ICR Collaborates With AI Drug Discovery Company To Develop Treatments for Rare Childhood Cancer

Technology Networks | October 04, 2019

Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, are working with Healx, a biotech company specialising in artificial intelligence (AI) to discover new possible ways of treating diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an essentially untreatable brain cancer in children. Professor Chris Jones from The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) – a world-leading figure in the study of DIPG – and his team are collaborating with Healx, which specialises in discovering and developing new treatments for rare diseases. By combining AI and machine learning techniques with insight from its pharmacology and drug discovery researchers, Healx has been able to make predictions about which existing drugs, already used in other diseases, could be repurposed to treat DIPG. Healx has previously used this approach to identify potential new treatments for rare cancers in partnership with childhood cancer charity aPODD. Professor Jones is now planning to research these drugs in the laboratory to work out if they could be used as treatments.

Spotlight

Biological drugs, protein-based products derived from living cells using biotechnology, have been used since the 1990’s as a treatment option for cancer patients. Since 2009, biosimilar therapies (therapeutically equivalent subsequent entry biologics) have been available in different therapeutic areas in Canada, and are now on the verge of becoming available for use in oncology. MD Analytics asked 31 Canadian Oncologists and Hematologists for their views on the introduction of biosimilar therapies for cancer treatment.

Spotlight

Biological drugs, protein-based products derived from living cells using biotechnology, have been used since the 1990’s as a treatment option for cancer patients. Since 2009, biosimilar therapies (therapeutically equivalent subsequent entry biologics) have been available in different therapeutic areas in Canada, and are now on the verge of becoming available for use in oncology. MD Analytics asked 31 Canadian Oncologists and Hematologists for their views on the introduction of biosimilar therapies for cancer treatment.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

MeMed raises $93M to accelerate commercialization of its host immune-response product portfolio

MeMed | January 10, 2022

MeMed, a leader in host response technologies, announces a $93 million private financing round, bringing total funding in the Company to over $200 million, including support from the U.S. Department of Defense and EU Commission. Funds will be used to scale up manufacturing, accelerate commercialization and expand MeMed’s pioneering host immune response product portfolio. MeMed’s technology suite decodes the body’s immune response within minutes, providing physicians with important patient management solutions that tackle key clinical dilemmas. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted a landmark clearance for the use of the MeMed BV® test on the point-of-need platform MeMed Key®, to help healthcare providers distinguish between bacterial and viral infections in both children and adults. MeMed has also developed the MeMed COVID-19 Severity™ test for predicting severe outcomes in COVID-19 patients, which has been cleared for use in Europe. The latest financing brings together new and existing investors including Horizons Ventures, Shavit Capital, Social Capital, La Maison Partners, Touchwood Capital, Caesara Medical Holdings, Union Tech Ventures, ClaI Insurance, Phoenix Insurance, Poalim Equity and Western Technology Investment. “This new investment will enable MeMed to expand operations with a focus on the U.S. We are grateful to our investors for their support and will leverage the funds, the recent FDA clearance, and our growing network of partnerships to provide broad patient access to our technology, as well as expand our product portfolio of pioneering host response solutions.” Eran Eden, MeMed’s co-founder and CEO Patrick Zhang, Horizons Ventures, said: “We strongly believe that MeMed’s strategy of using host immune response technologies is a significant advance in the improvement of two major issues in healthcare today: the rise of antimicrobial resistance due to unnecessary prescription of antibiotics and effectively triaging patients infected with COVID-19. We look forward to playing a role in how MeMed, a category leader in this area, is transforming the way diseases are diagnosed and treated to improve patient healthcare across the globe.” About MeMed Our mission is to translate the immune system's complex signals into simple insights that transform the way diseases are diagnosed and treated, profoundly benefiting patients and society.

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AI

Peptilogics and Cerebras Systems Partner on AI Solutions to Advance the Future of Peptide Therapeutics

Cerebras Systems , Peptilogics | August 19, 2021

Cerebras Systems, the pioneer in high performance artificial intelligence (AI) compute, and Peptilogics, a biotechnology platform company and an emerging leader in leveraging computation to design novel therapeutics, today announced a collaboration to accelerate the development cycle of peptide therapeutics through AI. Leveraging the revolutionary Cerebras CS-2 system – powered by the world’s fastest AI processor – Peptilogics will be able to push the boundaries of innovation in drug design and novel peptide therapeutics. This cutting-edge exploration of innovation is a scientific game changer with the potential to meaningfully reduce the time from bench to bedside. “Our mission at Peptilogics is to radically alter drug development and realize the full potential of peptides as therapeutics,” said Nick Nystrom, PhD, SVP and Head of Computation and Data, Peptilogics. “By partnering with Cerebras, we will be able to accelerate our research by orders of magnitude for important areas such as membrane proteins, including G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Traditional drug discovery operates on the time scale of one new drug in ten years. We aim to flip that to ten new leads in one year.” Peptides are sequences of amino acids, essentially small proteins, that play critical roles in how our bodies operate. They offer relatively unexplored opportunities for therapeutics, conferring potential advantages over other types of drugs. The “design space,” or number of possible peptide structures, is vastly larger than could be explored through traditional drug discovery. AI – specifically deep learning – is well-suited to identify ideal peptide structures as drug candidates. Through this collaboration, Cerebras and Peptilogics scientists will use the CS-2 system to develop and run advanced models to identify novel peptide therapeutics that meet specific biological activity and biophysical criteria. By accelerating the slowest step of the research cycle and training deep learning models on big data, Peptilogics with Cerebras will be positioned to deliver better therapeutics sooner. Peptilogics joins other life science leaders, including GSK and AstraZeneca, in leveraging Cerebras’ industry-leading AI technology to advance drug discovery. “Peptilogics is operating at the forefront of AI-enabled drug design. With Cerebras, they are part of a select group of partners that share similar interests in pushing the boundaries of scientific research and AI computing to radically accelerate innovation for better healthcare outcomes,” said Andy Hock, VP of Product at Cerebras. “Cerebras Systems makes world-leading AI compute accessible and easy to use so that our partners at Peptilogics can test more ideas quickly, reduce the cost of curiosity, and achieve their mission of discovering peptide therapeutics in record time.” About Cerebras Systems Cerebras Systems is a team of pioneering computer architects, computer scientists, deep learning researchers, and engineers of all types. We have come together to build a new class of computer to accelerate artificial intelligence work by three orders of magnitude beyond the current state of the art. The CS-2 is the fastest AI computer in existence. It contains a collection of industry firsts, including the Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine (WSE-2). The WSE-2 is the largest chip ever built. It contains 2.6 trillion transistors and covers more than 46,225 square millimeters of silicon. By comparison, the largest graphics processor on the market has 54 billion transistors and covers 815 square millimeters. In artificial intelligence work, large chips process information more quickly producing answers in less time. As a result, neural networks that in the past took months to train, can now train in minutes on the Cerebras CS-2 powered by the WSE-2. About Peptilogics Peptilogics is a clinical-stage biotechnology platform company that designs and develops novel peptide therapeutics. The company is supported by investors including Presight Capital, Founders Fund, and Peter Thiel, who are known for their investments in companies such as AbCellera (NASDAQ: ABCL), Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS), SpaceX, and Synthego. Through its computational platform, Peptilogics is advancing drug discovery to uncover new, previously unexplored chemical design space, while ensuring biological viability and scalable manufacturing. Peptilogics’ anti-infectives pipeline includes a novel clinical stage anti-infective, PLG0206, that has been granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation and Qualified Infectious Disease Product Designation for its initial focus on the treatment of prosthetic joint infections, an urgent unmet medical need.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Amyris Partners with Inscripta to Enhance Development of Sustainable Ingredients Using the Onyx™ Genome Engineering Platform

Amyris | October 06, 2021

Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMRS), a leading synthetic biotechnology company active in the Clean Health and Beauty markets through its consumer brands, and a top supplier of sustainable and natural ingredients, today announced that Amyris has licensed the Onyx genome engineering platform from Inscripta, a leading gene editing technology company. Amyris and Inscripta will also explore joint research and development opportunities to expand the Onyx platform functionality. Amyris' product development and formulation team uses a proprietary Lab-to-Market™ operating system to develop and scale a growing portfolio of sustainable ingredients. The Onyx platform automates benchtop biofoundry activity and will bring greater genetic diversity and value to Amyris' ingredient development pipeline, complementing Amyris' existing Lab-to-Market operating system with the goal of improving efficiency and reducing timelines for the development of future molecules. To date, Amyris has successfully commercialized 13 sustainable ingredients, which are formulated in over 20,000 products and used by over 300 million consumers, demonstrating the growing demand for sustainable products with clean and effective ingredients. Automated, high-throughput gene editing is revolutionizing the writing of genomes the way next-generation sequencing transformed the reading of genomes. Inscripta is the first company to deliver an integrated and intuitive benchtop platform that will expand access to scalable, robust genome engineering and help scientists develop solutions to some of today's most pressing challenges. "Amyris has shown the world how new products can be made more sustainable through biology. Their team has high proficiency in utilizing cutting-edge technology, and we are excited they will be pioneering the use of our platform," said Sri Kosaraju, President and CEO of Inscripta. "We have great regard for Amyris' mission, and we are committed to seeing the Onyx platform become a substantial contributor to new clean chemistry products in the future." "The Onyx platform offers significant potential for generating greater genetic diversity in our projects, which we expect to lead to more efficient product innovation," said Sunil Chandran, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Amyris. "Inscripta's platform seamlessly integrates with our own and opens up new experimentation avenues for our scientists to continue bringing unique bio-based products to customers. We pride ourselves on continuous innovation and expect Onyx to help us expand our pipeline, while achieving lower costs and reducing time to market." For more information about Amyris visit amyris.com and to learn about Onyx, visit www.inscripta.com/products. About Inscripta Inscripta is a life science technology company enabling scientists to solve some of today's most pressing challenges with the first benchtop system for genome editing. The company's automated Onyx platform, consisting of an instrument, consumables, assays, and software, makes CRISPR-based genome engineering accessible to any research lab. Inscripta supports its customers around the world from facilities in Boulder, Colorado; San Diego and Pleasanton, California; and Copenhagen, Denmark. To learn more, visit Inscripta.com and follow @InscriptaInc. About Amyris Amyris (Nasdaq: AMRS) is a science and technology leader in the research, development and production of sustainable ingredients for the Clean Health & Beauty and Flavors & Fragrances markets. Amyris uses an impressive array of exclusive technologies, including state-of-the-art machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence. Our ingredients are included in over 20,000 products from the world's top brands, reaching more than 300 million consumers. Amyris is proud to own and operate a family of consumer brands - all built around its No Compromise® promise of clean ingredients: Biossanceâ clean beauty skincare, Pipetteâ clean baby skincare, Purecane™, a zero-calorie sweetener naturally derived from sugarcane, Terasanaâ clean skincare treatment, Costa Brazil luxury skincare, OLIKA hygiene and wellness, Rose Inc.™ clean color cosmetics and JVN™ clean haircare.

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