NuCanas retooled chemo drug comes up short in pancreatic cancer phase 3

Fiercebiotech | August 21, 2019

NuCana pulled off its 100 million dollars Nasdaq debut on the promise of its reformulated cancer meds, including a version of Eli Lillys Gemzar the company hopes will replace the veteran chemotherapy in some cancers. But that drug has hit a snag in its lead indication- pancreatic cancer. The cancer center carrying out a phase 3 study in metastatic pancreatic cancer has stopped enrolling patients after an independent committee deemed the trial unlikely to succeed. The site had recruited 200 patients to compare Gemzar to NuCana’s reformulated version, Acelarin. Of those 200 patients, 25 have received or are still undergoing treatment with Acelarin. In a planned futility analysis, the committee concluded that the study was not likely to hit its primary objective: beating Gemzar at lengthening patients' lives by at least 42%. The investigators will follow the 25 patients who have already been dosed and will allow patients who are doing well on Acelarin to continue treatment, NuCana said in a statement. Daniel Palmer, the chief investigator of the study, pointed out the difficulty of treating pancreatic cancer which is often a death sentence as well as “unfavorable prognostic factors” that disproportionately affected patients receiving Acelarin in the study.

Spotlight

VisionGate founder, chairman and CEO Dr. Alan Nelson explains to Mike Ward, Informa Pharma Insights global director of content, what has motivated the company to migrate from being a diagnostics business to one having a therapeutics focus. Having developed a non-invasive test for lung cancer, LuCED, which also has indicated an ability to detect various tumor types and stages of lung cancer, including Stage I and even dysplasia, VisionGate acquired exclusive rights to the University of Colorado’s patent for the use of the drug Iloprost, a drug currently used to treat various lung diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, in the prevention of lung cancer.

Spotlight

VisionGate founder, chairman and CEO Dr. Alan Nelson explains to Mike Ward, Informa Pharma Insights global director of content, what has motivated the company to migrate from being a diagnostics business to one having a therapeutics focus. Having developed a non-invasive test for lung cancer, LuCED, which also has indicated an ability to detect various tumor types and stages of lung cancer, including Stage I and even dysplasia, VisionGate acquired exclusive rights to the University of Colorado’s patent for the use of the drug Iloprost, a drug currently used to treat various lung diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, in the prevention of lung cancer.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

BeiGene Announces Launch of Bioisland Innovation Center

BeiGene | December 27, 2021

BeiGene, a global, science-driven biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines, announced the official launch of the BeiGene Bioisland Innovation Center in Guangzhou, China to enable scientists and entrepreneurs to accelerate development of highly differentiated, cutting-edge medical innovations. The BIC is an innovator-centric incubator built on BeiGene’s goal of supporting exploration of new paths to meet patient needs around the world. “Over a decade ago, we started BeiGene’s journey by following the science and have grown to be a global biotechnology company with capabilities across the full value chain. With the BIC, we are supporting entrepreneurs with similar purpose and vision of delivering innovation that will benefit more patients worldwide. We expect the center will also contribute to our innovation pipeline,” John V. Oyler, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of BeiGene “Science and innovation are BeiGene’s core strengths. We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs incubate bold, new ideas into impactful programs that will create value for patients and benefit patients globally,” added Xiaodong Wang, M.D., Co-Founder of BeiGene, Chairman of the Company’s Scientific Advisory Committee. “With our scientific research, unique clinical development capabilities, and footprint, BeiGene is well positioned to explore new paths of innovation and support new talents in the booming biotechnology hub of Guangzhou’s Greater Bay Area.” Innovator-Centric Incubator to Accelerate Growth and Possibilities The BIC is located in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, an emerging global biotechnology hub, and will feature a comprehensive research infrastructure and professional management team. The incubator will be equipped with state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure and comprehensive research capabilities that enable scientists and entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground. In addition, scientists and entrepreneurs at the BIC will have potential access to support from BeiGene on full industry value chain integration. The comprehensive, advanced technology platform at the BIC will allow innovators more autonomy in development, and integrated services to position them for growth. “The BIC is focused on cultivating entrepreneurship for new biotech companies with a passion for transformational medicines, diagnostics and medical devices that can help address unmet needs, and advancing breakthrough innovations from early discovery to being accessed by patients all over the world,” said Jonathan Liu, Chief Executive of Bioisland Initiative and Chairman of the Board of BeiGene Biologics Co., Ltd. Dr. H. Fai Poon. CEO of Zhongshan Quacell Biotechnology Co., Ltd., which is part of the innovation center, commented, "We share the same beliefs of the model and concept of the BeiGene Bioisland Innovation Center. This kind of international collaboration not only accelerates technical innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises, but also provides suitable platforms and resources to commercialize these innovations. For Quacell, which also has the 'innovative DNA', to be part of the BIC provides the opportunity to communicate and cooperate with many innovative companies in different fields around the world. We look forward to creating a common path for each other's future research and development. And we believe that this path leads to infinite possibilities to upgrade and even revolutionize the industry." About BeiGene BeiGene is a global, science-driven biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide. With a broad portfolio of more than 40 clinical candidates, we are expediting development of our diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics through our own capabilities and collaborations. We are committed to radically improving access to medicines for two billion more people by 2030. BeiGene has a growing global team of approximately 8,000 colleagues across five continents.

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Lesaffre and Recombia Biosciences Announces Strategic Partnership to Advance Innovative Gene Editing Technology

Recombia Biosciences | November 02, 2020

Recombia Biosciences announces the launch of operations in Brisbane, California. The company aims to harness its proprietary genome editing technologies to accelerate the development of yeast for sustainable production of fermented ingredients. For the next few years Recombia and Lesaffre will be joining forces in the area of yeast strain development. With its partnership with Recombia, Lesaffre is investing in major pioneering technology. The ability to generate thousands of yeast strains in parallel, combined with laboratory automation, is expected to exponentially accelerate development of projects in the areas of health, the environment, and energy. The partnership also signifies Lesaffre's entry into the world of Synthetic Biology, considered to be the major biotechnological opportunity of this decade. Recombia Biosciences was founded by three Stanford University researchers in 2019 as a spin-off from the prestigious Stanford Genome Technology Center (SGTC). Recombia's technologies are based upon techniques that increase the efficiency of genome editing and enable engineering of yeast at very high throughput. The strategic collaboration with Lesaffre aims to advance Recombia's proprietary gene editing technologies to identify new yeast strains, discover novel yeast physiology of industrial relevance and optimize the production of biosourced ingredients and biofuels.

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MEDTECH

Halo Labs Launches the Aura GT™ for Gene Therapy Product Quality

Halo Labs | October 05, 2021

Halo Labs, a life science instrumentation company developing tools for biologics researchers, today announced it has launched its latest product, Aura GT. Aura GT is part of the next generation in Halo Labs' popular family of instruments. Using Backgrounded Membrane Imaging (BMI) and Fluorescence Membrane Microscopy (FMM), Aura GT can distinguish aggregated capsids from contaminants, carrier proteins, and other particles that might adversely harm patients. Unique to Aura GT is the fact that it can also identify DNA leakage in gene therapy products so the mechanism of aggregation can be determined and corrected. Aura GT is going to completely revolutionize gene therapy product development. Gene therapy products are inherently unstable, which is a huge challenge. Up until now, there has been no effective way to correlate capsid aggregation with DNA leakage or empty and full capsids, In one assay, Aura GT can quantify capsid aggregates, distinguish them from protein aggregates, and determine if the aggregation is exacerbated by DNA leaking. - Bernardo Cordovez, Chief Science Officer at Halo Labs. We are very excited to be launching our second instrument this year specifically developed for the cell and gene therapy market, Halo Labs has quickly become a leader in gene therapy analytics because we can answer many questions with very little volume. While other subvisible particle analyzers only do one thing, Aura systems offer a complete multi-assay platform that can be used to fully characterize gene therapy products from early development through lot release. - Rick Gordon, CEO of Halo Labs. About Halo Labs Halo Labs in Burlingame, CA is a venture-backed scientific instrumentation and consumable company that commercializes high throughput biopharmaceutical formulation, stability, and product quality control tools for aggregate and subvisible particle analysis using state-of-the-art custom optics and image processing techniques. Biopharmaceutical companies around the globe depend on Halo Labs for unprecedented insights into their drug products.

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