Iktos, Kadmon | May 19, 2021
Iktos, a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, announced today that it has signed a Research Collaboration Agreement with Kadmon, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in New York, USA, under which Iktos' generative modeling artificial intelligence (AI) technology will be used to allow the rapid and cost-effective design of novel drug candidates. Iktos will use its de novo structure-based generative modeling technologies to find novel compounds that meet a pre-defined target product profile as part of the deal, to speed up Kadmon's early-stage discovery efforts.
Kadmon discovers, develops, and delivers small molecules and biologics for the treatment of human diseases. Intending to identify and develop new product candidates for significant unmet medical needs, Kadmon is expanding and incorporating novel drug discovery platforms.
The AI technology developed by Iktos, which is focused on deep generative models, aids in the speed and efficiency of the drug discovery process. Iktos' technology creates virtual novel molecules that have all of the properties of a successful drug molecule automatically. This approach, which has been validated by Iktos' other collaborations, is an innovative approach to one of the most difficult problems in drug design: finding molecules that meet several important drug criteria at the same time, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties.
Iktos' technology enables the creation of new hits with optimal protein-ligand interactions in early-stage discovery projects, as predicted by molecular modeling technology. This technique allows for a one-of-a-kind discovery of chemical space, as well as the development of innovative molecule designs with greater Freedom to Operate. Furthermore, allowing multi-parametric in silico optimization from the start of a project greatly reduces the hit finding and hit-to-lead optimization phases.
Iktos, a French start-up founded in October 2016, specializes in the development of artificial intelligence technologies for chemical research, especially medicinal chemistry, and new drug design. Iktos is working on a proprietary and innovative approach focused on deep learning generative models that allow users to build molecules in silico that follow all of the performance criteria of a small molecule discovery project using existing evidence. Iktos technology allows for significant efficiency gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos' software is utilized as both professional services and a SaaS software platform, Makya. Spaya, a synthesis planning software built on Iktos' proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis, is also in the works.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Kaneka Eurogentec | February 23, 2022
Kaneka Eurogentec, an FDA inspected contract development and manufacturing organization announced today that its mRNA manufacturing facility has successfully produced a 25 g batch of mRNA for a US customer.
Eurogentec’s GMP mRNA manufacturing service offers in vitro transcription (IVT), purification, quality control and batch release of GMP material up to 25 g scale in its current facility in Belgium. In this project Eurogentec successfully produced and purified 25 g of material in one batch that will be tested by the customer. This quantity is equivalent to 100,000’s to millions of doses of mRNA, potentially sufficient for late clinical and commercial uses.
Ingrid Dheur, Vice President Biopharma Development at Kaneka Eurogentec stated, “This successful production confirms our ability to produce mRNA at large scale and with a quantity and purity level that exceeds the targets requested by the customer.”
“The rapid growth in cell and gene therapy products is driving the need for plasmid DNA and mRNA production. Our existing pharma and biotech customers have already expressed the need for such large-scale manufacturing capabilities, and we have developed methods to respond to these needs. Additionally, we are currently in the planning stages for a 2nd manufacturing facility to further expand our GMP mRNA manufacturing offering”.
Lieven Janssens, President and CEO at Kaneka Eurogentec
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a molecule that encodes for a protein which will have a beneficial effect in patients. Rather than producing complex proteins, producing mRNA is a convenient way to deliver the protein as a precursor. The production of mRNA is much simpler than producing a recombinant protein and thus mRNA molecules have the advantage of enabling a shorter production time to clinic. For example, current mainstream therapies for the protection against COV-SARS-2 infections are based on mRNA and have been developed in record time. The success of these COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has opened the evaluation of mRNA for other infectious diseases, for example influenza or HIV, and the need for custom large-scale production of GMP mRNA.
About Kaneka Eurogentec
Eurogentec was founded in 1985 as one of the first biotech companies in Belgium. Kaneka Eurogentec contributes to improving health and fighting diseases by supplying products and services to scientists involved in life science research, molecular diagnostics, and therapeutic developments. The Liège-based company is recognized as one of the major suppliers in the field of genomics and proteomics as well as a trusted Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) for the bio-production of pharmaceuticals.
Eurogentec is one of a few CDMOs capable of manufacturing GMP oligonucleotides, mRNA, plasmid DNA and recombinant proteins for human injectable use, with commercial products sold in USA, Europe and Japan.
In 2010, Eurogentec, renamed Kaneka Eurogentec in April 2017, became part of Kaneka Corporation, a large Japanese chemical company focusing on technology and innovation.
About Kaneka Corporation
Kaneka is an innovation-oriented chemical company. Traditionally the company has been active in polymers, fermentation, biotechnology, and electronics, as well as other fields. Business activities now span a broad spectrum of markets ranging from plastics, EPS resins, chemicals and foodstuffs to pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electrical and electronic materials, and synthetic fibers. The life science related activities are currently one of the strategically important domains for Kaneka. The company has been a pioneer among Japanese chemical companies in establishing overseas operations, beginning in 1970 with a subsidiary in Belgium.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
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.
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.