INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Ionpath Expands Partnerships for Rapidly Deliver Novel Insights Utilizing Company's High-Definition Spatial Proteomics Platform

IONpath, Inc. | August 27, 2021

Ionpath, Inc., the leader in high-definition spatial proteomics, today announced a new program for biopharmaceutical research organizations interested in piloting spatial phenotyping analyses of tissue samples leveraging the company's Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging (MIBI™) technology. Through this new program, customers can benefit from in-depth immune profiling and spatial analysis performed with the company's 30-marker Checkpoint Panel on its MIBIscope™ System.

The MIBIscope platform provides a high-resolution view into the dynamics of proteins in their native tissue environment and architecture. The resulting actionable data allows researchers to not only explore the spatial relationships between a tumor and infiltrating immune cells but to also classify cells and perform the quantitative analysis of checkpoint expression that is critical to advancing immune system-based therapy development.

"Since launching our Spatial Proteomic Services last year, we've seen tremendous interest in the program with more than 400% growth and significant repeat business from biopharma R&D teams who experience the unmatched impact that MIBI data brings to their prospective trial programs," said Dr. Sander Gubbens, CEO at Ionpath.  "With this new pilot program, any biopharmaceutical company can quickly access high-definition spatial proteomic data and insights from our expert team that demonstrates the power MIBI data brings to their translational research."

Customer tissue samples are stained with metal-tagged antibodies using a workflow similar to the gold standard IHC. The samples are then analyzed with the MIBIscope, where an ion beam liberates the metal tags that are then detected with a time-of-flight mass spectrometer – delivering fast acquisition with extraordinary resolution and sensitivity. The sample is not destroyed during imaging and can be stored for follow-on studies or utilized for additional analyses.

"MIBI truly is a game changer, unencumbered by the deficiencies of fluorescent technologies," added Gubbens. "With our pilot program, new organizations will be able to see what they have been missing with other technologies and experience why our customers are expanding their use of MIBI – spanning from pre-clinical discovery to clinical trial sample analysis."

The Spatial Proteomics Pilot Program uses Ionpath's 30-marker Checkpoint Panel which provides classification of 26 cell populations and expression information for all cell types. Ionpath's expert team of pathologists, immunologists and bioinformaticians deliver actionable insights including cell classification, quantitative analysis of checkpoint expression, spatial information, and comparative cohort analysis.


About Ionpath
Ionpath, Inc., is a pioneer in high-definition spatial proteomics, revolutionizing tissue imaging and analysis to accelerate medical discovery and improve human health. Ionpath's MIBI™ (multiplexed ion beam imaging) platform breaks through the limitations of traditional immunohistochemistry (IHC), enabling a deeper understanding of the tissue microenvironment with highly multiplexed, quantitative single-cell analysis. With MIBI technology and the expertise of world-class pathology and data science teams, Ionpath provides actionable insights for translational and clinical researchers at leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and research organizations in immuno-oncology, immunology, neuroscience, and infectious disease research.

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MEDTECH

Sequence Bio announces Discovery Collaboration Agreement with LEO Pharma

Sequence Bio | April 08, 2022

Sequence Bio, a Newfoundland and Labrador-based discovery biology company, announced today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Danish dermatology specialists LEO Pharma, for use of Sequence Bio's proprietary discovery platform to identify novel dermatologic drug targets. Under the terms of the three year agreement, Sequence Bio will perform multi-omic analyses of samples from powered discovery cohorts across multiple dermatologic indications. LEO Pharma will leverage insights generated under this collaboration to build robust evidence in support of new potential approaches that significantly impact dermatologic conditions. We are delighted to enter this collaboration agreement with Sequence Bio to further accelerate LEO Pharma's ambition to identify novel dermatologic drug targets, LEO Pharma is relentlessly committed to making pioneering advances in dermatology research and bringing new treatments to patients faster." Thorsten Thormann, Vice President of Research & Early Development in LEO Pharma. We are excited to work with LEO Pharma on their mission to positively impact millions of lives through medical dermatology, This collaboration aligns with our strategic priorities to expand the potential of our discovery platform to power life-changing medicines in areas of unmet medical need across the globe." Dr. Richard Leach, Chief Strategy Officer of Sequence Bio. About LEO Pharma LEO Pharma is a global company dedicated to advancing the standard of care for the benefit of people with skin conditions, their families and society. Founded in 1908 and majority owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, and today, the company offers a wide range of therapies for all disease severities. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 5,800 people, serving millions of patients across the world. In 2021, the company generated net sales of EUR 1,339 million. About Sequence Bio Sequence Bio is a commercial-stage biotechnology company based in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The company's platform leverages Newfoundland's founder effect to power discovery cohorts for novel target identification across numerous disease indications. Sequence Bio collaborates with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, and partners with leading pharma and biotech to help accelerate the development of new medicines for global unmet medical need.

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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

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MEDICAL

Invest Ontario Supports New Biomanufacturing Facility in Hamilton

Invest Ontario | April 01, 2022

Invest Ontario is supporting OmniaBio Inc. in launching a new biomanufacturing facility that will catalyze Ontario life sciences jobs and innovation while advancing pioneering medicine with the potential to cure, not just treat, many forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's and diabetes. OmniaBio, a Canadian cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), will be the anchor tenant in a new biomanufacturing campus being built in Hamilton's McMaster Innovation Park. Subject to reaching a definitive agreement, Invest Ontario will provide a loan of up to $40 million, contributing to an overall project investment of over $580 million, creating 250 jobs by 2031. Invest Ontario will also be providing non-financial support to OmniaBio, including helping the company meet its future talent needs and promoting opportunities to enhance local skills development partnerships. As a contract manufacturer, OmniaBio will support a broad range of cell and gene therapy companies – both homegrown and international – by providing process development and clinical/commercial production services in compliance with global health standards. The OmniaBio investment supports Ontario's new Life Sciences Strategy that will advance the province's leadership as a North American life sciences hub offering a collaborative ecosystem for the development, commercialization and adoption of innovative health products and services. OmniaBio is being spun out of the Toronto-based Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), a leader in developing and commercializing regenerative medicine-based technologies and cell and gene therapies. OmniaBio will build on CCRM's existing global client base, with the project ultimately creating a six-fold increase in biomanufacturing capacity. Ontario's life sciences sector is the largest in Canada (representing more than 50 per cent of related economic activity) and comprises about 1,900 firms employing around 66,000 people.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

New Research from the Caris Precision Oncology Alliance Finds Prognostic and Predictive Drug-Induced Gene Signatures for Colorectal Cancer Patients

Caris Life Sciences | April 11, 2022

Caris Life Sciences®(Caris), the leading molecular science and technology company actively developing and delivering innovative solutions to revolutionize healthcare, to present findings that provide a deeper understanding that tumor expression of genes related to extent of drug exposure, stratified by p53 status, is associated with clinical outcomes on the common chemotherapeutic regimens used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). These results will be presented at the 2022 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting being held April 8 - 13, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The research with poster titled, "Prognostic and predictive drug-induced gene signatures for colorectal cancer patients personalized based on p53 status and treatment with FOLFOX, 5-FU, oxaliplatin or irinotecan" (Abstract #1231), was led by Wafik El-Deiry, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, Director of Brown University's Legorreta Cancer Center, Associate Dean at the Warren Alpert Medical School, a member of Caris' Precision Oncology Alliance (POA). Caris' POA is a growing network of leading cancer centers across the globe that collaborate to advance precision oncology and biomarker-driven research. This work is being presented in New Orleans by Lindsey Carlsen, a Pathobiology graduate student in the EL-DEIRY Lab at Brown. The goal of this study was to identify predictive biomarkers for chemotherapies used in CRC. The study used CRC cell lines to identify differentially expressed genes following 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, or oxaliplatin treatment and stratified the signatures based on p53 status. From these in vitro studies, the researchers then examined whether these genes and gene signatures could predict CRC patient outcomes following chemotherapy (FOLFOX, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan or oxaliplatin). 2,983 wild-type and 6,229 loss-of-function p53 CRC patient samples were analyzed by DNA/RNA next-generation sequencing at Caris Life Sciences. Real-world survival outcomes were inferred from insurance claims data and Kaplan-Meier estimates. Both prognostic and non-prognostic gene expression had a significant effect on survival outcomes following specific drug treatments. This study helps us understand the importance that gene signatures have in demonstrating an enhanced predictive ability compared to individual transcripts, Bridging basic and clinical research, this research allows us to better understand which therapies are more likely to benefit CRC patients." El-Deiry. The study found that tumor expression of genes related to drug exposure can predict outcomes after chemotherapy treatment: High EGR1 and FOS mRNA independently predict response to FOLFOX in patients with wild-type p53 tumors. Low CCNB1 mRNA correlates with good prognosis of CRC patients with tumors harboring TP53 loss of function mutations. Low expression of BTG2 predicts better prognosis in patients with MSI-High TP53 mutated tumors. Gene signatures may demonstrate enhanced predictive ability as compared to individual transcript effects. Caris' comprehensive molecular profiling assesses whole exome (DNA), whole transcriptome (RNA) and protein expression, providing an unmatched resource and the ideal path forward to conduct the translational research to accelerate discovery for detection, diagnosis, monitoring, therapy selection and drug development to improve the human condition. About Caris Life Sciences Caris Life Sciences® (Caris) is the leading molecular science and technology company actively developing and delivering innovative solutions to revolutionize healthcare and improve patient outcomes. Through comprehensive molecular profiling (Whole Exome and Whole Transcriptome Sequencing) and the application of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, Caris has created the large-scale clinico-genomic database and cognitive computing needed to analyze and unravel the molecular complexity of disease. This information provides an unmatched resource and the ideal path forward to conduct the basic, fundamental research to accelerate discovery for detection, diagnosis, monitoring, therapy selection and drug development to improve the human condition.

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