New method for imaging biological molecules

Phys.org | September 06, 2019

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, together with colleagues from Aalto University in Finland, have developed a new method for creating images of molecules in cells or tissue samples. The method is based on the use of DNA snippets and is called DNA microscopy. The approach is currently described in the scientific journal PNAS. The new method involves researchers in the first stage mixing up a cell or tissue sample with short sequences of single-stranded DNA, selected to attach to the specific molecules that are going to be studied. If it for example involves a specific protein that is going to be investigated, small DNA snippets are used that bind to this particular protein. In the next stage, enzymes are fed to the short DNA sequences to connect and form DNA molecules.

Spotlight

If you eliminated all biotechnology-produced crops ("GMOs") in the United States, the Purdue team found that corn yields would decline by 11 percent, soybeans would decline by 5 percent, and cotton would decline by 19 percent.

Spotlight

If you eliminated all biotechnology-produced crops ("GMOs") in the United States, the Purdue team found that corn yields would decline by 11 percent, soybeans would decline by 5 percent, and cotton would decline by 19 percent.

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AI

Deargen Announces New Model for Optimizing Drug Candidate Molecules With Nearly Doubled Performance Compared to Existing Models

Deargen | April 12, 2021

Deargen, a drug research and development biotech company based on artificial intelligence (AI), announced on April 9 that it presented study results on controlled molecule generator (CMG) technology at the ACM Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning (ACM CHIL) 2021. CMG technology can modify many properties of molecules at the same time. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), based in New York, is one of the world's most prominent academic organizations. The ACM was founded in 1947 and now has over 100,000 members worldwide. The ACM Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning 2021 was held online on April 8th as a healthcare conference. Deargen's latest CMG technology overcomes the limitations of current models for predicting molecule properties. Deargen's test results revealed that the new CMG method enhances efficiency by nearly doubling as compared to existing versions such as MolDQN and VJTNN. Deargen tried to improve aniracetam, which has the lowest binding affinity of dopamine D2-type receptor (DRD2) among 28 DRD2-targeted compounds in clinical or pre-clinical trials, in the most recent report. The study discovered that aniracetam's DRD2 binding affinity was highly enhanced while its other properties remained relatively unchanged. The technology of optimizing properties of candidate molecules in the process of developing new drugs, such as efficacy, toxicity, and structural similarity, is positioning itself as a key strategy for reducing costs and time required for drug development. Models that predict properties of previously proposed molecules, such as MolDQN, VJTNN, and VSeq2Seq, are considered to have limitations when used to produce new drugs because they either alter properties of molecules that must be retained by optimizing only one property or take very long to process data. Deargen's CMG model, on the other hand, will optimize only desired properties while minimizing changes in other properties that are meant to be retained as set by molecule design as it can consider multiple properties at the same time. Since it takes less time to examine, it can be directly applied to the development of new drugs. “Not only is our representative technology, MT-DTI, being used for discovering various new substances, including treatment prediction for COVID-19, but we are also poised to provide more advanced new drug development services by developing an ensemble of CMG models with our other platform MolEQ,” said Bonggeun Shin, Deargen's Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. Deargen President Kilsoo Kang said, "Deargen has accomplished drug development technologies on a global level and continues to invest in advancing these technologies and extending their support range." “The most recent technological advancement will provide an important momentum in the development of AI-powered new drugs.”

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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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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

RegeneRx Licensee Acquired by Korean Biopharmaceutical Group

RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 28, 2021

RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage drug development company focused on tissue protection, repair and regeneration), announced that GtreeBNT, the licensee for several RegeneRx products, is being acquired by HLB Group, a Korean company that includes six biopharmaceutical and financial subsidiaries in Korea and the U.S. GtreeBNT announced that as part of its acquisition the company would issue approximately US$80 million of new stock and convertible bonds to HLB Group to fund ongoing programs. The new capital should speed up the clinical trials currently in progress and allow the company to focus on new drug approval. RGN-259 will remain a priority for the company. HLB's recommended executives are expected to be appointed at the general meeting scheduled for October 29, 2021. Won Yang, the current CEO of GtreeBNT, is expected to remain as the chief research officer and continue to lead the development of new drugs after the acquisition. RegeneRx has scheduled its 2021 Annual Stockholder Meeting for November 10, 2021 and hopes to have additional details on the acquisition and its effect on GtreeBNT's clinical development activities and timing related to RGN-259 and RGN-137, products developed for the treatment of dry eye syndrome, neurotrophic keratitis, and epidermolysis bullosa. The fact that GtreeBNT will receive a significant capital infusion related to the transaction, we believe, should benefit the development of the products we licensed to the company. As soon as practicable after we receive any new information from the new management related to our products we will update our stockholders. - J.J. Finkelstein, president and chief executive. About RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. RegeneRx is focused on the development of novel therapeutic peptides, including Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4) and its constituent fragments, for tissue and organ protection, repair, and regeneration. RegeneRx currently has three drug candidates in clinical development for ophthalmic, cardiac/neuro and dermal indications, four active strategic licensing agreements in the U.S., China, and Pan Asia (Korea, Japan, and Australia, among others), and the EU, and has patents and patent applications covering its products in many countries throughout the world.

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