Thermo Fisher Scientific | May 24, 2022
Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, and Qatar Genome Program (QGP), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), have partnered with the goal of accelerating genomic research and clinical applications of predictive genomics in Qatar as a step toward expanding the benefits of precision medicine across Arab populations globally.
Under the agreement, Thermo Fisher and Qatar Genome Program will develop an Axiom* custom genotyping array for pan-Arab populations using whole genome sequencing data from 19 Arab countries. The array, with about 800,000 variants, aims to help drive scientific research and insights into conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, autism, inherited genetic disorders and cancer. Once available through Thermo Fisher’s global commercial channels in late 2022, the array is intended to provide a cost-effective alternative to whole genome sequencing for Arab populations, enabling increased diversity in large genome-wide studies.
Qatar’s national vision is to provide a high standard of living for our people, and that includes providing access to genomics data, technology and insights to improve population health across the country, Our collaboration with Thermo Fisher will not only help us advance precision medicine in Qatar but also among people of Arab identity worldwide.”
Dr. Radja Badji, genome operations manager at Qatar Genome Program.
Thermo Fisher began working with Qatar Genome Program in 2018 to establish the first microarray designed specifically for the Qatari population. The Q-Chip detects genetic alterations that increase individuals’ risk of both prevalent and rare diseases. As part of the new agreement, the organizations will continue to refine algorithms and define clinically actionable content to assess polygenic risk scores, a measure of disease risk, and clinically relevant variants, including those related to pharmacogenomics.
Thermo Fisher’s Axiom microarray technology is designed to help accelerate precision medicine, and we are honored to partner with the Qatar Genome Program as they take bold steps to leverage the power of genomics to improve the standard of care for human health, Together, we’re creating building blocks for implementing comprehensive precision medicine initiatives at scale for population health.”
Chad Carter, vice president and general manager of microarray genetic solutions at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
About Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue of approximately $40 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, increasing productivity in their laboratories, improving patient health through diagnostics or the development and manufacture of life-changing therapies, we are here to support them. Our global team delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, Patheon and PPD.
About the Qatar Genome Program
The Qatar Genome Program is an ambitious population-based project aimed at positioning Qatar among the pioneering countries in the implementation of precision medicine. Whole genome sequencing and other omics data is being combined with phenotypic data within the Qatar Biobank, providing a resource for breakthrough research discoveries and to help policy makers set future healthcare priorities for Qatar.
EpiCypher and Active Motif | August 01, 2022
CUT&Tag is a targeted transposition technique that allows high-resolution genomic mapping of histone modifications and chromatin-associated proteins through the precise insertion of DNA sequences into the genome using the Tn5 transposase enzyme.
EpiCypher and Active Motif each own or control patents covering complementary aspects of targeted transposition. Active Motif and EpiCypher have leveraged their respective IP to independently create successful genomic mapping tools that allow researchers to employ targeted transposition / CUT&Tag for advanced epigenomics research. Since 2020, there has been a patent dispute between the companies that culminated in patent infringement litigation.
EpiCypher and Active Motif have recently agreed to put their differences aside and today announced the signing of a global settlement ending the ongoing litigation, and a mutual cross-licensing agreement of their respective intellectual property. These developments will effectively resolve all outstanding legal issues between the two companies in the targeted transposition / CUT&Tag space.
The companies agreed that both Active Motif and EpiCypher's IP are equally valid, and that both sets of IP are required to commercialize products and services that use technology involving targeted transposition techniques such as CUT&Tag. As part of the cross-licensing agreement, EpiCypher and Active Motif each agreed to provide to the other company a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license to enable commercialization of products, kits, and services that use targeted Tn5 / CUT&Tag-based workflows. The companies also agreed to pool their IP and work together to sublicense targeted tagmentation technology for emerging fields of use, including single cell and spatial genomics assays. This places Active Motif and EpiCypher in a very strong position in the targeted transposition market.
"Today's announcement is great for EpiCypher, Active Motif, and our collective customers", said Dr. Martis Cowles, Chief Business Officer of EpiCypher. "The Partnership between EpiCypher and Active Motif is a natural fit, and we look forward to working with Active Motif to maximize the impact of CUT&Tag technology on chromatin science and drug development".
"Targeted transposition technology has become increasingly important in simplifying the study of Protein-DNA interactions. We are pleased to be collaborating with EpiCypher to bring targeted transposition to the research and biotech communities."
Ted DeFrank, President and CEO of Active Motif. Joe Fernandez, the Founder of Active Motif
EpiCypher® is dedicated to developing transformative epigenetic solutions that advance the science of epigenetic regulation and improve human health. Most recently, EpiCypher has been at the leading edge of chromatin profiling technology with highly sensitive CUTANA™ epigenomic mapping assays for ChIC, CUT&RUN, and CUT&Tag. The Company also manufactures and sells the largest collection of defined "designer" nucleosomes on the market and offers a range of high-throughput nucleosome-based assays and services for chromatin research and drug development.
About Active Motif
Active Motif, Inc. is dedicated to developing, manufacturing and delivering epigenetics-based research tools to analyze nuclear function. Its customers include scientists from academic and government institutions; biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Active Motif operates globally through its corporate headquarters in Carlsbad, California and offices in Shanghai China, Tokyo Japan and Waterloo Belgium. Active Motif applies a multi-disciplinary approach to create new and modify existing technologies to meet the current and future needs of life science researchers.
AbCellera and Versant Ventures | July 28, 2022
AbCellera and Versant Ventures announced a multi-year collaboration to discover therapeutic antibodies for multiple targets selected by Versant’s portfolio of biologics-focused biotechs. Versant and AbCellera already have enabled three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies under previous partnerships.
Under the terms of the deal, Versant portfolio companies will have rights to develop and commercialize the resulting therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera will receive research payments from the companies and will be eligible to receive downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments plus royalties on net sales of products. Further terms are not disclosed.
"In recent years we have made a series of investments into the next generation of therapeutic antibodies. We are seeing a wave of innovation in the antibody space that is allowing us to add novel functionalities to these molecules. Our partnership with AbCellera will further enable our portfolio companies to pursue these important biologic medicines.”
Markus Enzelberger, Ph.D., a partner at Versant
“AbCellera’s discovery technology provides a complete solution for antibody therapeutics that unlocks new opportunities and levels the playing field for smaller companies, allowing them to advance programs faster, more efficiently and with a competitive advantage,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO and President of AbCellera. “We are excited to deepen our relationship with the Versant team and look forward to helping them continue a strong track record of bringing together breakthrough science, experienced teams, and capital to create bold new biotech companies.”
Previously, Versant and AbCellera partnered in separate multi-target deals to enable three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies with new approaches to optimize and expand antibody therapies. These include antibody-focused newcos in the fields of immunology and oncology based in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare venture capital firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great companies. The firm’s emphasis is on biotechnology companies that are discovering and developing novel therapeutics. With $4.2 billion under management and offices in the U.S., Canada and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating and R&D expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm’s founding in 1999, more than 85 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs.
About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is a technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera partners with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.