RESEARCH

Prellis Biologics Announces Collaboration and License Agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb

Prellis Biologics, Inc. | January 14, 2022

Prellis Biologics, Inc. (Prellis), a Bay Area biotechnology company, announced that it has entered into a multi-target drug discovery collaboration and licensing agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb utilizing Prellis Biologics’ first-in-class externalized human immune system based on human lymph node organoids. The collaboration leverages Prellis’ EXIS platform that can break tolerance mechanisms in vitro to create high affinity human antibodies targeting human proteins.

Under the terms of the agreement, Prellis and Bristol Myers Squibb will collaborate on the generation of human antibody libraries for select targets. Prellis will receive from Bristol Myers Squibb an undisclosed up-front payment, funding for research activities, development, sales milestones and royalties for licensed antibodies.

"With industry leading speed, the EXIS platform provides high affinity antibodies, derived from lymph node organoids printed with Prellis’ foundational technology, using human PBMCs. We are looking forward to working with Bristol Myers Squibb to demonstrate advantages of in vitro human antibody discovery with the EXIS platform."

Melanie P. Matheu, PhD, Founder and CEO of Prellis Biologics

Kevin Chapman, PhD, CSO of Prellis, added, "The EXIS platform effectively breaks tolerance enabling direct discovery of human antibodies to challenging human antigens in less than two weeks."

About Prellis
Prellis Biologics, Inc. is the first company to develop a fully synthetic, animal-free, functional human immune system, EXIS™.  The EXIS platform allows Prellis to harness fully human immune responses for the development of antibody therapeutics, disease models, and target discovery. With industry-leading speed and resolution, Prellis’ proprietary holographic printing technology is able to accurately match and rapidly replicate human organ and tissue structures. Prellis is dedicated to improving patient lives by discovering novel therapeutics, utilizing its unique capabilities in antibody discovery and in vitro human disease models. Prellis Biologics, Inc. was founded in 2016 and is a privately held company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

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Spotlight

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MEDTECH

Insempra Announces Strategic Investment in Solena Materials

Insempra, | July 26, 2022

Insempra, a biology-powered company enabling businesses to make superior products in partnership with nature, today announces a strategic investment in Solena Materials Ltd a synthetic biology company. Solena, a spin-out from Imperial College London, develops synthetic proteins for high-performance clothing fibers. The investment will allow Insempra, formerly Origin.Bio, to accelerate its strategy of harnessing new technologies to advance biological production processes, creating naturally superior products to drive the regenerative revolution. Solena will be a major part of Insempra’s platform to deliver high-performance, intrinsically sustainable ingredients for a broad array of industries. Solena is using computational design to develop new classes of synthetic proteins to produce high-performance clothing fibers, which can absorb large amounts of kinetic energy. Insempra will accelerate the development and production of these synthetic proteins on an industrial scale, offering better, biobased solutions to the petrochemically sourced, non-biodegradable materials or fibers extracted from nature or animals, such as silk, currently used in the textile and clothing industries. This technology also reduces other environmental impacts such as the rise of microplastics in water bodies coming from washing petrochemically-sourced textiles. “We are hugely excited by this investment in Solena, which will help to accelerate our market-first approach to develop superior, intrinsically sustainable ingredients. We look forward to fast-tracking Solena’s development and production of their unique synthetic proteins to develop customized, high-performance fibers for a variety of applications.” Jens Klein, founder and CEO of Insempra and CEO of Solena Materials Dr James MacDonald, inventor, co-founder and CTO of Solena Materials, added: “The team and I are very excited to make this technology a huge success.” Professor Paul Freemont of Imperial College London, added: “This investment from Insempra recognizes the potential of our technology to revolutionize high-performance fabrics, and their supply chains. Together, we can harness our synthetic biology capabilities to develop, produce and manufacture a new class of superior, more sustainable fiber technology.” Insempra, a co-founder of Solena, will be the sole contributing shareholder in Solena, which is based at Imperial College’s Translation & Innovation Hub (I-HUB) in White City, London. Solena’s Board will be comprised of Dr James MacDonald of Solena, Professor Paul Freemont and Professor Milo Shaffer of Imperial College London, and Jens Klein and Andreas Heyl of Insempra. About Insempra Insempra is a biology-powered company enabling businesses to make superior products with nature. We combine bioscience and technology to grow matter for new and better products. For too long, businesses have relied on chemical industrialization processes and petrochemicals, depleting our planet’s limited resources. That’s why we are committed to drive the regenerative revolution to manufacture at scale in collaboration with nature. Led by a hand-picked team of biologists, technologists and entrepreneurs with rebel hearts, Insempra is here to create a new school of thought and collective action. The time to restore the balance between people and the planet is now. We don't wait for change. We do what needs to be done to grow a better future. About Solena Materials Solena is a protein materials design company. We use world-leading computational design, machine learning, and automation to accelerate the development of bespoke materials targeted at multiple sectors, from fashion apparel to medical textiles. Our new protein-based fibers will replace materials extracted from nature such as silk and petrochemically-derived materials, to create a new world of biodegradable, functional and sustainable smart materials for consumers, industry, and the planet.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

SIGA Announces Oncology Collaboration with KaliVir Immunotherapeutics

SIGA Technologies Inc. | July 16, 2022

SIGA Technologies, Inc. a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market, today announced a collaboration with KaliVir Immunotherapeutics to make TPOXX® available for use with KaliVir’s proprietary oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy platform. This novel oncolytic platform includes multiple proprietary genetic modifications that can be combined to generate a unique oncolytic virus that has been optimized for systemic delivery and anti-tumor immune stimulation. Under this partnership, SIGA is providing its TPOXX oral capsules to support future clinical programs. “KaliVir is an innovator in the creation of oncolytic viral immunotherapies, and we are excited to enter into this collaboration with them. TPOXX is a powerful antiviral drug to vaccinia and allows the safe use of higher doses of vaccinia vectors; there is also the potential it could increase immunotherapeutic outcomes. This collaboration helps bring new levels of assurance to physicians, regulators, and especially patients receiving these promising investigational therapies.” Dr. Phil Gomez, CEO of SIGA “We are pleased to announce this collaboration with SIGA Technologies,” said Helena Chaye, Ph.D., J.D., CEO of KaliVir. “Pairing oncolytic immunotherapies with an effective antiviral agent is a critical part of the development of new treatments, and we look forward to enhancing our groundbreaking oncolytic immunotherapy programs with the support of SIGA’s TPOXX.” On July 13, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved oral TPOXX for the treatment of smallpox to mitigate the impact of a potential outbreak or bioterror attack. In preclinical studies, TPOXX has been shown to be active against most orthopoxviruses, including vaccinia The unique mechanism of action of TPOXX coupled with published efficacy in animal studies, make it an important addition to development programs focused on vaccinia-based cancer therapies. In 2020, SIGA entered into numerous collaborations, including a partnership with Turnstone Biologics to supply TPOXX to support Turnstone’s clinical oncolytic vaccinia immunotherapy programs. In 2021, SIGA entered into a preclinical research collaboration with Bioarchitech to investigate TPOXX enabling higher doses of vaccinia vectors when used in combination with Bioarchitech’s oncolytic vaccinia-based immunotherapy platform. ABOUT SIGA TECHNOLOGIES, INC. and TPOXX® SIGA Technologies, Inc. is a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the health security market. Health security comprises countermeasures for biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks (biodefense market), vaccines and therapies for emerging infectious diseases, and health preparedness. Our lead product is TPOXX®, also known as tecovirimat and ST-246®, an orally administered and IV formulation antiviral drug for the treatment of human smallpox disease caused by variola virus. TPOXX is a novel small-molecule drug and the US maintains a supply of TPOXX under Project BioShield. The oral formulation of TPOXX was approved by the FDA for the treatment of smallpox in 2018. The full label is available by clicking here. Oral tecovirimat received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2022. The EMA approval includes labeling for oral tecovirimat indicating its use for the treatment of smallpox, monkeypox, cowpox, and vaccinia complications following vaccination against smallpox. The full label is available by clicking here. In September 2018, SIGA signed a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for additional procurement and development related to both oral and intravenous formulations of TPOXX. ABOUT KALIVIR IMMUNOTHERAPEUTICS. KaliVir Immunotherapeutics is a privately held biotech company developing cutting-edge, next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapy programs. The company has developed a unique vaccinia virus-based platform that can generate potent novel oncolytic vaccinia viruses with modifications to maximize viral replication and to enhance intravenous delivery and spread (Vaccinia Enhanced Template “VET” Platform). VET™ platform utilizes the large transgene capacity of the vaccinia virus to deliver therapeutics matched to tumor immunophenotypes to stimulate patients’ immune systems and modify the tumor microenvironment. KaliVir’s oncolytic product candidates are designed to be safe, potent and systemically deliverable to treat cancer patients across multiple tumor types. KaliVir is in the process of advancing multiple therapeutic candidates toward the clinic.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

ProPhase Labs to Announce Formation of a Subsidiary ProPhase BioPharma, Inc.

ProPhase Labs, Inc. | June 29, 2022

ProPhase Labs, Inc., a diversified biotech, genomics, and diagnostics company manufacturing homeopathic and health products, announced the formation of a new wholly-owned subsidiary, ProPhase BioPharma, Inc. (PBIO), for the development and licensing of new therapeutic compounds, drugs, and biotechnology. The subsidiary will be focused on advancements in technology across the biochemical industry and creating and developing new solutions that can transform the outcomes of healthcare. The company has also entered into a license agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of DSS, Inc., Global BioLife, Inc. (Global BioLife), for Equivir G and Equivir, proprietary compounds that were developed by Global Research and Discovery Group (GRDG). According to the terms of the contract, ProPhase Labs will be the only company that can develop and sell Equivir G and Equivir, globally. “We are thrilled to announce the formation of ProPhase BioPharma, our new wholly-owned subsidiary tasked with licensing and developing novel drugs, compounds, and biotechnology. We are equally pleased with our first licensing agreement for Equivir and Equivir G, which we believe have significant potential to improve human health outcomes worldwide.” Ted Karkus, ProPhase Lab’s Chief Executive Officer He further added, “We plan to pursue commercialization of Equivir as an OTC supplement, leveraging our distribution in over 40,000 Food Drug and Mass retail stores and online direct to consumer. We also look forward to applying to the FDA for an IND for Equivir G as a prescription antiviral.” Frank. D. Heuszel, Chief Executive Officer of DSS, said “We are excited to team up with ProPhase Labs, which will apply its nearly three decades of experience enhancing the health of the public to Equivir, which we believe to be a ground-breaking treatment that will positively impact health in the U.S. and globally.”

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