MEDICAL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Businesswire | May 11, 2023
Bayer and Bicycle Therapeutics plc a biotechnology company pioneering a new and differentiated class of therapeutics by utilizing proprietary bicyclic peptides technology (Bicycle®), announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration agreement to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize Bicycle radioconjugates for multiple agreed upon oncology targets.
Bicyclic peptides are peptides consisting of 9-20 amino acids that can be synthetically manufactured and bind to targets with high affinity and selectivity, affording high tumor penetration and fast excretion from healthy organs. They are chemically synthesizable, featuring a low molecular weight and tunable pharmacokinetics, with a large surface-area for molecular interactions that allows protein-protein interactions to be targeted. The two companies will jointly use Bicycle’s peptide technology to develop bicyclic peptides for several undisclosed oncology targets. Targeted radiotherapies are an innovative class of cancer therapies. Due to their unique mode of action, they have the potential to unlock a broad opportunity space and serve patients in high-unmet medical need indications.
“At Bayer, we enter strategic collaborations to expand our access to innovation,” said Christian Rommel, Ph.D., Global Head of Research and Development and Member of the Executive Committee, Pharmaceuticals Division, Bayer. “With Bicycle’s proprietary peptide-based technology, we continue to strengthen our oncology development pipeline by adding next-generation targeted radiotherapeutics to address high unmet medical needs of cancer patients.”
“Bayer is a pioneer in the radiopharmaceuticals space and provides new and additional validation of our unique technology,” said Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. “We believe our bicyclic peptide platform, coupled with Bayer’s scale and expertise in developing radiopharmaceuticals, has the potential to deliver improved clinical outcomes for patients with cancer. We look forward to collaborating with Bayer to bring forth new potential first-in-class radiopharmaceutical treatments based on Bicycles.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer and Bicycle will collaborate on the development of bicyclic peptides for multiple oncology targets. Bicycle will utilize its proprietary phage platform to discover and develop bicyclic peptides and Bayer will be responsible for, and fully fund, all further preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities. Bicycle will receive a $45 million upfront payment and with potential development and commercial-based milestone fees, payments to Bicycle could total up to $1.7 billion. Bicycle will also be eligible to receive mid-single to double-digit tiered royalties on Bicycle-based medicines commercialized by Bayer. The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance of the transaction under the U.K. National Security and Investment Act 2021.
About Bicycle Therapeutics
Bicycle Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of medicines, referred to as Bicycles, for diseases that are underserved by existing therapeutics. Bicycles are fully synthetic short peptides constrained with small molecule scaffolds to form two loops that stabilize their structural geometry. This constraint facilitates target binding with high affinity and selectivity, making Bicycles attractive candidates for drug development. Bicycle is evaluating BT5528, a second-generation Bicycle Toxin Conjugate (BTC™) targeting EphA2; BT8009, a second-generation BTC targeting Nectin-4, a well-validated tumor antigen; and BT7480, a Bicycle TICA™ targeting Nectin-4 and agonizing CD137, in company-sponsored Phase I/II trials. In addition, BT1718, a BTC that targets MT1-MMP, is being investigated in an ongoing Phase I/IIa clinical trial sponsored by the Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development. Bicycle is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with many key functions and members of its leadership team located in Cambridge, MA.
MEDICAL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
PRNewswire | May 16, 2023
PhenomeX Inc. the functional cell biology company, announced the launch of Beacon Select™ optofluidic system with Opto® B Discovery workflows for antibody discovery.
The Opto B Discovery workflows, with their cutting-edge technologies and features, enable scientists to find lead candidate antibodies tailored to their specific challenges and changing needs. Combined with the value-matched Beacon Select system, more customers may access these propriety antibody discovery applications, but with the optimum level of features that meet their research and budgetary needs. PhenomeX's optofluidic platform is now a standard to deliver optimal antibodies with speed, as highlighted recently in the high-impact journal Cell, where antibodies against COVID-19 variants were discovered on the Beacon system six months before Omicron emergence.
Beacon Select for Antibody Discovery Workflow Feature
Opto B Discovery workflows on the Beacon Select system enable scientists to accelerate antibody screening and hit generation to find lead candidate antibodies and are ideally suited for small- to mid-sized biopharma and CDMOs/CROs. This contrasts with the flagship four-chip Beacon system enabled for antibody discovery, optimized for the highest screening throughputs demanded by large biopharma and established CDMOs/CROs.
The Beacon Select system enables rapid function-first selection of single B cells with the best characteristics for any antibody application, including antibody therapeutics, diagnostics, and reagents. In addition, the Opto B Discovery workflows offer users highly customizable assays to assess antigen and epitope specificity, species or variant cross-reactivity, and functional properties, all in a single-day workflow. By selecting and recovering sequences of only the most desirable antibodies with favorable attributes, users can reduce overall bioprocessing costs, improve the probability of campaign success, and shorten timelines to lead candidates. When combined with PhenomeX's catalog of best-in-class reagents and consumables for mouse, human, and rabbit B cell repertoires, customers can do all this against even the hardest antigen targets, including G coupled-protein receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels, to accelerate antibody discovery beyond traditional methods available today.
PhenomeX participation at 19th Annual PEGS Boston Conference & Expo
PhenomeX is participating at the 19th annual Protein Engineering & Cell Therapy Summit (PEGS) conference and expo being held from May 15-19 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Mass. At the conference, the Company will feature its optofluidic and proteomic platform technologies, including the new Beacon Select system, in booth #517 and present two posters and podium presentations. Attendees can explore demonstrations of the technology and learn more about how PhenomeX's products can advance and accelerate our understanding of cellular function along the continuum of scientific discovery, bioprocessing, clinical research, and immunotherapy development.
About PhenomeX Inc.
PhenomeX is empowering scientists to leverage the full potential of each cell and drive the next era of functional cell biology that will advance human health. We enable scientists to reveal the most complete insights on cell function and obtain a full view of the behavior of each cell. Our unique suite of proven high-throughput tools and services offer unparalleled resolution and speed, accelerating the insights that are key to advancing discoveries that can profoundly improve the prevention and treatment of disease. Our award-winning platforms are used by researchers across the globe, including those at the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies and approximately 85% of leading U.S. comprehensive cancer centers.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, DIAGNOSTICS
Businesswire | March 28, 2023
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and CRISPR Therapeutics announced that they have entered into a new non-exclusive licensing agreement for the use of CRISPR Therapeutics’ gene editing technology, known as CRISPR/Cas9, to accelerate the development of Vertex’s hypoimmune cell therapies for type 1 diabetes (T1D).
“We have multiple programs in our T1D portfolio including VX-880 and VX-264, which are in the clinic, as well as our hypoimmune program, in preclinical development,” said Bastiano Sanna, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief of Cell and Genetic Therapies at Vertex. “Having successfully demonstrated clinical proof of concept in T1D in our VX-880 program, we are excited to deepen our relationship with CRISPR Therapeutics with this agreement, which will allow us to further accelerate our goal of generating fully differentiated, insulin-producing hypoimmune islet cells for T1D.”
“We are pleased to expand our long and successful relationship with Vertex with this collaboration which fully leverages our gene editing platform to develop hypoimmune cell therapies for T1D,” said Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of CRISPR Therapeutics. “In parallel, we continue to expand our capabilities in regenerative medicine and advance our existing allogeneic gene-edited cell therapy programs.”
Under this agreement, Vertex will pay CRISPR Therapeutics $100 million up-front for non-exclusive rights to CRISPR Therapeutics’ technology for the development of hypoimmune gene-edited cell therapies for T1D. CRISPR Therapeutics will be eligible for up to an additional $230 million in research and development milestones and receive royalties on any future products resulting from this agreement.
CRISPR and ViaCyte, Inc., which was acquired by Vertex in 2022, will continue to collaborate on their existing gene-edited allogeneic stem cell therapies, using ViaCyte cells, for the treatment of diabetes under the terms of their collaboration. A Phase 1/2 study of VCTX211, an allogeneic, gene-edited, stem cell-derived product candidate for T1D, which originated under the CRISPR Therapeutics and ViaCyte collaboration, has been initiated and is ongoing. CRISPR Therapeutics will not obtain any interest in Vertex’s pre-existing pipeline of T1D products, including VX-880 and VX-264.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has multiple approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) — a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF. Beyond CF, Vertex has a robust clinical pipeline of investigational small molecule, cell and genetic therapies in other serious diseases where it has deep insight into causal human biology, including sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, APOL1-mediated kidney disease, pain, type 1 diabetes, and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex's global headquarters is now located in Boston's Innovation District and its international headquarters is in London. Additionally, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry's top places to work, including 13 consecutive years on Science magazine's Top Employers list and one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals and Best Workplaces for Women.