INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, MEDICAL
Businesswire | April 24, 2023
Guardant Health, Inc. a leading precision oncology company, is pleased to announce that it will present data from two studies highlighting the performance of its blood-based screening technology to detect early-stage colorectal cancer (CRC), including the acceptance of the ECLIPSE study as a late-breaking abstract, at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) taking place in Chicago, Illinois on May 6-9, 2023.
“Despite multiple screening modalities for colorectal cancer, screening rates remain stubbornly low leaving many cancers undetected. A blood test that can accurately detect CRC represents a significant opportunity to overcome some of the known challenges with patient adherence,” said AmirAli Talasaz, Guardant Health co-CEO. “We are thrilled that DDW has accepted the ECLIPSE study, one of the largest studies of its kind, as a late-breaking abstract, and we look forward to sharing this new data with the healthcare community at this year’s meeting.”
“The need for a convenient, less invasive way to screen for CRC is great, and an accurate blood test can play a critical role in improving screening rates, especially for those reluctant to get screened,” said Daniel Chung, MD, gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “I look forward to presenting at DDW and sharing new data from the ECLIPSE Study on the performance and potential of the Shield blood test to help improve adherence to screening."
About Guardant Health
Guardant Health is a leading precision oncology company focused on helping conquer cancer globally through use of its proprietary tests, vast data sets and advanced analytics. The Guardant Health oncology platform leverages capabilities to drive commercial adoption, improve patient clinical outcomes and lower healthcare costs across all stages of the cancer care continuum. Guardant Health has commercially launched Guardant360®, Guardant360 CDx, Guardant360 TissueNext™, Guardant360 Response™, and GuardantINFINITY™ tests for advanced-stage cancer patients, and Guardant Reveal™ for early-stage cancer patients. The Guardant Health screening portfolio, including the commercially launched Shield™ test, aims to address the needs of individuals eligible for cancer screening.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Globenewswire | May 02, 2023
Editas Medicine, Inc. a clinical stage genome editing company, announced that the journal Nature Biotechnology published the comprehensive data from a study of the proprietary SLEEK gene editing technology.
Despite major progress in achieving gene disruption with CRISPR-Cas gene editing technologies, efficient knock-in of transgenes continues to be a significant challenge for the gene editing field. To solve this challenge, SLEEK was developed to enable high knock-in efficiency with both viral and non-viral transgene formats while also ensuring robust simultaneous expression of up to four transgene cargos.
The study demonstrated that utilizing SLEEK results in the knock-in of multiple clinically relevant transgenes through a proprietary process that specifically selects only those cells containing the knock-in cargo. This process was developed by leveraging Editas Medicine’s proprietary engineered AsCas12a nuclease, which can achieve very high editing efficiency while maintaining high specificity. More than 90 percent knock-in efficiencies were observed in various clinically relevant target cells, including T cells, B cells, iPSCs, and NK cells. Additionally, SLEEK can be used to fine-tune the expression levels of transgene cargos, an important feature of next-generation cell therapies. As a demonstration of SLEEK’s potential value in clinical applications, the study authors used SLEEK to generate iPSC-derived NK cells capable of high-levels of in vivo persistence and robust tumor clearance in a solid tumor animal model.
“We are thrilled Nature Biotechnology published our paper sharing the comprehensive data on our SLEEK gene editing technology as we believe SLEEK has immense potential for gene editing drug development. As shared in the publication, SLEEK technology enables nearly 100 percent knock-in of functional transgene cargos at specific locations in the genome which may result in highly efficient multi-transgene knock-in for the next generation of cell therapy medicines,” said John A. Zuris, Ph.D., Director of Editing Technologies, Editas Medicine, and senior author on the study.
Editas Medicine believes that SLEEK may enable better product purity as well as shorter manufacturing timelines for the next generation of cell therapy medicines. Earlier this year, the Company announced it licensed its interest in the SLEEK technology to Shoreline Biosciences for specific usage in iPSC-derived NK and iPSC-derived macrophage cell therapies for oncology. The SLEEK technology remains an important Editas capability in iPSC engineering for a wide variety of future applications.
About Editas Medicine
As a clinical stage genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cas12a genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. Editas Medicine is the exclusive licensee of Broad Institute and Harvard University’s Cas9 patent estates and Broad Institute’s Cas12a patent estate for human medicines.
INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, MEDICAL
Globenewswire | April 19, 2023
Merck known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Prometheus Biosciences, Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck, through a subsidiary, has agreed to acquire Prometheus for $200.00 per share in cash for a total equity value of approximately $10.8 billion.
“At Merck, we are committed to delivering on our purpose to save and improve lives and continue to identify and secure opportunities where compelling science and value creation align,” said Robert M. Davis, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “The agreement with Prometheus will accelerate our growing presence in immunology where there remains substantial unmet patient need. This transaction adds diversity to our overall portfolio and is an important building block as we strengthen the sustainable innovation engine that will drive our growth well into the next decade.”
Prometheus is a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering a precision medicine approach for the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutic and companion diagnostic products for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases. The company’s lead candidate, PRA023, is a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like ligand 1A (TL1A), a target associated with both intestinal inflammation and fibrosis.
“Prometheus was established to revolutionize the treatment of immune-mediated diseases through the application of a powerful precision medicine approach,” said Mark McKenna, chairman and chief executive officer of Prometheus Biosciences. “This agreement with Merck, a leader in biopharmaceutical research and development, allows Prometheus to maximize the potential for PRA023, while continuing to apply our technology and expertise to fuel further discoveries to address the needs of patients with immune disorders.”
Prometheus is developing PRA023 for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases including ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s disease (CD), and other autoimmune conditions. In December 2022, the company announced positive results for PRA023 from ARTEMIS-UC, a Phase 2, placebo controlled, study evaluating safety and efficacy in patients with moderate to severely active UC and APOLLO-CD a Phase 2A, open-label, study evaluating safety and efficacy in patients with moderate to severe CD. The findings were recently presented at the 18th Congress of European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO).
“By applying a portfolio of powerful analytic tools to a comprehensive collection of IBD samples, Prometheus identified important disease insights that have now yielded a promising late-stage candidate,” said Dr. Dean Y. Li, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “I look forward to working with the talented Prometheus team to establish a new paradigm of precision treatment for immune diseases.”
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Prometheus. The acquisition is subject to Prometheus Biosciences shareholder approval. The closing of the proposed transaction will be subject to certain conditions, including the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023.
About inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to collectively describe Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Prolonged inflammation results in damage to the tissues lining the GI tract. Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease usually are characterized by diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.
About Prometheus Biosciences
Prometheus Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering a precision medicine approach for the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutic and companion diagnostic products for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases. The company’s precision medicine platform, Prometheus360™, combines proprietary machine learning-based analytical approaches with one of the world’s largest gastrointestinal bioinformatics databases to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop therapeutic candidates to engage those targets.