DNA origami joins forces with molecular motors to build nanoscale machines

Scopeofbiotechnology | July 18, 2019

For decades, researchers have chased ways to study biological machines. Every mechanical movement from contracting a muscle to replicating DNA relies on molecular motors that take near undetectable steps. Trying to see them move is like trying to watch a soccer game taking place on the moon. Now, with DNA origami helicopters, researchers have captured the first recorded rotational steps of a molecular motor as it moved from one DNA base pair to another.
Every year, robots get more and more life like. Solar-powered bees fly on lithe wings, humanoids stick backflips, and teams of soccer bots strategize how to dribble, pass, and score. And, the more researchers discover about how living creatures move, the more machines can imitate them all the way down to their smallest molecules. “We have these amazing machines already in our bodies, and they work so well,” said Pallav Kosuri. “We just don’t know exactly how they work.” For decades, researchers have chased ways to study how biological machines power living things. Every mechanical movement — from contracting a muscle to replicating DNA — relies on molecular motors that take tiny, near-undetectable steps. Trying to see them move is like trying to watch a soccer game taking place on the moon.

Spotlight

Generic Protocol for Optimization of Heterologous Protein Production Using Automated Microbioreactor Technology -  a 2 minute Preview of the Experimental Protocol

Spotlight

Generic Protocol for Optimization of Heterologous Protein Production Using Automated Microbioreactor Technology -  a 2 minute Preview of the Experimental Protocol

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MEDTECH

Neumora Therapeutics Announces $112 Million Series B Financing

Neumora | October 12, 2022

Neumora Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering precision medicines for brain diseases through the integration of data science and neuroscience, today announced the close of a $112 million Series B financing. The Series B syndicate includes both new and existing investors, such as Abu Dhabi Growth Fund Altitude Life Science Ventures, Amgen, ARCH Venture Partners, Exor Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Invus, Mubadala Capital, Newpath Partners, Polaris Partners and other undisclosed investors. The funding will support the advancement of a broad clinical and preclinical pipeline of novel precision medicine candidates for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases and the development of the company's precision neuroscience platform. “This Series B financing reflects Neumora’s continued progress in building a best-in-class neuroscience company, including assembling a world-class team, scaling up an industry-leading data science and translational neuroscience platform, and advancing a broad and growing pipeline of seven development programs, including our internal discovery efforts and business development activities. This considerable amount of progress in such a short period of time reflects our urgency to address the relative lack of progress and innovation in neuroscience with our data-driven, precision medicine approach.” Paul L. Berns, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Neumora Neumora continues to advance a broad and growing pipeline of clinical and preclinical programs, including a balance of both clinically validated and novel approaches targeting a broad range of underserved neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The company recently completed enrollment in a Phase 2a clinical trial for its most advanced product candidate, NMRA-140, a kappa opioid receptor antagonist in development for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Neumora is also progressing NMRA-511, a clinical-stage vasopressin 1a receptor antagonist in development for neuropsychiatric disorders, and NMRA-266, an M4 muscarinic receptor positive allosteric modulator being advanced toward initiation of Phase 1 development for schizophrenia in 2023. The company’s earlier-stage pipeline includes multiple first-in-class opportunities in preclinical development, including neurodegeneration programs focused on Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). “We are pleased to have the support of this leading group of both new and existing investors that share our vision and excitement with our progress to date,” said Joshua Pinto, Ph.D., chief financial officer of Neumora. “With this Series B financing, we have successfully raised approximately $650 million in capital, resulting in a very strong financial position to continue advancing our broad pipeline through multiple near-term value-creating milestones.” Neumora was founded to pioneer a new era of precision neuroscience medicines by using patient enrichment strategies to help potentially improve clinical development success rates. The company’s proprietary approach leverages recent advances in data science and translational neuroscience to cut through the heterogeneity inherent in brain disease. By approaching patient enrichment and clinical development strategies through this lens, Neumora aims to match the right patient populations to the right targeted therapeutics, thereby driving innovation and the potential for clinical development success in this field and, ultimately, providing better therapies to patients. In connection with the completion of the Series B financing, Alaa Halawa, partner and head of U.S. Ventures at Mubadala Capital, joined Neumora’s board of directors. Mr. Halawa said, “We are proud to partner with Neumora in helping advance the company’s efforts to build the precision neuroscience company of the future. The integration of technology, namely AI/ML, and proprietary clinical data is helping us develop a deeper understanding of the complex drivers of brain disease to develop novel treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases - we are humbled to be part of their journey.” About Neumora Neumora Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering precision medicines for brain diseases through the integration of data science and neuroscience. Neumora is redefining neuroscience research and development with a data-driven precision neuroscience platform to cut through brain disease heterogeneity to match the right patient populations to targeted therapeutics. Neumora is relentless in its commitment to discovering, developing and commercializing targeted therapies for people living with brain diseases.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Bicycle Therapeutics Announces BT5528 Phase I Dose Escalation Results in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors

Bicycle Therapeutics | September 08, 2022

Bicycle Therapeutics plc a biotechnology company pioneering a new and differentiated class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide technology, today announced Phase I dose escalation top-line results from its Phase I/II trial of BT5528, a BTC targeting EphA2, in patients with advanced solid tumors. “The therapeutic profile from the dose escalation portion of the Phase I/II trial of BT5528 in patients with late-line disease suggests both differentiated safety and promising activity, most notably in ovarian and urothelial cancers. Significant safety concerns seen with antibody drug conjugate approaches have limited the ability to effectively address EphA2, a target which correlates with tumor progression and is overexpressed in many cancers. Based on BT5528’s promising and differentiated safety profile, we hope to demonstrate the true therapeutic potential of this target, this program and our broader Bicycle Toxin Conjugate platform.” Dominic Smethurst, Chief Medical Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics “Smaller size, tumor penetration, pharmacokinetic and other qualities distinguish BT5528 and other members of our BTC platform from traditional toxin delivery systems and may confer significant advantages,” said Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. “Clinical data emerging from our BT5528 study continues to elucidate these potential advantages, and supports the continued, rapid advancement of our Bicycle-targeted therapeutics platform, all with the ultimate goal of creating unique, impactful medicines that transform the lives of patients. Enrollment continues on schedule in the expansion portion of this trial, and we anticipate providing further updates next year.” BT5528, a BTC targeting EphA2, a target for which prior antibody-based approaches have been unsuccessful, has demonstrated anti-tumor activity and differentiated tolerability. Bicycle has established an RP2D dose and is enrolling ongoing expansion cohorts. Bicycle advancing BT5528 in ongoing expansion cohorts. In June 2022, Bicycle announced the dosing of the first patient in the part B dose expansion portion of the Phase I/II trial. Up to 56 patients will be enrolled in the initial expansion cohorts, with the ability to further expand enrollment based on results from these cohorts. Dose expansion is taking place in urothelial (n=14) and ovarian (n=14) cancers as well as in a basket cohort of other solid tumors (n=28), including non-small cell lung, triple-negative breast, head and neck, and esophageal cancers. Conference Call Details Bicycle Therapeutics will host a conference call and webcast today, September 7, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. ET to review the BT5528 trial data. To access the call, please dial at least 10 minutes prior to the start time and ask to be joined to the Bicycle Therapeutics call. A live webcast of the presentation will be available on the Investors & Media section of the Bicycle website, About Bicycle Therapeutics Bicycle Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of medicines, referred to as Bicycles, for diseases that are underserved by existing therapeutics. Bicycles are fully synthetic short peptides constrained with small molecule scaffolds to form two loops that stabilize their structural geometry. This constraint facilitates target binding with high affinity and selectivity, making Bicycles attractive candidates for drug development. Bicycle is evaluating BT5528, a second-generation Bicycle Toxin Conjugate targeting EphA2; BT8009, a second-generation BTC targeting Nectin-4, a well-validated tumor antigen; and BT7480, a Bicycle TICA® targeting Nectin-4 and agonizing CD137, in company-sponsored Phase I/II trials. In addition, BT1718, a BTC that targets MT1-MMP, is being investigated in an ongoing Phase I/IIa clinical trial sponsored by the Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development. Bicycle is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with many key functions and members of its leadership team located in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

IPA’s Subsidiary BioStrand and BriaCell Announce Artificial Intelligence Collaboration and License Agreement

BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. | December 01, 2022

IPA an advanced biotherapeutic research and technology company, announced that BioStrand BV an AI in silico discovery subsidiary of IPA, has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in targeted immunotherapies for cancer. The collaboration will leverage BioStrand’s LENSai™ software, built upon IPA’s proprietary HYFT™ Universal Fingerprint™ technologies, and will focus on in silico antibody discovery to generate relevant clinical molecules for potential development. Under the terms of the Agreement, BioStrand and BriaCell will collaborate on the design, discovery, and development of anti-cancer antibodies. Upon successful antibody discovery, BioStrand will receive an upfront payment of US$500,000, and will be eligible to receive future success-based development milestones, including those for the submission of Investigational New Drugs clinical milestone payments, and commercial royalties on net sales of products. Further terms are not disclosed. “We are very excited to begin this program with BriaCell and apply our technology to the development of biologics that may have a huge clinical impact. Shortening timelines, while also integrating as much information as possible upstream to improve the efficiency of the process, is extremely important in the development of highly targeted therapies. It is a step towards realizing our long-term vision of significantly advancing precision medicine.” Dr. Ingrid Brands, General Manager and co-founder of BioStrand “We believe that BioStrand’s revolutionary AI-powered technology, combined with its cutting-edge protein engineering platform, will allow us to design and discover potent anti-cancer therapeutics,” stated Miguel A. Lopez-Lago, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of BriaCell. “This approach would complement BriaCell’s current immunotherapy pipeline of innovative anti-cancer therapeutics.” About BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. BriaCell is an immuno-oncology-focused biotechnology company developing targeted and effective approaches for the management of cancer. ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. has several subsidiaries in North America and Europe including entities such as Talem Therapeutics LLC, Biostrand BV, ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. and ImmunoPrecise Antibodies B.V. The IPA Family is a biotherapeutic research and technology group that leverages systems biology, multi-omics modelling and complex artificial intelligence systems to support its proprietary technologies in bioplatform-based antibody discovery. Services include highly specialized, full-continuum therapeutic biologics discovery, development, and out-licensing to support its business partners in their quest to discover and develop novel biologics against the most challenging targets.

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