Real Texture for Lab-grown Meat

Technology Networks | October 21, 2019

Lab-grown or cultured meat could revolutionize food production, providing a greener, more sustainable, more ethical alternative to large-scale meat production. But getting lab-grown meat from the petri dish to the dinner plate requires solving several major problems, including how to make large amounts of it and how to make it feel and taste more like real meat. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have grown rabbit and cow muscles cells on edible gelatin scaffolds that mimic the texture and consistency of meat, demonstrating that realistic meat products may eventually be produced without the need to raise and slaughter animals. Kit Parker, the Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at SEAS and senior author of the study, began his foray into food after judging a competition show on the Food Network. "The materials science expertise of the chefs was impressive," said Parker. "After discussions with them, I began to wonder if we could apply all that we knew about regenerative medicine to the design of synthetic foods. After all, everything we have learned about building organs and tissues for regenerative medicine applies to food: healthy cells and healthy scaffolds are the building substrates, the design rules are the same, and the goals are the same: human health. This is our first effort to bring hardcore engineering design and scalable manufacturing to the creation of food."

Spotlight

Our Biotechnology DVD first looks at major research areas in biotechnology such as the Human Genome Project and the various forms of recombinant DNA technology that produce transgenic plants and animals. The program then goes on to look at the tools used by biotechnologists such as restriction enzymes, plasmids, vector and vector less insertion of genes into genomes, and the production of genes via polymerase chain reactions.

Spotlight

Our Biotechnology DVD first looks at major research areas in biotechnology such as the Human Genome Project and the various forms of recombinant DNA technology that produce transgenic plants and animals. The program then goes on to look at the tools used by biotechnologists such as restriction enzymes, plasmids, vector and vector less insertion of genes into genomes, and the production of genes via polymerase chain reactions.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Kriya Acquires Redpin Therapeutics, Adding Neurology Pipeline to Gene Therapy Portfolio

Kriya Therapeutics | November 17, 2022

Kriya Therapeutics, Inc., a fully integrated gene therapy company advancing a broad portfolio of innovative therapeutics announced the acquisition of Redpin Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company developing regulatable gene therapies for intractable diseases of the nervous system. The acquisition serves as the foundation for Kriya’s neurology therapeutic area portfolio, with two lead gene therapy programs focused on epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia. Redpin’s proprietary chemogenetics platform can selectively activate or silence disease-causing neurons, while leaving normal functioning cells unaffected. Currently available treatments for neurological disorders typically rely on systemically administered drugs or surgical interventions to address local neuron dysfunction. However, these approaches can have limited efficacy and off-target side effects. In contrast, chemogenetics leverages gene products that are selectively responsive to a chosen small molecule. Redpin’s technology utilizes gene therapy to express engineered ion channels that are responsive to modulation by the FDA-approved anti-smoking drug varenicline to either inhibit specific overactive neurons or stimulate underactive ones. “Redpin’s innovative chemogenetics platform has the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from intractable neurological conditions. We are looking forward to integrating Redpin’s platform and pipeline into Kriya’s gene therapy engine as we advance our mission to develop life-changing gene therapies that can address diseases affecting millions of patients around the world.” Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kriya “Redpin has a built a breakthrough, validated chemogenetics approach that could have significant potential in the targeted treatment of neurological disorders,” said Dr. Elma Hawkins, Redpin Therapeutics’ President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder. “Kriya Therapeutics is the perfect company to take this leading ion channel-based platform forward and deliver an effective treatment option for patients. We look forward to working with the Kriya team to progress these unique targeted therapies to patients in need as rapidly as possible.” Redpin’s investors include 4BIO Capital, Arkin Bio Ventures, Takeda Ventures Inc, New York Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments. About Epilepsy Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurrent spontaneous seizures. Approximately 3.4 million people in the U.S. suffer from active epilepsy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current treatments for epilepsy include medication, neurostimulation and surgery to remove sections of the affected part of the brain. However between 20% to 40% of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy will become refractory to treatment, and will continue to suffer seizures. Uncontrolled epilepsy can lead to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). About Trigeminal Neuralgia Trigeminal neuralgia also known as Tic Douloureux, is a severe and chronic disorder that affects the trigeminal, or fifth cranial, nerve. TN patients experience progressive intense stabbing facial pain attacks that can become more severe and last longer over time. Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 new cases of TN occur each year in the U.S., according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. While currently available treatments include anti-seizure medications and surgical procedures, a significant proportion of patients are refractory to these approaches. About Kriya Therapeutics Kriya is a fully integrated company pioneering novel technologies and therapeutics in gene therapy. The company aims to revolutionize how gene therapies are designed, developed, and manufactured, improving speed to market and delivering significant reductions in cost. The company is advancing a deep and diversified pipeline of innovative gene therapies in multiple therapeutic area divisions, with current pipeline programs in metabolic disorders, neurology and ophthalmology. Kriya is backed by leading life sciences and technology investors, and has core operations in Silicon Valley, California and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. About Redpin Based in New York City, Redpin Therapeutics is a privately held, preclinical stage gene therapy company developing a proprietary chemogenetics platform for targeted cell therapies to address currently intractable diseases of the central nervous system. Using a powerful and innovative technology that inverts traditional drug development by using gene therapy to target an engineered receptor to any cell type responsible for disease and modulating its function with an already-approved drug. This has the potential to deliver effective treatments for a wide range of currently intractable neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders. Redpin has a worldwide exclusive license from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the therapeutic use of this technology, and the company is working with urgency to apply it to advance important medicines for patients in desperate need of effective therapies.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

iXCells Biotechnologies Secures Strategic Growth Investment from Great Point Partners

iXCells Biotechnologies | September 30, 2022

iXCells Biotechnologies a high growth provider of cell-based products and discovery services to the academic, biotech and pharmaceutical communities worldwide, with special focus on primary and induced pluripotent stem cell derived cellular models, today announced receiving a growth investment from Connecticut-based Great Point Partners a private investment firm focusing on the healthcare industry. “iXCells is delighted to join GPP’s portfolio of companies operating within the rapidly growing biotech manufacturing and DD&D services space. We’re grateful for GPP’s support of our vision to translate human cell technology into innovative solutions that advance cell biology research and drug discovery. Our partnership with GPP is a critical step forward for our Company’s growth journey.” Dr. Lynn Zhang, CEO and co-founder iXCells President and co-founder, Dr. Nianwei Lin added, “Our customers will clearly benefit from the deployment of additional capital towards key growth initiatives that will increase iXCells’ operational capacity, expand our product/service offering and bioanalytical capabilities. In particular, we’ll be strengthening our ability to service unmet market needs in areas of personalized medicine including rare diseases. We’re very much looking forward to collaborating with GPP’s management team and broad network to advance iXCells’ mission for the benefit of all stakeholders.” Noah Rhodes, Managing Director at GPP, commented, “Lynn and Nianwei have done an exceptional job building a rapidly growing company serving academic, biotech and pharma clients with best-in-class drug discovery solutions and disease-relevant cellular models. We were extremely impressed by the scientific expertise the management team has built within the organization, and we look forward to helping them expand their product and service offering into adjacent high-growth end markets.” About iXCells Biotechnologies Founded in 2014 and based in San Diego, CA, iXCells Biotechnologies is an innovative cell biology and cell technology company that provides preclinical drug discovery solutions with the focus on disease relevant cellular models enabling technologies and services to the academic, biotech and pharma communities to accelerate the pace of drug discovery. iXCells offers customers access to high quality primary and iPSC derived cells, custom iPSC services, functional bioassay development and drug screening. About Great Point Partners Great Point Partners, founded in 2003 and based in Greenwich, CT, is a leading health care investment firm with 30 professionals, investing in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. GPP is currently making new minority and majority private equity investments from GPP IV. Great Point manages $1.5B of capital in its private funds and public life sciences equity strategy (BioMedical Value Fund). Great Point Partners has provided growth equity, growth recapitalization, and management buyout financing to more than 200 growing health care companies. The private equity funds invest across all sectors of the health care industry with a particular emphasis on biopharmaceutical services and supplies, alternate site care, medical device and information technology enabled businesses. The firm pursues a proactive and proprietary approach to sourcing investments and tuck-in acquisitions for its portfolio companies.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Gamma Biosciences and Lonza Collaborate to Co-develop Reagents for Clinical Cell Selection in the Cocoon® Platform

Gamma Biosciences | October 13, 2022

Gamma Biosciences, a leading provider of tools and technologies for cell and gene therapy manufacturing, through their BioMagnetic Solutions business announced a strategic collaboration with Lonza. Under the multi-year agreement, BioMagnetic Solutions will supply its proprietary research and cGMP manufacturing grade FerroSelect™ reagents to Lonza for use in developing CAR-T and other immunotherapeutic products using Lonza's Cocoon® Platform. "We are looking forward to working together with the team at Gamma Biosciences to offer cell and gene therapy developers added cell selection functionality on the Cocoon® Platform. The BioMagnetic Solutions ferrofluid technology provides efficient, high-performance cell selection reagents for research, clinical, and commercial-scale cell separations in a workflow that can be easily integrated into our automated, closed-system Cocoon® manufacturing platform. This collaboration speaks to Lonza's commitment to expanding the flexibility and functionality of our automated manufacturing technology to address a broader range of needs for the cell therapy industry." Adam Bryan, Vice President of Personalized Medicines at Lonza "We are thrilled to collaborate with Lonza in further developing and adapting FerroSelect reagents for use with the Cocoon® Platform," said Phil Vanek, Chief Technology Officer at Gamma Biosciences. "The Lonza platform can be an alternative to our FerroSelect Array cell selection platform, demonstrating that our proprietary reagents can be applied to other automated manufacturing technologies. The agreement gives BioMagnetic Solutions technical direction on new applications, and access to some of the best process developers in the industry. In return, Lonza gains early access to certain BioMagnetic Solutions FerroSelect reagents to complement the growing demand for their Cocoon® Platform technology." Ted Liberti, Chief Commercial Officer at BioMagnetic Solutions concluded, "This is an exciting time for us. In late 2021, we achieved ISO 9001:2015 and 13485:2016 certification for our Quality Systems through NQA and have been working steadily to build out an extensive repertoire of cell specific antibodies. The alignment with Lonza helps both companies contribute to expanding access to therapeutic cell selection capabilities across the market with space to grow to meet evolving customer needs." The collaboration between Gamma Biosciences and Lonza provides a framework for additional clinical grade reagents to be developed. It also opens up the possibility of other collaborations as Gamma Biosciences expands its portfolio of tools and technologies supporting the bioprocessing, vaccine, cell and gene therapy industries. About BioMagnetic Solutions BioMagnetic Solutions develops advanced ferrofluid-based immunomagnetic cell selection systems for clinical and commercial applications. BioMagnetic Solutions' product platform leverages proprietary magnetic ferrofluids that enable superior performance as compared to existing immunomagnetic cell separation systems. About Gamma Biosciences Gamma Biosciences is a leading life sciences company providing products and services to support the development and manufacturing of advanced biologic therapies. Our operating companies are committed to advancing the science and art of bioprocessing by delivering market-ready innovation and expertise that helps our customers. Gamma Biosciences encompass biopharmaceutical companies, contract developers and manufacturing companies. Our goal is to safely bring therapies to patients quickly and efficiently. Gamma is a global company with offices and major manufacturing facilities in North America, the U.K. and Belgium. About Lonza Lonza is the preferred global partner to the pharmaceutical, biotech and nutrition markets. We work to enable a healthier world by supporting our customers to deliver new and innovative medicines that help treat a wide range of diseases. We achieve this by combining technological insight with world-class manufacturing, scientific expertise and process excellence. Our unparalleled breadth of offerings enables our customers to commercialize their discoveries and innovations in the healthcare industry.

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