RESEARCH

PostEra announces $260M multi-target strategic AI Lab collaboration with Pfizer

PostEra | January 12, 2022

PostEra, a biotechnology company specializing in machine learning for preclinical drug discovery, announced the expansion of the company's existing strategic collaboration with Pfizer. The expanded multi-target research program will establish an AI Lab where PostEra and Pfizer jointly advance multiple drug discovery programs with an initial focus in oncology and COVID-19 antiviral therapeutics. The AI Lab will leverage novel machine learning for medicinal chemistry built upon Pfizer's data, and PostEra's pioneering innovations in generative chemistry and synthesis-aware design.

PostEra will receive an upfront payment of $13M and is eligible to receive additional milestone payments totalling up to $248M should all milestones be achieved, in addition to tiered royalties on any approved products arising out of the collaboration.

The AI Lab will tightly integrate drug discovery with technology development to ensure a continuous feedback loop that refines both the process and predictions from the platform. The vision of the AI Lab is to combine Pfizer's expertise and data with PostEra's technology to advance these drug discovery programs, while also producing an integrated state-of-the-art platform to be deployed across Pfizer's in-house, preclinical drug discovery efforts.

"We think the best way to build leading technology is to have its development tightly integrated with live drug discovery programs", said Dr. Alpha Lee, Chief Scientific Officer of PostEra. "We're pleased that we are expanding the existing collaboration to do exactly this and to reap the AI advantage in improving preclinical drug discovery," 

 Aaron Morris, CEO of PostEra

"At Pfizer, we believe digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, hold great potential to aid the discovery of novel approaches to prevent, cure, and treat disease for patients in need," said Charlotte Allerton, Head of Medicine Design, Pfizer. "We're excited to extend our collaboration with PostEra to further build on our current capabilities."

The company today also announced its $24M Series A financing. The new funding will enable PostEra to further expand its partnered drug discovery programs, initiate internal drug discovery programs, as well as further develop its AI-first medicinal chemistry platform.

About PostEra
PostEra was founded in 2019 and its technology is built on pioneering academic research done by its founding scientists. PostEra's technology addresses some of the key challenges in drug discovery R&D by integrating molecular design with chemical synthesis. PostEra advances small molecule programs through partnerships with biopharma, working on its own internal pipeline, and also offering some of its synthesis technology via its Manifold web platform. PostEra also launched and now helps lead the world's largest open-science drug discovery effort; COVID Moonshot.

Spotlight

With fewer successful drug launches in the market and expiring patents, competitive intelligence, and commercial R&D decision makers are hard-pressed to make sound forecasting and planning decisions based on highly reliable data analysis. That’s a big challenge because, even with access to big data from many sources, the tasks associated with collecting, organizing and mapping datasets is time-consuming, costly and labor-intensive. As result, decision making takes longer and innovation suffers.

Spotlight

With fewer successful drug launches in the market and expiring patents, competitive intelligence, and commercial R&D decision makers are hard-pressed to make sound forecasting and planning decisions based on highly reliable data analysis. That’s a big challenge because, even with access to big data from many sources, the tasks associated with collecting, organizing and mapping datasets is time-consuming, costly and labor-intensive. As result, decision making takes longer and innovation suffers.

Related News

RESEARCH

Evelo Biosciences Presents Data on EDP1815 Mechanism of Action and Supporting Ongoing Clinical Development for Inflammatory Diseases

Evelo Biosciences, Inc. | January 18, 2022

Evelo Biosciences, Inc. a clinical stage biotechnology company developing SINTAX™ medicines as a new modality of orally delivered treatments for inflammatory disease, today announced data for EDP1815, the Company’s lead product in inflammation, detailing its mechanism of action and supporting further clinical development in patients with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. The data were presented in two posters on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Clinical Dermatology Congress in Koloa, Hawaii. “The data presented today build on the substantial evidence accumulated through our clinical and preclinical work, deepening our understanding of the mechanism by which EDP1815 drives its clinical effects. They explain how an oral, gut-restricted SINTAX medicine can interact with the immune system in the gut, leading to systemic inflammation resolution without immunosuppression or concerning side-effects. We are particularly pleased to share these results with the clinical community as we progress EDP1815 into later stages of development for the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, two inflammatory diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.” Douglas Maslin, M.Phil, M.B. B.Chir, Dermatology and Pharmacology Physician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Immunology Clinical Lead of Evelo Preclinical data from the studies presented at the Winter Clinical Dermatology Congress confirm that EDP1815 modulates systemic inflammation through its initial interaction with innate immune receptors, including TLR2, leading to downstream changes in circulating immune-cell phenotypes. In addition, the data demonstrate that preclinical effects in Th17 models translate into signs of clinical benefit in psoriasis, and that preclinical effects in Th2 models translate into signs of clinical benefit in atopic dermatitis, supporting further clinical development of EDP1815 in these indications. A Phase 2 study of EDP1815 in patients with mild to moderate psoriasis is ongoing, and a Phase 2 study of EDP1815 in patients with mild, moderate, and severe atopic dermatitis is expected to initiate dosing in the first quarter of 2022. About EDP1815 EDP1815 is an investigational oral medicine being developed for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. It is a non-live pharmaceutical preparation of a strain of Prevotella histicola, selected for its potential to provide systemic pharmacological effects after oral administration with gut-restricted distribution. Being non-live, it has not been observed to colonize the gut or modify the microbiome. Preclinically, EDP1815 had anti-inflammatory effects in models that cover multiple pathways of inflammation, Th1, Th2, and Th17. Clinical results from multiple independent cohorts provide evidence supporting EDP1815’s potential to address Th1, Th2 and Th17-mediated inflammation. About Evelo Biosciences Evelo Biosciences is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing orally delivered product candidates that are designed to act on the small intestinal axis, SINTAX™, with systemic therapeutic effects. SINTAX plays a central role in governing the immune, metabolic, and neurological systems. The Company’s first product candidates are pharmaceutical preparations of single strains of microbes selected for their potential to offer defined pharmacological properties. Evelo’s therapies have the potential to be effective, safe, and affordable medicines to improve the lives of people with inflammatory diseases.

Read More

CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Taysha Gene Therapies Announces New Additions to Leadership Team to Deepen Manufacturing and Communications Capabilities

Taysha | December 30, 2020

Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-driven gene therapy organization focused in on creating and commercializing AAV-based quality treatments for the treatment of monogenic infections of the focal sensory system in both uncommon and huge patient populaces, today reported new increases to its authority group with the arrangements of Greg Gara as Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Kimberly Lee, D.O., as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-centric gene therapy organization zeroed in on creating and commercializing AAV-based qgene therapies for the treatment of monogenic infections of the focal sensory system in both uncommon and huge patient populaces, today declared new increases to its authority group with the arrangements of Greg Gara as Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Kimberly Lee, D.O., as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.

Read More

CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Moderna and Australia Announce Collaboration to Bring mRNA Manufacturing to Australia

Moderna | December 14, 2021

Moderna, Inc. a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines, announced an agreement in principle with the Australian Government to build a state-of-the-art messenger RNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Victoria, Australia including access to Moderna’s mRNA development engine. The contemplated framework would build the foundation to support Australia with direct access to rapid pandemic response capabilities and to provide access to Moderna’s vaccines in development for respiratory viruses. Moderna and the Australian government are committed to finalize the agreement. “I would like to thank the Australian and Victorian Governments for their collaboration and partnership. We are committed to global public health and while we are still responding to this pandemic, we also want to ensure we and society learn from it. As Moderna expands internationally, we are pleased to bring local mRNA manufacturing to Australia. We believe that this sustainable national business model will have global impact and implications.” Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna Moderna is committed to working with governments, health care professionals and other key stakeholders to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and future pathogens. Moderna expects to invest in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the production of mRNA vaccines with the collaboration of the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments. The collaboration aims to provide Australians with access to a domestically manufactured portfolio of mRNA vaccines against respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and potential other vaccines, pending licensure. Moderna expects that up to 100 million vaccine doses could be produced in Australia each year. The facility is intended to also be activated on an urgent basis to support Australia with direct access to rapid pandemic response capabilities. The Company is in discussion with other governments about potential collaborations built on a similar model. “We are excited to expand our presence and continue our long-term collaboration with the Australian and Victorian Governments,” said Michael Azrak, Moderna’s General Manager of Australia. “We look forward to completing the necessary discussions and starting work to develop onshore mRNA manufacturing capability here in Australia.” The agreement was announced today in Victoria by the Hon. Scott Morrison, MP Prime Minister of Australia. About Moderna In 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a science research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for both clinical and commercial production at scale and at unprecedented speed. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna’s capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use of one of the earliest and most-effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic. Moderna’s mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past seven years.

Read More