CELL AND GENE THERAPY

CTA approval of BioInvent's BI-1808, a first-in-class anti-TNFR2 antibody, sets stage for Phase I/IIa trial

BioInvent | October 27, 2020

BioInvent International AB ("BioInvent") (OMXS: BINV), a biotech company focused on novel and first-in-class immune-modulatory antibodies for cancer immunotherapy, today announces it has received regulatory authority approval of its clinical trial application (CTA) in Denmark for a Phase I/IIa, first-in-human study of BI-1808, as monotherapy and in combination with the anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of solid tumors and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Martin Welschof, CEO of BioInvent, says, "CTA approval for our Phase I/IIa trial of BI-1808 marks the first anti-TNFR2 antibody to enter clinical development. BI-1808 is a first-in-class anti-TNFR2 antibody, which we believe is a very promising approach for cancer therapy, and testament to the power of our proprietary n-CoDeR® and F.I.R.S.TTM platforms to generate antibodies to novel targets with potent anti-tumoral activity. We expect to enroll the first patient before the end of the year and to submit an investigational new drug (IND) application in the U.S. in the coming weeks." The study will explore the safety, tolerability, and potential signs of efficacy of BI-1808 as a single agent and in combination with Keytruda® in patients with ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and CTCL. It will also investigate the expression of potential immunological markers that might be associated with clinical responses. The trial will be conducted at several sites across Europe and the U.S. and is expected to enroll approximately 120 patients.

Spotlight

Scientists have been trying to piece together the chemical recipe for how the building blocks of life originated. Now, they may have found it.

Spotlight

Scientists have been trying to piece together the chemical recipe for how the building blocks of life originated. Now, they may have found it.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Childhood Trauma and Genetics Linked to Increased Obesity Risk

DRI | March 10, 2022

New research from the Healthy Nevada Project® found associations between genetics, obesity, and childhood trauma, linking social health determinants, genetics, and disease. The study, which was published this week in Frontiers in Genetics, found that participants with specific genetic traits and who experience childhood traumas are more likely to suffer from adult obesity. In 2016, DRI and Renown Health launched the Healthy Nevada Project®, the nation’s first community-based, population health study, which now has more than 60,000 participants. The project is a collaboration with personal genomics company, Helix, and combines genetic, environmental, social, and clinical data to address individual and community health needs with the goal of improving health across the state and the nation. The new study focuses on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which are traumatic and unsafe events that children endure by the age of 18. Over 16,000 participants in the Healthy Nevada Project® answered a mental health survey, and more than 65 percent of these individuals self-reported at least one ACE occurrence. These 16,000 participants were cross-referenced with their genetic makeup, and clinical Body Mass Index (BMI) measures. According to the research team’s findings, study participants who had experienced one or more types of ACE were 1.5 times more likely to become obese adults. Participants who experienced four or more ACEs were more than twice as likely to become severely obese. Our analysis showed a steady increase in BMI for each ACE a person experienced, which indicates a very strong and significant association between the number of adverse childhood experiences and adult obesity, More importantly, participants’ BMI reacted even more strongly to the occurrence of ACEs when paired with certain mutations in several genes, one of which is strongly associated with schizophrenia.” lead author Karen Schlauch, Ph.D., of DRI. We know that genetics affect disease in the Healthy Nevada Project®, and now we are recognizing that ACEs also affect disease, Our new study shows that the combination of genes and environmental factors like ACEs, as well as many social determinants of health, can lead to more serious health outcomes than either variable alone. More broadly, this new work emphasizes how important it is for population genetic studies to consider the impact of social determinants on health outcomes.” Healthy Nevada Project® Principal Investigator Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., of DRI and Renown Health. The study team believes that it is important for clinical caregivers to understand the strong impact that negative childhood experiences such as ACEs can have on both child and adult health. The researchers hope the information from this study will encourage doctors and nurses to conduct simple screenings for ACEs and consider a patient’s social environment and history in combination with genetics when developing treatment plans for better patient health. According to the 2019 Youth Behavior Risk Survey (YRBS), 25.6 percent of Washoe County teenagers are overweight or obese. Obesity is a serious health concern for children and adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese as adults. Obese and overweight children and adolescents are at risk for multiple health problems during their youth, which are likely to be more severe as adults, Obese and overweight youth are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Losing weight, in addition to a healthy diet, helps to prevent and control multiple chronic diseases and improves quality of life for a lifetime.” Max J. Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAP, Nell J Redfield Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine, Physician in Chief of Renown Children's Hospital. We’d like to thank all of the Healthy Nevada Project® participants who provided information to make our work possible, Our research illustrates that it’s not just genetics that cause disease, but that our environment and life experiences interact with our genes to impact our health in ways that we are only beginning to understand.” Robert Read, M.S., of DRI. About DRI The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

NeuExcell Therapeutics and Spark Therapeutics Announce Research Collaboration Agreement to Develop a Novel Gene Therapy for Huntington's Disease

NeuExcell Therapeutics | September 13, 2021

NeuExcell Therapeutics and Spark Therapeutics, a member of the Roche Group announced a gene therapy collaboration aimed at developing a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from Huntington's Disease (HD). Under the terms of the agreement, Spark Therapeutics will receive access to NeuExcell's proprietary neuro-regenerative gene therapy platform and capabilities. NeuExcell's research team will collaborate closely with Spark Therapeutics to advance the program. Under the Option License NeuExcell is eligible to receive upfront, license fees, R&D and Sales milestone payments up to approximately $190 million plus product royalties. Under this Agreement, Spark Therapeutics has the option to license the exclusive worldwide rights of the NeuExcell's HD program. The prevailing assumption has been that mammalian adult neurons cannot be replaced, and so therapeutic approaches for brain diseases tend to focus on slowing disease progress. NeuExcell Therapeutics may have unlocked the method for regenerating neural tissue. The company's neuroregenerative gene therapy platform is built around transcription factor-based trans-differentiation technology. The platform seeks to reprogram endogenous glial cells like astrocytes, which surround neurons and are often reactive after neurons are injured or die, into functional new neurons. While neurons cannot divide to regenerate themselves, glial cells are a renewable source for generating new neurons at the site of injury, and at the scale needed to have a meaningful therapeutic impact. NeuExcell is developing adeno-associated viruses (AAVs)-based neuroregenerative gene therapy to regenerate functional new neurons at the site of the neurodegeneration. "At Spark, we understand that in order to break down barriers for people and families affected by genetic diseases, we need to work with like-minded partners that can integrate innovative technologies with our advanced proprietary AAV vector platform," said Joseph La Barge, Chief Business Officer of Spark Therapeutics. "Using our existing expertise in gene therapy development and NeuExcell's neuro-regenerative gene therapy research and capabilities, together we can progress the potential of gene therapy for patients living with Huntington's Disease." Spark Therapeutic's advanced proprietary AAV vector platform targeted to the central nervous system offers the HD research and development (R&D) program a major advantage. At the forefront of gene therapy research for more than two decades, Spark Therapeutics has extensive knowledge and capabilities in this field that it will use to bring the HD program forward. About Huntington's Disease HD is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder caused by a single defective gene on chromosome 4. As the disease affects different parts of the brain, it impacts movement, behavior, and cognition. It becomes harder to walk, think, reason, swallow, and talk. Eventually, the person will need full-time care. The complications associated with HD are usually fatal. About NeuExcell Therapeutics. NeuExcell is a privately held early-stage gene therapy company headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA. Its mission is to improve the lives of patients suffering from neuro-degenerative diseases and CNS injuries. Based upon the scientific work of Prof. Gong Chen (Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor), the Company has developed a potentially disruptive neural repair technology through in vivo astrocyte-to-neuron conversion by introducing neural transcription factors through adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy. NeuExcell's pipeline covers major neurodegenerative diseases such as Stroke, Huntington's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and Glioma. About Spark Therapeutics At Spark Therapeutics, a fully integrated, commercial company committed to discovering, developing and delivering gene therapies, we challenge the inevitability of genetic diseases, including blindness, hemophilia, lysosomal storage disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. We currently have four programs in clinical trials. At Spark, a member of the Roche Group, we see the path to a world where no life is limited by genetic disease.

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MEDTECH

Seegene Develops World's First COVID-19 Diagnostic Variant Test Capable of Identifying Multiple Mutant Variations

Seegene | February 01, 2021

South Korea's biotechnology firm Seegene (KQ096530) said Monday it built up the world's first COVID-19 diagnostic variation test, fit for screening COVID-19 and recognizing various mutant variations in a single reaction. Seegene's new variation test, the 'Allplex™ SARS-CoV-2 Variants I Assay,' can detect and separate virus variations, including those discovered to be more contagious and fatal. The new variation test identifies COVID-19, yet can likewise recognize major genetic variations that appear to have originated from the UK, South Africa just as different districts including Japan and Brazil. Besides, it can pre-screen a suspicious new variant, giving understanding on extra variations, likewise a critical component of Seegene technology. Seegene's new item incorporates in any event ten of its proprietary technologies, including multiplex real-time PCR technique for mTOCE™, which is the forefront technology that solitary Seegene can use. This imaginative technology permits the test to distinguish an objective explicit spot where mutation occurs, empowering exact detection and separation of the Covid just as its transformed versions with a single tube of reagent.

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