CDI Labs Announces the Addition of Its SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19) Assay Platform

PR Newswire | August 21, 2020

CDI Laboratories, Inc. announced the addition of its SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19) assay platform.  The assays use CDI's VirScan service which can detect antibodies to 1345 individual viral strains representing species from 76 viral genera. This is coupled with CDI's 2 in 1 SARS-CoV-2 antigen microarray which contains overlapping SARS-CoV-2 peptides as well as full-length proteins. This will allow researchers, therapeutic developers, and vaccine developers, to analyze human serum for all known viruses as well as epitope level data on COVID19 antibodies. In addition, CDI has added the COVID19 S and N proteins to CDI's HuProtTM proteome microarray. CDI's VirScan is the first commercial use of the incredibly powerful PhIP-seq technology (Xu, George J et al. SARS-COV-2 "Viral immunology. Comprehensive serological profiling of human populations using a synthetic human virome." Science (New York, N.Y.) vol. 348,6239 (2015): aaa0698. doi:10.1126/science.aaa0698). These p

Spotlight

The healthcare biotechnology industry is undoubtedly a strategic investment opportunity, both from an economic as well as a social stand-point. Thanks to cutting-edge research, biotechnology companies have contributed a portfolio of products to diverse industries ranging from human and animal health to protection of the environment and in the food-processing industries. Globally, there are about 4,000 small- and medium-scale enterprises belonging to the biotechnology fraternity, and they are involved in continuous research.


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DIAGNOSTICS

Evonetix Granted Patent for Technology Enabling Thermally-Controlled DNA Synthesis

evonetix | April 04, 2022

EVONETIX LTD (‘Evonetix’), the synthetic biology company bringing semiconductor technology to DNA synthesis, today announced it has been granted patent EP3551331B1 in Europe for its proprietary thermal control technology for DNA synthesis, as well as the design and manufacture of its silicon chips. This patent extends Evonetix’s IP portfolio and is a key step in the Company’s strategy to develop a benchtop DNA synthesis platform, to change how DNA is accessed, made, and used. Evonetix’s novel approach to parallel DNA synthesis is underpinned by precise, independent, control of temperature at thousands of individual synthesis sites across the surface of a silicon chip. In contrast to conventional approaches, which use acid deprotection to control the synthesis cycle, Evonetix uses thermal control with semiconductor-based arrays. This offers greater accuracy and selectivity to deprotect sequences at the correct point to add the next nucleotide and remove mismatching sequences. Thermal control of DNA synthesis enables highly parallel synthesis and gives the ability to work through sequences that are hard to synthesise using conventional techniques and to remove errors during the assembly of gene sequences through temperature mediated error removal. There is currently an unmet need in the synthetic biology industry for long, accurate, DNA sequences, and the ability to remove errors during assembly allows researchers to achieve longer strands of DNA, and run applications such as gene synthesis, CRISPR screening, and protein engineering. Securing this patent to cover our core technology adds further strength to our IP portfolio and underlines Evonetix’s position as leaders in our field. Our technology will give researchers the capabilities of service centres in their own lab, accelerating the advancement of synthetic biology and opening new possibilities in this exciting market.” Matthew Hayes, Chief Technology Officer at Evonetix.

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MEDICAL

Aspect Biosystems Announces Partnership with JDRF to Advance Development of a Bioengineered Tissue Therapeutic to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

Aspect Biosystems | April 07, 2022

Aspect Biosystems ("Aspect"), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered tissue therapeutics to transform how we treat disease, is pleased to announce a partnership with JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization. The JDRF-Aspect partnership supports Aspect's focus on developing a bioengineered tissue therapeutic for type 1 diabetes that will provide insulin independence and control of blood sugar without the need for chronic immune suppression. In addition to funding, JDRF is also contributing strategic support through its deep expertise and vast network in the diabetes field. Aspect is leveraging its proprietary bioprinting technology, therapeutic cells, and materials science to create a pipeline of cell-based tissue therapeutics that replace or repair damaged organ functions. These therapeutics are rationally engineered to be biologically functional, immune-protective, and suitable for surgical implantation to treat diseases such as type 1 diabetes. For more than 20 years, JDRF has been a leader in cell-based tissue therapy research for type 1 diabetes, This funding partnership with Aspect Biosystems will support and continue scientific advancements in the field and undeniably take us closer to finding a cure." Esther Latres, Assistant Vice President of Research at JDRF. Together with JDRF, we are aligned on the mission to develop a curative therapy for the millions of patients around the world who are affected by type 1 diabetes, This partnership will help advance our cutting-edge pancreatic tissue program and bring us a step closer to human trials." Tamer Mohamed, CEO at Aspect Biosystems. About Aspect Biosystems Aspect Biosystems is a biotechnology company creating bioengineered tissue therapeutics to transform how we treat disease. Aspect is applying its microfluidic 3D bioprinting technology internally to develop these advanced therapeutics and partnering with leading researchers and industry innovators worldwide to tackle the biggest challenges in regenerative medicine. About JDRF International JDRF's mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.5 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D.

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MEDICAL

Botanical Solution Inc. (BSI) Secures $6.1 Million in Series A First Closing

Botanical Solution Inc. | January 18, 2022

Botanical Solution Inc. innovator of sustainable, consistent and cost-effective Advanced Botanical Materials for agricultural and pharmaceutical applications, has successfully closed $6.1 million in a Series A round led by Palo Alto based VC Firm, Otter Capital. This round of funding will enhance BSI’s value proposition by facilitating the geographic expansion of its current botanical-based products and development of a new product pipeline derived from its proprietary biotech platform. For agricultural markets, this Series A round of funding will support the production and sales growth of BSI’s first commercially successful product marketed as BotriStop® and its recently announced global brand Quillibrium®, which are based on a tissue cultured tree native to Chile, the Quillaja saponaria. The product has been used successfully on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout Chile. Quillibrium® was launched in Peru last year with great success and will soon reach growers across Mexico through BSI’s main distribution partner Syngenta. Quillibrium® continues regulatory progress in the US and will soon initiate registration in additional countries to expand its global footprint. This new funding will also accelerate market readiness of new botanical biopesticide products currently in later development stages and enable the expansion of BSI’s R&D pipeline. For pharmaceutical markets, BSI’s new funding will vastly increase the quantity of Quillaja saponaria plants that can be grown at BSI’s labs and the sustainable production of billions of doses of gold standard adjuvant QS-21, traditionally obtained from old native trees that are increasingly affected by climate change and strict deforestation laws in Chile. QS-21 is currently used in Covid-19 and malaria vaccines, as well as a blockbuster shingles vaccine. With this funding BSI will become a major supplier of pharmaceutical grade QS-21. BSI CEO Gastón Salinas declared, “The BSI team is really excited to welcome Otter Capital. We are happy to reconfirm the strong commitment from our current investors, as well. BSI is building strong foundations to deliver the world’s most advanced botanical biopesticides and ensure the supply of the gold standard vaccine adjuvant QS-21.” According to John Pasquesi, Managing Member at Otter Capital, “I am excited to partner with BSI. BSI has established a strong market presence via distribution agreements with Syngenta and effective, profitable products. BSI’s product development platform is efficient and scalable. Botanical products have excellent consistency and BSI’s approach is truly sustainable. These products have applications in two very large markets – agriculture and pharmaceuticals. I am very impressed by the team at BSI and the progress they have made with limited resources under Gastón’s leadership.” Two longtime investors joining Otter Capital in this First Closing of the Series A are Inversiones el Coigue and Inversiones Eurocel, both based in Santiago, Chile. About BSI BSI, a Delaware Corporation has a proprietary R&D platform for truly sustainable and improved production of consistent and high- quality Advanced Botanical Materials (ABM). ABM-01 is the first ABM produced by the company, based on a tissue cultured plant called Quillaja saponaria. ABM-01 is the active ingredient used in two gold standard products, BSI’s biopesticide Quillibrium® and the adjuvant QS-21, used in modern vaccine development. About Otter Capital Otter Capital was founded by John Pasquesi to make a variety of private equity investments. Otter Capital has a strong track record investing in leading edge agriculture companies. Otter was an early and consistent investor in AgraQuest, a leading biopesticide company where Mr. Pasquesi served as chairman of the board of directors. In 2012, Bayer CropScience acquired AgraQuest for $425 million. More recently, Otter Capital invested in the agricultural biotechnology companies BioConsortia, Inc. and NewLeaf Symbiotics, Inc. Mr. Pasquesi serves on the board of directors of BioConsortia and as chairman of the board of NewLeaf. Otter Capital is an investor in Inguran LLC dba Sexing Technologies, the world’s leading supplier of sexed semen to the dairy industry and a leading provider of dairy and beef genetics. Mr. Pasquesi serves on the board of managers of Inguran.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Enzychem Lifesciences Announces Formation of Corporate Advisory Committee

Enzychem Lifesciences | March 03, 2022

Enzychem Lifesciences a clinical-stage biotechnology company, announced today the formation of its Corporate Advisory Committee. Composed of four eminent physicians, its mission is to support and guide corporate activities including technology transfer for its lead compound, EC-18, seeking strategic partnerships, and preparing U.S. phase 3 clinical trials to successfully commercialize EC-18. After the completion of its phase 2 U.S. clinical trial with EC-18 in Chemoradiation–induced Oral Mucositis (CRIOM), Enzychem is actively negotiating licensing deals with several partnering candidates while also preparing a phase 3 trial under a US FDA IND. To reinforce such corporate initiatives, and to start supporting the company’s next stage activities, Enzychem has formed the Corporate Advisory Committee. Enzychem Lifesciences recognizes the need for engagement of key opinion leaders at an earlier stage in the process of developing new therapeutics for a large population with high unmet needs such as Chemoradiation-induced Oral Mucositis (CRIOM). Enzychem is proactively bringing more experts to the company to strengthen its new drug development capabilities. The newly appointed corporate advisors will actively influence the development of strong business strategies to successfully meet corporate objectives. The four physicians appointed are Dr. Alexander Fleming, a former FDA reviewer and supervisory medical officer, as head of the metabolic group, Dr. Frank Castellana, a market value assessment expert, Dr. Joe McMenamin, a health lawyer, and Dr. Richard Hamrick, a former healthcare provider executive. Based on their extensive experience, the corporate advisors will assist Enzychem in accomplishing its business milestones. For two years, until 2018, Dr. Fleming served as Enzychem’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO). During his term, Dr. Fleming had recommended CRIOM as the lead indication for EC-18 and introduced Dr. Steve Sonis of Harvard School of Dental Medicine as Enzychem’s key advisor for the U.S. phase 2 CRIOM Study. Enzychem Lifesciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing oral small molecule therapies for patients with unmet medical needs in oncology, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases. Founded in 1999, the company’s lead compound, EC-18, acts as an immunomodulator, facilitating the resolution of inflammation and the early return to immune homeostasis. Enzychem is headquartered in South Korea, with an office in the United States.

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Spotlight

The healthcare biotechnology industry is undoubtedly a strategic investment opportunity, both from an economic as well as a social stand-point. Thanks to cutting-edge research, biotechnology companies have contributed a portfolio of products to diverse industries ranging from human and animal health to protection of the environment and in the food-processing industries. Globally, there are about 4,000 small- and medium-scale enterprises belonging to the biotechnology fraternity, and they are involved in continuous research.

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