MEDICAL

Pfizer Invests $120 Million in Four Clinical-stage Biotech Companies Through the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative

Pfizer | January 15, 2021

Pfizer Inc. declared that, during the second 50% of 2020, it put a sum of $120 million of every four clinical-stage biotech organizations as a feature of the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative (PBGI). Through PBGI, Pfizer is putting up to $500 million in biotechnology organizations, giving subsidizing and admittance to Pfizer's logical skill to help guarantee the coherence of promising clinical improvement projects of likely future vital interest to Pfizer.

Pfizer's initial PBGI investments include:

$10 million in Vancouver, BC-based ESSA Pharma, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel and proprietary therapies for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer.

$25 million in Cambridge, Mass.-based Trillium Therapeutics, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on developing innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer. In addition, Jeff Settleman, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Oncology Research & Development Group, was named to Trillium’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Spotlight

This whitepaper explores how best in class anatomy, physiology and clinical content, images, and customized solutions enable organizations to achieve strong competitive advantage, drive credibility, productivity and differentiation. We will share ideas that you can consistently apply to your own organization to reach business and revenue goals. Finally, we will conclude with a checklist of what to look for when selecting your anatomy content solution.


Other News
MEDICAL

Taiwan Startup Molsentech Ultra-high Sensitivity Biomedical Detection Technology Leaps Onto Global Stage

Molsentech | July 29, 2022

With its impressive achievements, Molsentech has been selected by the TTA Global Challenge sponsored by Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology to participate in US BIO 2022, poised to leverage its introduction to the US market as a stepping stone to leap further into the global stage. The company has successfully launched an electrical based detection system employing ultra-high sensitivity biomedical detection technology that can be applied in various disease detection from an early stage including SARS-CoV-2. Founded in Taiwan, the world's leading semiconductor hub, Molsentech's pivotal breakthrough was its development of a 100% semiconductor-based biosensor platform which offers valuable application in the field of healthcare for disease detection. The core technology is called Bio-FET which allows biosensors to analyse liquid-form samples by measuring the electrical signal changes caused by the interactions between detection targets and bio probes modified on the surface of biosensors. Patented in the United States, Taiwan, and China, the technology overcomes one of the biggest challenges in the industry when dealing with samples in liquid forms, interpreting the samples in 5 minutes to give immediate results. Molsentech's bio-FET technology remains new to the biotech industry; hence, at the beginning, it mainly played a supporting role for the mainstream detection techniques, validating the detection results provided by such tests as PCR and ELISA thanks to its ultrahigh sensitivity. During COVID-19 pandemic, the Molsentech SARS-CoV-2 test chip was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration to use in the manufacturing of the novel SARS-CoV-2 test kits that resulted in faster testing process and higher accuracy. This demonstrates the capability of bio-FET technology to work independently as a bio technique for molecular diagnosis. Consequently, more cooperation is under negotiation between Molsentech and other leading biotechnology companies, including but not limited to Taiwan-based ones As its technology is now available for commercial use on a global scale, Molsentech intends to further expand its presence in the global market, first into the United States, a country with the most advanced healthcare ecosystem to bring its technology and products to the next level. "Fortunately, we got a chance to set our footprint in the United States, that would pave the way for Molsentech to move forward. We will definitely seize this opportunity to introduce how our technology can help more people," stated Dr. Chia-Jun Chu, CEO of Molsentech. The company reported a revenue of 1 million TWD and has conducted more fundraising activities in Taiwan and the United States. About Molsentech Established in Taiwan in 2014, Molsentech serves the mission of inventing an innovative biomedical platform that provides non-invasive and real-time detection of minimum pathogens. The core team includes leading experts from the Quantum Electronic Laboratory at Academia Sinica who possess exclusive skills and experience in the semiconductor industry especially with chip design/fabrication, probe molecules modification and automation bio-sensor system integration. With its continuous efforts and commitments to high product quality and innovation, the company has been rewarded with various prestigious awards and recognitions.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Iveric Bio and DelSiTech Enter Exclusive Agreement for Development of Sustained Release Zimura®

IVERIC bio, Inc. | July 06, 2022

IVERIC bio, Inc. and DelSiTech Ltd, announced an exclusive global license agreement providing Iveric Bio with the right to develop and commercialize new formulations of Zimura® using DelSiTech’s silica-based sustained release technology. As part of Iveric Bio’s lifecycle expansion plan for Zimura, the Company is committed to developing sustained release technologies for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These technologies potentially could address patients being treated for geographic atrophy (GA) and intermediate AMD. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the DelSiTech team on investigating additional sustained release formulations for Zimura with their drug delivery expertise and advanced technology and look forward to evaluating a sustained release formulation in GA and potentially earlier stages of AMD. Previously reported post-hoc analyses from GATHER1 suggest that Zimura may have the potential to impact AMD in early stages before atrophy occurs in patients. We believe Zimura, which is a chemically synthesized RNA aptamer, is amenable to injectable sustained release formulations.” Pravin U. Dugel, MD, President of Iveric Bio “As a leading developer of long-acting controlled release formulations for small molecules and biological entities, we are excited about collaborating with Iveric Bio on bringing innovative solutions to patients living with AMD,” stated Lasse Leino, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of DelSiTech. “We are inspired by the opportunity to leverage our drug delivery technology to potentially help AMD patients early and improve their treatment experience.” “This agreement underscores our commitment to invest in lifecycle initiatives for Zimura,” said Glenn P. Sblendorio, Chief Executive Officer of Iveric Bio. “We are excited about the possibilities to expand Zimura into earlier stages of AMD and potentially allow for a next-generation treatment to help patients with GA.” “We are proud to bring our competencies into this promising alliance and contribute to Iveric Bio’s mission to address unmet needs for patients,” said Dr. Frederic Dargelas, Head of Business Development and Alliance Management for DelSiTech. Under the terms of the license agreement, Iveric Bio will pay DelSiTech an upfront payment of €1,250,000, as well as development and commercial milestones and royalties on net sales of licensed products. In addition to working with DelSiTech, Iveric Bio plans to explore the potential for Zimura in earlier stages of AMD by initiating a clinical trial studying the current formulation of Zimura in patients with intermediate AMD in the fourth quarter of 2022. The development strategy in this indication is subject to global regulatory feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory authorities, which Iveric Bio plans to obtain before initiating this trial. About Zimura GATHER1 and GATHER2 Clinical Trials Iveric Bio previously announced that GATHER1, the Company’s first Phase 3 clinical trial for Zimura (avacincaptad pegol) for GA, met its pre-specified primary efficacy endpoint with statistical significance. The most frequently reported ocular adverse events in this trial were related to the injection procedure. The Company expects topline data for GATHER2, the Company’s second Phase 3 clinical trial for Zimura for GA, to be available in the third quarter of 2022, approximately one year after the enrollment of the last patient in the trial plus the time needed for database lock and analysis. If 12-month results from GATHER2 are positive, the Company plans to submit applications with the FDA and the European Medicines Agency for marketing approval of Zimura for GA. There are no FDA or EMA approved treatments available for patients with GA. About Zimura Zimura is an investigational drug product and has not been approved for use anywhere globally. Zimura is designed to target and inhibit the cleavage of complement protein C5 and the formation of its downstream fragments, C5a and C5b. By inhibiting the formation of these fragments, Zimura is believed to decrease or slow the chronic inflammation and cell death associated with the retinal aging process by decreasing the formation of membrane attack complex (MAC) and inflammasome activity, thereby potentially avoiding or slowing the degeneration of retinal pigment epithelial cells. This potential mechanism is the rationale for Zimura as a potential therapy for GA and earlier stages of AMD. About Iveric Bio Iveric Bio is a science-driven biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for retinal diseases with significant unmet medical needs. The Company is committed to having a positive impact on patients’ lives by delivering high-quality, safe and effective treatments designed to address debilitating retinal diseases including earlier stages of age-related macular degeneration. About DelSiTech DelSiTech Ltd., located in Turku, Finland, is the leading technology specialist in biodegradable silica-based controlled release of small molecule drugs, biologics, and viral vectors. It develops and commercializes its proprietary, drug delivery technology in collaboration with a number of pharma and biotech companies to turn their ideas into novel drug products.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Persephone Biosciences Closes $15M Seed Financing Round

Persephone Biosciences | July 20, 2022

Persephone Biosciences Inc., a synthetic biology company reimagining patient and infant health through the development of microbiome-based medicines, today announced that it has closed a $15 million seed financing round. The round was co-led by First Bight Ventures and Propel Bio Partners, and included investments from Y Combinator, Fifty Years, Susa Ventures, American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge Fund, Pioneer Fund, and ZhenFund among others. “This financing is a significant milestone for Persephone and the culmination of years of thoughtful engagement with forward-thinking investors and individuals who are committed to the vast potential of our platform and technology. We plan to deploy this capital to further expand our research and clinical programs across a range of therapeutic areas, as well as pursue new collaborations. With our ARGONAUT study ramping up, it is an exciting time for us. We are grateful for the support of all our stakeholders and their commitment and confidence in our vision.” Stephanie Culler, CEO and Co-founder of Persephone Biosciences Persephone was founded to leverage a unique understanding of the microbiome as a therapeutic approach for a number of indications, including infant health and oncology. The company’s ARGONAUT trial (NCT04638751) is the largest study ever conducted in the U.S. to identify biomarkers for cancer treatment and prevention by mapping the gut-immune axis. In December 2021, Persephone announced that Janssen Biotech, one of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, would collaborate with the company on the colorectal cancer patient arm of ARGONAUT, and on an arm of additional healthy individuals with varying cancer risk. Then in April 2022, Persephone announced a collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks to enable the synthetic biology tools needed to develop the next generation of microbial therapies. About Persephone Biosciences Persephone Biosciences is pioneering the use of synthetic biology for the development of microbial products that impact patient and infant health. Persephone is building an end-to-end platform to industrialize the development of engineered cells that restore health to damaged human ecosystems. The company was founded in the summer of 2017 by synthetic and metabolic engineering pioneers, Stephanie Culler, Ph.D., and Steve Van Dien, Ph.D.

Read More

MEDICAL

HistoSonics Announces Agreement with GE Healthcare

HistoSonics | May 24, 2022

HistoSonics Inc., developer of a completely non-invasive platform using the science of histotripsy, today announced an agreement formalizing ongoing efforts to use GE Healthcare's LOGIQ E10 Series ultrasound imaging platform to power the real time visualization features of HistoSonics' novel sonic beam therapy. As part of the agreement and upon market authorization, HistoSonics will distribute GE Healthcare's LOGIQ E10 Series on a one-to-one basis with its breakthrough liver therapy system. HistoSonics' Edison™ system, currently in development, uses the novel science of histotripsy to non-invasively destroy targeted liver tissue. HistoSonics intends to utilize GE Healthcare's LOGIQ E10 Series, currently the most technologically advanced ultrasound platform for guiding radiology interventions, to provide treating physicians with continuous visualization for key and unique elements of the histotripsy therapy procedure, including planning, monitoring, and immediate post-treatment verification. This agreement is aimed to support HistoSonics' efforts to launch their EdisonTM system leveraging their deep domain expertise along with GE Healthcare's world-class ultrasound imaging technologies, digital infrastructure, data analytics and clinical decision support capabilities. We are very excited to formalize our imaging partnership with GE Healthcare, which is a key part of bringing our transformative therapy platform, and an entirely new treatment option, to the clinic and to patients, We've developed a very collaborative relationship with GE Healthcare and look forward to expanding our efforts to realize the full potential of histotripsy across clinical applications, specialties, and care settings." Josh Stopek, HistoSonics Vice President of R&D. HistoSonics' non-invasive platform combines advanced imaging and proprietary software to deliver patient specific treatments using histotripsy to mechanically destroy and liquify targeted tissues at a sub-cellular level. The company believes the novel mechanism of action of their proprietary technology may offer significant advantages to patients, including precise and predictable treatment zones with equivalent treatment effect throughout the entire treated volume. Early clinical and pre-clinical results also suggest that histotripsy largely preserves critical structures such as the liver capsule, and larger vessels and bile ducts within or adjacent to the treated volume of tissue. Additionally, histotripsy enables the treating physicians to monitor the destruction of tissue under continuous real-time visualization and control, unlike any modality that exists today. The agreement between GE Healthcare and HistoSonics comes as HistoSonics continues enrollment in their U.S. and European #HOPE4LIVER Trials, evaluating the safety and efficacy of histotripsy for the destruction of targeted primary or metastatic liver tumors. Additionally, the company recently was awarded "Breakthrough Device Designation" by the FDA for histotripsy of liver tissue, validating the company's vision that histotripsy has the potential to provide advantages over existing therapies such as surgery, radiation therapy and thermal ablation. About HistoSonics HistoSonics is a privately held medical device company developing a non-invasive platform and proprietary sonic beam therapy utilizing the science of histotripsy, a novel mechanism of action that uses focused ultrasound to mechanically destroy and liquify unwanted tissue and tumors. The company is currently focused on the continued development of its EdisonTM Platform, global clinical studies, and new strategic projects including future clinical applications and platforms. HistoSonics has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Minneapolis, MN.

Read More

Spotlight

This whitepaper explores how best in class anatomy, physiology and clinical content, images, and customized solutions enable organizations to achieve strong competitive advantage, drive credibility, productivity and differentiation. We will share ideas that you can consistently apply to your own organization to reach business and revenue goals. Finally, we will conclude with a checklist of what to look for when selecting your anatomy content solution.

Resources