CELL AND GENE THERAPY
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.
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.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Vipergen | February 18, 2021
Vipergen ApS announced today a published study depicting a ground-breaking new medication revelation approach that empowers, interestingly, screening DNA-encoded small-molecule libraries (DELs) inside living cells. The study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Chemical Society, highlights the potential of Vipergen's Cellular Binder Trap Enrichment® (cBTE) technology to significantly grow the ability to discover novel small molecules, including against difficult-to-drug targets, and reduce attrition rates in drug discovery. Vipergen is offering its cBTE DNA-encoded library drug disclosure platform as a service to biotechnology and pharmaceutical company partners to accelerate and improve their drug discovery processes.
"This research validates the potential for Vipergen's Cellular Binder Trap Enrichment platform to become a revolutionary tool in small-molecule drug discovery based on its ability to successfully screen DELs against drug targets inside living cells, with no requirement for purified active target protein," said Nils Hansen, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vipergen. "We expect the ability to perform DEL screening under the more physiologically relevant conditions of a living cell to significantly lower attrition rates in drug discovery. Furthermore, by uniquely allowing us to eliminate the requirement for highly purified active target protein, this technology will improve timelines and bring about new options for novel drug development by allowing us to screen many more targets, prioritize those giving the most promising screening results, and screen DELs against challenging targets that are difficult to express and purify in an active form. We look forward to providing this new tool to biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners to substantially improve the efficiency and success of their small-molecule drug discovery efforts."
About Vipergen's Cellular Binder Trap Enrichment®(cBTE) Technology
Vipergen's proprietary Cellular Binder Trap Enrichment®(cBTE) is the first and only technology for screening DNA-encoded small-molecule libraries (DELs) inside a living cell. The platform is designed to accelerate and improve the success rate for discovering novel, high-quality small molecules for drug development—including against challenging drug targets that are difficult to express and purify in an active form.
About Vipergen ApS
Vipergen is a world-leading provider of small-molecule drug discovery services based on DNA-encoded library (DEL) technologies and is the first and only company capable of screening DELs inside a living cell. Vipergen provides its proprietary suite of leading-edge DEL technologies as a service to biotechnology and pharmaceutical company partners, including top pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., EU, and Japan.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Enara Bio | December 09, 2020
Enara Bio, a biotechnology organization utilizing its proprietary T-cell/T-cell receptor (TCR) discovery and Dark Antigen™ platforms to deliver focused on cancer immunotherapies, announces its extension and move to the new Bellhouse Building at The Oxford Science Park. Enara Bio's move from the Oxford BioEscalator to one of the UK's biggest biomedical advancement habitats is in anticipation of its future development and desire to change malignancy care. The devoted exploration office will empower the organization to quicken the preclinical improvement of its lead MR1-targeting on T-cell therapy program while continuing to drive the disclosure of novel disease antigens and TCRs for immunotherapy.
The move, which will see the organization possess more than 5,000 sq. ft of office and laboratory space in the Bellhouse Building, is a key milestone in Enara Bio's development and improvement. The reason fabricated office will empower Enara Bio to unite key faculty with world-driving abilities in bioinformatics, immunopeptidomics, cell therapy measure development, and immunology to discover and develop novel TCR-based immunotherapies.