TurtleTree | October 04, 2021
TurtleTree has officially opened its new R&D facility in California's state capital. Located in West Sacramento, this 24,000-square-foot building will house a world-class research hub showcasing the company's extensive array of innovations and cell-based technologies.
Representing a milestone in TurtleTree's US-based expansion plans, the research facility will spur the development of precision fermentation technology currently used to produce valuable milk ingredients like lactoferrin. This marks a significant stride towards the production of consumer-ready milk and dairy, reaffirming TurtleTree's status as a leading player in the field of sustainable nutrition.
In addition to improving these capabilities, the establishment of this groundbreaking facility will also further TurtleTree's mission of uplifting the world beyond the creation of sustainable food. To adequately staff the facility, the company will create approximately 40 new tech-related jobs in and around Greater Sacramento. These will span diverse fields from food science to engineering, yielding fresh opportunities for seasoned professionals and fresh graduates alike.
Referencing this positive impact, TurtleTree's CEO and co-founder, Fengru Lin, stated: "Establishing this R&D facility in Greater Sacramento marks the first step towards bringing our unique products from development to market—one that we're very glad will help unlock new opportunities within the local community. We're eagerly looking forward to working with the brilliant talent in the area and building a future generation of nutrition that we can all enjoy for decades to come."
Echoing similar sentiments, various West Sacramento representatives have also offered their support for the new facility. President and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Barry Broome, stated: "We want to congratulate TurtleTree for locating their R&D and manufacturing facility in West Sacramento. This move signals market validation of why Greater Sacramento is world-class in biotech, specifically alternative proteins research."
West Sacramento is honored to have been chosen by TurtleTree as the location for their much-anticipated research facility. The city looks forward to assisting the TurtleTree leadership to achieve their goals, with respect to the facility, through an accelerated occupancy permit process, TurtleTree is making significant contributions to a sustainable, global food supply and is also creating opportunities to prepare future generations to continue this important scientific work through our student internship program, which will be of great benefit to the city's youth.
-West Sacramento mayor, Martha Guerrero
Moving forward, TurtleTree remains committed to its role in developing the food and agriculture ecosystem in Northern California. Aside from functioning as a research hub, the R&D facility will also serve as an integral touchpoint for TurtleTree to connect and collaborate with educational institutions, research-focused partners, strategic partners, future customers, and investors.
TurtleTree is a biotech company that's using cell-based technologies to create sustainable food and dairy. In spite of this, we earnestly believe that what we do extends beyond the dining table and into the heart of humanity. At our core, we seek to uplift the world by providing a new generation of nutrition that's better for the planet, better for the animals, and better for people everywhere.
About the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC)
The Greater Sacramento Economic Council is the catalyst for innovative growth strategies in the Capital Region of California. The organization spearheads community-led direction to retain, attract, grow, and scale tradable sectors, develop advanced industries, and create jobs and investment throughout a six-county region. Greater Sacramento represents a collaboration between local and state governments, market leaders, influencers, and stakeholders, with the sole mission of driving inclusive economic growth. The Greater Sacramento region was founded on discovery, built on leadership, and fueled by innovation.
About the City of West Sacramento
West Sacramento is located minutes from the state capital, midway between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, in the heart of California's Great Central Valley. West Sacramento has abundant land, high-quality water, and nearby agricultural production combined with market access and proximity to the world-renowned food and agricultural research of U.C. Davis. Over 60 companies in food and ag-tech research, production, and distribution have established West Sacramento's Global Food Industry Hub, including Origin Materials, TOMRA Sorting Solutions, NuSeed Americas, Nor-Cal Beverage, Bayer Crop Science, and Nippon Shokken U.S.A.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
2seventy bio, Inc | January 07, 2022
2seventy bio, Inc. announced that it has entered into an option and license agreement with Novo Nordisk for joint research and development of an in vivo gene editing treatment for hemophilia A. This agreement builds upon a successful existing multi-year research collaboration between the two companies. Under the terms of this agreement, Novo Nordisk will have the option to license 2seventy bio’s proprietary mRNA-based megaTAL™ technology for the development of a new treatment approach for hemophilia A patients with the goal of offering a sustained therapeutic effect.
“This collaboration aims to develop the first direct in vivo application of our megaTAL technology. We are excited to explore this technology with Novo Nordisk, with the goal of developing a new potential therapeutic approach for patients with hemophilia A. Moreover, we view this work as further validation and a natural extension of our technology platform. Based on what we continue to learn, this technology may play a potential role in expanding our gene editing platform toward future in vivo and ex vivo applications that can enhance our oncology pipeline. We are also excited to announce a partnership between 2seventy bio and Genevant Sciences for the use of Genevant’s lipid nanoparticle platform in our collaboration with Novo Nordisk.”
Philip Gregory, D. Phil., chief scientific officer, 2seventy bio
The collaboration agreement with Novo Nordisk builds upon the original research collaboration signed between bluebird bio and Novo Nordisk in 2019, focused on identifying a development gene therapy candidate for people with hemophilia A. The collaboration utilizes 2seventy bio’s megaTAL technology that has the potential to provide a highly specific and efficient way to silence, edit, or insert genetic components. Hemophilia A is a genetic bleeding disorder resulting from defective Factor VIII.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with 2seventy bio to jointly develop a next-generation in vivo genome editing treatment, with the ultimate ambition of offering people with hemophilia A lifetime free of factor replacement therapy,” said Karin Conde-Knape, senior vice president, Global Drug Discovery, Novo Nordisk. “This partnership reflects Novo Nordisk’s commitment to utilizing novel technology platforms to advance truly disease-modifying therapies for people with serious chronic diseases.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will obtain the option to exclusively license 2seventy bio’s in vivo mRNA platform and gene editing technology for use in the treatment of patients with hemophilia A. 2seventy bio will receive an upfront payment of $5 million and is eligible for near-term milestone and option exercise payments of up to $35 million, in addition to development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, as well as a royalty on net sales. Novo Nordisk will be responsible for funding all research and development activities.
Related to this collaboration, 2seventy bio has also entered into an agreement with Genevant Sciences for access to Genevant’s industry-leading LNP technology platform for use in 2seventy bio’s collaboration with Novo Nordisk for the treatment of patients with hemophilia A. 2seventy bio plans to use the Genevant LNP platform for efficient delivery of megaTAL mRNA to hepatocyte cells within the liver.
“We are very pleased that 2seventy bio has entrusted Genevant and our LNP platform with delivery for its important gene editing program in hemophilia A,” said Pete Lutwyche, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Genevant Sciences Corporation. “Our scientists have been at the forefront of the LNP field for more than 20 years, and we are excited for our innovative technology to be used for this important application with great unmet need.”
Under the terms of the agreement between 2seventy bio and Genevant, 2seventy bio obtained rights to license Genevant’s LNP technology for use with megaTAL mRNA products in the treatment of patients with hemophilia A. Genevant is eligible for upfront and near-term option exercise payments totaling $10 million, as well as development and commercialization milestones, and royalties in the mid-single digits on future product sales.
MegaTALs are single-chain enzymes that combine the natural DNA recognition and cleavage processes of Homing Endonucleases with the modular DNA binding properties of transcription activator-like effectors. This protein fusion architecture allows the generation of highly specific and active nucleases in a compact format compatible with all current viral and non-viral cell delivery methods.
About Novo Nordisk A/S
Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 47,000 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries.
About Genevant Sciences
Genevant Sciences is a leading nucleic acid delivery company with world-class platforms, the industry’s most robust and expansive lipid nanoparticle patent estate, and decades of experience and expertise in nucleic acid drug delivery and development. The Company’s scientists have pioneered LNP delivery of nucleic acids for over 20 years, and the Company’s LNP platform, which has been studied across more than a dozen discrete product candidates and is the delivery technology behind the first and only approved RNAi-LNP (patisiran), enables a wide array of RNA-based applications, including vaccines, therapeutic protein production, and gene editing.
About 2seventy bio
Our name, 2seventy bio, reflects why we do what we do - TIME. Cancer rips time away and our goal is to work at the maximum speed of translating human thought into action – 270 miles per hour — to give the people we serve more time. We are building the leading immuno-oncology cell therapy company, focused on discovering new therapies and leveraging platform technologies that truly disrupt the cancer treatment landscape.
Antheia | August 13, 2021
Antheia, a synthetic biology company enabling next-generation plant-inspired medicines, and Ginkgo Bioworks, which is building the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a partnership to accelerate the development and production of essential medicines. Ginkgo, which recently announced a business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SRNG), serves customers across industries seeking to develop new and better products. Antheia plans to leverage Ginkgo's high throughput enzyme design and screening capabilities to broaden its pipeline of critical active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and key starting materials (KSMs).
Nearly half of all medicines today are sourced from nature, and many of the most widely used essential medicines are sourced directly from medicinal plants. The World Health Organization classifies "essential medicines" as medicines "that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population." The supply chains for most critical plant-based medicines are fragile, and depend on a years-long process of growing, harvesting, transporting, and processing specialty plants. During times of extreme demand or constrained supply, many plant-based medicines, including widely used analgesics and sedatives, can be in shortage, as was recently the case during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Antheia is committed to using synthetic biology to enable more equitable access to essential medicines," said Kristy Hawkins, CSO and co-founder at Antheia. "By partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks, a global leader in organism engineering, we are greatly increasing our ability to develop essential medicines at the speed and scale necessary to drive change in global pharma supply chains."
Synthetic biology platforms, such as those created by Antheia and Ginkgo Bioworks, make it possible for critical medicines to be produced on-demand in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly process compared to today's fragmented production systems. Additionally, when it comes to plant-based pharmaceuticals, biomanufacturing has significant advantages in supply chain resiliency and agility, cost, quality control, sustainability and efficiency compared to the conventional production methods, which are based on crop farming.
"We're proud to partner with Antheia, a leader in the application of synthetic biology, as they leverage our platform to produce essential medicines at scale," said Tom Knight, co-founder at Ginkgo Bioworks. "Antheia and Ginkgo are both committed to using biology to build a better future, and we look forward to a long lasting partnership that will drive substantial impact."
Antheia is focused on plant-inspired pharmaceuticals that are too complex to be produced through scalable synthetic chemistry processes. Antheia has managed to efficiently produce these highly-complex pharmaceuticals by pioneering whole-cell engineering, a technique that reconstructs multi-step biosynthetic pathways of unprecedented complexity in yeast cells. As Antheia brings its engineered microbes to commercial scale, it continually invests in strain optimization to ensure highly efficient production of the pharmaceutical compound of interest. Through this partnership, Antheia plans to leverage Ginkgo's extensive and rapid cell programming platform and biological codebase to greatly expand and accelerate its strain and enzyme engineering work.
"Antheia is at the cutting edge of synthetic biology innovation, and its whole-cell engineering platform is capable of producing entire classes of medicines that were previously inaccessible," said Barry Canton, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks. "We are thrilled that Ginkgo's platform can support innovators like Antheia as they create next generation manufacturing technologies for essential medicines."
Antheia is unlocking the medicinal power of nature with synthetic biology. Through a novel whole-cell engineering approach to reconstruct complex molecules in yeast, Antheia's platform enables the discovery and manufacturing of plant-inspired drugs of unprecedented complexity and diversity. Antheia's team of scientists and technologists is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.