Foreign bees monopolize prize resources in biodiversity hotspot

Phys.org | February 20, 2019

Hike around the natural habitats of San Diego County and it becomes abundantly clear that honey bees, foreign to the area, are everywhere. In a study published last year, researchers at the University of California San Diego found that honey bees are the most widespread and abundant pollinators of wild plants in the world, with the San Diego region having exceptionally high honey bee visitation on native plants—roughly three-quarters of all observed pollinators. New research from the same team found that honey bees focus their foraging on the most abundantly flowering native plant species, where they often account for more than 90 percent of pollinators observed visiting flowers. The new study by Keng-Lou James Hung, Jennifer Kingston, Adrienne Lee, David Holway and Joshua Kohn of UC San Diego's Division of Biological Sciences is published on Feb. 20 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Spotlight

Lung cancer is the second most common non-skin cancer among American men and women, after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Early diagnosis and advances in treatment mean more people can expect to beat the disease.

Spotlight

Lung cancer is the second most common non-skin cancer among American men and women, after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Early diagnosis and advances in treatment mean more people can expect to beat the disease.

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Amagma Therapeutics Announces Strategic Partnership with Innovent Biologics in Inflammatory Diseases

Amagma Therapeutics | January 19, 2022

Amagma Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing antibody therapeutics for inflammatory diseases, announced a license option agreement with Innovent Biologics, Inc. for up to three enzyme specific inhibitors derived from Amagma’s proprietary SEIZMIC™ Platform. Amagma’s SEIZMIC™ Platform leverages a structure-based approach to identify highly selective antibodies which inhibit dysregulated proteases and other enzymes of interest. The collaboration will allow Innovent to access novel, first-in-class molecules for inflammatory disorders with little to no existing treatment options. Amagma will secure clinical manufacturing for its lead programs and gain a proven regional partner with extensive expertise in protein engineering and manufacturing. Under the terms of the agreement, Innovent will be responsible for the manufacture of the three programs through a Phase 2 study and, if Innovent exercises its option, research, development, and commercialization of each program in Greater China. Amagma will continue to be responsible for global research and development prior to option exercise and ex-China research, development and commercialization thereafter. Amagma is eligible to receive development, approval, and commercial milestones if Innovent exercises the options. Amagma may also receive royalties on net sales of any commercial products in the territory. “This transaction highlights an innovative approach to securing manufacturing expertise in exchange for insights into novel disease biology from our SEIZMIC™ platform. Innovent has demonstrated themselves to be an excellent partner with robust capabilities and strong execution. We look forward to working with Innovent to potentially advance these novel therapies.” Tillman Gerngross, Ph.D., Co-founder, Chairman, Amagma Therapeutics About Amagma Therapeutics Amagma Therapeutics is developing precision antibody therapeutics against inflammatory diseases which have proven to be intractable by other approaches. A number of these serious illnesses are driven by overactive extracellular proteases which can compromise organ function and fuel inflammation. The Company’s SEIZMIC proprietary discovery platform enables screening and development of highly selective antibodies that can inhibit dysfunctional enzyme activity. Amagma was founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneur scientists Leonard Zon and Tillman Gerngross. Amagma is based in Waltham, MA.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Boston Labs and Germfree Launch Mobile Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Manufacturing Platform

BOSTON LABS | September 23, 2021

Clinical logistics and life science manufacturing leaders Boston Labs and Germfree Laboratories Inc. announced their partnership to launch a new network of mobile CGT manufacturing facilities. The two companies are combining deep logistics, CGT manufacturing expertise and mobile cleanroom technology to deliver CGT point-of-care contract manufacturing services. The CGT mobile manufacturing platform will launch in Boston, MA in the fourth quarter of 2021 and will scale to a network of global point-of-care mobile contract manufacturing centers. Boston Labs is embedded within the Boston/Cambridge life science community which is home to more than 1000 biotech companies. 18 of the top 20 biopharmas have a major presence in the area, including Biogen, Novartis, Sanofi and Takeda and other leading companies such as Moderna, Crispr Therapeutics, bluebird bio and Avrobio. As the cell and gene therapy industry continues to grow, easier on-site access to cleanroom manufacturing facilities will likely be highly valued. Our pivotal partnership with Germfree Laboratories, Inc. enables Boston Labs to readily deploy mobile manufacturing platforms to any clinical site globally where CGT trials are enrolling, eliminating logistical risks associated with transporting patient material under a critical timeline. This is the Future of Point-of-Care Cell and Gene Therapy Delivery. - Jon Mason, CEO of Boston Labs This groundbreaking collaboration with Boston Labs should deliver much needed process space and opportunities to showcase how next-generation cleanrooms and manufacturing facilities can accelerate the processes needed for the future. - Kevin Kyle, CEO of Germfree This partnership, designed to reduce client CGT manufacturing costs and complexities, delivers secure access to mobile GMP-compliant manufacturing facilities wherever they are needed. About Boston Labs: Founded in 2003, Boston Labs is a leading clinical logistics company, working with clients to streamline the complexities of biotech and pharmaceutical logistics and manufacturing. About Germfree: Germfree Laboratories Inc. creates environments that serve life science innovation and advance global health. They design and manufacture flexible cGMP-compliant cleanroom buildings and high containment facilities which are process or containment ready upon deployment.

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RESEARCH

Celyad Oncology Announces Closing of $32.5 Million Private Placement with Fortress Investment Group Affiliate

Celyad Oncology SA | December 09, 2021

Celyad Oncology SA, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies for cancer, announced the closing of its previously announced private placement with an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group. The Company issued 6,500,000 ordinary shares at a price of USD 5.00 for gross proceeds of USD 32.5 million. The Company intends to use net proceeds from the private placement to fund research and development expenses, including the clinical development of its allogeneic CAR T candidates CYAD-101 and CYAD-211, to advance the current pipeline of preclinical CAR T candidates, to discover and develop additional preclinical product candidates using its proprietary non-gene edited short hairpin RNA (shRNA) technology platform, as well as for working capital, other general corporate purposes, and the enhancement of the Company’s intellectual property. SVB Leerink acted as the exclusive placement agent for the private placement, Goodwin Procter LLP and Harvest acted as legal counsel to the Company. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Eubelius acted as legal counsel to Fortress. The securities issued in the private placement have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933 or applicable state securities laws and may not be resold in the United States absent registration under the Securities Act or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements. The Company has agreed to customary registration rights covering the resale of the ordinary shares sold in the private placement. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities, nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state. Any offering of the securities under the resale registration statement will only be by means of a prospectus. About Celyad Oncology SA Celyad Oncology SA is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies for cancer. The Company is developing a pipeline of allogeneic and autologous CAR T cell therapy candidates for the treatment of both hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Celyad Oncology was founded in 2007 and is based in Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium and New York, NY. The Company has received funding from the Walloon Region to support the advancement of its CAR T cell therapy programs.

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