Scientist identifies gene responsible for spread of prostate cancer

Medical Xpress | February 22, 2019

A Rutgers study has found that a specific gene in cancerous prostate tumors indicates when patients are at high risk for cancer to spread, suggesting that targeting this gene can help patients live longer. The study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, identified the NSD2 gene through a computer algorithm developed to determine which cancer genes that spread in a mouse model were most relevant to humans. The researchers were able to turn off the gene in the mice tumor cells, which significantly decreased cancer's spread. "Currently, when a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, physicians can determine how advanced a tumor is but not whether the patient's cancer will spread," said lead author Antonina Mitrofanova, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Health Professions and a research member of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  "If we can determine whether a patient's cancer is likely to spread at the time of diagnosis, we can start them on a targeted treatment plan as soon as possible to decrease the likelihood of their cancer spreading."

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Microscopic bits can hitch a ride on your clothes, find their way into your body, and impact your personal health. They’re part of your exposome and everyone has one.

Spotlight

Microscopic bits can hitch a ride on your clothes, find their way into your body, and impact your personal health. They’re part of your exposome and everyone has one.

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Gilead Sciences to Acquire MiroBio

Gilead Sciences, Inc. | August 05, 2022

Gilead Sciences, Inc. and MiroBio, a privately-held U.K.-based biotechnology company focused on restoring immune balance with agonists targeting immune inhibitory receptors, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire MiroBio for approximately $405 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments. The acquisition will provide Gilead with MiroBio’s proprietary discovery platform and entire portfolio of immune inhibitory receptor agonists. MiroBio’s lead investigational antibody, MB272, is a selective agonist of immune inhibitory receptor B- and T-Lymphocyte Attenuator and has entered Phase 1 clinical trials, with the first patient dosed earlier this week. MB272 targets T, B and dendritic cells to inhibit or blunt activation and suppress an inflammatory immune response. MiroBio’s I-ReSToRE platform (REceptor Selection and Targeting to Reinstate immune Equilibrium) has the potential to be used to develop best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors, a novel approach to the treatment of inflammatory diseases. The I-ReSToRE platform supports identification and development of therapeutics that utilize inhibitory signaling networks with the goal of restoring immune homeostasis for patients. Gilead anticipates advancing additional agonists derived from MiroBio’s I-ReSToRE platform, including a PD-1 agonist, MB151, and other undisclosed early-stage programs, over the next several years. “The team at MiroBio has spearheaded foundational research for agonist antibodies following a rigorous scientific approach,” said Flavius Martin, Executive Vice President, Research, Gilead Sciences. “We believe that MiroBio’s unique platform technology has the potential to produce best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors.” “We are excited to be joining Gilead. MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and a proprietary approach to select and generate superior agonist antibodies. Combining this with Gilead’s drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune disease.” Eliot Charles, Chairman of MiroBio Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all of the outstanding share capital of MiroBio for a total of $405 million in cash consideration, subject to customary adjustments, which is payable at closing. Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, consistent with recent industry communications from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gilead no longer excludes acquired IPR&D expenses from its non-GAAP financial measures. We expect the transaction with MiroBio to reduce Gilead’s GAAP and non-GAAP 2022 EPS by approximately $0.30-$0.35. Closing of the transaction is subject to expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions. About MiroBio MiroBio is a clinical-stage private biotechnology company whose mission is to develop a new class of therapeutic agents, checkpoint agonist antibodies, to restore immune balance in autoimmune patients. MiroBio has developed I-ReSToRE, a proprietary discovery platform, combining its Checkpoint Atlas™, a cutting-edge receptor mapping database and visualization tool, with proprietary antibody engineering. It was spun out of Oxford University in 2019 and is based on more than 15 years of foundational research from the labs of Professor Simon Davis and Professor Richard Cornall with the potential to create safer and more efficacious medicines for patients with autoimmune disease. MiroBio is backed by a strong group of international investors including Oxford Science Enterprises, Samsara BioCapital, SR One, Medicxi, Advent Life Sciences, OrbiMed and Monograph. About Gilead Sciences Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis, cancer and inflammation. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California

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Active Motif and EpiCypher Execute Cross-Licensing Agreement and End Ongoing Litigation Involving Targeted Transposition Technology for Epigenomics

EpiCypher and Active Motif | August 01, 2022

CUT&Tag is a targeted transposition technique that allows high-resolution genomic mapping of histone modifications and chromatin-associated proteins through the precise insertion of DNA sequences into the genome using the Tn5 transposase enzyme. EpiCypher and Active Motif each own or control patents covering complementary aspects of targeted transposition. Active Motif and EpiCypher have leveraged their respective IP to independently create successful genomic mapping tools that allow researchers to employ targeted transposition / CUT&Tag for advanced epigenomics research. Since 2020, there has been a patent dispute between the companies that culminated in patent infringement litigation. EpiCypher and Active Motif have recently agreed to put their differences aside and today announced the signing of a global settlement ending the ongoing litigation, and a mutual cross-licensing agreement of their respective intellectual property. These developments will effectively resolve all outstanding legal issues between the two companies in the targeted transposition / CUT&Tag space. The companies agreed that both Active Motif and EpiCypher's IP are equally valid, and that both sets of IP are required to commercialize products and services that use technology involving targeted transposition techniques such as CUT&Tag. As part of the cross-licensing agreement, EpiCypher and Active Motif each agreed to provide to the other company a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license to enable commercialization of products, kits, and services that use targeted Tn5 / CUT&Tag-based workflows. The companies also agreed to pool their IP and work together to sublicense targeted tagmentation technology for emerging fields of use, including single cell and spatial genomics assays. This places Active Motif and EpiCypher in a very strong position in the targeted transposition market. "Today's announcement is great for EpiCypher, Active Motif, and our collective customers", said Dr. Martis Cowles, Chief Business Officer of EpiCypher. "The Partnership between EpiCypher and Active Motif is a natural fit, and we look forward to working with Active Motif to maximize the impact of CUT&Tag technology on chromatin science and drug development". "Targeted transposition technology has become increasingly important in simplifying the study of Protein-DNA interactions. We are pleased to be collaborating with EpiCypher to bring targeted transposition to the research and biotech communities." Ted DeFrank, President and CEO of Active Motif. Joe Fernandez, the Founder of Active Motif About EpiCypher EpiCypher® is dedicated to developing transformative epigenetic solutions that advance the science of epigenetic regulation and improve human health. Most recently, EpiCypher has been at the leading edge of chromatin profiling technology with highly sensitive CUTANA™ epigenomic mapping assays for ChIC, CUT&RUN, and CUT&Tag. The Company also manufactures and sells the largest collection of defined "designer" nucleosomes on the market and offers a range of high-throughput nucleosome-based assays and services for chromatin research and drug development. About Active Motif Active Motif, Inc. is dedicated to developing, manufacturing and delivering epigenetics-based research tools to analyze nuclear function. Its customers include scientists from academic and government institutions; biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Active Motif operates globally through its corporate headquarters in Carlsbad, California and offices in Shanghai China, Tokyo Japan and Waterloo Belgium. Active Motif applies a multi-disciplinary approach to create new and modify existing technologies to meet the current and future needs of life science researchers.

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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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