New Targeted Cancer Therapies Prove Successful When Chemo Does Not

Biospace.com | January 08, 2019

Being diagnosed with cancer can be a life-changing event for any person, even more so in the case of a child. Sky-high medical bills, multiple hospital visits, and aggressive therapies can take their toll. In the past, chemotherapy was automatically considered as a first tier treatment for cancer patients, but a new era of innovative therapies may soon outperform the seemingly randomized successes of chemo. In a special report published by Reuters last month, Michele Gershberg describes the painstaking medical journey of her 4-year-old son. “It was March 2017. Over the previous year, the signs had mounted that something was wrong. First, Natan’s voice weakened. He repeatedly fell ill with lung infections. Each passing week seemed to bring a new warning. He choked when eating or drinking. His left foot dragged. He would trip and fall at play. His eyes moved rapidly from side-to-side. When we spoke to our bright boy, it was harder to connect, as if a heavy fog had settled between him and the world,” she described.
After years of illnesses and symptoms, Natan was diagnosed with a brain tumor. “Like many people facing a crisis, we called on every resource we had at our disposal. We were fortunate to have access to excellent doctors and world-renowned hospitals close to home. The health insurance provided through my employer covered nearly all our expenses,” Gershberg informed.

Spotlight

Phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, better known as PMSF, is a small molecule serine protease inhibitor used to prevent unwanted proteolysis. 

Spotlight

Phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, better known as PMSF, is a small molecule serine protease inhibitor used to prevent unwanted proteolysis. 

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Lineage Enters Exclusive Option and License Agreement with Eterna

Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. | February 23, 2023

On February 22, 2023, Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology firm focused on the development of allogeneic cell therapies to restore and replace specific cell types of the human body, announced that it has entered into an exclusive option and license agreement with Eterna Therapeutics Inc. (Eterna) for the development of innovative beta 2 microglobulin (B2M)-deficient induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines that Lineage will assess for the creation of unique, differentiated cell transplant therapies. These new cell lines to be developed by Eterna are expected to help Lineage generate more product candidates for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) conditions and other neurology indications. Eterna holds the exclusive license for the crucial intellectual property associated with this partnership, which it obtained from its discovery partner Factor Bioscience. Following the agreement, Eterna intends to perform specific gene-editing activities and furnish materials to Lineage for assessment. In addition, the agreement grants Lineage the option to obtain an exclusive license to use and sublicense the new gene-edited cell lines for clinical, preclinical, and commercial purposes in the field of CNS diseases. A distinctive feature of the starting cell line is the targeted elimination of the B2M gene, which is aimed at minimizing the immunogenicity of product candidates generated from the cell lines by inhibiting rejection by CD8+ T cells. Lineage anticipates that this attribute will enhance the overall usefulness of the edited cell lines, including non-immune privileged or non-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched indications. Other proposed gene modifications may additionally differentiate the cell line from those currently utilized by competitors. No details of the financial agreement were disclosed. About Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. Founded in 1990, Lineage Cell Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel cell therapies to address unmet medical needs. The company's programs are based on its proprietary cell-based therapy platform and related development and manufacturing capabilities. By using this platform, it specializes in the development and manufacture of specialized, terminally-differentiated human cells from its progenitor and pluripotent cell starting materials. These differentiated cells are intended to either support or replace cells that are dysfunctional or absent due to degenerative disease or traumatic injury and can also be administered to help the body mount an effective immune response to cancer.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, MEDICAL

Inscripta Announces Acquisition of Infinome Biosciences and Sestina Bio

Inscripta, Inc. | January 24, 2023

Inscripta®, a leading global life science technology firm, recently announced the acquisition of two synthetic biology pioneers, Infinome Biosciences and Sestina Bio, which will advance Inscripta's strategy of developing and commercializing biomanufactured products for a wide expanse of industrial and consumer markets. The acquisitions show Inscripta's belief in the bioeconomy's commercial potential and the power of genome engineering to expedite biomanufacturing innovation. Inscripta's CEO, Sri Kosaraju, commented, "Tackling the unprecedented opportunity to improve global health and sustainability through biomanufacturing requires a strong combination of talent, experience, technology, and commercial assets." He added, "Infinome and Sestina Bio allow us to advance our strategy and complement our technological innovation and capabilities needed for creating the next generation of biobased manufacturing products and processes." (Source- PR Newswire) Before the acquisition, Infinome was closely associated with Inscripta. By utilizing Inscripta's genome engineering technology, it created the GenoScaler™, a proprietary strain engineering platform designed to optimize microorganisms for biomanufacturing rapidly. Sestina Bio brings an innovative, data-driven approach to developing and identifying strains that survive the rigors of commercial scale-up. Inscripta is building on its tradition of technological innovation with the inclusion of Infinome and Sestina Bio and has already begun applying its cutting-edge technology to develop products for a diverse set of industrial and consumer markets. In addition, Inscripta has a number of collaborative and proprietary products in various phases of development. One such example of an announced partnership to develop and commercialize multiple bio-manufactured goods is Kalsec® Inc., a food and beverage ingredient solutions firm. Separately, Inscripta is engaging in commercial discussions about its previously announced development of a ready-to-scale microbial strain that produces Bakuchiol, a natural retinol alternative. About Inscripta, Inc. Founded in 2015, Inscripta is a life science technology firm dedicated to using biomanufacturing to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable world. It enables scientists to strengthen and expand domestic biomanufacturing and encourages the development of novel, safe, and secure biotechnology technologies. Its automated OnyxTM platform, which includes an instrument, consumables, tests, and software, makes CRISPR-based genome engineering accessible to any research lab. Inscripta supports customers globally through its facilities in Boulder (Colorado), San Diego and Pleasanton (California) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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MEDTECH, AI

Quantum-Si and Biovista Join Hands to Provide AI-driven Deep Proteomics Insights

Quantum-Si | January 10, 2023

The leading Protein Sequencing Company™, Quantum-Si, recently announced that it signed a partnership and license agreement with Biovista to offer customers more significant proteomic insights beyond their protein sequence output. Biovista utilizes artificial intelligence in multiple formats to analyze enormous data repositories and visualize non-obvious networks and connections between proteins, diseases, and drug mechanisms of action. The partnership enhances Quantium-Si's services significantly by making proteomic-to-drug workflows more efficient for researchers. Biovista's VIZIT™ exploration tool will be incorporated into Quantum-Si's cloud-based suite of analytic tools, allowing researchers to visualize the connections between the protein sequences identified during their experiment to diseases, other proteins, and post-translational modifications. Thus, researchers can identify potential disease-specific mechanisms and biomarkers more efficiently and effectively. "Quantum-Si's protein sequencing technology in concert with Biovista's database and visualization technology can aid in the discovery of new proteins for future therapeutic targets associated with disease," said Jeff Hawkins, CEO of Quantum-Si. He further stated, "The potential can also extend to discovering new biomarkers for clinical research and diagnostics." (Source- Business Wire) "Quantum-Si is leading the next generation of real-world meaningful sequencing," said Dr. Aris Persidis, Biovista's Co-Founder and President. "We are excited to see deep sequencing and insight generation now available in one integrated platform," he concluded. (Source- Business Wire) About Quantum-Si Quantum-Si, The Protein Sequencing CompanyTM, is dedicated to revolutionizing the rapidly expanding field of proteomics. It provides the first-of-its-kind, end-to-end, universal single-molecule detection solutions, allowing to build, experiment, and discover on its platform regardless of their existing products. In addition, its proprietary Time Domain Sequencing technology eliminates the reliance on color as an identification method, a barrier for any application outside of genomics, where only four colors are required.

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