Azelastine, an antihistamine Nasal Spray identified as a preventive or post-exposure anti-COVID-19 approach

CEBINA | July 13, 2020

CEBINA GmbH, an Austrian biotech company, announces positive results of its COVID-19 drug repurposing project with the identification of commonly used approved drugs with activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in in vitro assays. One of these drugs, Azelastine an antihistamine currently available as a nasal spray, has been identified as a potential topical preventive or post-exposure anti-COVID-19 approach. CEBINA, in collaboration with Professor Robert Konrat, a renowned structural biologist (University of Vienna, Austria) has applied a computational approach, integrating several software tools and novel biological pathway analysis, to identify potential anti-COVID-19 drugs. This approach was complemented with in vitro viral infection testing with SARS-CoV-2 performed in a collaboration with Professor Ferenc Jakab, Head of the BSL-4 Laboratory in the Szentágothai Research Center, University of Pécs, Hungary. The results show that five generic drugs demonstrate anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. The most potent among the identified drugs, Azelastine is available as a topically applied product and has only modest side-effects. The other identified drugs are commonly used in anti-hypertensive therapy: Telmisartan, Metoprolol, Losartan and Amiloride.

Spotlight

As you head off to the beach this summer with your family and friends, biotechnology is probably the last thing on your mind. What you might not realize is the vast amount of potential that the world's oceans hold for curing disease.


Other News
REGULATORY

Lummus and Braskem Announce Partnership for Green Ethylene Technology

Braskem | April 29, 2022

Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced a partnership with Braskem, the largest biopolymer producer in the world, to license green ethylene technology. Lummus and Braskem will license worldwide technology to produce green ethylene and accelerate the use of bioethanol for chemicals and plastics, supporting the industry's efforts towards a carbon neutral circular economy. We are truly excited with this partnership, which helps the world diversify the feedstock sources for chemicals and plastics with biomass. Leveraging the combined experience and expertise of Lummus and Braskem to produce green ethylene thus reduces carbon footprint and plays a promising role in the energy transition, Braskem has already been operating the technology successfully at large scale, and together we are going to expand the world's production of low carbon chemicals and polymers from renewable feedstocks, helping our customers decarbonize their assets and produce greener products." Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology. Lummus, a recognized leader in ethylene production technologies, has licensed approximately 40 percent of global ethylene capacity, giving the company the technical capability and licensing expertise to further develop and market the technology behind green ethylene. This partnership enables the license of the technology globally with the first two projects being developed in the U.S. and Thailand; the later still under evaluation and subject to the approvals of the respective governance bodies. Lummus brings licensing experience and process knowledge into this partnership to extend the reach of Braskem's proven green ethylene technology worldwide, With this initiative, we believe we are also contributing with an alternative for the industry to move towards a carbon neutral circular economy." Walmir Soller, VP Olefins/Polyolefins Braskem Europe & Asia and CEO Braskem Netherlands BV. This partnership reflects Lummus' strategic business direction, through its subsidiary Green Circle, as a leader in commercializing and developing breakthrough solutions to address the key pillars of the energy transition, including end-of-life waste plastics recycling, production of bio-derived sustainable chemicals and decarbonization strategies for existing and new assets. Together, Lummus and Braskem are ensuring the growth of green ethylene production worldwide and meeting the demand for green ethylene. About Lummus Technology Lummus Technology is the global leader in developing process technologies that make modern life possible and focus on a more sustainable, low carbon future. Lummus is a master licensor of clean energy, petrochemical, refining, gas processing and renewable technologies, and a supplier of catalysts, proprietary equipment, digitalization and related lifecycle services to customers worldwide. About Braskem With a global vision of the future, oriented towards people and sustainability, Braskem is engaged in contributing to the value chain in order to strengthen the Circular Economy. Its 8,000 team members dedicate themselves every day to improving people's lives through sustainable solutions in chemicals and plastics. With its corporate DNA rooted in innovation, Braskem offers a comprehensive portfolio of plastic resins and chemical products for diverse industries, such as food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, health and hygiene, and more. With 40 industrial units in Brazil, United States, Mexico and Germany and net revenue of R$52.3 billion (US$13.2 billion), Braskem exports its products to clients in over 100 countries.

Read More

MEDICAL

Dover To Acquire Manufacturer Of Flow-Measurement Devices For Biopharma And Semiconductor Production Applications

Dover | May 11, 2022

Dover (NYSE: DOV) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Malema Engineering Corporation ("Malema"), a designer and manufacturer of high-precision, mission-critical flow-measurement and control instruments serving customers in the biopharmaceutical, semiconductor, and industrial sectors. Malema will become part of the PSG business unit within Dover's Pumps & Process Solutions segment. Malema's products will expand Dover's biopharma single-use production offering, which already includes Quattroflow pumps, CPC connectors, and em-tec flowmeters. Based in Boca Raton, FL, and with facilities in San Jose, CA, Singapore, South Korea, and India, Malema expects to generate approximately $40-45 million in revenue during the full year 2022 and has a robust growth outlook. Over the past four decades, Malema has cultivated a loyal base of blue-chip customers, OEMs, and end-users with substantial aftermarket and recurring revenue streams. Malema's first-of-its-kind single-use flow sensor using Coriolis technology offers superior flow-measurement performance and accuracy versus alternative technologies, reducing the potential for measurement error and eliminating the need for calibration in time-sensitive and contamination-intolerant environments. We see a tremendous long-term growth opportunity in the bioprocessing industry driven by a strong and growing pipeline of effective novel biologic drugs, biosimilars, protein therapies, non-COVID mRNA vaccines, as well as budding cell & gene therapies. Additionally, the growing adoption of more efficient single-use production processes supports a robust outlook for our offerings of single-use components to end-customers. We believe that pairing Malema's technology with our existing portfolio of single-use pumps for biopharma processing will greatly enhance the accuracy and value proposition of our solutions to our customers. PSG's President, Karl Buscher. We are methodically building out our biopharma platform through proactive capacity additions, new product development, and opportunistic acquisitions of highly-attractive niche component technologies, Malema represents a strategic and highly-complementary flow-control and sensing technology and further strengthens our sensor portfolio with new proprietary technology. In addition to attractive biopharma applications, we expect strong growth in the semiconductor space on the capacity expansion and re-shoring tailwinds." Richard J. Tobin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dover. The purchase price is comprised of $225 million in cash at closing, subject to customary purchase price adjustments, and up to $50 million in contingent consideration dependent on the achievement of certain financial objectives over a two-year period. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. About Dover: Dover is a diversified global manufacturer and solutions provider with annual revenue of approximately $8 billion. We deliver innovative equipment and components, consumable supplies, aftermarket parts, software and digital solutions, and support services through five operating segments: Engineered Products, Clean Energy & Fueling, Imaging & Identification, Pumps & Process Solutions, and Climate & Sustainability Technologies. Dover combines global scale with operational agility to lead the markets we serve. Recognized for our entrepreneurial approach for over 65 years, our team of over 25,000 employees takes an ownership mindset, collaborating with customers to redefine what's possible. Headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, Dover trades on the New York Stock Exchange under "DOV." About PSG: PSG is a global pump solution expert and leading manufacturer of pumps, systems, and related flow-control technology for the safe and efficient transfer of critical and valuable fluids and materials. Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, PSG is comprised of several world-class brands, including Abaque®, All-Flo®, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray®, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro Systems™, Mouvex®, Neptune™, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, and Wilden®. PSG products are manufactured in three continents – North America, Europe, and Asia – in state-of-the-art facilities that practice lean manufacturing and are ISO-certified. PSG is part of the Pumps & Process Solutions segment of Dover Corporation.

Read More

CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Bicycle Therapeutics Announces Continued Clinical Progress and Updates to Management Team

Bicycle Therapeutics | January 06, 2022

Bicycle Therapeutics plc, a biotechnology company pioneering a new and differentiated class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide technology, announced continued progress in its ongoing Phase I/II clinical trials of BT8009, BT5528 and BT7480. “Last quarter, we reported interim clinical results from ongoing trials of two of our Bicycle toxin conjugates, BT8009 and BT5528, demonstrating preliminary anti-tumor activity in two tumor types, and announced the first patient dosed in the Phase I clinical trial of BT7480, our first tumor-targeted immune cell agonist to enter the clinic. In our trial of BT8009, we are pleased to confirm the preliminary activity and see that these patients remain on trial. We look forward to presenting interim BT8009 Phase I results at a medical meeting and initiating the BT5528 expansion cohorts this year. We are also pleased with our progress advancing BT7480 in the ongoing Phase I clinical trial and look forward to sharing additional details regarding the potential for Bicycles beyond our toxin conjugates as we strive to become a leader in the development of targeted oncology therapeutics.” Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer Bicycle Toxin Conjugates® (BTCs) BT8009 and BT5528 In the ongoing Phase I portion of the Phase I/II clinical trial of BT8009, a second-generation BTC™ targeting Nectin-4, four out of 11 patients were previously reported to have a partial response under Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1, including one out of four (25%) in the 2.5mg/m2 dose and three out of seven (43%) at the 5.0 mg/m2 cohorts. All four patients previously reported as responders have since received at least one subsequent scan, and all have been confirmed as ongoing RECIST 1.1 responses. One patient in the 5.0 mg/m2 cohort, who previously was reported to have a partial response with an 89% tumor reduction, has now received two subsequent scans, which each showed that total tumor volume has been reduced by 100%, constituting a confirmed complete response. All four patients previously reported to have a RECIST 1.1 clinical response remain on therapy. The tolerability profile of the 2.5mg/m2 and 5.0 mg/m2 cohorts remains consistent with that previously reported. Dose escalation in the BT8009 Phase I trial remains ongoing, with patients currently being dosed at 7.5mg/m2 weekly or every-other-week. Bicycle intends to present interim Phase I results from the ongoing clinical trial at a medical meeting this year. The Phase I/II trial of BT5528, Bicycle’s second-generation BTC targeting EphA2, is also ongoing, with plans remaining on track to initiate the expansion cohorts this year, with an expected recommended Phase II dose of 6.5mg/m2 every-other-week. Bicycle tumor-targeted immune cell agonist™ (Bicycle TICA™) BT7480 Bicycle also initiated a Phase I clinical trial of BT7480, a novel, fully synthetic Bicycle TICA targeting Nectin-4 and agonizing CD137, in the fourth quarter of 2021, and dose escalation in that trial remains ongoing. BT7480 and other Bicycle TICAs, including a novel NK-cell-engaging molecule, were the subjects of four posters at SITC in November 2021. Management Team Updates Bicycle is also announcing the expansion of and transition in its management team. Michael Skynner, Ph.D., the company’s Chief Operating Officer has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer, effective January 3, 2022, to focus on leading and overseeing the growth of Bicycle’s proprietary phage display discovery platform in oncology, as well as on creating innovative opportunities for the platform outside of oncology. Dr. Skynner joined the company in January 2016 as Vice President, Operations and Discovery and had served as COO since March 2018. Alistair Milnes, who has served as the company’s Vice President, Human Resources and Communications since January 2021, has assumed the COO role. Mr. Milnes previously led human resources and communications at multinational energy and mineral companies. Both Dr. Skynner and Mr. Milnes are based in the United Kingdom. “We are delighted to announce our recent management team appointments, with Mike Skynner becoming our new CTO and Alistair Milnes moving to the COO role. Mike has been an invaluable contributor to Bicycle’s success to date and has led our platform discovery efforts since joining in early 2016. Following recent promising clinical progress, we believe it is time to focus on accelerating the growth of our proprietary oncology pipeline and on identifying innovative ways to potentially capitalize on our unique technology beyond our current therapeutic focus. I am confident that Mike can help us achieve these objectives.” Dr. Lee added, “I am similarly enthusiastic about Alistair’s appointment as COO and believe his operational experience and track record of successfully identifying, recruiting, and retaining key talent at large, multinational companies will be instrumental in helping guide Bicycle through our next phase of growth.” 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 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 Lexington, MA.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Nuclera Announces Expansion With New US Subsidiary

Nuclera | January 19, 2022

Nuclera, a UK-based biotech company developing cutting-edge benchtop protein printing technologies, announces the opening of its US subsidiary in Boston, MA. The addition of this US facility in the rapidly growing biotechnology hub of greater Boston is a critical step in the company’s plans, paving the way for Nuclera’s revolutionary eProteinTM desktop bioprinter—that offers unprecedented speed and convenience for biotherapeutics, agribiotech and other markets of global importance. Nuclera’s eProtein™ bioprinter is born out of a strategic partnership with E Ink—the pioneers of ePaper—allowing the combination of biopolymer synthesis technologies with digital microfluidics. The US facilities are the result of a $4.5 million E Ink renovation, reinforcing Nuclera’s position as a technological innovator in the bioprinting space. “Our new laboratories and pilot manufacturing facilities in Boston will support Nuclera’s goal to commercialize its eProtein™ technology significantly accelerating drug discovery workflows”, says Dr Michael Chen, CEO and cofounder of Nuclera. “This site opening just outside one of the most important biotech markets is a big step towards Nuclera’s goal to make proteins accessible through desktop bioprinting”, added Chen. “Our new facility has been specifically designed to accommodate our expanding team and will support Nuclera’s ambitious roadmap. We are proud to have operations in both the UK and US, further strengthening our position in the global biotech space.” As part of Nuclera’s global expansion, Richard Paolini Jr, has been appointed Vice President of eDropTM R&D, the first of many US-based appointments. With over 20 years of R&D experience, Rick is an inventor named on over 100 US patents on technologies that have helped E Ink to enable and transform the eReader market. Rick is now leading the development of closely related technologies to enable Nuclera’s eDropTM digital microfluidic systems—requiring integration of complex chemical, biological, electronic, and mechanical elements. "E Ink is very excited about the continuing collaboration and partnership with Nuclera in this expanding biotechnology market sector that is of such global importance. The transfer of Rick and his talented microfluidics team of scientists from E Ink to Nuclera and the renovation of the US-based biotechnology R&D center that Nuclera will occupy will ensure ongoing biotechnology advancements leading to a successful commercial launch of the Nuclera eProtein platform.” Dr Michael McCreary, E Ink’s Chief Innovation Officer and Nuclera Board Director

Read More