CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Integral Molecular Introduces Transgene Protein Engineering Platform to Address Gene Therapy Challenges

Integral Molecular | August 02, 2021

Integral Molecular, the industry leader in membrane proteins, announces the launch of GeneCanvas, its proprietary protein engineering platform to optimize transgenes and other gene therapy elements.

GeneCanvas can achieve 10 to 100 fold increases in gene activity by improving transgene protein expression, trafficking, stability, and function. These enhancements will ultimately result in better efficacy, smaller doses, and improved safety for patients.

The GeneCanvas platform is built on Integral Molecular's 20 years of experience in optimizing the most challenging and structurally complex proteins known, such as GCPRs, ion channels, transporters, and viral envelopes. GeneCanvas incorporates the company's proprietary high-throughput mutagenesis and human cell screening platforms that enable the creation and screening of large libraries of variants, which have been used in hundreds of projects internally and for partners.

"Our scientists bring an unrivaled mix of deep expertise in protein engineering, cell biology, and virology to develop a customized strategy for each engineering challenge," said Joseph Rucker, PhD, Vice-president of Research and Development at Integral Molecular.

About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular's technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue viruses.

Spotlight

Decisionmaking is a cognitive process defined by psychologists as the selection of a course of action from multiple alternatives (e.g. what to eat, where to shop). John Dewey, the pragmatic philosopher and psychologist, introduced the first decision process framework for consumer buying in his book How We Think, which was published in 1910. Since then, Dewey’s framework has been adapted many times, but the five basic stages of consumer decisions remain the same: problem/need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post-purchase behavior.

Spotlight

Decisionmaking is a cognitive process defined by psychologists as the selection of a course of action from multiple alternatives (e.g. what to eat, where to shop). John Dewey, the pragmatic philosopher and psychologist, introduced the first decision process framework for consumer buying in his book How We Think, which was published in 1910. Since then, Dewey’s framework has been adapted many times, but the five basic stages of consumer decisions remain the same: problem/need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post-purchase behavior.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Moderna and Australia Announce Collaboration to Bring mRNA Manufacturing to Australia

Moderna | December 14, 2021

Moderna, Inc. a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines, announced an agreement in principle with the Australian Government to build a state-of-the-art messenger RNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Victoria, Australia including access to Moderna’s mRNA development engine. The contemplated framework would build the foundation to support Australia with direct access to rapid pandemic response capabilities and to provide access to Moderna’s vaccines in development for respiratory viruses. Moderna and the Australian government are committed to finalize the agreement. “I would like to thank the Australian and Victorian Governments for their collaboration and partnership. We are committed to global public health and while we are still responding to this pandemic, we also want to ensure we and society learn from it. As Moderna expands internationally, we are pleased to bring local mRNA manufacturing to Australia. We believe that this sustainable national business model will have global impact and implications.” Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna Moderna is committed to working with governments, health care professionals and other key stakeholders to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and future pathogens. Moderna expects to invest in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the production of mRNA vaccines with the collaboration of the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments. The collaboration aims to provide Australians with access to a domestically manufactured portfolio of mRNA vaccines against respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and potential other vaccines, pending licensure. Moderna expects that up to 100 million vaccine doses could be produced in Australia each year. The facility is intended to also be activated on an urgent basis to support Australia with direct access to rapid pandemic response capabilities. The Company is in discussion with other governments about potential collaborations built on a similar model. “We are excited to expand our presence and continue our long-term collaboration with the Australian and Victorian Governments,” said Michael Azrak, Moderna’s General Manager of Australia. “We look forward to completing the necessary discussions and starting work to develop onshore mRNA manufacturing capability here in Australia.” The agreement was announced today in Victoria by the Hon. Scott Morrison, MP Prime Minister of Australia. About Moderna In 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a science research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for both clinical and commercial production at scale and at unprecedented speed. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna’s capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use of one of the earliest and most-effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic. Moderna’s mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past seven years.

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MEDICAL

Pfizer and BioNTech Begin Rolling Submission of Biologics License Application for FDA Approval of COVID-19 Vaccine in the U.S

Pfizer, BioNTech | May 10, 2021

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE confirmed today the filing of a Biologics License Application (BLA) with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of their mRNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in people aged 16 and above. Companies will send data to help the BLA to the FDA on a rolling basis in the coming weeks, along with a proposal for Priority Review. If the BLA has been completed and duly approved for review by the FDA, the FDA will set a target date for a determination under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA). The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is now available in the United States under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 11, 2020. Since then, the firms have distributed more than 170 million doses of the vaccine in the United States. The next step in the comprehensive FDA evaluation process is the submission of a BLA, which includes longer-term follow-up data for acceptance and approval. Pfizer and BioNTech started the BLA process by providing the nonclinical and clinical data needed to justify the licensure of the COVID-19 vaccine for use in people aged 16 and up. This covers the most recent analyses from the pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial, in which the vaccine's effectiveness and safety profile were detected up to six months after the second dose. In the coming weeks, the companies will submit the required manufacturing and facility details for licensure, completing the BLA. Pfizer and BioNTech have since submitted to expand the new EUA for their COVID-19 vaccine to cover individuals aged 12 to 15. The firms plan to send a supplemental BLA to facilitate vaccine licensure in this age group until the requisite data is available six months after the second vaccine dose. BioNTech and Pfizer collaborated to create the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which is built on BioNTech's patented mRNA technology. BioNTech is the European Union's Marketing License Holder, as well as the holder of emergency use authorizations or similar in the United States (along with Pfizer), the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries in advance of a planned application for full marketing authorizations in these countries. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not been authorized or licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in people aged 16 and up. The emergency use of this product is only permitted for the duration of the declaration the circumstances justify the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564 (b) (1) of the FD&C Act until the declaration is terminated or the authorization is revoked sooner. About Pfizer At Pfizer, they utilize science and its global resources to deliver treatments to patients that significantly extend and change their lives. In the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines, they aim to set the benchmark for consistency, safety, and value. Every day, Pfizer colleagues collaborate in developing and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and remedies for today's most feared diseases. As one of the world's leading innovative biopharmaceutical firms, they partner with health care providers, governments, and local communities to promote and improve access to reliable and affordable health care around the world. About BioNTech Biopharmaceutical New Technologies is a next-generation immunotherapy firm that is developing novel cancer and other severe disease therapies. For the accelerated production of new biopharmaceuticals, the company makes use of a diverse set of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms. Its oncology product candidates include individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies, and small molecules from Fosun Pharma and Pfizer.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Legend Biotech Achieves Milestone Payments in BCMA CAR-T Collaboration with Janssen

Legend Biotech Corporation | February 14, 2022

Legend Biotech Corporation, a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing and manufacturing novel therapies, has achieved two milestones under its collaboration agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. for ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel), resulting in aggregate payments to Legend Biotech of $50 million. Cilta-cel is a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. Legend Biotech entered into the agreement with Janssen to develop, manufacture and commercialize cilta-cel for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Under the agreement, Legend Biotech received an upfront payment of $350 million and is entitled to receive additional payments upon achievement of landmarks for development, production performance, regulatory and sales. The global agreement specifies a 50-50 cost and profit-sharing agreement in all markets, excluding Greater China, where the split is 70 percent for Legend and 30 percent for Janssen. Including the payments announced above, Legend has achieved $250 million in milestone payments during the collaboration. About Cilta-cel Cilta-cel is an investigational chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy, formerly identified as JNJ-4528 in the United States and Europe and LCAR-B38M CAR-T cells in China, that is being studied in a comprehensive clinical development program for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and in earlier lines of treatment. The design consists of a structurally differentiated CAR-T with two BCMA-targeting single domain antibodies. In addition to a Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) granted in the United States in December 2019, cilta-cel received a Priority Medicines (PRiME) designation from the European Commission in April 2019, and a BTD in China in August 2020. In addition, Orphan Drug Designation was granted for cilta-cel by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2019, and by the European Commission in February 2020. A Biologics License Application seeking approval of cilta-cel was submitted to the U.S. FDA and a Marketing Authorization Application was submitted to the European Medicines Agency. About Legend Biotech Legend Biotech is a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to treating, and one day curing, life-threatening diseases. Headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, we are developing advanced cell therapies across a diverse array of technology platforms, including autologous and allogenic chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, T-cell receptor (TCR-T), and natural killer (NK) cell-based immunotherapy. From our three R&D sites around the world, we apply these innovative technologies to pursue the discovery of safe, efficacious and cutting-edge therapeutics for patients worldwide. We are currently engaged in a strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize our lead product candidate, ciltacabtagene autoleucel, an investigational BCMA-targeted CAR-T cell therapy for patients living with multiple myeloma. Applications seeking approval of cilta-cel for the treatment of patients with RRMM are currently under regulatory review by several health authorities around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

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