CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Hamilton and BioFluidica Pen Next Generation Liquid Biopsy Platform Co-Marketing Agreement

BioFluidica, Inc. | September 28, 2022 | Read time : 02:00 min

Hamilton and BioFluidica
Biofluidica, Inc., and Hamilton Company, announced a co-marketing agreement to bring advanced Liquid Biopsy capabilities to laboratories worldwide. Biofluidica has developed the next-generation liquid biopsy platform, enabling Hamilton liquid handlers to process biological samples to isolate extremely rare circulating tumor cells, circulating Leukemic cells, fetal cells, cfDNA, and exosomes. The Biofluidica platform, LiquidScan™, integrates seamlessly into the Hamilton pipetting robots. The high precision fluid control provided by the Hamilton automated pipetting channels is designed to avoid processing loss using the Biofluidica proprietary closed-loop pipetting interface with the Biofluidica microfluidic biomarker selection chips.

This announcement represents early commercialization for BioFluidica and a unique alliance for Hamilton Company. The STARlet offers a custom application-configurable liquid handling robot with sensitive programmable pneumatic features that enable walk-away automation for precision biological procedures. LiquidScan utilizes these features to isolate and enrich rare biomarker populations directly from biological samples such as a blood draw potentially replacing the need for surgical biopsies and making testing available for cancer types not previously amenable to surgical biopsy.

"LiquidScan is a novel platform that enhances the ability to perform diagnostic testing applied to many diseases, including several types of cancer, prenatal diagnostics, stroke, and infectious diseases. We have worked with Hamilton to ensure seamless automation allowing for high-throughput and lower-cost testing than current surgical biopsy procedures. There is a win-win scenario here for patients, physicians, and the healthcare system. Because LiquidScan uses a standard blood draw, and non-invasive screening, patients can receive closer monitoring of treatment regimens, and physicians can attain higher quality and earlier patient results. Expensive and time-consuming surgical procedures can be removed from the health-care system."

Rolf Muller, BioFluidica CEO

About Hamilton
Hamilton is a leading global manufacturer, providing automated liquid handling workstations and laboratory automation technology to the scientific community. With a focus on innovative design, Hamilton products incorporate patented liquid handling technologies into a portfolio that includes liquid handling platforms, standard application-based solutions, small devices, consumables, and OEM liquid handling solutions.
Known for advancing life science, clinical diagnostics, forensics, and biotechnology industries, Hamilton products offer reliability, performance, and flexibility. Ensuring a continuous commitment to quality, Hamilton utilizes state-of-the-art manufacturing at production facilities in Reno, Nevada, and Bonaduz, Switzerland and has earned a global ISO 9001 certification. Privately held, Hamilton maintains headquarters in Reno, Nevada; Franklin, Massachusetts; and Bonaduz, Switzerland, along with subsidiary offices throughout the world.

About BioFluidica
BioFluidica Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company that has developed a revolutionary liquid biopsy platform. 

Spotlight

The swift regulatory changes taking place in the global cannabis sector are almost without modern precedent. While some find the situation analogous to the repeal of Prohibition in the United States, it’s also fair to point out that such events happened 85 years ago in the midst of the Great Depression. It was a long time ago, and in a very different economic climate.

Spotlight

The swift regulatory changes taking place in the global cannabis sector are almost without modern precedent. While some find the situation analogous to the repeal of Prohibition in the United States, it’s also fair to point out that such events happened 85 years ago in the midst of the Great Depression. It was a long time ago, and in a very different economic climate.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Gilead and MacroGenics Announce Oncology Collaboration to Develop Bispecific Antibodies

Gilead and MacroGenics | October 18, 2022

Gilead Sciences, Inc. and MacroGenics announced an exclusive option and collaboration agreement to develop MGD024, an investigational, bispecific antibody that binds CD123 and CD3 using MacroGenics’ DART® platform, and two additional bispecific research programs. The collaboration agreement grants Gilead the option to license MGD024, a potential treatment for certain blood cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. A leader in the bispecific antibody space, MacroGenics has extensive experience applying its proprietary DART platform to develop novel therapeutics. MGD024 is a next-generation, bispecific that incorporates a CD3 component that is designed to minimize cytokine-release syndrome a potentially life-threatening toxicity, while increasing the magnitude of antitumor activity with a longer half-life to permit intermittent dosing. “MacroGenics’ bispecific expertise naturally complements Gilead’s portfolio strengths in immuno-oncology and our growing hematology franchise. We believe MGD024, with its potential to reduce CRS and permit intermittent dosing through a longer half-life, could translate to more patient-friendly dosing and enhanced clinical outcomes for people living with AML and MDS. This partnership is the latest in our efforts to develop and advance transformative new cancer therapies as we deepen our portfolio across oncology indications.” Bill Grossman, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President, Oncology Clinical Development, Gilead Sciences Scott Koenig, MD, PhD, President, and CEO, MacroGenics said, “Rapid advances over the last decade have made CD123 a very promising target in oncology research. Advancing our bispecific DART molecule, MGD024, through a strategic collaboration with the team at Gilead will accelerate our ability to drive further development of MGD024 to the potential benefit of people living with blood cancers.” MacroGenics will be responsible for the ongoing Phase 1 study for MGD024 during which Gilead may elect to exercise its option to license the program at predefined decision points. The Phase 1 study will include a dose escalation segment and an expansion segment that is intended to evaluate MGD024 as monotherapy and in combination with other therapies across multiple indications. About MacroGenics, Inc. MacroGenics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. The company generates its pipeline of product candidates primarily from its proprietary suite of next-generation antibody-based technology platforms, which have applicability across broad therapeutic domains. The combination of MacroGenics' technology platforms and protein engineering expertise has allowed the company to generate promising product candidates and enter into several strategic collaborations with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. 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, and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Kriya Acquires Redpin Therapeutics, Adding Neurology Pipeline to Gene Therapy Portfolio

Kriya Therapeutics | November 17, 2022

Kriya Therapeutics, Inc., a fully integrated gene therapy company advancing a broad portfolio of innovative therapeutics announced the acquisition of Redpin Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company developing regulatable gene therapies for intractable diseases of the nervous system. The acquisition serves as the foundation for Kriya’s neurology therapeutic area portfolio, with two lead gene therapy programs focused on epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia. Redpin’s proprietary chemogenetics platform can selectively activate or silence disease-causing neurons, while leaving normal functioning cells unaffected. Currently available treatments for neurological disorders typically rely on systemically administered drugs or surgical interventions to address local neuron dysfunction. However, these approaches can have limited efficacy and off-target side effects. In contrast, chemogenetics leverages gene products that are selectively responsive to a chosen small molecule. Redpin’s technology utilizes gene therapy to express engineered ion channels that are responsive to modulation by the FDA-approved anti-smoking drug varenicline to either inhibit specific overactive neurons or stimulate underactive ones. “Redpin’s innovative chemogenetics platform has the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from intractable neurological conditions. We are looking forward to integrating Redpin’s platform and pipeline into Kriya’s gene therapy engine as we advance our mission to develop life-changing gene therapies that can address diseases affecting millions of patients around the world.” Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kriya “Redpin has a built a breakthrough, validated chemogenetics approach that could have significant potential in the targeted treatment of neurological disorders,” said Dr. Elma Hawkins, Redpin Therapeutics’ President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder. “Kriya Therapeutics is the perfect company to take this leading ion channel-based platform forward and deliver an effective treatment option for patients. We look forward to working with the Kriya team to progress these unique targeted therapies to patients in need as rapidly as possible.” Redpin’s investors include 4BIO Capital, Arkin Bio Ventures, Takeda Ventures Inc, New York Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments. About Epilepsy Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurrent spontaneous seizures. Approximately 3.4 million people in the U.S. suffer from active epilepsy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current treatments for epilepsy include medication, neurostimulation and surgery to remove sections of the affected part of the brain. However between 20% to 40% of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy will become refractory to treatment, and will continue to suffer seizures. Uncontrolled epilepsy can lead to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). About Trigeminal Neuralgia Trigeminal neuralgia also known as Tic Douloureux, is a severe and chronic disorder that affects the trigeminal, or fifth cranial, nerve. TN patients experience progressive intense stabbing facial pain attacks that can become more severe and last longer over time. Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 new cases of TN occur each year in the U.S., according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. While currently available treatments include anti-seizure medications and surgical procedures, a significant proportion of patients are refractory to these approaches. About Kriya Therapeutics Kriya is a fully integrated company pioneering novel technologies and therapeutics in gene therapy. The company aims to revolutionize how gene therapies are designed, developed, and manufactured, improving speed to market and delivering significant reductions in cost. The company is advancing a deep and diversified pipeline of innovative gene therapies in multiple therapeutic area divisions, with current pipeline programs in metabolic disorders, neurology and ophthalmology. Kriya is backed by leading life sciences and technology investors, and has core operations in Silicon Valley, California and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. About Redpin Based in New York City, Redpin Therapeutics is a privately held, preclinical stage gene therapy company developing a proprietary chemogenetics platform for targeted cell therapies to address currently intractable diseases of the central nervous system. Using a powerful and innovative technology that inverts traditional drug development by using gene therapy to target an engineered receptor to any cell type responsible for disease and modulating its function with an already-approved drug. This has the potential to deliver effective treatments for a wide range of currently intractable neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders. Redpin has a worldwide exclusive license from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the therapeutic use of this technology, and the company is working with urgency to apply it to advance important medicines for patients in desperate need of effective therapies.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

iXCells Biotechnologies Secures Strategic Growth Investment from Great Point Partners

iXCells Biotechnologies | September 30, 2022

iXCells Biotechnologies a high growth provider of cell-based products and discovery services to the academic, biotech and pharmaceutical communities worldwide, with special focus on primary and induced pluripotent stem cell derived cellular models, today announced receiving a growth investment from Connecticut-based Great Point Partners a private investment firm focusing on the healthcare industry. “iXCells is delighted to join GPP’s portfolio of companies operating within the rapidly growing biotech manufacturing and DD&D services space. We’re grateful for GPP’s support of our vision to translate human cell technology into innovative solutions that advance cell biology research and drug discovery. Our partnership with GPP is a critical step forward for our Company’s growth journey.” Dr. Lynn Zhang, CEO and co-founder iXCells President and co-founder, Dr. Nianwei Lin added, “Our customers will clearly benefit from the deployment of additional capital towards key growth initiatives that will increase iXCells’ operational capacity, expand our product/service offering and bioanalytical capabilities. In particular, we’ll be strengthening our ability to service unmet market needs in areas of personalized medicine including rare diseases. We’re very much looking forward to collaborating with GPP’s management team and broad network to advance iXCells’ mission for the benefit of all stakeholders.” Noah Rhodes, Managing Director at GPP, commented, “Lynn and Nianwei have done an exceptional job building a rapidly growing company serving academic, biotech and pharma clients with best-in-class drug discovery solutions and disease-relevant cellular models. We were extremely impressed by the scientific expertise the management team has built within the organization, and we look forward to helping them expand their product and service offering into adjacent high-growth end markets.” About iXCells Biotechnologies Founded in 2014 and based in San Diego, CA, iXCells Biotechnologies is an innovative cell biology and cell technology company that provides preclinical drug discovery solutions with the focus on disease relevant cellular models enabling technologies and services to the academic, biotech and pharma communities to accelerate the pace of drug discovery. iXCells offers customers access to high quality primary and iPSC derived cells, custom iPSC services, functional bioassay development and drug screening. About Great Point Partners Great Point Partners, founded in 2003 and based in Greenwich, CT, is a leading health care investment firm with 30 professionals, investing in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. GPP is currently making new minority and majority private equity investments from GPP IV. Great Point manages $1.5B of capital in its private funds and public life sciences equity strategy (BioMedical Value Fund). Great Point Partners has provided growth equity, growth recapitalization, and management buyout financing to more than 200 growing health care companies. The private equity funds invest across all sectors of the health care industry with a particular emphasis on biopharmaceutical services and supplies, alternate site care, medical device and information technology enabled businesses. The firm pursues a proactive and proprietary approach to sourcing investments and tuck-in acquisitions for its portfolio companies.

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