CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Spotlight Therapeutics Closes its Series A Financing Bringing the Total Raised to $30 Million

Spotlight Therapeutics | December 01, 2020

Spotlight Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology organization creating non-viral quality altering therapeutics for direct in vivo altering of target genes, closed its Series A financing bringing the complete raised to $30 million. The financing was driven by GV, in the past Google Ventures, with interest from extra undisclosed investors.

Realizing the full revolutionary potential of CRISPR genome editing requires the ability to edit target genes directly in the right cells of the human body. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform develops programmable CRISPR ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) optimized for in vivo cell-targeted delivery. The modular biologics approach is designed to avoid the complexity and toxicities associated with current cell, viral and nanoparticle delivery methods. Spotlight’s technology integrates the game-changing power of CRISPR with well-established biologics precepts. The company is advancing lead programs in hemoglobinopathies and immuno-oncology.

Spotlight

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Mission Bio and S2 Genomics to Provide Tumor Sample for Single-cell DNA Analysis

Mission Bio | April 20, 2022

Mission Bio, Inc., a leader in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced today a co-marketing agreement with S2 Genomics, Inc., a leading developer of laboratory automation solutions for processing solid tissues for single-cell applications, to provide a single streamlined workflow for solid tumor applications from sample prep to analysis. Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), validated the automated nuclei workflow, which she presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting last week. Single-cell DNA analysis has revolutionized cancer research, allowing researchers to gain high-resolution insights into tumor heterogeneity, leading to a slew of high-profile papers on disease causes. Solid tumor profiling, on the other hand, presents significant problems, as existing prep procedures sometimes fail to yield enough cells or nuclei to offer relevant data. Mission Bio introduced their Tapestri Solution for Solid Tumor Research last month to address this issue, which includes new pre-designed research panels for breast cancer and glioblastoma multiforme, as well as an upgraded single-cell copy number variation (CNV) bioinformatic analysis tool. S2 Genomics' SingulatorTM 100 technology for automated dissociation of solid tissue into single-cell or nuclei suspensions can now be used in conjunction with Tapestri to achieve scalable, high-yield, efficient, and repeatable tissue processing. We are eager to partner with leading companies to address key challenges to sample prep in solid tumor research, As Dr. Iacobuzio-Donahue's lab demonstrates, the Singulator 100 and Tapestri together are a powerful solution enabling single-cell DNA sequencing at scale, in pancreatic cancer research and across a variety of tissue types." Yan Zhang, Ph.D., CEO of Mission Bio. The Singulator 100 has been an important tool for enabling single-cell sequencing in solid tissue, but cancer researchers have been unable to directly interrogate DNA, Tapestri is the only commercial platform capable of single-cell DNA analysis, and we're excited to offer this single automated pipeline connecting cell and nuclei prep to Tapestri's microfluidics-based workflow." John Bashkin, Chief Strategy Officer of S2 Genomics.

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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.

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XYLYX BIO Launches Specialized Contract R&D Services That Support Improved Assessment of Antifibrotic Drug Candidate Efficacy

Xylyx Bio | September 30, 2020

Xylyx Bio, a leader in advanced disease models for drug discovery, today announced the launch of specialized contract R&D services that support improved assessment of antifibrotic drug candidate efficacy. Despite ongoing advances, the current drug discovery paradigm is highly inefficient. Approximately 40% of development costs are associated with preclinical studies, yet 80% of drug candidates fail before reaching Phase I trials, largely due to lack of translatability of efficacy data to humans. Commonly used assays have limited ability to predict how a drug candidate will act when introduced into patients, costing biopharma companies billions in the quest to determine which drugs will be most effective. To address this, Xylyx Bio now offers specialized contract R&D services based on its highly predictive IN MATRICO™ platform. Xylyx Bio's custom assays incorporate human disease-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) substrates combined with clinically relevant informatics to better represent human biology and reliably de-risk drug discovery through early efficacy signals that simultaneously reduce costs and development time.

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