Rgenta Therapeutics Launches with $20 Million Seed Investment

BioSpace | April 02, 2020

Rgenta Therapeutics, a new biotechnology company focusing on developing RNA-targeting medicines for historically undruggable disease-relevant targets, announced today that it closed a $20 Million seed investment, co-led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Matrix Partners China. Rounding out the series seed syndicate are two additional investors, Kaitai Capital and Legend Star Fund. The company has assembled a world-class team of small-molecule drug developers and an exceptional Scientific Advisory Board in the fields of genomics and RNA biology.

Spotlight

Trinity has worked with over a third of companies with cell and gene therapies (CGTs) on market or in Phase 3 clinical trials. Our work has supported business development, launch planning, evidence generation (HEOR, etc.), market access, pricing, and other critical commercial activities to support the development and launch of these therapies.1 As such, we have seen CGTs morph from a small niche into possibly the most exciting market in pharma.


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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Genomics Testing Companies and Laboratories Combine Efforts to Establish the CardioGenomic Testing Alliance

CardioGenomic | March 23, 2022

Several leading genomics companies and laboratories, including Illumina, Fulgent Genetics, Invitae, GeneDx, and PerkinElmer Genomics, have formed the CardioGenomic Testing Alliance (CGTA), a collaborative group aimed at raising awareness and utilization of genomic testing in cardiology. CGTA will inform healthcare providers and other stakeholders to the value of such testing to assure adherence to existing guidelines from professional medical societies, inform medical management and cascade testing, and improve clinical outcomes. The companies forming this coalition believe in extensive clinical utility of cardiogenomic testing. Their combined efforts to increase awareness and utilization of cardiogenomic testing will show the positive outcomes genetic testing can have on patients." Melissa Dempsey, genetic counselor at Illumina and CGTA chairwoman. Genomic testing in cardiology is a powerful tool that can identify those at-risk for specific cardiac conditions, such as arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies, and congenital heart malformations. According to the American Heart Association, "genetic testing is informative and useful for the clinical management of various inherited cardiovascular diseases such as cardiomyopathies, arrhythmic disorders, thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections, and familial hypercholesterolemia."1 Sudden cardiac arrest can often be the first symptom of an inherited cardiac condition.2 The Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation reports that up to 49% of victims of sudden cardiac death had a significant family history that should have triggered diagnostic testing, and cascade genetic testing reveals an average of 8.9 additional affected family members.3 Genetic testing is one of the essential steps in the diagnosis and treatment of families with SADS conditions." Alice Lara, president of the SADS Foundation. Despite evidence and major professional society recommendations, utilization and awareness of cardiogenomic testing remains low. CGTA will strive to inform healthcare providers about the current guidelines for the appropriate use of genetic testing in cardiology. Working with key stakeholders, CGTA will identify logistical barriers to testing and develop educational resources to address these barriers for providers and for the public.

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MEDICAL

Cardea Bio completes planned launch of CRISPR QC

Cardea Bio | April 06, 2022

Today, Cardea Bio, Inc. - the world's only mass producer of biocompatible semiconductors - announced a significant milestone with the launch of CRISPR QC Inc. as a separate business using Cardea's CRISPR-chip™ technology for a range of quality control services for CRISPR gene editing. This milestone is an important move for Cardea Bio on its mission to realizing real-world applications of their BPU™ (Biosignal Processing Unit) Platform. After recently establishing dedicated lab facilities and office spaces, as well as completing the initial investor funding, CRISPR QC is now ready to offer analysis services for R&D groups in therapeutics, animal breeding, plant biology, and academics in need of advanced insights to their CRISPR efforts. One of the challenges for successful CRISPR gene editing is a lack of understanding and standardization of processes around predicting and optimizing CRISPR assay outcomes. At CRISPR QC, we work with scientists to improve the quality of life for all. That's why we're excited to work with the Chief Scientific Officer of Cardea Bio, Dr. Kiana Aran, who recently received NIH funding to help set some of the US quality control standards for CRISPR therapies, In addition to this, CRISPR QC provides previously unavailable data and insight into the CRISPR editing process, resulting in significant time-savings and first to market application opportunities for our customers, including CRISPR/Cas technology-driven solutions which are commercially available as of now." Ross Bundy, President of CRISPR QC. With CRISPR QC going into business with valuable first-of-a-kind services in the growing CRISPR space, we can now showcase a distinct example of what our BPU Platform can enable our partners to do - products and applications otherwise not possible. That in turn drives growth opportunities and revenue for Cardea Bio, unlocking significant value for both CRISPR QC's and Cardea's stakeholders, I'm anticipating that CRISPR QC will get a number of near-term opportunities to help its customers bring transformative gene-editing insights and solutions to scientists and researchers working on CRISPR therapies, as well as other market changing applications." Michael Heltzen, CEO at Cardea Bio. About CRISPR QC Inc. CRISPR QC is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving the capabilities of scientists and researchers to improve their CRISPR assay designs through technological innovation. Using market-leading solutions, we can identify CRISPR activity in amplicons and genomic DNA and model results of the CRISPR process In vivo vs. In vitro. Our service is available to therapeutic companies and academic researchers to help them accelerate the development of their CRISPR-based therapies and to animal breeding and plant biology scientists who seek to improve the food chain for humankind. About Cardea Bio Cardea Bio is the world's only mass producer of a biocompatible semiconductor, the BPU™ (Biosignal Processing Unit). The BPU is the first and only semiconductor capable of translating real-time streams of multiomics signals into digital information. Through the BPU™ platform, Cardea's long-term vision is to democratize access to the biosignals and insights behind the most advanced technology on our planet: Nature and biology. The Internet of Biology is that way becoming possible. Cardea is headquartered in San Diego and has additional activity in Los Angeles. Cardea is a 100% American developed and built biocompatible semiconductor technology for applications across a variety of sectors including human health, agriculture, molecular diagnostics, biotechnology, environmental monitoring, and animal health.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Aanika Biosciences First Biotech Company to Receive Bermuda Monetary Authority’s Approval for Reinsurance Innovation Hub

Aanika Biosciences, | February 25, 2022

Aanika Biosciences, an emerging biotech company using microbial based technologies to protect the safety and security of our food system, announced today it has received acceptance into the Bermuda Monetary Authority’s (BMA) Innovation Hub. The program will allow reinsurers to explore how the application of Aanika’s traceability and prevention technology can help reduce the magnitude and size of claims while lowering premiums and expanding protection for the food and agriculture industry. Reinsurance is an almost $500 billion global industry that allows insurance carriers to offload portfolio risks to reinsurers and hedge funds. Aanika estimates its technology could help in the underwriting of nearly $100 billion in premiums linked to contamination, recalls, crop insurance as well as non-safety related claims linked to ESG practices and general product liability. Bermuda is one of the largest hubs for the reinsurance market in the world and the center of innovation in the space. Prior to co-founding Aanika, CEO Vishaal Bhuyan spent more than a decade in finance focused on investing, managing and co-authoring multiple books on insurance-linked derivatives related to human longevity, overfishing and water scarcity. “Climate change will wreak havoc on our food system – potentially accelerating contamination outbreaks, diseases and natural disasters that are damaging and outright destroying crops around the world. ,” says Bhuyan. “ The insurance industry is not yet equipped to handle the volatility of risk and magnitude of loss - and is operating with a massive blind spot. In recent years insurers have adopted machine learning, satellite data and blockchain technologies to increase efficiency and more accurately price risks, but this will be the first use of synthetic biology to better prepare and protect themselves and their policyholders.” The proof-of-concept initiative approved by the BMA will enable Aanika to partner with insurance carriers to develop ‘test policies’ for the U.S. food and agricultural market that mandate applying the microbial technology in their supply chain. This improved ability to distinguish identical commodities from each other will increase transparency throughout the claims process beyond what is possible with digital technologies alone. Aanika co-founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Ellen Jorgensen says this is a unique and unprecedented opportunity to unlock the potential of synthetic biology. “We need stable, scalable, actionable solutions now to build a more resilient global food supply, which means finding inventive ways of looking at the problem,” says Dr. Jorgensen. “The Aanika science team has developed a way to adapt nature to meet this challenge, and it will be exciting to see how leveraging it in an unconventional way like reinsurance can have immediate as well as long-term benefits.” By tapping into the reinsurance industry, Aanika will be able to commercialize biological innovations in ways that have never been done before. Aanika’s goal is to capture a fee on every policy that is essentially microscopically tethered to the product while using its growing pipeline of “secondary functions” to further enhance the stability and shelf life of said product – reducing the probability and magnitude of a claim. About Aanika Biosciences Aanika Biosciences was co-founded in 2018 by Vishaal Bhuyan after he personally experienced the consequences of ordering fresh, ethically sourced seeds and receiving stale, contaminated products instead. He made it his mission to create a safer food supply by finding a way to track, trace and authenticate products. Aanika’s customized microbial-based tags help companies gain valuable insights about their supply chains, help their customers make better consumption choices, and create a more sustainable world. About Bermuda Monetary Authority The Bermuda Monetary Authority (Authority or BMA) regulates Bermuda’s financial services sector. The Authority was established by statute in 1969. Its role has evolved over the years to meet changing needs in the financial services sector. Today it supervises, regulates and inspects financial institutions operating in the jurisdiction. It also issues Bermuda’s national currency, manages exchange control transactions, assists other authorities with the detection and prevention of financial crime, and advises Government on banking and other financial and monetary matters.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

New Study Highlights Cell Avidity's Power to Provide Insights into the Robustness of T Cell Activation

LUMICKS | March 24, 2022

LUMICKS, a next generation life science tools company, today announced that a research study published in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences from the Radboud University Medical Center, led by researchers in the team of Professor G. J. Adema, detailed a novel method to study lead compound effects on immune cell interactions by employing LUMICKS' z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer. The interaction between dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells is a critical step in the activation of T cells and initiation of the immune response. The strength and duration of the bond formed between DCs and T cells plays an important role in the robustness of the immune response mounted by T cells. Therefore, modulating the functionality of DCs to increase their avidity to T cells could be a key factor in improving cancer immunotherapies. The z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyzer provides an exciting new method to assess the avidity between immune cells, such as DCs and T cells, in response to the addition of lead compounds that can alter DC functionality and potentially further the development of novel cellular immunotherapies. In this study, the authors examined the effect of a sialic acid-blocking mimetic on DCs and DC-T-cell interactions. The z-Movi platform was a great help to quantify dendritic cell – T-cell interactions and allowed us to demonstrate the important role sialic acids play in both antigen-dependent and the antigen-independent interactions between these immune cells." Prof. Adema, professor of Molecular Immunology at the Radiotherapy & OncoImmunology lab in the department of Radiation Oncology at RIMLS/Radboud. We are very pleased by this paper's findings about the important role measuring cell avidity can play in improving our understanding of the immune system. We take great pride in collaborating with and supporting leading scientific researchers around the world who find that the power of our revolutionary technology can help them discover underlying insights that advance our ability to treat human health issues." Andrea Candelli, Chief Scientific Officer of LUMICKS. The z-Movi measures the avidity between immune cells and their targets, enabling researchers to identify the most potent immunotherapeutic effector cells. This new technology provides predictive, reproducible, and fast results at a single-cell resolution without compromising cell viability, and ensures sterile and safe sample handling. LUMICKS' cell avidity solutions use acoustics to measure forces and interactions between cells, with the goal of shortening the drug development cycle for adoptive cell therapies and other immunotherapies and reducing failure rates in clinical trials. First introduced in 2020, the z-Movi has found wide appeal in academic and biopharma laboratories around the world, with a rapid uptake in sales in 2021. About LUMICKS LUMICKS is a leading life science tools company that develops equipment for Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis, two rapidly emerging areas in biology research and immuno-oncology. LUMICKS' tools allow researchers to build the crucial and as yet unfinished bridge between structure and function at both a molecular and a cellular level. This is achieved by applying and measuring forces around biological interactions, enabling the detailed real-time analysis of underlying biological mechanisms. LUMICKS' C-Trap® Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence & Label-free Microscopy, allows scientists to analyze complex biological processes in real-time. Similarly, the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer enables the measurement and selection of immune cells based on their real-time interactions with target cells.

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Spotlight

Trinity has worked with over a third of companies with cell and gene therapies (CGTs) on market or in Phase 3 clinical trials. Our work has supported business development, launch planning, evidence generation (HEOR, etc.), market access, pricing, and other critical commercial activities to support the development and launch of these therapies.1 As such, we have seen CGTs morph from a small niche into possibly the most exciting market in pharma.

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