Ex-Pfizer oncology R&D lead lands at Fierce 15 winner Vividion Therapeutics

FierceBiotech | February 11, 2020

Pfizer’s former longtime cancer research head Robert Abraham, Ph.D., has become the new chief scientific officer at a San Diego biotech after leaving the Big Pharma last year. He moves over to 2017 Fierce 15 winner Vividion Therapeutics, a biotech looking to increase the number of proteins small molecules can target. Last April, it got off a $82 million series B financing round. Its platform is based on the work of Benjamin Cravatt, Phil Baran and Jin-Quan Yu at the Scripps Research Institute and is designed to identify new sites in the proteome—which is distinct in each cell—that can be drugged.

Spotlight

Protein Dynamics Solutions LLC, a small business funded by the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research program, is developing a technology to address protein aggregation, a key bottleneck in the development of new protein therapeutics.

Spotlight

Protein Dynamics Solutions LLC, a small business funded by the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research program, is developing a technology to address protein aggregation, a key bottleneck in the development of new protein therapeutics.

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miniPCR bio Announces Launch of the GELATO™ an Integrated DNA Analysis System

miniPCR bio | September 09, 2020

miniPCR bio, a manufacturer of scientific tools for educators and researchers, today announced the launch of the GELATO™, an integrated DNA analysis system. GELATO™ combines gel electrophoresis with transillumination technology, allowing for simultaneous nucleic acid separation and visualization in a single, compact system. As a maker of innovative biotechnology for demanding settings, miniPCR bio has pioneered the development of tools that combine analytical power with the durability and affordability its broad range of users demand. "Our users were asking for a tool that integrates the capabilities of professional lab instruments with the ease of use and compact size of our educational tools," said Dr. Ezequiel Alvarez Saavedra, co-founder of miniPCR bio. "GELATO™ answers that call." Despite a small footprint, GELATO™'s range of casting options allows users to process up to 50 nucleic acid samples at a time. Its variable voltage built-in power supply allows for fast separation of DNA, and its integrated blue-light transilluminator makes it safe for use in all settings. GELATO™ includes a cell-phone compatible documentation hood and features a built-in cutting tray for direct gel excision.

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MEDTECH

Biotech Start-Up Aanika Biosciences Lands Initial $12M Funding for Cutting-Edge Food Tracing Technology

Aanika Biosciences | December 01, 2021

Biotech start-up Aanika Biosciences today announced the initial closing of its $12 million Series A round, led by Jon Cholak of Adit Ventures along with existing investors Draper Associates and SOSV. The investment will help scale the company’s food tracing technology platform, advance research and expand its Brooklyn food safety and manufacturing facility to approximately 30,000 square feet. Aanika's proprietary technology is designed to accelerate the speed and accuracy of how food safety issues are handled. The platform, which uses edible microbial ‘tags,’ has already been tested on leafy greens and has the potential to be applied to other foods and ingredients including oils, coffee, meats and grains. “Innovation in food safety is long overdue, and there couldn’t be a more important time to bring a technology like this to the market. The pandemic has truly exposed the fragility of our supply chain. Being able to expand and build out our capability will give farmers, insurers, food companies and consumers an added layer of transparency and security, as well as minimize the economic and environmental impact of food recalls.” Dr. Ellen Jorgensen, Chief Science Officer for Aanika The technology enables farmers to 'watermark' crops with edible, food-friendly microbes that can be detected at any point in the product’s journey through the supply chain, so that when there is a case of foodborne illness it can be traced directly to the source. “Foodborne illness impacts over 50 million people and costs the U.S. tens of billions of dollars a year. Our technology can help minimize the impact and we are developing solutions that may prevent it from happening in the first place,” said co-founder and CEO of Aanika, Vishaal Bhuyan. “Identifying the origin of food recalls is just the start of what this platform can do. We are excited to see how far we can push our microbial technology to add value in the form of combating contamination, increasing nutritional content and supporting crop health. We are also exploring how our technology can even revolutionize agricultural insurance underwriting. All of this is driven by the power of biology.” "We believe Aanika could transform the food system as their traceability technology can integrate with the blockchain and ensure high quality data from end-to-end,” said Tim Draper, Founder and Managing Partner of Draper Associates. About Aanika Biosciences Aanika Biosciences was co-founded in 2018 by Vishaal Bhuyan after he personally experienced the consequences of ordering fresh, ethically sourced seeds and receiving stale, contaminated products instead. He made it is his mission to create a safer food supply by finding a way to track, trace and authenticate products. Aanika’s customized microbial-based tags help companies gain valuable insights about their supply chains, help their customers make better consumption choices, and create a more sustainable world.

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RESEARCH

Abveris Announces Multi-Target, Multi-Year Therapeutic Antibody Discovery Collaboration with Prometheus Biosciences

Abveris, Biosciences | November 12, 2021

Abveris, a leader in antibody drug discovery announced that Prometheus Biosciences and Abveris have entered a multi-year collaboration to develop therapeutic antibodies against multiple targets. The partnership will expand Abveris's role in supporting the rapid development of the Prometheus Biosciences portfolio. The results of the collaboration will bring promising new therapeutics to patients suffering from a variety of immune-mediated diseases. Under this partnership agreement, Abveris will utilize its proprietary DiversimAbTM hyperimmune mouse technology in combination with humanized mice to develop antibodies against several novel therapeutic targets. Capitalizing on the use of its industry-leading rapid B cell screening platform powered by the Berkeley Lights Beacon®, Abveris will identify promising antibody drug candidates via function-forward, high-resolution screening under expedited timelines. "We are proud to expand our existing partnership with the team at Prometheus Biosciences to help bring novel biologics to the autoimmune spaceThe Abveris antibody discovery platform, combined with the drug development capabilities of the Prometheus team, will provide promising therapeutics to patients around the world." Tracey Mullen, Chief Executive Officer at Abveris "Our team has been impressed by Abveris' exceptional level of scientific expertise and ability to discover and deliver antibodies with potential to translate into therapeutic candidates" said Olivier Laurent, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of Prometheus. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Abveris to aid in our portfolio expansion with the common goal of bringing transformational therapies to patients." 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, starting first with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 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. The Company's lead candidate, PRA023, is an IgG1 humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) for the treatment of the two most common forms of IBD, Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's Disease (CD). The Company has initiated enrollment in a Phase 2 trial in UC patients and a Phase 2a trial in CD patients, each utilizing a genetic-based companion diagnostic designed to identify patients more likely to respond to PRA023. About Abveris Abveris is Boston's premier antibody discovery company providing contract research services to the biopharma industry. Abveris applies advanced immunization methods combined with B cell screening and hybridoma-based antibody discovery technologies to provide comprehensive gene-to-antibody discovery services. Abveris is developing the next generation of biologics, cell therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics in partnership with global biopharma leaders.

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