INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Gilead Sciences to Acquire MiroBio

Gilead Sciences, Inc. | August 05, 2022 | Read time : 03:00 min

Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. and MiroBio, a privately-held U.K.-based biotechnology company focused on restoring immune balance with agonists targeting immune inhibitory receptors, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire MiroBio for approximately $405 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments.

The acquisition will provide Gilead with MiroBio’s proprietary discovery platform and entire portfolio of immune inhibitory receptor agonists. MiroBio’s lead investigational antibody, MB272, is a selective agonist of immune inhibitory receptor B- and T-Lymphocyte Attenuator and has entered Phase 1 clinical trials, with the first patient dosed earlier this week. MB272 targets T, B and dendritic cells to inhibit or blunt activation and suppress an inflammatory immune response.

MiroBio’s I-ReSToRE platform (REceptor Selection and Targeting to Reinstate immune Equilibrium) has the potential to be used to develop best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors, a novel approach to the treatment of inflammatory diseases. The I-ReSToRE platform supports identification and development of therapeutics that utilize inhibitory signaling networks with the goal of restoring immune homeostasis for patients. Gilead anticipates advancing additional agonists derived from MiroBio’s I-ReSToRE platform, including a PD-1 agonist, MB151, and other undisclosed early-stage programs, over the next several years.

“The team at MiroBio has spearheaded foundational research for agonist antibodies following a rigorous scientific approach,” said Flavius Martin, Executive Vice President, Research, Gilead Sciences. “We believe that MiroBio’s unique platform technology has the potential to produce best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors.”

We are excited to be joining Gilead. MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and a proprietary approach to select and generate superior agonist antibodies. Combining this with Gilead’s drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune disease.”

Eliot Charles, Chairman of MiroBio

Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all of the outstanding share capital of MiroBio for a total of $405 million in cash consideration, subject to customary adjustments, which is payable at closing. Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, consistent with recent industry communications from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gilead no longer excludes acquired IPR&D expenses from its non-GAAP financial measures. We expect the transaction with MiroBio to reduce Gilead’s GAAP and non-GAAP 2022 EPS by approximately $0.30-$0.35. Closing of the transaction is subject to expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions.

About MiroBio
MiroBio is a clinical-stage private biotechnology company whose mission is to develop a new class of therapeutic agents, checkpoint agonist antibodies, to restore immune balance in autoimmune patients. MiroBio has developed I-ReSToRE, a proprietary discovery platform, combining its Checkpoint Atlas™, a cutting-edge receptor mapping database and visualization tool, with proprietary antibody engineering. It was spun out of Oxford University in 2019 and is based on more than 15 years of foundational research from the labs of Professor Simon Davis and Professor Richard Cornall with the potential to create safer and more efficacious medicines for patients with autoimmune disease. MiroBio is backed by a strong group of international investors including Oxford Science Enterprises, Samsara BioCapital, SR One, Medicxi, Advent Life Sciences, OrbiMed and Monograph.

About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis, cancer and inflammation. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California

Spotlight

Microscopic bits can hitch a ride on your clothes, find their way into your body, and impact your personal health. They’re part of your exposome and everyone has one.

Spotlight

Microscopic bits can hitch a ride on your clothes, find their way into your body, and impact your personal health. They’re part of your exposome and everyone has one.

Related News

MEDTECH

Synthego Launches Engineered Cell Libraries to Validate Targets with Speed and Accelerate Drug Discovery

SYNTHEGO | August 03, 2022

Synthego, the genome engineering company, announced the launch of Engineered Cell Libraries, a novel offering that further enables access to CRISPR by providing arrayed CRISPR-edited cells for direct use in functional screening assays. The innovative solution leverages Synthego’s Eclipse™ Platform. This high-throughput cell engineering platform delivers cell-based models for disease research by providing highly predictable CRISPR-engineered cells at scale through the integration of engineering, bioinformatics, and proprietary science. Synthego’s Engineered Cell Libraries provide unparalleled speed, scalability, and efficiency to accelerate the drug discovery process by enabling a faster path between experimental design and execution. As the newest addition to Synthego's Engineered Cells product line, the offering is a custom arrayed library of multi-guide™ knockout cell pools (immortalized or iPSC) delivered ready-made to researchers, efficiently enabling them to bypass the need for equipment and reagent sourcing, transfection, generation of an extensive CRISPR library, and hiring and training of staff. This allows researchers to overcome common hurdles associated with CRISPR-based target discovery and focus specifically on the science. “Arrayed screening approaches are more sensitive, compatible with a broader assortment of downstream assays, and can yield data that is more readily interpretable than the more commonly used pooled approach but are underutilized due to lack of infrastructure and limited bandwidth. With Engineered Cell Libraries, Synthego continues to provide transformative solutions for accelerated drug discovery which ultimately can bring a wider range of therapeutics to market faster.” Travis Maures, Synthego’s Chief Technology Officer With Engineered Cell Libraries, scientists specify the human or mouse cell type (Immortalized or iPSC available at launch) and gene targets they desire to knockout to generate a custom “Knockout Cell Library.” The cells are then edited on Synthego’s Eclipse Platform, which handles guide design, cell line optimization, editing through transfection, and assessment of editing efficiencies, so cells are ready to screen upon arrival. Engineered Cell Libraries on the Eclipse Platform additionally benefit customers with Scalability and flexibility - Engineered Cell Libraries allow researchers to maximize their screening power and identify more targets earlier in the screening process. Predictability and transparency - Synthego’s multi-guide™ technology achieves reliably high knockout efficiencies so researchers can confidently proceed with their screens. Cell engineering expertise and support - Synthego uses its expertise to bring automation innovation that provides greater consistency in outcomes and scalability. Synthego’s Eclipse Platform and Engineered Cell Libraries enable a wide range of applications in research and development across various disease areas and research disciplines such as oncology and neurology. Engineered Cell Libraries were employed in a recent study that used genetic screening to identify host factors that either facilitate or inhibit infection by SARS-CoV-2 and that could potentially be targeted with existing drugs that have been approved for other indications. “We were able to quickly combine our proteomic expertise with Synthego's genome engineering capabilities in a matter of weeks,” said Nevan J. Krogan, Director, Quantitative Biosciences Institute, University of California, San Francisco. “Normally, work such as this would take many years. We were able to quickly pinpoint which human genes are important for infection, and that allowed us to jump to which ones if we were able to drug them, could have a positive pharmacological effect on SARS-CoV-2 infection. That whole pipeline allowed us to identify several potential drug candidates, several of which we're still looking at.” Ultimately, Synthego’s goal is to enable scientists to spend less time thinking about method development and more time running their functional assays. The addition of Engineered Cell Libraries is driving impact in biopharma research and development. ABOUT SYNTHEGO Synthego was founded to revolutionize genome engineering technology, helping translate genomics into the clinic and ultimately making engineered biological therapies accessible to all patients. The company leverages machine learning, automation, and gene editing to build platforms for science at scale. With its foundations in engineering disciplines, the company’s platforms vertically integrate proprietary hardware, software, bioinformatics, chemistries, and molecular biology to advance both basic research and therapeutic development programs. With its technologies cited in more than a thousand peer-reviewed publications and utilized by thousands of commercial and academic researchers and therapeutic drug developers, Synthego is at the forefront of innovation enabling the next generation of medicines by delivering genome editing at an unprecedented scale.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Athersys Amends Securities Purchase Agreement in Connection with Recent Registered Direct Offering

Athersys, Inc. | September 26, 2022

Athersys, Inc. a regenerative medicine company developing MultiStem® for critical care indications, announced that it has entered into amended agreements to extend the exercise period of the warrants that were issued as part of a registered direct offering that closed on August 17, 2022, among other changes, and to issue additional warrants to the same warrant holder, a healthcare-focused U.S. institutional investor. The Purchase Agreement contains certain restrictions that, subject to certain exceptions, prohibit the Company from issuing its common stock in certain variable rate transactions for a period of 180 days following the Closing Date. The Purchase Agreement also gives the Purchasers the right to participate in certain future offerings of the Company in an amount of up to 30 percent in the aggregate of any offered securities during the 12 months following the Closing Date. On September 22, 2022, the Company entered into an amendment to the Purchase Agreement with the Purchasers to, among other things, (i) extend the exercise period of the Initial Warrants from five years to seven years after the six-month anniversary of the Closing Date (the “Warrant Amendment”), (ii) reduce the Standstill Period from 180 days to 150 days following the Closing Date, (iii) reduce the term and amount of the Participation Right from twelve months to six months following the Closing Date and from 30 percent to 20 percent in the aggregate of any offered securities, respectively, and (iv) require the Purchasers, subject to certain conditions, to participate in the event the Company proposes to offer and sell shares of offered securities during the six months following the Closing Date to investors primarily for capital raising purposes. In return, Athersys issued to the same warrant holder additional warrants that are exercisable for an aggregate of 2,000,000 shares of common stock and have an exercise price of $6.3850 for a seven-year period after the six-month anniversary of the date of issuance. A more detailed discussion of the amendments is contained in a Current Report that Athersys filed on September 22, 2022 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 8-K. “We are pleased to have entered into this amendment with our new major investor which provides more financial flexibility going forward as well as a commitment for the investor that recently invested $12 million in Athersys to participate in future financings if requested. As Athersys continues to pursue licensing and other business development opportunities for our proprietary technology this amendment can help facilitate future transactions with financial and strategic investors. We are fortunate to have established a strong relationship with a prominent healthcare focused institutional investor that embraces the value of our MultiStem cell therapy and is responsive to our priorities,” Dan Camardo, Chief Executive Officer of Athersys “I am also pleased with progress we’ve made in our business transformation and I look forward to updating shareholders during a conference call to be held the week of October 3rd,” he added. Athersys intends to issue a separate news release that will provide further information on the date and time of the call, as well as instructions regarding how to participate. About MultiStem® MultiStem® cell therapy is a patented regenerative medicine product in clinical development that has shown the ability to promote tissue repair and healing in a variety of ways, such as through the production of therapeutic factors in response to signals of inflammation and tissue damage. MultiStem therapy’s potential for multidimensional therapeutic impact distinguishes it from traditional biopharmaceutical therapies focused on a single mechanism of benefit. The therapy represents a unique “off-the-shelf” stem cell product that can be manufactured in a scalable manner, may be stored for years in frozen form, and is administered without tissue matching or the need for immune suppression. Based upon its efficacy profile, its novel mechanisms of action, and a favorable and consistent tolerability demonstrated in clinical studies, we believe that MultiStem therapy could provide a meaningful benefit to patients, including those suffering from serious diseases and conditions with unmet medical need. About Athersys Athersys is a biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The Company is developing its MultiStem® cell therapy product, a patented, adult-derived “off-the-shelf” stem cell product, initially for disease indications in the neurological, inflammatory and immune, and other critical care indications and has several ongoing clinical trials evaluating this potential regenerative medicine product. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships and a broad network of collaborations to further advance MultiStem cell therapy toward commercialization.

Read More

CELL AND GENE THERAPY

CSL Plasma Reimagines Donor Experience With First Donations Completed on Innovative Plasma Collection Technology

CSL Plasma | August 08, 2022

CSL Plasma, the plasma collection business of global biotherapeutics leader CSL Behring, began a new era in plasma donations, collecting its first plasma donations using leading-edge plasma collection technology that is expected to significantly reduce average collection time – by approximately one-third – and improve the donor experience. The Rika Plasma Donation System, only available at CSL Plasma and developed by Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, is designed to reduce collection time, and improve the donor and operator experience. When considering prior average CSL Plasma donation procedure times, this could represent about a 30% reduction in average donation time for donors. The new plasmapheresis system first launched today in the Aurora, Colorado, CSL Plasma location, as part of a phased rollout to CSL Plasma U.S. collection centers. Plasma collected at CSL Plasma facilities is used in the manufacturing of lifesaving plasma-derived therapies. "Today marks a threshold moment for plasma donors following years of dedication, innovation and collaboration – demonstrating how we are driven by our promise in delivering lifesaving and life-extending therapies to patients around the world. We look forward to the positive impact this new technology brings and are thankful for plasma donors who continue to do the amazing every day when they donate at CSL Plasma." CSL Chief Operating Officer Paul McKenzie CSL Plasma believes features of the new Rika system can enable the collection of more plasma, in shorter periods of time, supporting quality and safety, and, ultimately, better serving patients who rely on plasma-based therapies. One of the first plasma donors to experience the Rika system, Kelly Geiser is a resident of the Denver area. She has donated plasma since 2017, and is a Platinum level donor as part of CSL Plasma's donor loyalty program, iGive Rewards®. Geiser appreciated that she was able to complete the donation procedure with the new technology in under 35 minutes and in the fastest donation time she has experienced, while every plasma donor's experience will vary. Donating plasma is also personal for Geiser, who says that therapies made from plasma have helped her and her family, including a parent who recently underwent emergency surgery. "It feels good knowing I'm helping people and, who knows, I might've helped somebody I know," said Geiser. According to Terumo BCT, benefits of the Rika Plasma Donation System include Rika completes one plasma collection in 35 minutes or less on average. The proprietary design of the system's centrifuge maximizes the plasma yield per cycle. The Rika Plasma Donation System was designed to allow no more than 200 milliliters of blood cells outside the donor's body, resulting in a low extracorporeal volume, which may contribute to a more comfortable donor experience. With less than 200 milliliters of blood cells outside the donor's body at any given time, should the initial procedure not be completed, the donor can return and donate without being deferred. The device is designed with an advanced user interface to guide CSL Plasma front-line employees. Operators can quickly and confidently resolve alarms, thanks to guidance provided on the Rika system's touchscreen, which also alerts operators about situations that require attention and provides suggested actions to resolve the situation. The system allows for real-time data analytics to drive device maintenance and repairs. CSL Plasma is implementing the new devices at Colorado centers and then expanding to other U.S. locations, providing donors more opportunities to "do the amazing" and be rewarded for their generosity. "As a long-time leader in our industry, CSL Plasma looks forward to this new plasmapheresis technology to delight our plasma donors and attract new donors while supporting a better operating experience for our employees," said Walter Charles, CSL Plasma Senior Vice President and General Manager. "As we complete the implementation of new technology at U.S. centers, we continue to address the critical and ongoing need for human plasma to produce life-saving medicines for people with serious and rare diseases." About CSL Plasma CSL Plasma operates one of the world's largest and most sophisticated plasma collection networks, with more than 300 plasma collection centers in the U.S., Europe and China. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, CSL Plasma is a subsidiary of CSL Behring, a global biotherapeutics company and a member of the CSL Group of companies. Plasma collected at CSL Plasma facilities is used by CSL Behring for the sole purpose of manufacturing lifesaving plasma-derived therapies for people in more than 100 countries. The parent company, CSL Limited headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 25,000 people. About CSL Behring CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by our promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients' needs by using the latest technologies, we discover, develop and deliver innovative therapies for people living with conditions in the immunology, hematology, cardiovascular and metabolic, respiratory, and transplant therapeutic areas. We use three strategic scientific platforms of plasma fractionation, recombinant protein technology, and cell and gene therapy to support continued innovation and continually refine ways in which products can address unmet medical needs and help patients lead full lives.

Read More