MEDICAL

Absci Opens Door to New Biotechnology Campus

Absci | October 23, 2021

Absci Corporation the drug and target discovery company harnessing deep learning AI and synthetic biology to expand the therapeutic potential of proteins, today announced the opening of its new campus located in Vancouver, Washington, a few miles east of the downtown location that housed the company for the last four years.

Absci has been an incredibly positive force in the Vancouver community since establishing its headquarters here in 2016 I have followed Absci’s progress as it expanded within and has now outgrown that initial Vancouver facility. Absci is not only attracting investment and top talent to Washington, it is continuously innovating, creating exciting new possibilities for the future of medicine. I look forward to cutting the ribbon on Absci’s new campus early next month, and to continuing to support the development of our biotechnology ecosystem here in Washington.

 Washington Governor Jay Inslee

The new Absci facility was concepted and constructed in a close collaboration between the company, Portland design firm Bora Architecture & Interiors, and local contractor Bremik Construction. Covering over 85,000 square feet of laboratory, office, and meeting spaces, it features regionally sourced, renewable, and natural building materials, custom finishes, and a vibrant aesthetic.

The scalable laboratory space was designed to maximize flow, increase capacity, and readily reconfigure as needed. In addition to tripling capacity for program execution, the incorporation of in-house tissue culture capabilities, high throughput analytical instrumentation, advanced liquid handling and automation, and a dedicated clean air fermentation facility, in conjunction with a state-of-the-art offsite computational cluster, facilitate the expanded scope of Absci’s research and development activities. Additionally, integrated technologies for high volume data capture across Absci’s workflow generate the input for ongoing training of Absci’s Denovium EngineTM deep learning AI models for drug discovery and cell line design.

“It’s inspiring to come to work each day in this exceptional building,” said Sean McClain, founder and CEO of Absci. “We designed the light-filled space around collaboration and the pursuit of scientific excellence, and we are thrilled with the pride our Unlimiters feel inhabiting this new campus. We strive every day to bring new insights to challenging problems, and this collaborative setting really encourages all of us to step beyond the impossible to create new possibilities for patients.”

“When I visited Absci’s campus, I was impressed by the quality and productivity that imbues the space,” commented Bharat Dixit of ClearB Therapeutics. “The facility is designed with a modern look, yet with practical aspects in mind -- the futuristic gowning rooms, the bright, open lab spaces with lots of natural light and intuitive flow, as well as state-of-the-art robotic equipment, to name a few. And the friendly town hall full of people sharing ideas seems to be a sign of big success ahead.”

About Absci
Absci is the drug and target discovery company harnessing deep learning AI and synthetic biology to expand the therapeutic potential of proteins. We built our Integrated Drug Creation™ Platform to identify novel drug targets, discover optimal biotherapeutic candidates, and generate the cell lines to manufacture them in a single efficient process. Biotech and pharma innovators partner with us to create the next generation of protein-based drugs, including Bionic Proteins™ containing nonstandard amino acids, and other novel drug designs that may be impossible to make with other technologies. Our goal is to enable the development of better medicines by Translating Ideas into Drugs™. For more information visit www.absci.com.

Availability of Other Information about Absci
Investors and others should note that we routinely communicate with investors and the public using our website (www.absci.com) and our investor relations website (investors.absci.com), including without limitation, through the posting of investor presentations, SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts on these websites. The information that we post on these websites could be deemed to be material information. As a result, investors, the media, and others interested in Absci are encouraged to review this information on a regular basis. The contents of our website, or any other website that may be accessed from our website, shall not be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Absci Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release that are not historical facts are considered forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements containing the words “will,” “may,” "pursues," “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “forecast,” “estimates,” “expects,” and “intends,” or similar expressions. We intend these forward-looking statements, including statements regarding drug development efforts, to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act, and we make this statement for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies, and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. We can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations, or strategies will be attained or achieved, and, furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements and will be affected by a variety of risks and factors that are beyond our control, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties relating to drug development efforts; along with those risks set forth in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on September 7, 2021, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in our subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.


Spotlight

U.S. wheat yields remain stagnant compared to the increases enjoyed by other crops, especially corn. Wheat technology has just not kept up with crops like corn, soybeans and rice so it’s no surprise that wheat acres have been losing ground for decades to these other crops, where farmers see more potential for return on their investment.


Other News
MEDICAL

Pancreatic Cancer Cells Harness Normal Tissue Turnover to Build Protective Barriers

NYU Langone Health | April 05, 2022

In the presence of pancreatic tumors, certain immune cells break down structural proteins into molecules that trigger the building of dense tissue, a known barrier to therapy, a new study finds. Led by researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study revolves around the dense protein meshwork that supports organs and helps to rebuild damaged tissue. Collagen protein fibers, the major component of the mesh, are continually broken down and replaced to maintain tensile strength, and as part of the wound healing process. Past studies have shown that immune cells called macrophages contribute to a process called desmoplasia, which is caused by the abnormal turnover and excessive deposition of collagen that insulates pancreatic cancers. In this environment, macrophages are also known to engulf and break down collagen through the action of a protein called the mannose receptor (MRC1). Publishing online April 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, the current study found that the degraded collagen increased the amount of arginine, an amino acid that is used by the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) to produce compounds called reactive nitrogen species (RNS). This, in turn, caused neighboring, supportive stellate cells to build collagen-based meshes around tumors, say the study authors. Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, with a five-year survival rate of 10%. Pancreatic cancer remains difficult to treat in large part due to the extensive network of fibrotic tissue around tumors. This network not only blocks access by therapies, but also promotes aggressive growth. For the current study, experiments showed that macrophages grown in dishes of nutrients (cultures), and converted into their cancer-tolerant setting (M2), broke down far more collagen than macrophages that attack cancer cells (M1). Further, the team confirmed with a series of tests that M2 macrophages have higher levels of enzymes that generate RNS, such as iNOS. To confirm these findings in live mice, the team implanted stellate cells that were either "pre-fed" with collage, or maintained in an unfed state, into the flanks of the study animals along with pancreatic cancer cells. The team observed a 100 percent increase in the density of intra-tumoral collagen fibers in tumors derived from cancer cells co-implanted with stellate cells pre-treated with collagen. Importantly, the study showed for the first time that macrophages near pancreatic cancer cells, not only take in and break down more collagen as part of scavenging for proteins that feed abnormal growth, but also are changed by the scavenging, such that their energy processing system (metabolism) is rewired and signals for fibrotic buildup. Our team uncovered a mechanism that connects collagen turnover to the building of a treatment-resistant environment around pancreatic tumors, As this dense environment is a major reason why pancreatic cancer is so deadly, a better understanding of links between protein scavenging and the building of protective barriers will be needed to improve the treatment of this devastating malignancy." Bar-Sagi. Kimmelman has financial interests in Vescor Therapeutics, and is listed on patents pertaining to KRAS-regulated metabolic pathways, redox control pathways in pancreatic cancer, targeting GOT1 as a therapeutic approach, and the autophagy control of iron metabolism. Kimmelman is on the scientific advisory board for Rafael/Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, and consults for Deciphera and Abbvie. Bar-Sagi is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Rafael/Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals and Samumed LLC, and is also on the board of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. These relationships are being managed in keeping with the policies of NYU Langone Health.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Cybin Announces Additional Adelia Milestone Achievement

Cybin Inc. | January 28, 2022

Cybin Inc. a biotechnology company focused on progressing Psychedelics to Therapeutics™, is pleased to announce that Adelia Therapeutics Inc. a wholly-controlled subsidiary of Cybin, has achieved the milestones identified as Y1, Q4 (iv), Y1, Q4 (v) and Y2, Q1 (vi) as contemplated by the terms of a contribution agreement dated December 4, 2020 among Cybin, Cybin Corp., Cybin US Holdings Inc. a wholly-controlled subsidiary of Cybin, and all of the previous shareholders of Adelia. Pursuant to the terms of the Transaction Agreement, Class B common shares in the capital of the Acquiror shall be issued to the Adelia Shareholders, in satisfaction of the $551,171.99 due to them on meeting a portion of the relevant milestones, at an effective issue price determined in accordance with the Transaction Agreement and applicable securities law. The Class B Shares issued by the Acquiror to the Adelia Shareholders are exchangeable for common shares in the capital of Cybin on a 10 Cybin Shares for 1 Class B Share basis, at the option of the holder thereof, subject to customary adjustments. No Class B Shares were exchangeable prior to December 14, 2021, and not more than: (i) 33 1/3% of the Class B Shares will be exchangeable prior to December 14, 2022; (ii) 66 2/3% of the Class B Shares will be exchangeable prior to December 14, 2023; and (iii) thereafter, 100% of the Class B Shares will be exchangeable. About Cybin Cybin is a leading ethical biotechnology company, working with a network of world-class partners and internationally recognized scientists, on a mission to create safe and effective therapeutics for patients to address a multitude of mental health issues. Headquartered in Canada and founded in 2019, Cybin is operational in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland. The Company is focused on progressing Psychedelics to Therapeutics™ by engineering proprietary drug discovery platforms, innovative drug delivery systems, novel formulation approaches and treatment regimens for mental health disorders. About Adelia Adelia is a wholly-controlled subsidiary of the Company, that aims to develop medicinal psychedelics with improved dosing efficacy and therapeutic indices to address unmet medical needs. Adelia’s primary focus is on the development of treatment regimens consisting of proprietary psychedelic molecules and related clinical protocols. This proprietary development strategy is based on chemical modifications to the known and well understood tryptamine derivatives that significantly modify their pharmacokinetic properties without changing their therapeutic potential. These proprietary approaches seek to minimize inter-patient variability by better controlling drug metabolism without loss of efficacy that together have been shown to produce more predictable and favorable patient outcomes.

Read More

MEDICAL

Bakar Labs and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Support Entrepreneurs to Develop New Genetic Therapies for CF

Bakar Labs | April 19, 2022

Bakar Labs, the incubator at UC Berkeley's Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH), announced today a unique collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to accelerate the application of new technologies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. The CF Foundation is sponsoring a "Golden Ticket" competition at the new incubator and is encouraging companies with emerging technology in gene editing, gene delivery, and gene therapy/gene insertion that may work in CF to apply. Applications open Monday, May 2. Up to three potential winners will be provided lab space and facilities at Bakar Labs. In addition to lab and office space, companies will have access to the extensive resources of the CF Foundation, including scientific experts and advice, lab/research tools and techniques, an extensive patient registry, clinical trial design support, and a Therapeutics Development Network of over 90 clinical trial sites in the US. Working with the CF Foundation entirely fits with the spirit of entrepreneurship to benefit society, Our double bottom line at Bakar Labs emphasizes public good on an equal basis with the potential for profit." Regis Kelly, PhD, OBE, director of Bakar Labs and executive director at QB3. This collaboration is inspiring, Students and professors will see the potential of entrepreneurship fused with the resources and mission of a major patient advocacy organization. It will be a tremendous example that could well spur partnerships in a broad range of areas." David Schaffer, PhD, executive director of BBH. Schaffer is Hubbard Howe Distinguished Professor at UC Berkeley, with appointments in the departments of chemical and biomolecular engineering, bioengineering, and molecular and cell biology. A focus on entrepreneurship for the public good is now widely seen by many philanthropies and investors as a valuable and effective complement to their support of academic scholarship. The CF Foundation has achieved global admiration for its support of disease-related research efforts, not only by scientists in academic labs but by entrepreneurs in startup companies. About the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub The Bakar BioEnginuity Hub empowers fearless founders — and founders in the making — to realize bold solutions to our world's most pressing problems. Focused on people working at the convergence of the life sciences with the physical, engineering, and data sciences, the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub provides the intellectual, entrepreneurial, and community resources needed to learn and then to launch their own ventures. The Bakar BioEnginuity Hub is located on the UC Berkeley campus in the stunning Woo Hon Fai Hall. About Bakar Labs Bakar Labs is the flagship life science-focused incubator at UC Berkeley's Bakar BioEnginuity Hub. Operated by QB3, Bakar Labs provides extensive equipment, lab and office facilities, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to helps startups grow. Bakar Labs can support as many as 50 early-stage companies from around the world focused on translating life science based innovations that promise to improve human health.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Amberstone Biosciences Secures $12 Million Series A Financing to Advance Immuno-Oncology Pipeline of Tumor Microenvironment Activated Therapeutics

Amberstone Biosciences, Inc. | January 04, 2022

Amberstone Biosciences an emerging biotherapeutics company with unique expertise in conditionally active immunotherapeutics, today announced the completion of a $12 million Series A financing round. The funding was led by Viva BioInnovator, Co-win Ventures and Sinovation Ventures, with additional support from ChangRong Capital, Lifespan Investments and existing shareholders. Amberstone will use the proceeds from the financing to advance its highly differentiated tumor microenvironment activated therapeutic programs including bispecific antibodies and immunocytokines to the investigational new drug application (IND) enabling stage. “We are tremendously grateful for the strong support from our new and existing investors. With our unique Tumor Microenvironment Activated Therapeutics programs, we aim to develop safer and more effective therapies to benefit cancer patients. The funding and broad expertise and resources in the field provided by our investors will take us another step closer to our mission.” Amberstone Biosciences President and CEO, George Wu, PhD “Amberstone’s T-MATE therapeutic molecules enabled by its innovative single-cell discovery engine represents a real breakthrough in immune-oncology. We are thoroughly impressed by Amberstone team's rich experience in the cancer biology space. Viva is excited to work with Amberstone and syndicate partners to support its mission to provide next-generation innovative treatment options to patients,” said Han Dai, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer of Viva Biotech and Head of Viva BioInnovator. “T cell immunotherapy has encountered great challenges in the complex microenvironment of solid tumors. The T-MATE molecules discovered through Amberstone’s world-leading cross-disciplinary drug discovery engine will break through the bottleneck of traditional methods and bring new hope to the treatment of solid tumors. Co-win Ventures is thrilled to work with Amberstone’s team and co-investors to explore the next generation of immunotherapies in solid tumors,” said Xin Huang, MD/PhD, a managing partner of Co-win Ventures. “The expertise and strengths of Amberstone core team synergize well with one another. We are optimistic with the company’s uncapped growth potential. Amberstone exemplifies our firm’s investment strategy and mission to support deep-tech innovative entrepreneurs and companies,” said Sinovation Ventures’ partner in healthcare, Mr. Peter Wu. About Amberstone Biosciences, Inc. Incorporated in 2018, Amberstone Biosciences is an emerging biotherapeutics company developing a novel class of targeted and conditionally active immunotherapeutics to treat solid tumor cancers and other diseases. Amberstone Biosciences’ pipeline is driven by an innovative high-throughput single-cell functional discovery platform and strong expertise in an interdisciplinary field of biology, engineering, and therapeutic development. About Viva BioInnovator As the venture arm of Viva Biotech Holdings, Viva BioInnovator is dedicated to investing globally in biotech innovations that address unmet medical needs across multiple therapeutic areas. Leveraging Viva Biotech’s rich experience and technical advantages in novel drug R&D, Viva BioInnovator has built a strong track record in providing both cash and in-kind services its portfolio companies worldwide. About Co-win Ventures Founded in 2009, Co-win Ventures focuses on early-stage companies in healthcare and TMT sectors and advocates a team culture of equality, transparency, sharing and innovation. It has operated 17 independent US dollar and/or RMB funds and has invested in over 140 companies, including Taimei Medical Technology, Genecast, Huake Precision, Cytek, InnoLight Technology, Memsensing, Eastsoft, New Vision, Aolian Electronics, and Sanchao Advanced Material among others. About Sinovation Ventures Founded by Dr. Kai-Fu Lee in 2009, Sinovation Ventures is committed to nurturing the next wave of deep-tech entrepreneurs and companies. Sinovation is headquartered in Beijing and operates in multiple major cities. With over US$2.7 billion under management, Sinovation is a leading tech VC firm with a unique “TECH VC” model that is uniquely enhanced by its Artificial Intelligence Institute led by Dr. Lee. Sinovation invests in artificial intelligence, healthcare tech, robotics/automation, semiconductor, enterprise software, and digital lifestyle areas. To date, Sinovation has invested in over 400 companies.

Read More

Spotlight

U.S. wheat yields remain stagnant compared to the increases enjoyed by other crops, especially corn. Wheat technology has just not kept up with crops like corn, soybeans and rice so it’s no surprise that wheat acres have been losing ground for decades to these other crops, where farmers see more potential for return on their investment.

Resources