Microrobots that can form into multiple types of swarming shapes

Tech Xplore | March 27, 2019

A team of researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and Michigan State University in the U.S. has developed a way to control swarming microrobots that are able to form into multiple types of shapes. In their paper published in the journal Science Robotics, the group describes their tiny robots, what they can do, and possible uses for them. Over the past several decades, scientists and engineers have been working toward the development of robots that are so tiny they can swim inside of a living body. It is believed that someday, such robots will be able to deliver drugs to targets in the body, or perhaps stay in the body, working in conjunction with the immune system to prevent diseases. In this new effort, the researchers have taken another step in that direction by developing a way to control a swarm of tiny robots that configures them into multiple types of shapes.

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The Society periodically issues updates on reports (recent examples include updates on bovine spongiform encephalopathies and stem cells) and the following update, which is based on research published in the last three years, specifically addresses human health aspects of genetically modified foods and the principle of substantial equivalence. The statement has been prepared by a working group chaired by Professor Jim Smith FRS (Wellcome CRC Institute, Cambridge).

Spotlight

The Society periodically issues updates on reports (recent examples include updates on bovine spongiform encephalopathies and stem cells) and the following update, which is based on research published in the last three years, specifically addresses human health aspects of genetically modified foods and the principle of substantial equivalence. The statement has been prepared by a working group chaired by Professor Jim Smith FRS (Wellcome CRC Institute, Cambridge).

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Quantum Genomics Signs an Exclusive License and Production Agreement with Gulf Pharmaceuticals Industries Julphar

Quantum Genomics | December 06, 2021

Quantum Genomics, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of first-in-class drugs directly targeting the brain to treat complex/resistant hypertension, has announced the signing of an exclusive license and production agreement with Julphar to market and produce firibastat in the Middle East, all African countries, Commonwealth of Independent States and Turkey. A pharmaceutical company based in the United Arab Emirates and leader in the MENA region, Julphar will receive exclusive rights to manufacture and market firibastat in the following geographic areas: the MENA1 region, CIS2, Turkey and all other countries on the African continent. With its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, making it possible to mass produce firibastat, Julphar will also be Quantum Genomics’ exclusive supplier for said regions. Quantum Genomics will receive up to $20M in upfront, development and sales milestone payments as well as royalties on future firibastat sales. Julphar has also pledged to invest $2M in Quantum Genomics through a private placement. Details of the transaction will be announced shortly. "Julphar, which was founded forty years ago, is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the MENA region. Its success has been built on its comprehensive portfolio including anti-infectives, dermatology and diabetes products and its presence in all key MENA markets. Its business is expanding fast, and cardiology is one of its key areas of investment. Julphar is also among the region’s largest producers and is the ideal partner to support firibastat’s future production needs. We’re already exploring how Julphar could meet some of those requirements for the United States and Europe," Jean-Philippe Milon, CEO of Quantum Genomics Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Essam Mohammed, Julphar’s CEO said: “Julphar is delighted to partner with Quantum Genomics to commercialize firibastat, a first in class molecule to treat resistant and difficult-to-treat hypertension, and to produce it in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Ras Al Khaimah. We are confident that firibastat will add strong value to the treatment of this unmet medical need and to Julphar’s portfolio.” Dr. Essam Mohammed added: “The new landmark agreement brings together a stronger focus on innovative ways to address critical diseases in the MENA region through manufacturing high-quality medications locally.” About Julphar Julphar is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Middle East and Africa, and for more than four decades, the company has been delivering high quality, innovative and affordable healthcare solutions to families across the globe. Established under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi in 1980, Julphar employs 2,500 people and distributes pharmaceutical products to more than 50 countries across the globe. Julphar’s business is centered on three core business units – Julphar Diabetes Solutions, General Medicines and its consumer division, Julphar Life – which target major therapeutic segments including Gastrology, Pain Management, Wound Care, Antibiotics and Cardio-metabolism. Julphar has 13 internationally accredited facilities in the Middle East and Africa. In 2012, Julphar became one of the largest producers of Insulin with its UAE-based biotechnology production unit. About Quantum Genomics Quantum Genomics is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of a new class of cardiovascular drugs, based on the Brain Aminopeptidase A Inhibition (BAPAI) mechanism. It is the only company in the world to pursue this innovative approach directly targeting the brain, founded upon more than twenty years of research work by Paris-Descartes University and the INSERM/CNRS laboratory led by Dr. Catherine Llorens-Cortès at the Collège de France. Quantum Genomics thus aims to develop innovative treatments for complicated or even resistant hypertension and heart failure.

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RESEARCH

Celyad Oncology Announces Closing of $32.5 Million Private Placement with Fortress Investment Group Affiliate

Celyad Oncology SA | December 09, 2021

Celyad Oncology SA, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies for cancer, announced the closing of its previously announced private placement with an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group. The Company issued 6,500,000 ordinary shares at a price of USD 5.00 for gross proceeds of USD 32.5 million. The Company intends to use net proceeds from the private placement to fund research and development expenses, including the clinical development of its allogeneic CAR T candidates CYAD-101 and CYAD-211, to advance the current pipeline of preclinical CAR T candidates, to discover and develop additional preclinical product candidates using its proprietary non-gene edited short hairpin RNA (shRNA) technology platform, as well as for working capital, other general corporate purposes, and the enhancement of the Company’s intellectual property. SVB Leerink acted as the exclusive placement agent for the private placement, Goodwin Procter LLP and Harvest acted as legal counsel to the Company. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Eubelius acted as legal counsel to Fortress. The securities issued in the private placement have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933 or applicable state securities laws and may not be resold in the United States absent registration under the Securities Act or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements. The Company has agreed to customary registration rights covering the resale of the ordinary shares sold in the private placement. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities, nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state. Any offering of the securities under the resale registration statement will only be by means of a prospectus. About Celyad Oncology SA Celyad Oncology SA is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies for cancer. The Company is developing a pipeline of allogeneic and autologous CAR T cell therapy candidates for the treatment of both hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Celyad Oncology was founded in 2007 and is based in Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium and New York, NY. The Company has received funding from the Walloon Region to support the advancement of its CAR T cell therapy programs.

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Ginkgo Bioworks Announces Partnership with Totient to Identify Neutralizing Antibodies Against COVID-19

Ginkgo Bioworks | September 11, 2020

Today, Ginkgo Bioworks announced a partnership with Totient, an AI-driven drug discovery company emerging from stealth, to rapidly identify neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19. Through this partnership, Totient will leverage Ginkgo's bioengineering platform to express and screen thousands of antibody candidates with the aim of identifying broadly neutralizing therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19 for further development. Totient leverages tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) to identify novel tissue-specific antigens and develop matching high-affinity antibody therapeutics. As the broader scientific community mobilizes to address the coronavirus pandemic, Totient has partnered with Ginkgo to adapt and scale its platform, which has been validated in oncology and autoimmunity, to aid in the effort to discover COVID-19 antibodies. Totient's population-scale antibody discovery platform reconstructs anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples.

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