MEDTECH

IBM Research and Arctoris accelerate closed loop drug discovery with AI and Cloud

Arctoris | September 14, 2021

IBM Research and Arctoris announced they are investigating the application of AI and automation to accelerate closed loop molecule discovery. IBM Research has developed RXN for Chemistry, an online platform leveraging state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) architectures to automate synthetic chemistry. Representing chemical reactions via SMILES (Simplified Molecular Input Line Entry System), the system is able to perform highly accurate reaction predictions using its powerful AI. Optimised synthetic routes are then used as input for RoboRXN, an automated platform for molecule synthesis.

Arctoris has developed Ulysses, an end-to-end automated platform for drug discovery research. The platform ensures accuracy, precision, and reproducibility by leveraging robotic experiment execution and digital data capture technologies across cell and molecular biology and biochemistry/biophysics. Experiments conducted with Ulysses generate more than 100 times more datapoints per assay compared to industry standard, leading to deeper insights and accelerated progress compared to manual methods.

The two platforms are now being combined for the first time in a research collaboration that will see new small molecule inhibitors for undisclosed targets being designed, made, tested, and analysed (DMTA) in an autonomous, closed loop approach. Concretely, IBM Research will design and synthesize novel chemical matter (Design, Make), to be profiled and evaluated by Arctoris (Test, Analyze), with the resulting data informing the subsequent iteration of the DMTA cycle.

The collaboration is currently on-going; financial terms were not disclosed.

About IBM Research
For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 16 locations across five continents. Scientists from IBM Research have produced six Nobel Laureates, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the National Academy of Sciences and 20 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame.

About Arctoris
Arctoris is a biotechnology company founded and headquartered in Oxford with additional operations in Boston and Singapore. Ulysses, the unique technology platform developed by Arctoris, enables the company to conduct its R&D – from target via hit and lead to candidate – significantly faster, and with considerably improved data quality and depth. With its robotics, Arctoris generates richer, more reliable data, enabling better decisions both in human-driven and computational drug discovery, leading to higher success rates and an accelerated progression of programs towards the clinic. Led by an experienced team, Arctoris pursues its internal pipeline of small molecule inhibitors in different indications, and also partners with other biotech and pharma companies for small molecule and biologics discovery, with partners in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Korea, China, and several other countries.

Spotlight

Can you tell the difference between food sensitivity and food intolerance? Both are garnering increasing media attention that can sometimes cause confusion, with inaccurate information possibly leading to self-diagnosis and unnecessary dietary restrictions. To shed some light on the topic, we have created an infographic highlighting the differences between the two conditions.

Spotlight

Can you tell the difference between food sensitivity and food intolerance? Both are garnering increasing media attention that can sometimes cause confusion, with inaccurate information possibly leading to self-diagnosis and unnecessary dietary restrictions. To shed some light on the topic, we have created an infographic highlighting the differences between the two conditions.

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RESEARCH

Bio-Techne And Carterra Initiate A Clinical Research Collaboration For COVID-19 Variant Analysis

Bio-Techne Corporation | September 08, 2021

Bio-Techne, a leading supplier of high-quality and innovative tools for life science research, therapeutic manufacturing and clinical diagnostics and Carterra Inc., the world leader in high-throughput antibody screening and characterization, today announced a clinical research collaboration studying COVID-19 variants. New variants, such as Delta, can be more easily transmitted and more likely to evade the immune response of vaccinated or previously infected people. To assess immune responses to new variants and to plan for intervention mechanisms that avoid vaccine escape, scientists and epidemiologists need a fast and effective assay. The partnership leverages Carterra's flagship analytical platform - the LSA® - to characterize panels of SARS-CoV-2 spike and receptor-binding domain (RBD) variants in an information-rich assay. The SARS-CoV-2 variants were developed by Bio-Techne and used to fast-track the new, scalable assay for measuring the potential risks that new variants may evade the ability of the immune system to block the virus. Bio-Techne has been leading the way in COVID-19 research reagent and immunoassay development enabling scientists to make discoveries leading to effective diagnoses, therapies and vaccines. The company was first to market with COVID-19 research protein variants and has significant expertise with SARS-CoV-2 antibody quantitation. Bio-Techne and Carterra will focus this collaboration on more than 40 variants, including the Delta variant that is prevalent today, and emerging variants as they are discovered. The Carterra LSA will be used to generate high-definition insights with over 120 data points from patient serum samples, including a variant profile, ACE-2 blocking potential, and isotyping profiles of immunoglobin response. The LSA's hands-free, high-throughput setup requires only 2 µL of patient serum and provides for the analysis of new and emerging variants in the ever-evolving field of COVID-19 research. Carterra's LSA instrument is the fastest, most sensitive and flexible biosensor platform on the market. Combining proprietary flow printing microfluidics with High Throughput Surface Plasmon Resonance (HT-SPR) technology, the LSA enables detailed screening and characterization of vast antibody or variant libraries, including full kinetic profiles. With the ability to generate real-time binding data for 384 proteins on one chip and assay up to 1152 patient samples in a single unattended run, the LSA significantly improves efficiency and speed in both drug discovery and clinical research. About Bio-Techne Bio-Techne Corporation is a global life sciences company providing innovative tools and bioactive reagents for the research and clinical diagnostic communities. Bio-Techne products assist scientific investigations into biological processes and the nature and progress of specific diseases. They aid in drug discovery efforts and provide the means for accurate clinical tests and diagnoses. With thousands of products in its portfolio, Bio-Techne generated approximately $931 million in net sales in fiscal 2021 and has approximately 2,700 employees worldwide. About Carterra, Inc. Carterra® is the leading provider of high throughput technologies designed to accelerate and improve the discovery of novel therapeutic candidates. Carterra's LSA™ instrument, software, and consumables for monoclonal antibody (mAb) characterization deliver up to 100 times the throughput of existing platforms in 10% of the time while using only 1% of the sample required by other systems. The LSA combines patented microfluidics technology with real-time high throughput Surface Plasmon Resonance (HT-SPR) and industry-leading data analysis and visualization software to revolutionize mAb screening. Carterra, Inc. is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has Customer Experience Centers in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Boston, and Munich, Germany.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

ElevateBio Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent Providing Protection for RNA-Guided Nucleases Identified through its Life Edit Gene Editing Platform

ElevateBio | November 25, 2021

ElevateBio, LLC, a cell and gene therapy technology company focused on powering transformative cell and gene therapies, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued US Patent No. 11,162,114 with an anticipated expiry date of June 23, 2040, inclusive of 384 days of patent term adjustment . This patent, issued to LifeEDIT Therapeutics, Inc. is the first to provide composition and methods of use protection for various RNA-guided nucleases in Life Edit’s gene editing platform. Life Edit is an ElevateBio company and holds an array of novel RGNs and base editors. "This patent issuance marks an important milestone for the Life Edit gene editing platform and is an acknowledgement of the uniqueness of our powerful suite of editing systems. ElevateBio will continue to build and strengthen our portfolio of patents surrounding our enabling platforms, which also include iPSCs, viral vector, and cell and protein engineering, that offer critical technologies and capabilities to facilitate the development of next-generation cell and gene therapies.” Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., President, R&D of ElevateBio and Chief Executive Officer of Life Edit This patent is directed to compositions of polynucleotides encoding various RGN polypeptides, CRISPR systems comprising guide RNAs and such RGN polypeptides, as well as methods for binding, cleaving and modifying a target DNA sequence of interest with the use of these novel RGNs and one or more guide RNAs. About ElevateBio ElevateBio is a cell and gene therapy technology company designed to power the development and manufacturing of transformative cell and gene therapies. ElevateBio has assembled industry-leading talent, built world-class facilities, and integrated diverse technology platforms necessary to drive innovation and commercialization of cell, gene, and regenerative therapies. ElevateBio has built an initial technology stack, including gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and protein, viral, and cellular engineering, that can be leveraged across the entire portfolio and by strategic partners. At the center of the business model is ElevateBio BaseCamp, a centralized research and development and manufacturing company that offers R&D, process development, and Current Good Manufacturing Practice manufacturing capabilities. ElevateBio is focused on increasing long-term collaborations with industry partners while also developing its own highly innovative cell and gene therapies. ElevateBio's team of scientists, drug developers, and company builders are redefining what it means to be a technology company in the world of drug development, blurring the line between technology and healthcare.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Biogen and Ginkgo Bioworks Collaborate and License Agreement to Develop Novel Gene Therapy Manufacturing Platform

Biogen, Ginkgo Bioworks | May 22, 2021

Biogen and Ginkgo Bioworks announced a partnership in gene therapy today. The companies aim to redefine the industry standard for manufacturing recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based vectors by working together. Recombinant AAV-based vectors are extensively used in the development of novel gene therapies with the ability to cure neurological and neuromuscular diseases, as well as other conditions in a variety of therapeutic areas. Manufacturing is now time-consuming and expensive, making it difficult to develop therapies for diseases with high dosage requirements and large patient populations. Ginkgo intends to address these issues by using its mammalian cell programming platform to increase the performance of AAV-producing plasmid vectors and cell lines, potentially accelerating Biogen's development of novel gene therapies. “We believe that Ginkgo's unique combination of cell programming expertise, proprietary tools, and biological system awareness makes them a perfect collaborative partner to explore a broad range of design ideas to optimize constructs,” said Alphonse Galdes, Ph.D., Biogen's Head of Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology.“They share our goal of ensuring that approved therapies are not delayed due to manufacturing constraints and are available to patients all over the world.” “We are delighted to partner with Biogen as they seek to develop treatments that can potentially delay, stop, or cure neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as to improve the industry standard for AAV manufacturing,” said Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks. “Synthetic biology is utilizing the power of living cells to develop the next generation of therapeutics, including CAR-T, CRISPR, and gene therapies, which we hope would have a significant effect on the lives of many people.” Biogen will have access to Ginkgo's proprietary cell programming platform and capabilities under the terms of the agreement. Ginkgo will use its bioengineering facilities and resources to improve Biogen's gene therapy manufacturing processes' AAV output titers. Ginkgo will receive a $5 million initial payment and will be eligible for milestone payments of up to $115 million if the partnership programs achieve certain research, development, and commercial milestones. About Biogen Our mission at Biogen is clear: we are neuroscience pioneers. Biogen discovers, develops, and delivers innovative therapies for people suffering from severe neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as related therapeutic adjacencies, around the world. Biogen was founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray, and Nobel prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp as one of the world's first major biotechnology firms. Biogen currently has the leading portfolio of medicines for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, is the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics, and is focused on advancing research programs in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology, Alzheimer's disease, and dementia, neuromuscular disorders, movement disorders, ophthalmology, and neuropsychiatry. About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo is building a platform for program cells in the same way as we program machines. The platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across a wide range of markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also closely involved in a variety of COVID-19 response efforts, such as community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine development, and therapeutics discovery.

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