Novel Genetic Marker in Ovarian and Lung Cancers

Techonology Networks | February 05, 2019

Two new papers, published simultaneously in Nature Communications and led by researchers at McGill University, offer promise that a drug currently used to treat estrogen positive breast cancer may be effective in treating two different types of cancer, one rare and one common form. The breakthrough discovery launching this research came in 2014 when Dr. William Foulkes, James McGill Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Oncology and Human Genetics at McGill's Faculty of Medicine, showed that small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT), a rare but highly fatal cancer which primarily strikes younger women, is caused by mutations in the gene SMARCA4.
The challenge became how to find a way to exploit this genetic deficiency to better treat these patients. Stepping up to the challenge was Dr. Sidong Huang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill's Faculty of Medicine, and senior author on both papers. Having trained for many years in Functional Genomics, Dr. Huang joined McGill with the goal of working on important problems in oncology. "Working on something like SCCOHT seemed an obvious choice as it is a unique genetic disease driven by the loss of a single gene, SMARCA4," explains Dr. Huang, who is also a member of McGill's Goodman Cancer Research Centre.

Spotlight

It is now appreciated that conventional cell culture techniques are not the most physiologically relevant way to grow cells or the optimal way to harvest biologics for production. Cells grown on nonporous plastic dishes suffer from uneven nutrient distribution and constant disruption during passaging. Furthermore, the use of serum is not physiologically relevant, and lot-to-lot variations in serum composition and quality can also affect cell culture results.

Spotlight

It is now appreciated that conventional cell culture techniques are not the most physiologically relevant way to grow cells or the optimal way to harvest biologics for production. Cells grown on nonporous plastic dishes suffer from uneven nutrient distribution and constant disruption during passaging. Furthermore, the use of serum is not physiologically relevant, and lot-to-lot variations in serum composition and quality can also affect cell culture results.

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RESEARCH

Synthace Unveils First Life Sciences R&D Cloud Addressing Complexity, Speed & Reproducibility for Scientists

Synthace | August 03, 2021

Synthace, a leading life sciences software company, today announced the first life sciences R&D cloud that includes a no-code software platform addressing the largest barriers to innovation that R&D life scientists currently face. With the release of this new platform, Synthace is also the first vendor to enable scientists to automate experimentation and insight sharing in a unified, global R&D environment. Scientists can now focus on asking the most impactful questions and unlock the true potential of biology. To solve humanity’s hardest problems, such as delivering breakthrough therapies or alternative food sources, the life sciences industry is under tremendous pressure to simultaneously overcome biology’s complexity, accelerate speed to scientific insight, and ensure the reproducibility of experiments. Synthace alleviates these challenges by empowering scientists to improve and accelerate decision-making with more statistically powerful, automated experiments that can minimize human error. Furthermore, Synthace’s cloud platform leverages intelligent, dynamic automation to produce the highest quality data sets that are primed for machine learning (ML) and other advanced analyses to lead to better insights. With Synthace, the life sciences can now benefit from a quantum leap in experimentation capabilities, accelerating development timelines that would have previously been impossible. Customers Accelerate R&D with Synthace Ipsen has been using Synthace to automate the design and construction of therapeutic candidates. With Synthace, Ipsen produced approximately 90 constructs five times faster than previous methods, substantially increasing the number of molecules entering the screening cascade. The platform also achieved a 10-fold reduction in costs associated with DNA synthesis. Karen Bunting, Director of Protein Sciences at Ipsen commented, “Synthace sits very well at the beginning of our drug discovery process. It allows us to explore larger drug design space by simplifying planning and production of multiple molecule variants with combinatorial construct assembly. These throughput improvements help us deliver well-tolerated and effective therapeutic solutions more rapidly to our patients.” Microsoft Research also uses Synthace to automatically generate biological data at a volume that allows its ML algorithms to rapidly improve. As part of reporting on advancements in programming biological systems, a member of its Biocomputation Group noted: “Synthace really comes into its own when we’re performing experiments with complex layouts like combinatorial construct assembly and design of experiments. When we’re building 12 constructs at a time, Synthace automates all the planning that would go into setting up such an experiment and allows it to become routine.” Synthace Life Sciences R&D Cloud The platform provides end-to-end management of the experimental lifecycle, from design through execution to data visualization and knowledge transfer. Synthace adheres to FAIR principles to support interoperability with other major lab informatics platforms to ensure streamlined data management for all of its customers. Only the Synthace Life Sciences R&D Cloud delivers: Complete experimental design, planning and automation, requiring no coding expertise. Scientists can define more informative and impactful experiments that would otherwise be impossible to run and easily implement Quality by Design (QbD) and Design of Experiments (DOE). Seamless, cloud-based data capture, processing, and visualization. R&D teams can deliver deeper and faster insights from fully contextualized, machine learning-ready data sets that are automatically generated from the laboratory. Minimal deployment and onboarding. Customers experience rapid time-to-insight through Synthace’s out-of-the-box platform features and pre-validated protocols for common applications such as ELISA and high-throughput purification, helping them shorten R&D cycles and study more candidates per program. About Synthace Synthace is a life sciences software company enabling life science the way it should be done. Delivering a life sciences R&D cloud to scientists who want to innovate faster, the Synthace platform seamlessly automates experimentation and insight sharing so that scientists can focus on asking the most impactful questions to unlock the true potential of biology. Top global pharmaceuticals, high-growth biotech companies, leading CDMOs, and innovators in artificial intelligence all turn to Synthace to discover solutions to humanity’s hardest problems.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Sartorius Stedim Biotech completes acquisition of Novasep's chromatography division

Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A. | February 08, 2022

Sartorius Stedim Biotech, a leading partner of the biopharma industry, announced today that it closed the acquisition of the Novasep chromatography division as of February 7, 2022, following approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The transaction had already been agreed upon at the beginning of 2021. The business acquired generated sales of around 40 million euros in 2020 at a double-digit profit margin; final figures for 2021 are not yet available. The majority of the approximately 100 employees work at the Pompey site in eastern France and some in the USA, China, and India. The portfolio acquired comprises chromatography systems primarily suited for smaller biomolecules, such as oligonucleotides, peptides, and insulin, as well as innovative systems for continuous manufacturing of biologics. Since 2018, Novasep and Sartorius Stedim Biotech have also been jointly developing optimized systems for a membrane-based chromatography technology. As the acquisition is expected to generate additional non-organic sales revenue growth of around 1 percentage point in 2022, Sartorius Stedim Biotech has updated its sales revenue forecast for the current year as follows: Consolidated sales revenue is now expected to increase by about 15 percent to 19 percent with non-organic growth from acquisitions projected to contribute about 2 percentage points. The company's underlying EBITDA margin remains forecasted at more than 35 percent this year. All forecasts are based on constant currencies. This press release contains forward-looking statements about the future development of the Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Sartorius Stedim Biotech assumes no liability for updating such statements in light of new information or future events. Sartorius Stedim Biotech shall not assume any liability for the correctness of this English text. The original French press release is the legally binding version. A profile of Sartorius Stedim Biotech Sartorius Stedim Biotech is a leading international partner of the biopharmaceutical industry. As a total solutions provider, the company helps its customers to manufacture biotech medications safely, rapidly and economically. Headquartered in Aubagne, France, Sartorius Stedim Biotech is quoted on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris. With its own manufacturing and R&D sites in Europe, North America and Asia and an international network of sales companies, Sartorius Stedim Biotech has a global reach. The Group has been annually growing by double digits on average and has been regularly expanding its portfolio by acquisitions of complementary technologies. In 2021, the company employed more than 10,400 people, and earned sales revenue of around 2.89 billion euros according to preliminary figures.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Matica Bio Announces Joint Research Agreement with Sartorius for the Development of Advanced Viral Vector Manufacturing Technology

Matica Biotechnology, Inc. | October 19, 2021

Matica Biotechnology, Inc, (Matica Bio) a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in the clinical and commercial production of cell and gene therapies, today announced a joint research agreement (JRA) with Sartorius, a leading international partner of the biopharmaceutical industry. Under this agreement, Matica Bio and Sartorius will work on a number of studies together to streamline and optimize PAT technologies, automation software, and single-use platforms offered by Sartorius for large scale vector production. Michael Stewart, Chief Technology Officer at Matica Bio explained, "The generation of in-line real-time process data is one of the most significant obstacles to achieving consistent, high-producing viral vector titers during development that can be translatable to large scale production. In many respects, what is going on inside a bioreactor or within downstream operations is still a black box to us." Mr. Stewart continued, "Matica Bio's development, manufacturing and quality teams have decades of viral vector production experience. Applying our expertise together with Sartorius' industry-leading single-use and PAT technologies will allow us to provide more robust, consistent results for our clients, guiding informed decision-making throughout the manufacturing process and accelerating the overall development timeline to the clinic and market." "We are extremely excited to initiate this partnership with Sartorius. Our number one priority is to deliver for our clients. Our expert staff will be working to integrate more fully automated processes leading to an increase in the speed of information flow and a reduction in preventable errors. The end result will be increased product yields, higher quality as well as improved flexibility and responsiveness to our clients' ever-changing needs." Dr. Yun Jeong Song, Chief Executive Officer of Matica Bio The JRA with Sartorius underscores Matica Bio's commitment to applying integrated technology and bioprocess solutions to address production complexities like reduction of labor and risk while improving output efficiencies in the production of advanced therapies, including viral vector products. Together Sartorius and Matica Bio are dedicated to solving the challenges of large-scale cell culture and viral vector production, improving manufacturability and reducing the costs of novel cell and gene therapies, oncolytic vectors and vaccines. About Matica Biotechnology, Inc. Matica Bio is a contract development and manufacturing organization for gene therapies, cell therapies, vaccines, oncolytic vectors and other advanced biotherapeutic products. Our GMP facility in College Station, TX is designed for the rapid development, scale-up and production of clinical and commercial supply. Matica Bio offers process development, GMP production, product release and stability assessment, together with the quality oversight and regulatory guidance necessary to ensure our clients' success.

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