The partnership marks a pivotal moment in cancer research, leveraging the strengths of both companies to offer unparalleled solutions in the biopharmaceutical industry. About ClearNote Heath, Inc. ClearNote Health is a cancer detection company focused on enabling people at risk for high-mortality cancers to live longer, healthier lives. Utilizing a standard blood draw, the company applies its proprietary epigenomic platform, combining biology and artificial intelligence, to identify DNA-based changes in biology as cancer develops. With lead programs in non-invasive early detection of pancreatic and ovarian cancers in patients at the highest risk for these diseases, ClearNote Health identifies cancers before they progress and when patients are most likely to benefit from treatment. ClearNote Health’s first commercially available test is the Avantect™ Pancreatic Cancer Test, which detects the presence of pancreatic cancer signals in patients at high risk of the disease, including those recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. ClearNote Health is headquartered in San Diego, with additional presence in the San Francisco Bay area and internationally. The company’s CLIA- and CAP-accredited laboratory is located in San Diego, Calif. About Personalis, Inc. At Personalis, we are transforming the active management of cancer through breakthrough personalized testing. We aim to drive a new paradigm for cancer management, guiding care from biopsy through the life of the patient. Our highly sensitive assays combine tumor-and-normal profiling with proprietary algorithms to deliver advanced insights even as cancer evolves over time. Our products are designed to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) and recurrence at the earliest time points, enable the selection of targeted therapies based on ultra-comprehensive genomic profiling, and enhance biomarker strategy for drug development. Personalis is based in Fremont, California.

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Industrial Impact

MOMA Therapeutics Announces Five-Year Discovery Collaboration with Roche Focused on Critical Cancer Dependencies

MOMA Therapeutics | January 04, 2024

MOMA Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on identifying and targeting highly dynamic, difficult to drug targets in cancer and other diseases, is pleased to announce a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with Roche. This partnership provides Roche with access to MOMA’s proprietary KnowledgeBase platform for the identification and prosecution of a certain number of novel drug targets involved in promoting cancer cell growth and survival. MOMA’s KnowledgeBase comprises integrated structure-function capabilities, advanced lead-finding technologies and computation-enabled lead optimization. It was built upon the concept that functionally related targets lacking sequence homology still possess three dimensional structural motifs that can be exploited to produce highly impactful therapies. To date, MOMA has utilized this bespoke platform to accelerate drug discovery in the ATPase target class, a class with a high number of genetically validated targets for which industry efforts to identify therapeutically viable drugs have been hampered by the extent of dynamic protein motion. “Given its deep expertise and global footprint in oncology, Roche represents an ideal collaborator with whom to further advance the application of MOMA’s platform in a way that impacts patients’ lives. The vision for this collaboration was crafted jointly with Roche to enable each party to bring its strengths in pursuit of this shared goal. It also contributes to the long-term sustainability of MOMA’s core focus as we advance our rich pipeline of precision oncology programs to the clinic,” said Asit Parikh, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of MOMA. Through the collaboration, MOMA will receive $66 million as an upfront cash payment and is also eligible to receive discovery, development, and commercialization milestone payments potentially exceeding US$2 billion, as well as tiered royalties. MOMA will be primarily responsible for all activities for selected targets through to development candidate confirmation, whereas Roche will be responsible for IND-enabling activities and clinical development and commercialization. Additionally, if multiple collaboration assets reach pivotal clinical studies, MOMA will receive a right to co-fund late-stage development of one product in exchange for increased royalties in the US on this product. “We are excited to join forces with MOMA, combining our leadership in oncology with MOMA’s deep expertise in drug discovery for difficult-to-drug and novel targets in oncology. The broader field of cancer dependencies is of high importance for Roche and we are looking forward to further deepening our knowledge and discovering novel targets involved in cancer cell growth and survival leveraging MOMA’s innovative platform,” said James Sabry, M.D., Ph.D., global head of pharma partnering, Roche. “It is exciting to utilize our industry-leading knowledge in how to identify and drug highly dynamic proteins to deliver on a breadth of discovery programs in partnership with Roche,” added Peter Hammerman, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer and head of development at MOMA. “Along with bringing two MOMA-owned high-impact programs to the clinic next year, we are making exciting progress towards our goal of addressing key unmet needs for patients living with advanced cancer.” About MOMA Therapeutics MOMA Therapeutics is committed to discovering the next generation of precision medicines by targeting highly dynamic proteins that underlie human disease. Bringing together seminal scientific advancements in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, chemistry, computation, and functional genomics, the company has established the KnowledgeBase platform to exploit a key vulnerability inherent to all dynamic proteins: their dependence on well-coordinated, stepwise changes in protein conformation. By focusing this platform on disease-causing targets, MOMA aims to develop high impact, precision medicines for patients with unmet medical needs. MOMA Therapeutics is a private company launched in 2020 with seasoned leadership, a highly specialized workforce with deep expertise in oncology discovery, world-class scientific founders, and financed by leading biotech investors.

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MedTech

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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