Precise Bio | July 19, 2022
Carl Zeiss Meditec and Precise Bio, a regenerative medicine company advancing the use of bio-printed tissues and organs, announced today that the companies have entered into a partnership to develop and commercialize fabricated corneal tissue for transplants in patients that require endothelial keratoplasty and natural lenticule transplants for treating keratoconus and vision correction.
Under the terms of the agreement, Carl Zeiss Meditec will invest in Precise Bio and fund the further development of Precise Bio's two cornea transplant products and has exclusive worldwide commercialization rights for these products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This investment in Precise Bio is expected to complement our leading portfolio of cataract and corneal refractive workflow solutions. The technology has the potential to advance treatment options for corneal disease, as well as for elective procedures – furthering enabling optimization of patient care."
Euan S. Thomson, PhD, President of Ophthalmic Devices and Head of the Digital Business Unit for Carl Zeiss Meditec
"We are very excited with this partnership that builds on our successful, ongoing collaboration with ZEISS for the development of corneal tissues to address unmet needs in the field of ophthalmology," stated Aryeh Batt, Co- Founder and CEO of Precise Bio. "This strategic agreement leverages ZEISS' global leadership in ophthalmology and Precise' innovative and unique 4D bio-fabrication platform technology. We are confident that the synergy between the two companies will allow us to develop breakthrough solutions for recovering patients' eyesight, bringing hope to hundreds of millions of patients worldwide."
Precise Bio combines engineering, biomaterials, cell technology, bioengineering, and 3D printing into an unparalleled 4D bio-fabrication platform for transplantable organs and tissues. The Company's proprietary platform technology allows to fabricate tissues by 'printing' cells in a single-cell resolution and spatial accuracy, enabling complex organoid constructs with both structural integrity and long-term cell viability. Overcoming multiple technology challenges, Precise Bio's 4D bio-fabrication technology allows to reliably scale up tissue engineering for clinical use, and produce large quantities in a reproducible, quality controlled and cost-effective process. Precise Bio's ophthalmological pipeline consists of three products, the two cornea products that are the subject of the collaboration with Carl Zeiss Meditec and a retinal implant for age-related macular degeneration, all of which demonstrated successful results in animal models. The Company's ophthalmological products address global markets exceeding $10 billion annually.
Bio-fabricated tissues comprised of human cells and natural materials, mimicking the anatomical structure and natural tissue components, can replace damaged or diseased tissue, substitute for donor tissue in cases where there is lack of tissue or solve unmet therapeutic needs.
Carl Zeiss Meditec AG AX and TecDAX of the German stock exchange, is one of the world's leading medical technology companies. The Company supplies innovative technologies and application-oriented solutions designed to help doctors improve the quality of life of their patients. The Company offers complete solutions, including implants and consumables, to diagnose and treat eye diseases. The Company creates innovative visualization solutions in the field of microsurgery. With approximately 3,531 employees worldwide, the Group generated revenue of €1,646.8m in fiscal year 2020/2.
The Group's head office is located in Jena, Germany, and it has subsidiaries in Germany and abroad; more than 50 percent of its employees are based in the USA, Japan, Spain and France. The Center for Application and Research ore, India and the Carl Zeiss Innovations Center for Research and Development in Shanghai, China, strengthen the Company's presence in these rapidly developing economies. Around 41 percent of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG's shares are in free float. The remaining approx. 59 percent are held by Carl Zeiss AG, one of the world's leading groups in the optical and optoelectronic industries.
About Precise Bio
Precise Bio develops regenerative medicine therapies that can transform patient care across a wide range of medical indications. Precise Bio's proprietary, break-through 4D bio-fabricating platform overcomes limitations of existing extrusion and ink-jet printers and paves the way for fabricating clinically viable tissues and organs. The Company's initial product pipeline is focused on ophthalmology and includes fabricated functional corneal grafts, intrastromal lenticules for treating keratoconus and vision correction, and a retinal implant for age-related macular degeneration. The Company also has earlier R&D programs to address unmet needs in additional medical indications, which are limited by the number of available donor tissues and organs, or where today's critical health problems can be solved using Precise Bio's naturally-based, hyper-accurate technology.
Enveric Biosciences, Inc | July 14, 2022
Enveric Biosciences, Inc. a neuroscience-focused biotechnology company developing next-generation, psychedelic-inspired mental health medicines, today revealed drug discovery and development progress targeting mental health indications and intellectual property advances achieved during the first half of 2022.
“The first half of 2022 was foundationally successful for Enveric. We validated and executed on the corporate premise that we can deploy PsyAITM, our proprietary artificial intelligence tool, and PsybraryTM, our expanding proprietary portfolio of new chemical entities and drug candidates, to design and improve upon new drug molecules inspired by legacy psychedelic drugs,”
Dr. Joseph Tucker, PhD, Enveric’s Chief Executive Officer
“Enveric is pleased to advise that our predictions have materialized, and our platforms have successfully generated a large number of promising new molecules that have successfully passed primary screening and moved on to lead optimization, providing us with a strong slate of drug candidates. Our leading program, EVM-201, includes a number of new molecules currently in lead optimization that are geared towards providing improved characteristics and drug-like properties compared with psilocybin. The successful outcomes from our testing efforts completed in the first half of 2022 have positioned the company very well to advance our drug candidates towards the clinic,” continued Dr. Tucker.
Based on extensive direct clinical understanding of the current unmet needs in anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health indications, coupled with in-depth knowledge of the current treatment landscape, Enveric’s Clinical Team is well positioned to tackle the challenges ahead, while aiming to shepherd novel new treatments for a host of mental health indications.
Enveric’s Clinical Team is led by a past Board-certified psychiatrist and clinical trialist Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bob Dagher, MD. Dr. Dagher joined Enveric in December 2021, bringing a wealth of clinical trial management and new CNS-drug development experience from his past roles, including at WCG, Cadent, Covance, Sanofi and GSK, in addition to his first-hand experience in treating patients from his previous clinical practice in psychiatric medicine.
Next-Generation Drug Discovery
Enveric’s Discovery Team, spearheaded by Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Peter Facchini, PhD, an international leader in natural product biochemistry and biotechnology, completed the rational design of more than 300 Generation-2 (“Gen-2”) psilocin prodrug candidates using well-established design strategies, but adapted to the unique structure of psilocin.
The 300 Gen-2 original concept designs, now housed within the PsybraryTM, were screened using PsyAITM. The assessment helped predict chemical structures with appropriate receptor binding, toxicology, and pharmacokinetic profiles that would trigger the desired mechanisms of action while reducing undesirable side effects, and the initial candidate evaluation included, among other metrics, prodrug-likeness, toxicity, ease of chemical synthesis and degree of IP-white space surrounding the molecule.
Ranked scoring of these and other AI assessments, as well as commercial considerations (e.g., ease of procuring synthetic starting materials), prioritized 31 novel Gen-2 molecules that have been synthesized in sufficient quantities (~10 mg, 95% purity) for preliminary pharmacological screening. Enveric’s Chemistry Group, led by Dr. Kaveh Matinkhoo, PhD, completed these syntheses, 29 of which were deemed stable enough to advance.
Deep-dive chemical structure searches, patentability, and freedom-to-operate reviews were performed on all 29 candidates, under the leadership of Lead Internal Counsel C. Michael Gegenheimer. All the patentability analyses indicated potential patentability results, and 25 of the 29 molecules presented minimal concern with freedom to operate.
To strengthen the IP protection for the overall Gen-2 prodrug program, three provisional patent applications, covering 7 structurally diverse clinical classes and thousands of additional potential new drug candidates, have been filed so far in 2022, and additional provisional and PCT filings are expected to continue throughout the year.
In other IP developments, an additional three of Enveric’s international patent applications protecting tryptamine derivatives have been published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, bringing the total published so far to seven.
EVM-201 Drug Candidate Testing
Following the initial Gen-2 ideation, patent filing, synthesis, and screening efforts, more extensive assays were performed on the advancing drug candidates. Numerous internal assays were performed under the leadership of Dr. Jill Hagel, PhD, Vice-President of Innovation and Dr. Sheetal Raithatha, PhD, Director of Research and Development. The internal results were then confirmed and validated using leading independent, third-party Contract Research Organizations (CROs), covering 122 Toxicology tests, 72 receptor-binding and potency tests, 31 pharmacokinetic tests and 24 animal-model tests to provide ample information to support candidate nomination.
The synthesis and analysis of these comprehensive pharmacology and toxicology datasets, both internal and external, was led by Dr. Kevin Leach, PhD DABT, Vice President of Preclinical and Translational Research. Enveric is now moving towards lead-candidate nomination and, in preparation for IND filing, has initiated numerous IND-enabling studies on several of the leading candidates at third-party CROs.
Recognizing the need for stable drugs with robust, reproducible, and cost-effective manufacturing, several Contract Development & Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) are currently engaged with Enveric’s Chemistry Team to determine how best to manufacture our molecules. Enveric has plans in place to produce material at commercial facilities and the CDMO personnel have worked with our chemists to validate that our processes will work at their facilities. This is another necessary step prior to filing the IND. Finally, preliminary formulation work is underway, with a particular focus on enabling improved routes of administration.
“The first half of the year has indeed been busy and productive for the dedicated team here at Enveric. We are all very excited at how those efforts have begun to bear fruit. We look forward to advising our shareholders of further key developments, which we anticipate will continue to unfold during the remainder of 2022,” concluded Dr. Tucker.
About Enveric Biosciences
Enveric Biosciences, Inc. is a neuroscience-focused pharmaceutical company developing next-generation, psychedelic-inspired mental health medicines. Enveric's robust pipeline supports drug development from the clinic to commercialization aimed to help millions of patients in need around the world suffering from conditions that include cancer-related distress, PTSD and more.
Zoetis | June 27, 2022
Zoetis Inc. is the world's largest animal health company committed to providing medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock. The company announced completing the acquisition of a privately held petcare genetics company, Basepaws, which offers early health risk assessments, genetic tests, and analytics to pet owners. The acquisition was first announced on June 7th. However, the financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Basepaws, founded by CEO Anna Skaya in 2017, provides genetic screening tools for the diagnosis of several pet diseases, health reports, and individualized breeds by identifying traits, potential hereditary conditions, and biomarkers.
With the help of genetic insights from Basepaws, pet owners and doctors can better understand a pet's risk for the disease. This can result in more meaningful interactions and improve the chances of early identification and treatment of the disease.
When we first met Basepaws CEO Anna Skaya and the team, we were immediately drawn to their passion for pets and the role that genetic testing and data analytics can have in advancing animal care – a purpose that drives us every day,The addition of Basepaws will enhance our portfolio in the precision animal health space and inform our future pipeline of petcare innovations. Working together, we can continue to provide veterinarians and pet owners with more comprehensive ways to proactively manage the health, wellness, and quality of care for their animals."
Zoetis, CEO Kristin Peck.