CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Fulgent Genetics Announces Strategic Investment in Spatial Genomics

Fulgent Genetics, Inc. | February 24, 2022

Fulgent Genetics, Inc. a technology-based genetic testing company focused on transforming patient care in oncology, infectious and rare diseases, and reproductive health, today announced a strategic investment in Spatial Genomics, Inc. a leading developer of sequential fluorescence in situ hybridization technology. Fulgent Genetics is investing up to $40 million to lead Spatial Genomics’ Series A financing, which totals approximately $56 million and also includes investments by 12 West Capital and other investors. Fulgent is also entering into commercial arrangements with Spatial to integrate Spatial Genomics’ seqFISH technology into Fulgent’s comprehensive genomic testing platform.

Spatial Genomics has developed a spatial single-cell multiomics analysis platform based on the seqFISH technology originally developed in the laboratory of Professor Long Cai at the California Institute of Technology. seqFISH is a revolutionary technology designed to enable highly multiplexed and multiomic analyses of cells directly in the tissue microenvironments where they function, allowing researchers to identify novel cell types and cellular interactions, map genomic organization and nuclear architecture, and analyze cell trajectories far more efficiently than existing technologies.

Under this arrangement, Fulgent expects to add Spatial Genomics’ multiomics analysis platform to the suite of lab services already available to its pharmaceutical and clinical research customer base.

We believe this strategic investment and commercial arrangement is an exciting opportunity for Fulgent as we will add Spatial Genomics’ leading seqFISH technology and multiomics analysis platform to our suite of genomic testing solutions. Spatial’s seqFISH technology is a highly promising platform that will enable clinicians to efficiently perform highly multiplexed single-cell analysis of RNA, DNA and proteins beyond the capabilities of other types of spatial analyses. We look forward to working with Spatial to commercialize this technology for broader reach and application.”

Dr. Harry Gao, Chief Scientific Officer at Fulgent 

“We are excited to secure this Series A funding, which will support and accelerate our continued growth as a company, and the ongoing commercialization of our seqFISH technology platform,” said Kirsten Frieda, CEO and cofounder of Spatial Genomics. “seqFISH enables a highly multiplexed, quantitative, and multiomic analysis of cells and tissues that we believe will be essential to the next era of biological discovery, the continued evolution of precision medicine, drug and biomarker discovery, and the improvement of clinical diagnostics.”

Spatial Genomics will use the funds from its Series A financing round to accelerate the commercialization of their seqFISH technology platform, grow their seqFISH laboratory services group, and aggressively expand their workforce, including in R&D, engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing, customer support, and commercial operations.

About Fulgent Genetics
Fulgent Genetics is a technology-based genetic testing company focused on transforming patient care in oncology, infectious and rare diseases, and reproductive health. Fulgent’s proprietary technology platform has created a broad, flexible test menu and the ability to continually expand and improve its proprietary genetic reference library while maintaining accessible pricing, high accuracy, and competitive turnaround times. Combining next generation sequencing (“NGS”) with its technology platform, the Company performs full-gene sequencing with deletion/duplication analysis in an array of panels that can be tailored to meet specific customer needs. A cornerstone of the Company’s business is its ability to provide expansive options and flexibility for all clients’ unique testing needs through a comprehensive technology offering including cloud computing, pipeline services, record management, web portal services, clinical workflow, sequencing as a service, and automated lab services.

About Spatial Genomics
Spatial Genomics is a biology and life science technology company dedicated to empowering discovery. Spatial Genomics’ integrated technology platform consists of instrumentation, reagents, and software and is being developed with a vision of providing the highest possible multiplexity of multi-omic biological analysis capabilities. Our highly multiplexed spatial analysis technology will advance fundamental biology, precision medicine, drug and biomarker discovery, and lead to the improvement of clinical diagnostics.

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Challenges in using gene therapy to treat rare diseases. A discussion from our 2nd Annual World Congress.


Other News
INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Lummus and Synthos Advance Bio-Butadiene Technology Development to Produce Sustainable Rubber

Lummus Technology, LLC | February 14, 2022

Lummus Technology announced that its Green Circle business and Synthos S.A. have reached a major milestone in the development of advanced bio-butadiene technology. After completing a successful feasibility study in 2021, Lummus and Synthos have concluded that the bio-butadiene technology is ready for implementation, and the companies have agreed to move into the engineering and design phase of the project. Given the confidence in the technology and the strong market demand for renewable materials, Synthos has committed to building a plant with a capacity of 40,000 metric tons of bio-butadiene per year – twice as much as the companies had originally planned. In addition to the plant capacity expansion, Synthos has confirmed that it will license BASF's butadiene extraction technology from Lummus and leverage Lummus' digitalization capabilities for operational efficiency and reliability. "Since Lummus began collaborating with Synthos last year, it has become evident that this technology has the potential to be the new standard in our industry due to its renewable sourcing, production efficiency and low carbon footprint. The petrochemical industry is quickly adjusting to ambitious sustainability requirements, and at Lummus we continue to lead this change on multiple fronts. The commercialization with Synthos of this bio-technology for more sustainable rubber products is one of several sustainable process solutions that are making a positive impact." Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology "Synthos is making great strides in developing a synthetic rubber product portfolio with a significantly reduced environmental footprint. Entering the next phase of our collaboration with Lummus is another step toward our commitment to help our customers achieve their performance and sustainability goals," said Matteo Marchisio, Synthetic Rubber Business Unit Director, Synthos. "We believe the availability of sustainable synthetic rubber made from bio-butadiene will play an important role in the industry's ability to meet the demands of modern mobility, and we are proud to partner with Lummus Technology to lead the way." Synthos is a global leader in the development and production of synthetic rubber for tires and technical rubber goods and is committed to providing its customers with high-performance material solutions with a lower environmental footprint. In 2021, Green Circle and Synthos announced that they will collaborate on the development and commercialization of bio-butadiene derived from bio-ethanol to enable the production of value-added, more sustainable synthetic rubber. A subsidiary of Lummus, Green Circle is 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. 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 Synthos Synthos S.A. is a chemical producer and a major player in the global synthetic rubber market. Synthos S.A. Capital Group's business includes the production and sales of chemical products used as raw materials and intermediates in a wide range of industries, particularly in the tire industry, the construction industry and the packaging industry.

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MEDICAL

ImmunoTek Bio Centers First to Launch VeinViewer® Technology for Plasma Donations

ImmunoTek Bio Centers | April 27, 2022

Donating plasma is now easier, thanks to a smart new tool allowing technicians to see the map of veins inside a plasma donor's arm. ImmunoTek Bio Centers proudly announces its two divisions – ImmunoTek Plasma and Freedom Plasma – are the first blood plasma collection centers to use this groundbreaking technology. The VeinViewer®, developed by Christie Medical Holdings, has had great success in hospitals and medical clinics, and recently in pilot programs with ImmunoTek. Using the VeinViewer® in a plasma donation setting provides phlebotomists with real-time images of the donor's veins before needle insertion. The VeinViewer® uses direct projection vein illumination to identify vein patterns and display them on a patient's skin. As part of plasma donation, a needle is inserted into the donor's arm to withdraw blood that is then separated into individual parts during a process called plasmapheresis. Being able to easily see where the donor's veins are located helps phlebotomists as they insert the needle to begin the process. Our technicians found that using the VeinViewer® provides a clear look at a donor's veins before the needle is inserted. The ability to see this image increases their accuracy, makes the donation process faster, and reduces the likelihood of reinserting the needle, We are proud to be the first plasma collection company to offer this next-level service for our donors." Blair McKinney, Chief Operating Officer of ImmunoTek Bio Centers. We are delighted ImmunoTek selected Christie's leading vascular visualization technology to aid in establishing a comfortable environment and efficient encounter for donors." Paul Damiani, Christie Medical Holdings, Inc President. ImmunoTek has created an unparalleled donation ambiance and we look forward to integrating the unmatched VeinViewer for an even better donor experience." Lisa Kaufman, Vice President at Christie. The United States provides 2/3 of the world's supply of plasma, which is used to make critical life-saving medicines and plasma-based therapies. Blood plasma is in great demand and the need for it increases 6-8 percent yearly. Increasing plasma donations helps meet the need for plasma around the world. ABOUT IMMUNOTEK BIO CENTERS, LLC ImmunoTek Bio Centers LLC is the fastest-growing independent plasma collection center operator in the United States and is a global leader in developing a reliable plasma supply chain for biotech companies. Since its inception in 2013, ImmunoTek has built and operated more than 50 plasma collection centers, most of which are or are in the process of becoming FDA-licensed and EU-certified, with nearly 40 additional centers in progress. ABOUT CHRISTIE MEDICAL HOLDINGS, INC. Christie Medical Holdings is a medical device manufacturer based in Lake Mary, FL, USA. Our market-leading, VeinViewer® Vision2 and Flex systems, are near-infrared, vascular imaging devices that allow clinicians to clearly see accessible vasculature as a real-time HD image, projected directly on the surface of the patient's skin. Since its invention, VeinViewer has transformed over the years into the current innovative models found in over 50 countries to accurately and safely illuminate veins up to 10 mm deep. It is the only vein finder of its kind that can positively impact the entire Pre-, During- and Post-access procedure through proven clinical and cost-saving results.

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Bon Natural Life Limited Introduces New Powder Drink For Anti-H. Pylori and Digestive Health

Bon Natural | June 17, 2022

Bon Natural Life Limited (Nasdaq: BON) ("BON" or the "Company"), one of the leading bio-ingredient solutions providers in the natural, health and personal care industries, today announced that it has launched a new cruciferous vegetable based probiotic powder drink that could potentially inhibit the proliferation of Helicobacter pylori and help regulate the digestive system. The powder drink is the first proprietary product of BON's cruciferous vegetable based health supplement series. "We believe that the successful rollout of this new powder drink will provide an additional growth driver for BON and capitalize the increasing awareness and consumption of multifunctional probiotics both during and post COVID-19 pandemic. We are confident that the new nutraceutical series will enable us to enter into a whole new era of growth." Commented Mr. Yongwei Hu, CEO and Chairman of BON, "H. pylori infection has become a major global health problem. According to the research by Hooi and etc.[1], approximately 55.8% of the Chinese population were infected with H. pylori in 2017, which provides BON with a huge market potential for our broccoli sprout based probiotic powder drink. According to Euromonitor[2], the market size of probiotics increased by 173.9% from US$7.3 billion (approximately 48.6 billion yuan) in 2015 to about US$12.7 billion (approximately 85 billion yuan) in 2020 in China, with a compound growth rate of 11.83% in China. China has become the third largest probiotics consumption country after the U.S. and Italy in2017." By formulating three different kinds of patented probiotics with sulforaphane, a chemical compound extracted from broccoli, and fucoidan, a compound extracted from seaweed, BON is able to leverage its innovative technology to develop a product with potential anti-pylori effect. Additionally, this powder drink could also regulate and improve one's overall microbiome and digestive health. About Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) H. pylori is a bacterial pathogen that infects over 50 percent of the world population. It has been identified as a Group I carcinogen by the World Health Organization[3]. As a result of the H. pylori infection, infected patients develop a range of pathologies including gastric cancer, peptic ulcer disease, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. The eradication rate of (H. pylori has been decreasing, mainly due to high resistance of H. pylori to antibiotics which are commonly used in standard treatment. About Bon Natural Life Limited The Company focuses on the manufacturing of personal care ingredients, such as plant extracted fragrance compounds for perfume and fragrance manufacturers, natural health supplements such as powder drinks and bioactive food ingredient products mostly used as food additives and nutritional supplements by their customers.

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MEDICAL

AXIM Biotech Develops Rapid Quantitative Tear Test for MMP-9, An Inflammatory Biomarker of Dry Eye Disease

AXIM Biotech | March 10, 2022

AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc (OTCQB: AXIM) (“AXIM Biotech,” “AXIM” or “the Company”), an international healthcare solutions company targeting dry eye disease (DED), today announced that it has successfully developed a rapid quantitative tear test for MMP-9, an inflammatory biomarker for Dry Eye Disease. Dry Eye Disease, though widespread, is under-diagnosed, in part because symptoms do not always correlate with objective signs. It has a highly variable symptom profile at different stages of the disease, and there is often a discordance between signs and symptoms. A patient can have severe symptoms yet show no sign of ocular surface damage, while others have advanced ocular surface damage, yet report no symptoms. This lack of correlation between clinical signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Disease makes diagnosing and treating patients a challenge. Often times, inflammation is present before the clinical signs of Dry Eye Disease. The challenge has been in early detection of inflammation. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), an inflammatory biomarker consistently elevated in the tears of dry eye patients, may accelerate early diagnosis when detected. The central role of inflammation in ocular surface disease is widely recognized, but our ability to measure this in the clinic has been limited to the InflammaDry test that measures tear matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) levels and provides a positive/negative result around a threshold of 40ng/ml of MMP-9. This 'yes or no' report has clinical value, but it is limited. Currently available MMP-9 testing does not detect a reduction in tear MMP-9 levels until the concentration drops below 40ng/ml and thus may miss clinically significant improvement that did not reach that threshold.” Dr. Joseph Tauber, AXIM’s Chief Medical Officer. The clinical benefits of the quantitative test for MMP-9 as a tool for accurate diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease and subsequent treatment include more accurate pre-surgical and post-surgical outcomes. Post-surgical complications, such as corneal wound healing, is facilitated by identifying dry eye prior to surgery. The availability of quantitative tear MMP-9 testing would be a significant advance in our ability to measure the degree of inflammation affecting our dry eye patients, allowing for more objective classification of their disease, Equally important would be the ability to measure improvement in control of inflammation that is the goal of many of our therapies for ocular surface disease, including pharmaceuticals, thermal pulsation treatments and even light based therapies.” Dr. Joseph Tauber. Some reports indicate that nearly half of all U.S. adults experience dry eye symptoms and 33% of patients in eye care clinics present with complaints about dry eye. Given the size of the market, AXIM made the strategic decision to develop a test for MMP-9 to assist in early detection of Dry Eye Disease. Together with our Lactoferrin and IgE Tests and now with the addition of our MMP-9 Test, AXIM will be positioned to corner the market for Dry Eye Disease diagnostic testing.” John Huemoeller, AXIM’s CEO. About AXIM® Biotechnologies Founded in 2014, AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. (AXIM) is a vertically integrated research and development company focused on improving the landscape for diagnosis of ophthalmological conditions such as Dry Eye Disease (DED) through rapid diagnostic tests. Additionally, it owns IP and has conducted research on SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) rapid neutralizing antibody tests to detect levels of functional neutralizing antibodies that are believed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering the host cells, as well as for oncological indications.

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Spotlight

Challenges in using gene therapy to treat rare diseases. A discussion from our 2nd Annual World Congress.

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