MEDICAL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Businesswire | May 11, 2023
Bayer and Bicycle Therapeutics plc a biotechnology company pioneering a new and differentiated class of therapeutics by utilizing proprietary bicyclic peptides technology (Bicycle®), announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration agreement to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize Bicycle radioconjugates for multiple agreed upon oncology targets.
Bicyclic peptides are peptides consisting of 9-20 amino acids that can be synthetically manufactured and bind to targets with high affinity and selectivity, affording high tumor penetration and fast excretion from healthy organs. They are chemically synthesizable, featuring a low molecular weight and tunable pharmacokinetics, with a large surface-area for molecular interactions that allows protein-protein interactions to be targeted. The two companies will jointly use Bicycle’s peptide technology to develop bicyclic peptides for several undisclosed oncology targets. Targeted radiotherapies are an innovative class of cancer therapies. Due to their unique mode of action, they have the potential to unlock a broad opportunity space and serve patients in high-unmet medical need indications.
“At Bayer, we enter strategic collaborations to expand our access to innovation,” said Christian Rommel, Ph.D., Global Head of Research and Development and Member of the Executive Committee, Pharmaceuticals Division, Bayer. “With Bicycle’s proprietary peptide-based technology, we continue to strengthen our oncology development pipeline by adding next-generation targeted radiotherapeutics to address high unmet medical needs of cancer patients.”
“Bayer is a pioneer in the radiopharmaceuticals space and provides new and additional validation of our unique technology,” said Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. “We believe our bicyclic peptide platform, coupled with Bayer’s scale and expertise in developing radiopharmaceuticals, has the potential to deliver improved clinical outcomes for patients with cancer. We look forward to collaborating with Bayer to bring forth new potential first-in-class radiopharmaceutical treatments based on Bicycles.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer and Bicycle will collaborate on the development of bicyclic peptides for multiple oncology targets. Bicycle will utilize its proprietary phage platform to discover and develop bicyclic peptides and Bayer will be responsible for, and fully fund, all further preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities. Bicycle will receive a $45 million upfront payment and with potential development and commercial-based milestone fees, payments to Bicycle could total up to $1.7 billion. Bicycle will also be eligible to receive mid-single to double-digit tiered royalties on Bicycle-based medicines commercialized by Bayer. The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance of the transaction under the U.K. National Security and Investment Act 2021.
About Bicycle Therapeutics
Bicycle Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of medicines, referred to as Bicycles, for diseases that are underserved by existing therapeutics. Bicycles are fully synthetic short peptides constrained with small molecule scaffolds to form two loops that stabilize their structural geometry. This constraint facilitates target binding with high affinity and selectivity, making Bicycles attractive candidates for drug development. Bicycle is evaluating BT5528, a second-generation Bicycle Toxin Conjugate (BTC™) targeting EphA2; BT8009, a second-generation BTC targeting Nectin-4, a well-validated tumor antigen; and BT7480, a Bicycle TICA™ targeting Nectin-4 and agonizing CD137, in company-sponsored Phase I/II trials. In addition, BT1718, a BTC that targets MT1-MMP, is being investigated in an ongoing Phase I/IIa clinical trial sponsored by the Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development. Bicycle is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with many key functions and members of its leadership team located in Cambridge, MA.
INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, DIAGNOSTICS
Globenewswire | April 10, 2023
Avid Bioservices, Inc. a dedicated biologics contract development and manufacturing organization working to improve patient lives by providing high quality development and manufacturing services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, announced the completion of two expansions within the company’s mammalian cell facilities. The company expects that the first customer for the newly expanded CGMP mammalian cell suites will begin manufacture this month. To celebrate the launch of the newly expanded facilities, Avid is hosting an open house and tour for existing and prospective clients.
“We are proud to unveil our completed expansions and excited to kick off the first customer project within our latest, state-of-the-art mammalian cell manufacturing suites. These build-outs involved great complexity and required exemplary efforts from our entire team. I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work from everyone who played a role in completing these significant projects on schedule,” said Nick Green, president and chief executive officer of Avid Bioservices. “This launch could not be timed any better based on the significant demand we continue to see for our mammalian cell services, highlighted by significant new business wins and the largest backlog in the history of the company.”
The newly expanded manufacturing capacity includes both upstream and downstream CGMP manufacturing suites and serves as complement to Avid’s existing Myford facility, providing increased capacity to address the needs of both existing and future mammalian cell business customers. The addition of the capacity provided by the new manufacturing suites within the Myford facility has the potential to generate approximately an additional $100 million in annual revenue.
In addition to the launch of the newly expanded Myford facility, Avid also announced the completion of its mammalian cell process development expansion, which has doubled the company’s total process development capacity. Now operational, these new capabilities have the potential to support up to an additional $25 million in annual process development revenue.
With the completion of these mammalian cell capacity expansion projects, Avid’s sole ongoing expansion effort involves the build-out of its new cell and gene therapy facility which will support early-stage development through commercial manufacturing. The company has already launched analytical and process development capabilities at this viral vector facility and remains on track to launch the CGMP manufacturing suites by the end of the third quarter of calendar 2023.
Upon completion of the CGT Facility, we estimate that our combined facilities will have the potential to bring our total revenue generating capacity to up to approximately $400 million annually.
About Avid Bioservices, Inc.
Avid Bioservices an S&P SmallCap 600 company, is a dedicated contract development and manufacturing organization focused on development and CGMP manufacturing of biologics. The company provides a comprehensive range of process development, CGMP clinical and commercial manufacturing services for the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries. With 30 years of experience producing monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins, Avid's services include CGMP clinical and commercial drug substance manufacturing, bulk packaging, release and stability testing and regulatory submissions support. For early-stage programs the company provides a variety of process development activities, including upstream and downstream development and optimization, analytical methods development, testing and characterization. The scope of our services ranges from standalone process development projects to full development and manufacturing programs through commercialization.
INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, MEDICAL
Twist Bioscience | March 10, 2023
On March 9, 2023, Twist Bioscience Corporation, a leading firm providing high-quality synthetic DNA through its silicon platform, announced the launch of integrated antibody discovery services. This premium offering combines the company's synthetic libraries and AI machine learning with an in vivo immunization approach acquired through its acquisition of Abveris, also known as Twist Boston. This service provides customers with optimized, development-ready antibody candidates.
The combined team, now called Twist Biopharma Solutions, is led by Tracey Mullen, MBA, the senior vice president of biopharma for Twist Bioscience. This newly formed entity leverages years of industry expertise, scientific excellence, and proprietary technology to discover the best antibody candidate for therapeutic targets of interest.
Twist Biopharma Solutions offers an end-to-end workflow for centralized antibody discovery and optimization, including target validation, hit generation, lead selection, lead optimization, and lead characterization. Twist, supported by high-throughput DNA synthesis and IgG antibody production, constructs extensive and particular synthetic antibody libraries with discovery starting with either in vivo or in vitro diversity.
The newly integrated in vivo discovery approach from Abveris of single B cell screening and hybridoma discovery enables parallel paths where multiple technology methods can be leveraged to build a panel of highly diverse antibody leads with broad epitope coverage. In addition, this multi-pronged approach can increase the likelihood of discovering highly specific, high-affinity functional antibodies by sampling synthetic and natural diversity.
The South San Francisco and Boston biopharma teams were combined to create Twist Biopharma Solutions, led by Tracey Mullen. Aaron Sato, Ph.D., remains integrally involved in Twist Biopharma Solutions and, as a chief scientific officer of Twist Bioscience, extends his expertise across the organization. Tracey Mullen joined Twist Bioscience in November 2021 through the acquisition of Abveris. In April 2022, she took on the position of senior vice president of operations, driving the completion of the Factory of the Future in Wilsonville, Oregon, which began shipping products in January 2023. Before joining Twist, she served as CEO of Abveris and worked on the antibody discovery team at Biogen.
About Twist Bioscience
Twist Bioscience is a leading biotechnology company specializing in synthetic biology and genomics. It has developed a proprietary DNA synthesis platform that enables the production of custom-designed DNA strands faster, more accurately, and at a lower cost than traditional methods. In addition, Twist collaborates with partners across industries to develop customized DNA sequences for specific applications and offers a range of other products and services, such as oligonucleotides, synthetic genes, and custom panels for next-generation sequencing. The company has also developed a library of over 100 billion synthetic antibodies, which can be used for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.