Arctoris | September 14, 2021
IBM Research and Arctoris announced they are investigating the application of AI and automation to accelerate closed loop molecule discovery. IBM Research has developed RXN for Chemistry, an online platform leveraging state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) architectures to automate synthetic chemistry. Representing chemical reactions via SMILES (Simplified Molecular Input Line Entry System), the system is able to perform highly accurate reaction predictions using its powerful AI. Optimised synthetic routes are then used as input for RoboRXN, an automated platform for molecule synthesis.
Arctoris has developed Ulysses, an end-to-end automated platform for drug discovery research. The platform ensures accuracy, precision, and reproducibility by leveraging robotic experiment execution and digital data capture technologies across cell and molecular biology and biochemistry/biophysics. Experiments conducted with Ulysses generate more than 100 times more datapoints per assay compared to industry standard, leading to deeper insights and accelerated progress compared to manual methods.
The two platforms are now being combined for the first time in a research collaboration that will see new small molecule inhibitors for undisclosed targets being designed, made, tested, and analysed (DMTA) in an autonomous, closed loop approach. Concretely, IBM Research will design and synthesize novel chemical matter (Design, Make), to be profiled and evaluated by Arctoris (Test, Analyze), with the resulting data informing the subsequent iteration of the DMTA cycle.
The collaboration is currently on-going; financial terms were not disclosed.
About IBM Research
For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 16 locations across five continents. Scientists from IBM Research have produced six Nobel Laureates, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the National Academy of Sciences and 20 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Arctoris is a biotechnology company founded and headquartered in Oxford with additional operations in Boston and Singapore. Ulysses, the unique technology platform developed by Arctoris, enables the company to conduct its R&D – from target via hit and lead to candidate – significantly faster, and with considerably improved data quality and depth. With its robotics, Arctoris generates richer, more reliable data, enabling better decisions both in human-driven and computational drug discovery, leading to higher success rates and an accelerated progression of programs towards the clinic. Led by an experienced team, Arctoris pursues its internal pipeline of small molecule inhibitors in different indications, and also partners with other biotech and pharma companies for small molecule and biologics discovery, with partners in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Korea, China, and several other countries.
Mission Bio | March 30, 2022
Mission Bio, Inc., a pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics research, announced the commercial availability of the Tapestri Solution for Solid Tumor Research. On the Tapestri Platform, this new end-to-end single-cell DNA sequencing process comprises a nuclei isolation prep technique, pre-designed research panels for breast cancer and glioblastoma multiforme, and an enhanced single-cell copy number variation (CNV) bioinformatic analysis tool. Mission Bio currently covers solid tumors in addition to hematologic malignancies, where Tapestri is widely used to study tumor heterogeneity and gain new insights into the clonal variety and architecture driving disease progression, biomarkers, and therapeutic management.
Recent high-profile research studies utilizing custom Tapestri assays for breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and melanoma have demonstrated the utility of high-resolution tools for assessing solid tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution, which contribute to disease onset, progression, and relapse. However, bulk next-generation sequencing technologies cannot offer the cell-by-cell mutational data required to detect disease-causing biological drivers — they are confined to population-level average metrics and lack information on clonal diversity.
Tapestri quantifies DNA mutations at the individual cell level in thousands of cells simultaneously, simultaneously detecting SNVs, indels, and CNVs, conclusively identifying variant zygosity and mutational co-occurrence recognizing unusual cell populations. As a result, researchers studying solid tumors may now make use of a comprehensive workflow designed for the Tapestri Platform, which includes the following:
Sample preparation assistance with an enhanced nuclei isolation process for both fresh and frozen samples
New study panels for breast cancer and glioblastoma were meticulously selected to contain hotspot genes, copy number variants, and chromosomal arm aneuploidies linked with each illness. Additionally, users may create custom panels that target specific human or mouse genome regions.
Enhanced capacity for CNV bioinformatics analysis with the development of a new visualization tool (in collaboration with Mission Bio's Field Application Scientist team).
This integrated workflow approach has the potential to significantly advance our knowledge of disease progression and enable the development of more specific medicines.
The commercial introduction of Mission Bio's Tapestri Solution for Solid Tumor Research demonstrates the company's ongoing commitment to allowing more precise cancer research using single-cell DNA sequencing. In addition, mission Bio has announced the establishment of its first Center of Excellence for solid tumor single-cell DNA profiling at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
The impressive results already seen from our early work with solid tumor researchers helped guide the development of these new workflows and underscored our commitment to providing unique and indispensable tools for solid tumor researchers. Just as Tapestri has been an invaluable tool for hematologic malignancy researchers, we're confident that our research panel pair, new prep protocol, and improved bioinformatics analysis capabilities will demonstrate the platform's value in solid tumors."
CEO of Mission Bio, Yan Zhang, Ph.D., said.
Novo Holdings | October 21, 2021
BIOMILQ is developing a novel infant feeding option, derived from human mammary cells, to better meet infants' nutritional needs and with a lower carbon footprint than traditional bovine-based infant formula. Earlier this year, BIOMILQ announced it had successfully produced a milk product with many of the same macronutrients that are known to be abundantly present in breastmilk in its lab based in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, US.
In the US, it is estimated that 75%1 of women are unable to exclusively breastfeed for the six months after birth as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization. Breastfeeding can be difficult due to latching issues, birth complications, discomfort or pain, exhaustion, inadequate milk supply, amongst other reasons. Alternative supplements, such as bovine-based infant formula, can lack the nutritional and bioactive composition found in breast milk. BIOMILQ's technology and solutions can be transformative in the field of infant nutrition, a market with a significant need for innovation.
"Our mission is to make a growing and positive impact on health, science and society. We are delighted to support BIOMILQ through its journey pioneering mammary biotechnology. Its products have the potential to disrupt the infant supplemental feeding industry. We aim to use our scientific knowledge, operational expertise and global network to further strengthen the Company's ability to improve lives.
Kartik Dharmadhikari, Partner at Novo Groand BIOMILQ Board Director
Michelle Egger, Chief Executive Officer and Co Founder of BIOMILQ, added: "We are very pleased to have such experienced investors in our Series A financing. Novo Holdings, as a leading international life science investor, lends significant market experience and technical knowhow to BIOMILQ's mission to nourish healthier infants, empower parents through choice, and contribute to a healthier planet.
The investor syndicate was led by Novo Holdings, with participation from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon, Spero Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, Green Generation Fund and Gaingels.
About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding company of the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, and is responsible for managing the Novo Nordisk Foundation's assets. Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. Further information.
BIOMILQ's mission is to close the nutritional gap between infant feeding options. In June 2021, BIOMILQ announced its capability of producing a milk product, derived from human mammary cells, that has macronutrient profiles that closely match the expected types and proportions of proteins, complex carbohydrates, fatty acids and other bioactive lipids that are known to be abundantly present in breastmilk.
1 "Breastfeeding Among U.S. Children Born 2011–2018, CDC National Immunization Survey." Centers for Disease Control