Biosensor chip detects single nucleotide polymorphism wirelessly, with higher sensitivity

Scientists have developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and send the results in real time to an electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology. The advance could lead to cheaper, faster and portable biosensors for early detection of genetic markers for diseases such as cancer.

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BenevolentAI Signs Strategic Collaboration with Merck

Business Wire | September 26, 2023

BenevolentAI a leader in the development of advanced AI that accelerates biopharma discovery, announces that it has signed a strategic collaboration with Merck, a leading science and technology company headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany. The collaboration will enable Merck to leverage BenevolentAI’s powerful end-to-end AI platform capabilities and gain access to an expert team of interdisciplinary drug discovery scientists with the aim of identifying and developing innovative compounds, through Hit Identification (Hit ID) to pre-clinical stage. BenevolentAI will leverage its suite of AI chemistry design tools, in combination with its fully equipped wet lab facility in Cambridge (UK), to deliver small molecule drug development candidates into the Merck pipeline, ready for onward pre-clinical and clinical development. Under the terms of the agreement, BenevolentAI will be eligible for payments of up to $594 million, consisting of a low double-digit million dollar upfront payment on signing and then potentially discovery, development and commercial milestones. Tiered royalties will also be payable on net sales of any commercialised products. Joanna Shields, Chief Executive Officer of BenevolentAI, said: “Our strategic collaboration with Merck exemplifies BenevolentAI’s unique capability to leverage AI to accelerate drug discovery. Our proprietary technology and extensively validated approach of combining AI, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, and in vivo pharmacology supports the discovery of innovative drug candidates in fewer cycles. We look forward to working with the Merck team and are excited at the opportunities in our partnership.” Public disclosure of inside information in accordance with article 17(1) of the Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 on market abuse (Market Abuse Regulation) About BenevolentAI BenevolentAI is a leading developer of advanced artificial intelligence technologies that unlock the value of multimodal data, surface novel insights, and accelerate biomedical discovery. Through the combined capabilities of its AI platform, its scientific expertise, and wet-lab facilities, the Company is developing an in-house drug pipeline of high-value assets. The Company is headquartered in London, with a research facility in Cambridge (UK) and a further office in New York.

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Ichnos Sciences Enters Licensing Agreement For Ox40 Antagonist Monoclonal Antibody Portfolio With Astria Therapeutics

PR Newswire | October 12, 2023

Ichnos Sciences, a global clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative multispecific antibodies for oncology, announced that the company has entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for its OX40 antagonist monoclonal antibody portfolio with Astria Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for rare allergic and immunological diseases. With the execution of this agreement, Ichnos has successfully licensed its two assets for inflammatory and immunological diseases, a key milestone in the company's prioritization of its pipeline of oncology drug candidates. Within the terms of the agreement, Astria will assume full cost and responsibility for the global development and commercialization of the licensed therapeutic program for all indications. In exchange, Ichnos will receive up to $320 million in upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in addition to up to low double-digit royalties. Ichnos has also agreed to allow Astria to draw down on its existing investigational drug substance and drug product stocks at normalized costs to facilitate development. Telazorlimab is a novel, humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that targets OX40 on T cells responsible for inflammation and immunity diseases. Excessive OX40 signaling, expressed on activated T cells, is the feature of several inflammatory diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD). Astria plans to develop an affinity-matured version of telazorlimab and apply YTE half-life extension technology to create a product that aims to address the need for a safe, effective, and infrequently administered AD treatment. "As Ichnos continues to grow as a biotechnology company, this agreement enables our team to focus on advancing our robust pipeline of clinical-stage multispecific antibodies in oncology generated by our proprietary BEAT® platform1, as well as continue the discovery and development of our NK-cell engaging programs for solid tumors," said Cyril Konto, M.D., President and CEO of Ichnos. "I am proud of the work achieved by the Ichnos team in successfully completing the Phase 2b with telazorlimab in atopic dermatitis and potentially opening up a new therapeutic class for this disease. Ichnos is confident in Astria Therapeutics' capabilities and vision for pursuing the development of its OX40 program and delivering a potentially life-changing treatment to patients with inflammatory and immune diseases." "We are looking forward to building on the foundational work that Ichnos has done with their OX40 portfolio," said Jill Milne, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Astria Therapeutics. "We believe that by using Ichnos' affinity-matured next generation monoclonal antibody OX40 antagonist and applying YTE half-life extension technology, we have the potential to deliver a best-in-class profile for atopic dermatitis patients; one that we think can be safe, effective, and long-acting. In addition to OX40 antagonism already being a clinically validated mechanism in atopic dermatitis, we also are excited about the opportunity for potential expansion into additional indications." About Ichnos Sciences Inc. A fully integrated, global biotech with the spirit of a start-up, Ichnos is shifting the way the world thinks about innovation in medicine through its research and development of transformative, disease-centric treatments in oncology. The company, with headquarters in New York, N.Y., is rapidly advancing a clinical-stage pipeline of novel, first-in-class candidates designed to address complex diseases and to treat patients holistically. With its patented BEAT® technology platform and pioneering teams, Ichnos Sciences has a mission to provide breakthrough, curative therapies that will extend and improve lives, writing a new chapter in healthcare.

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Zenfold Leverages Ginkgo Enzyme Services to Enable Veterinary Active Ingredient Development with Sustainable Biology

PR Newswire | October 17, 2023

Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, and Zenfold Sustainable Technologies, a company focused on developing and manufacturing specialty ingredients using sustainable technologies and precision fermentation, today announced a collaboration to leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services in its effort to discover an enzyme critical to the manufacturing of veterinary products. This partnership aims to replace traditional chemical processes in veterinary active ingredient production with a sustainable biological method. "This collaboration marks a significant step forward in Zenfold's mission to bring sustainable manufacturing technology to the veterinary medicine industry," said Dr. BSV Prasad, CEO and Managing Director of Zenfold Sustainable Technologies. "By utilizing Ginkgo's expertise and innovation, we are well-positioned to develop a sustainable solution that will have a lasting impact on the Indian market and beyond." "We are excited to partner with Zenfold, which brings a powerful vision of sustainable biotechnology to veterinary active ingredient development. This collaboration will enable us to apply our state-of-the-art enzyme discovery module to enable more innovation in the veterinary medicine space," said Jennifer Wipf, SVP, Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering at Ginkgo. "The project involves creating a broad library of cDNA candidates from a metagenomic collection of billions of enzyme sequences. That's the kind of scale visionary projects like this need, and Ginkgo is committed to scaling up this solution for the betterment of animal health and the environment." About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a wide variety of biological threats. About Zenfold Zenfold Sustainable Technologies is a pioneer in the field of sustainable biology, with a focus on veterinary actives and enzyme supply. This collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks marks Zenfold's expansion into the global veterinary market and further emphasizes their commitment to environmental responsibility and innovative biological solutions.

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Integrated DNA Technologies Opens New Therapeutic Manufacturing Facility to Support Growing Demand in Genomic Medicine

businesswire | October 19, 2023

Global genomics solutions provider Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), an operating company in the Life Sciences segment of Danaher Corporation announced the completion of its new Therapeutic Oligonucleotide Manufacturing facility in Coralville, Iowa. The milestone marks a significant achievement in the company’s 35-year-history—its entrance into the therapeutics space—and enables IDT to manufacture products for research use through to current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) grade cell and gene therapy reagents to provide researchers with a single partner that can help them rapidly transition from the lab to therapeutic development. The 41,000-square-foot-site will produce cGMP cell and gene therapy reagents, including single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) and donor oligos for homology-directed repair (HDR) with additional offerings to follow. These new capabilities and offerings will be supported with comprehensive documentation and testing, a support team, and regulatory guidance to help accelerate researchers’ path to the clinic. “An increasing number of customers are seeking out IDT as a trusted partner for their CRISPR genome editing needs, and are asking us to be the provider that can help them bridge the gap from lab to clinic,” said Demaris Mills, president, IDT. “Now, with our new cGMP manufacturing facility, IDT can provide a complete CRISPR workflow—from design to analysis—that supports cell and gene therapy developers in all stages of therapeutic development, with the same support and expertise they have come to know from IDT. These new manufacturing capabilities, which have been informed by our decades of oligonucleotide synthesis manufacturing expertise, evolves IDT’s business model from Research Use Only to cGMP, and enables us to help more people.” Danaher Vice President and Group Executive Chris Riley added, “The future of genomic medicine hinges on the industrialization of biology to make life-saving therapies more accessible to people. As a pioneer in genome editing, IDT’s continued investments will enable customers to rapidly move from clinical development to commercialization. This new facility is another significant milestone in IDT’s innovation journey, one we envision will have a profound impact in genomic medicine for years to come.” The Therapeutic Oligo Manufacturing facility features ISO 8 cleanrooms, purification suites, chemical distribution and storage rooms, quality control labs, analytical lab space for product testing, ancillary and office spaces and shell space for future expansion. Manufacturing is performed in accordance with ICH Q7 cGMP standards for consistent and reliable quality. The controlled-access building features environmental controls for temperature, humidity and air pressure throughout, supported by an environmental program and continuous monitoring system. The addition of this new facility expands IDT’s global manufacturing footprint and enables the company to provide a range of manufacturing capabilities, including Research Use Only (RUO), large scale RUO, Engineering Run and cGMP (ICH Q7). A Decade of CRISPR Innovation Since 2015, IDT has continued to accelerate the pace of genomics with its complete portfolio of Alt-R™ CRISPR genome editing solutions. Its portfolio includes several first-to-market research products as well as solutions to meet researchers’ complete workflow—from design to analysis—to enable greater quality, simplicity, and cost efficiency. Last year, IDT launched the Alt-R™ HDR Donor Blocks, an improved solution for increasing homology-directed repair (HDR) rates in large fragment knock-in experiments, and expanded access to its Alt-R™ Custom CRISPR gRNA Libraries for drug discovery. In 2021, IDT also unveiled its rhAmpSeq™ CRISPR Analysis System, an end-to-end solution for characterizing and quantifying the full array of on- and off-target genome editing events in CRISPR research products. IDT’s research and development teams have also been at the forefront of CRISPR innovation, with achievements that include the development of multiple proprietary CRISPR reagents such as IDT’s Alt-R™ S.p. HiFi Cas9 Nuclease and the Alt-R L.b. and A.s. Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra enzymes. Notably, their groundbreaking research and collaborations with scientists around the globe has been published in more than 200 scientific journals as peer-reviewed articles, and is helping to shape the future of genomics and biotechnology. IDT collaborated with M.A. Mortenson Company, a team led by OPN Architects and Barr Engineering Co. on the facility design and construction of its cGMP facility. About IDT For more than 35 years, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. (IDT) has been empowering genomics laboratories with an oligonucleotide manufacturing process unlike anyone else in the industry, with the most advanced synthesis, modification, purification, and quality control capabilities available. Since its founding in 1987, IDT has progressed from a leading oligo manufacturer to a genomics solutions provider supporting key application areas such as next generation sequencing, CRISPR genome editing, synthetic biology, digital PCR, and RNA interference. IDT manufactures products used by scientists researching many forms of cancer and most inherited and infectious diseases.

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