CELL AND GENE THERAPY
PacBio | July 26, 2021
Pacific Biosciences has had no trouble growing its business on its own in the year and a half since its acquisition by Illumina was blocked by the Federal Trade Commission due to concerns that the combination would establish a monopoly in DNA sequencing.
Earlier this year, the sequencer manufacturer received a staggering $900 million investment from SoftBank—a commitment almost as large as the $1.2 billion promised by Illumina for the planned acquisition.
PacBio is now making its acquisition, setting out a deal for up to $800 million to acquire Omniome, another provider of DNA sequencing technology.
The majority of the transaction is comprised of planned upfront payments totaling about $600 million. This will be paid out in $300 million in cash and 9.4 million shares of PacBio common stock. The additional $200 million will come from milestone payments made when Omniome meets certain specified objectives, which will also be paid in a mix of cash and shares.
PacBio has committed a small number of its current investors to a private issue of common stock to fund the acquisition. The total gross proceeds from this deal are expected to be about $300 million. Casdin Capital, SoftBank subsidiary SB Northstar LP, and T. Rowe Price Associates are among the investors who will buy approximately 11.2 million shares of PacBio stock for $26.75 per share, which is slightly less than the stock's closing price on the last full day of trading before the buyout was announced.
PacBio will be able to extend the capabilities of its single-molecule, real-time sequencing technology, or SMRT Sequencing, for use by its clients in biomedical and infectious disease research, as well as therapeutic and diagnostic development, after the transaction is completed.
PacBio's technology is based on long-read sequencing, which analyzes long strands of DNA at a time and can detect larger genomic variants and structural changes than short-read methods—though long-read sequencing has a higher potential error rate in those readings.
Meanwhile, Omniome has created its short-read technology that concentrates on the proteins that bind to DNA to generate what it claims are more accurate analyses than existing short-read sequencers.
Combining the two technologies is reminiscent of Illumina's planned acquisition of PacBio, which would have merged the latter's long-read technology with Illumina's short-read sequencing.
The merger is a significant boost for Omniome, which has attracted several life sciences, investors since its inception in 2013. Each of its most two funding rounds—a series B in mid-2018 and a series C in early 2020—raised $60 million, bringing the San Diego-based startup's total funding to over $130 million.
Second Genome | March 03, 2022
Second Genome, a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary platform to discover and develop precision therapies and biomarkers, announced today it has completed its multi-year collaboration with Bayer to discover proteins for potential development of next-generation insect-control products. During the collaboration, Second Genome generated and explored environmental metagenomes that include genomic information from bacteria that are yet to be identified and cultured.
"We are proud to have successfully executed a collaboration with Bayer following our discovery of thousands of novel proteins using our machine learning-enabled platform that have the potential to be developed into next-generation products. The discoveries Second Genome made are an important validation for the broad potential of our platform to develop novel therapeutic approaches for human health."
Karim Dabbagh, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Second Genome
Under the terms of this multi-year agreement, Second Genome generated a large microbial metagenomic dataset that was subsequently evaluated using a machine learning driven platform to identify novel insecticidal proteins.
"With our vast human datasets, as well as our platform's machine learning, metagenomic and data standardization and analytic capabilities, we can efficiently analyze vast and geographically diverse data to advance Second Genome's pipeline of precision therapeutics and biomarkers and collaborators' portfolios," said Susannah Cantrell, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Chief Business Officer of Second Genome. "We look forward to continuing to demonstrate the potential of our approach through additional industry collaborations in the health care field as we advance our lead mucosal healing and oncology programs toward the clinic this year."
About Second Genome
Second Genome is a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary technology-enabled platform to discover and develop transformational precision therapies based on novel microbial genetic insights. We built a proprietary drug discovery platform with machine-learning analytics, customized protein engineering techniques, phage library screening, mass spec analysis and CRISPR, that we couple with traditional drug development approaches to progress the development of precision therapies for wide-ranging diseases. Second Genome is advancing lead programs in IBD and cancer into IND-enabling studies. We also collaborate with industry, academic and governmental partners to leverage our platform and data science capabilities. We hold a strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc., utilizing our proprietary platform and comprehensive data sets to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead's investigational medicines. We also hold a strategic collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals to identify microbiome biomarkers associated with clinical response for their lead program in gastroenterology, etrasimod.
Leap Therapeutics, Inc. | February 01, 2022
Leica Biosystems, a cancer diagnostics company, has entered into an agreement with Leap Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, to develop a companion diagnostic to detect Dickkopf-related protein 1. The assay will be used to support clinical development of Leap Therapeutics' anti-DKK1 cancer therapy, DKN-01, currently being studied in clinical trials.
DKK1 is a protein often implicated in cancer, enabling tumor cells to suppress the immune system and lead to unregulated growth. Overexpression of DKK1 is associated with poor survival in cancer patients.
Leap Therapeutics is currently advancing the development of DKN-01, a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets DKK1, to treat cancer. The company is currently studying the drug as part of a combination therapy regimen in a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer.
The assay developed by Leica Biosystems will utilize RNAscope™ technology from Bio-Techne on the BOND-III Automated Staining System, which allows for detection of DKK1 with high sensitivity and specificity, to help identify patients most likely to benefit from DKN-01 treatment.
"Companion Diagnostics are a step toward treating cancer patients based on the biomarker makeup of their disease.We are excited to partner with Leap to advance cancer care."
Rachel Skelton, Senior Director of Pharma Partnerships at Leica Biosystems
Companion Diagnostics are tests that may be used to determine if a patient's tumor has the biomarker that will predict the outcome of a treatment with a specific therapy. With expertise in assay development, regulatory approval and commercialization, the Leica Biosystems Companion Diagnostics team partners with pharmaceutical companies to develop assays for a diverse range of technologies. Our flexible approach to partnerships, along with the robust capabilities of the BOND Advance Staining Solutions, supports our mission of Advancing Cancer Diagnostics, Improving Lives.
"DKK1 is novel and broadly applicable biomarker that is often elevated in patients with poor outcomes," said Jason Baum, Vice President and Head of Translational Medicine at Leap Therapeutics. "Patients whose tumors express elevated levels of DKK1 have shown compelling clinical responses when treated with DKN-01-based regimens. We are pleased to partner with Leica to advance the clinical development of our therapy and improve patient lives."
About Leica Biosystems
Leica Biosystems is a cancer diagnostics company and a global leader in workflow solutions. Only Leica Biosystems offers the most comprehensive portfolio that spans the entire workflow from biopsy to diagnosis. With unique expertise, we are dedicated to driving innovations that connect people across radiology, pathology, surgery and oncology. Our experts are committed to delivering Improved Quality, Integrated Solutions, and Optimized Efficiencies leading to breakthrough advances in diagnostic confidence. Our mission of "Advancing Cancer Diagnostics, Improving Lives" is at the heart of corporate culture. Visit LeicaBiosystems.com for more information.
About Leap Therapeutics
Leap Therapeutics is focused on developing targeted and immuno-oncology therapeutics. Leap's most advanced clinical candidate, DKN-01, is a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the Dickkopf-1 protein. DKN-01 is in clinical trials in patients with esophagogastric, gynecologic, and prostate cancers. Leap has entered into a strategic partnership with BeiGene, Ltd. for the rights to develop DKN-01 in Asia (excluding Japan), Australia, and New Zealand.
Bio-Techne Corporation is a global life sciences company providing innovative tools and bioactive reagents for the research and clinical diagnostic communities. Bio-Techne products assist scientific investigations into biological processes and the nature and progress of specific diseases. They aid in drug discovery efforts and provide the means for accurate clinical tests and diagnosis. With thousands of products in its portfolio, Bio-Techne generated approximately $931 million in net sales in fiscal 2021 and has approximately 2,700 employees worldwide.