Establishing the molecular blueprint of early embryo development

Phys.org | February 20, 2019

A team of biologists, physicists and mathematical modelers in Cambridge have studied the genetic activity of over 100,000 embryonic cells to establish the molecular blueprint of mouse early embryo development. This new research provides fundamentally important information on how mammalian embryos develop during gastrulation, a key stage of development, and paves the way for new understanding of the earliest stages of life. The eminent biologist Lewis Wolpert famously stated that "It's not birth, marriage or death, but gastrulation that is truly the most important time in your life". Gastrulation represents the process in animal (and human) development whereby precursor cells in the embryo become genetically programmed to generate all of the different organs in the body, including the brain, heart, lungs, gut, and muscles. Gastrulation is a critically important step in embryo development, however, detailed understanding of this process at the molecular level has, until now, been limited. In a study published in Nature, Cambridge scientists have generated the first comprehensive molecular map of gastrulation in mammals. Measuring the genetic activity in 116,312 single cells within the mouse embryo between 6.5 to 8.5 days after fertilization, the researchers have established the molecular blueprint for mammalian embryonic development.

Spotlight

In this exclusive interview, Vered Caplan, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, and Professor Sarah Ferber, Chief Scientific Officer, Orgenesis, discuss the development of an autologous cell therapy for the treatment of insulin-resistant diabetes. Orgenesis is a biopharmaceutical company with experience in cell therapy development and manufacturing. In this video, filmed exclusively at  the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine's EU Investor Day, learn more about the challenges of developing patient-derived cell therapies.

Spotlight

In this exclusive interview, Vered Caplan, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, and Professor Sarah Ferber, Chief Scientific Officer, Orgenesis, discuss the development of an autologous cell therapy for the treatment of insulin-resistant diabetes. Orgenesis is a biopharmaceutical company with experience in cell therapy development and manufacturing. In this video, filmed exclusively at  the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine's EU Investor Day, learn more about the challenges of developing patient-derived cell therapies.

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Eurofins Discovery Announces Collaboration with a Swiss-based Biotech Company Amphilix AG

Eurofins Discovery | November 04, 2020

Eurofins Discovery, the leading provider of services and products to the drug discovery industry, announced a new collaboration with Amphilix AG, a Swiss-based biotech company, to support a program aimed at identifying a treatment modulating key disease mechanisms. Amphilix AG will take advantage of Eurofins Discovery's DiscoveryOne™ offering, an integrated drug discovery platform providing expert support to progress programs to preclinical development and beyond. Amphilix will engage Eurofins Discovery to prosecute the biology, pharmacology, ADME, and safety pharmacology aspects of the program, working in collaboration with the accomplished team at Eurofins Discovery to progress to a development candidate. The two organizations expect this to be the first of multiple programs in which they collaborate to discover new treatments for unmet medical needs.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Legend Biotech Announces Extension of PDUFA Date for Cilta-Cel

Cilta-cel | November 01, 2021

Legend Biotech Corporation (Legend Biotech), a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing and manufacturing novel therapies, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target date for ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel) to February 28, 2022. Cilta-cel is a BCMA-directed chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy being investigated for the treatment of adults with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. The Biologics License Application (BLA) was submitted by Legend Biotech’s collaboration partner Janssen Biotech, Inc. “We are working closely with Janssen and the FDA to facilitate an efficient and thorough review of the BLA for cilta-cel,Financial Officer at Legend Biotech.We remain confident that cilta-cel has shown great promise in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, and we are focused on making this therapy available to them in the US as soon as possible.” Ying Huang, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Chief The FDA notified Janssen on October 28, 2021 of the extension of the PDUFA date to allow sufficient time to review information recently submitted pertaining to an updated analytical method following an FDA information request. Legend and Janssen met with the FDA on November 1. No additional clinical data have been requested. About Cilta-cel Cilta-cel is an investigational chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy, formerly identified as JNJ-4528 in the U.S. and Europe and LCAR-B38M CAR-T cells in China, that is being studied in a comprehensive clinical development program for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and in earlier lines of treatment. The design consists of a structurally differentiated CAR-T with two BCMA-targeting single domain antibodies. In December 2017, Legend Biotech, Inc. entered into an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) to develop and commercialize cilta-cel. In December 2020, Legend announced initiation of rolling submission of Biologics License Application to the FDA seeking approval of cilta-cel for the treatment of relapsed and/or refractory multiple Myeloma, which was accepted under Priority Review in May 2021. Cilta-cel was previously granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) granted in the U.S. in December 2019, and Orphan Drug Designation in February 2019. About Multiple Myeloma Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and is characterized by an excessive proliferation of plasma cells.1 Although treatment may result in remission, unfortunately, patients will most likely relapse.2 Relapsed myeloma is when the disease has returned after a period of initial, partial or complete remission and does not meet the definition of being refractory.3 Refractory multiple myeloma is when a patient’s disease is non-responsive or progresses within 60 days of their last therapy.4,5 While some patients with multiple myeloma have no symptoms at all, most patients are diagnosed due to symptoms that can include bone problems, low blood counts, calcium elevation, kidney problems or infections.6 Patients who relapse after treatment with standard therapies, including protease inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents, have poor prognoses and few treatment options available.7 About Legend Biotech Legend Biotech is a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to treating, and one day curing, life-threatening diseases. Headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, we are developing advanced cell therapies across a diverse array of technology platforms, including autologous and allogenic chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, T-cell receptor (TCR-T), and natural killer (NK) cell-based immunotherapy. From our three R&D sites around the world, we apply these innovative technologies to pursue the discovery of safe, efficacious and cutting-edge therapeutics for patients worldwide. We are currently engaged in a strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize our lead product candidate, ciltacabtagene autoleucel, an investigational BCMA-targeted CAR-T cell therapy for patients living with multiple myeloma. Applications seeking approval of cilta-cel for the treatment of patients with RRMM are currently under regulatory review by several health authorities around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the timing and outcome of regulatory reviews relating to cilta-cel, including the BLA being reviewed by the FDA. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors. Legend Biotech’s expectations could be affected by, among other things, uncertainties involved in the development of new pharmaceutical products; unexpected clinical trial results, including as a result of additional analysis of existing clinical data or unexpected new clinical data; unexpected regulatory actions or delays, including requests for additional safety and/or efficacy data or analysis of data, or government regulation generally; as well as the other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Legend Biotech’s Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2021. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this presentation as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Legend Biotech specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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MEDICAL

WuXi ATU and Wugen Announce Manufacturing Partnership to Expedite the Delivery of Novel Cell Cancer Immunotherapies

Wugen | June 16, 2022

WuXi Advanced Therapies (WuXi ATU), a global Contract Testing, Development and Manufacturing Organization (CTDMO), and Wugen Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in St. Louis and San Diego, today announced a partnership to produce Wugen's WU-NK-101, a novel immunotherapy that harnesses the power of memory natural killer (NK) cells to treat cancers. WuXi ATU will provide manufacturing and testing services for WU-NK-101 to enable the delivery of this innovative cell therapy product to cancer patients. Wugen aims to develop a pipeline of off-the-shelf cell therapy products to treat a broad range of hematological and solid tumor malignancies. As Wugen's first program from the company's proprietary MonetaTM platform, WU-NK-101 leverages the hyper-functional, long-lasting anti-tumor functionality of memory NK cells to manufacture next-generation, off-the-shelf cancer cell therapies at commercial scale. WU-NK-101 is currently in development to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and solid tumors. WuXi ATU's integrated CTDMO platform enables the development of WU-NK-101 by leveraging the company's Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) cell therapy manufacturing and testing capabilities to support regulatory filings and clinical trials. We are delighted to partner with WuXi ATU, With WuXi ATU's cell therapy manufacturing expertise, integrated GMP manufacturing and testing capabilities, we can keep advancing our allogeneic WU-NK-101 program into clinical trials and accelerate the timeline for delivering convenient, effective therapeutics to patients." Dr. Dan Kemp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wugen. About WU-NK-101 WU-NK-101 is a novel immunotherapy harnessing the power of memory natural killer (NK) cells to treat liquid and solid tumors. Memory NK cells are hyper-functional, long-lasting immune cells that exhibit enhanced anti-tumor activity and a cytokine-induced memory-like (CIML) phenotype. This rare cell population has a superior phenotype, proliferation capacity, and metabolic fitness that makes it better suited for cancer therapy than other NK cell therapies. Wugen is applying its proprietary MonetaTM platform to advance WU-NK-101 as a commercially scalable, off-the-shelf cell therapy for cancer. WU-NK-101 is currently in development for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and solid tumors. About Wugen Wugen, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing the next generation of off-the-shelf memory natural killer (NK) and CAR-T cell therapies for cancer. Wugen is leveraging its proprietary MonetaTM platform and deep genomic engineering expertise to pioneer a new class of memory NK cell therapies with a cytokine-induced memory-like (CIML) phenotype, uniquely designed to treat hematological and solid tumor malignancies.

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