Targovax plans checkpoint combo trial after posting early data on oncolytic virus

FierceBiotech | January 22, 2020

Targovax has shared data from an early-phase trial that administered ONCOS-102 to mesothelioma patients. The response rate was lower in the ONCOS-102 arm than in the control cohort, but Targovax saw positives elsewhere, leading it to outline plans to pair the drug with a checkpoint inhibitor. ONCOS-102 is an adenovírus-based cancer therapy that Targovax thinks can improve on treatment options available to patients with pleural mesothelioma, a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. That belief is underpinned by preclinical evidence that ONCOS-102 directly kills cancer cells and triggers an innate immune response.

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RESEARCH

BigHat Biosciences Completes First Stage of Research Collaboration with Amgen

BigHat Biosciences, Inc. | January 12, 2022

BigHat Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company with an artificial intelligence/machine learning-guided antibody discovery and development platform, announced the successful completion of the first stage of a previously undisclosed research collaboration and licensing agreement with Amgen applying BigHat’s platform for multi-objective optimization of a next-generation antibody. BigHat’s antibody design platform integrates a high-speed characterization with AI/ML technologies to engineer antibodies with more complex functions and better biophysical properties. This approach reduces the difficulty of designing antibodies and other therapeutic proteins to tackle conditions ranging from chronic illness to life-threatening disease. BigHat’s experimental platform massively speeds up candidate discovery and validation. “This is an important milestone for BigHat, and the AI/ML biologics drug discovery field more broadly, as it demonstrates the ability of their platform to quickly and significantly optimize next-generation antibodies,” said Steve Doberstein, BigHat Independent Board Member and former Chief R&D Officer at Nektar Therapeutics, Inc. Achievement of this first milestone shows that BigHat’s platform has the potential to design high-quality therapeutic antibodies effectively and efficiently. Its platform can synthesize, express, purify, and characterize antibodies in a fraction of the time compared to traditional labs to guide the search for better molecules. “BigHat's platform for data-driven antibody design generated several antibodies significantly better than the starter molecules found using traditional technologies. Now that Amgen has validated the capabilities of BigHat's unique approach to antibody development, we're excited to continue working with them towards a lead antibody for their discovery research.” Vineeta Agarwala, MD, PhD, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and BigHat Board Director This successful milestone triggers the initiation of work to create a lead panel of VHH antibodies for patients in need. “We are excited to show the power of our platform to rapidly improve biophysical characteristics and function by directing and learning from each cycle of our AI/ML-enabled experimental platform. We are looking forward to continuing our productive collaboration,” said Peyton Greenside, BigHat’s CSO and Co-Founder. About BigHat Biosciences, Inc. BigHat Biosciences is reimagining antibody discovery and engineering with an AI-first experimental platform that integrates a high-speed wet lab with machine learning to create better antibodies faster and undertake novel designs far beyond what’s possible today. BigHat applies these design capabilities to develop new generations of safer and more effective treatments for patients suffering from today’s most challenging diseases. BigHat is a Series A stage biotechnology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area with a team-oriented, inclusive, and family-friendly culture. BigHat is backed by a16z, 8VC, AME Cloud Ventures, and Innovation Endeavors and counts among its employees and advisors a Nobel Laureate, a serial life-science entrepreneur, and leaders in fields from antibody development to machine learning.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics Added to ICE Biotechnology Index

Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics, Inc. | December 18, 2021

Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics, Inc. on exploring the role that cytokine and gene editing/cell therapy can have in treating patients with cancer, blood disorders, and monogenic diseases, announces that Brooklyn has been added to the ICE Biotechnology Index following the December 20, 2021 reconstitution. “The continued recognition of Brooklyn among key biotechnology indices is encouraging and we continue to believe that our value proposition and approach to our business are being rewarded with these inclusions. We look forward to beginning the new year strong and are grateful to be included among the key players in the biotech sector,” Brooklyn’s Chief Executive Officer and President Howard Federoff, M.D., Ph.D The ICE Biotechnology Index tracks the performance of qualifying U.S.-listed biotechnology companies classified within the Biotechnology Sub-Industry Group of the ICE Uniform Sector Classification schema, which is a multi-asset class industry classification taxonomy developed by ICE. The index includes companies that are engaged in the research and development of therapeutic treatments but are not focused on the commercialization and mass production of pharmaceutical drugs. The index also includes companies that are engaged in the production of tools or systems that enable biotechnology processes. About Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics Brooklyn is focused on exploring the role that cytokine, gene editing, and cell therapy can have in treating patients with cancer, blood disorders, and monogenic diseases. Brooklyn’s most advanced program is IRX-2, a human cell-derived cytokine therapy, studying the safety and efficacy of IRX-2 in patients with head and neck cancer in Phase 2B. In a Phase 2A clinical trial in head and neck cancer, IRX-2 demonstrated an overall survival benefit. Additional studies are either underway or planned in other solid tumor cancer indications. Brooklyn has multiple next-generation cell and gene-editing therapies in preclinical development for various indications including acute respiratory distress syndrome, solid tumor indications, as well as in vivo gene-editing therapies for rare genetic diseases.

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OPKO Health Acquires ModeX Therapeutics, Gains Proprietary Immunotherapy Technology with a Focus on Oncology and Infectious Diseases

OPKO Health | May 10, 2022

OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK), a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company, today announced the acquisition of ModeX Therapeutics, Inc. a privately held biotechnology company focused on developing innovative multi-specific immune therapies for cancer and infectious diseases. OPKO acquired ModeX for $300 million in OPKO common stock. Founded in October 2020 with headquarters in Natick, Mass., ModeX Therapeutics has developed highly flexible multi-specific antibody technology platforms with broad targeting and functional capabilities, simpler manufacturing and potentially better specificity and safety, providing significant differentiation from competing platforms. The design of these multi-specifics is amenable to gene-based delivery by mRNA or DNA vectors. The ModeX product portfolio includes cancer immunotherapies that combine four specificities into one protein to improve targeting and immune killing, as well as masking or “stealth” technology to improve tumor-specific killing and reduce side effects. For viral diseases, the lead targets of a broad and potent multi-specific antibody portfolio include HIV and SARS-CoV-2. A vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus is also in development. The acquisition of ModeX Therapeutics significantly broadens our technology foundation and expands our product pipeline to include multi-specific multi-functional antibodies focused on a range of cancers and infectious diseases, with applicability to other therapeutic areas. We believe the promise of better outcomes for patients treated with these multi-specific antibodies represents a next generation of large molecule therapeutics and the next chapter of OPKO, We welcome ModeX’s co-founders Dr. Zerhouni and Dr. Nabel, as well as Alexis Borisy to our Board of Directors, and Dr. Zerhouni and Dr. Nabel to OPKO’s executive management team. The ModeX executive team brings to OPKO a wealth of experience, knowledge and industry contacts, which we expect will have a tremendous long-term positive impact on OPKO as we advance their technology and product pipeline and leverage potential synergies with our current portfolio in diagnostics and therapeutics.” Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OPKO. Elias Zerhouni, M.D., Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of ModeX, has been appointed President and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of OPKO. Dr. Zerhouni brings extensive experience in academia, government and industry as a leading authority on emerging trends and issues in medical care and biomedical research and development. A physician scientist with an academic background in imaging and biomedical engineering, Dr. Zerhouni most recently served as President of Global Research & Development and Executive Vice President of Sanofi. Dr. Zerhouni also served as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Senior Fellow for Global Health Research at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Presidential U.S. Envoy for Science and Technology, and Professor and Chair of the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, Executive Vice Dean and Dean for Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Zerhouni was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and to the National Academy of Engineering. He serves on the Board of the Lasker Foundation, the Foundation for NIH, the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative and Research!America. He received the 2017 Scripps Executive of the Year Award for the pharmaceutical industry and the French Legion of Honor in 2008. He has been a director of Danaher Corporation since 2009. Being part of OPKO represents a transformative opportunity for both companies. We anticipate it will accelerate ModeX’s product pipeline focused on unmet needs in oncology and infectious diseases and the development of our innovative technologies, and also will take advantage of synergies with OPKO’s programs, ModeX has operated quietly since we were founded 18 months ago on the basis of over 10 years of prior foundational work. We have assembled a world-class executive team with outstanding public and private sector leadership experience to advance our programs. Our lead drug candidate is already in the clinic while several others in late preclinical stages are expected to enter clinical development in 2023. We were enticed to join OPKO by its leadership’s vision and enthusiasm for strengthening our mutual potential for breakthrough innovation.” Dr. Zerhouni. Gary Nabel, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of ModeX, has been appointed Chief Innovation Officer of OPKO and joins OPKO’s Board of Directors. Dr. Nabel, a renowned virologist and immunologist, served as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Sanofi where he directed the breakthrough laboratory that developed tri-specific products now in early clinical development. He is the founding director of the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center, working on vaccines and broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV, influenza, SARS, Ebola, Chikungunya and Epstein-Barr virus. He was previously an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Michigan. In recognition of his expertise at the forefront of virology, immunology, gene therapy and molecular biology, Dr. Nabel was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, is a fellow of the American Association of Physicians and the American Academy of Arts Sciences, and was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award from Research!America. Alexis Borisy, the Lead Independent Director of ModeX, also joins OPKO’s Board of Directors. Mr. Borisy is a leading biotechnology entrepreneur and investor with more than 25 years of experience, including founding, serving as Chief Executive Officer and/or Chairman of nine NASDAQ-listed companies. He co-founded and served as either the Chief Executive Officer or Chairman of Blueprint Medicines, Foundation Medicine, Relay Therapeutics, Tango Therapeutics, Celsius Therapeutics and CombinatoRx. With the additions of Dr. Zerhouni, Dr. Nabel and Mr. Borisy to OPKO’s Board, the number of Directors expands to 13. About OPKO Health, Inc. OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets by leveraging its discovery, development, and commercialization expertise and novel and proprietary technologies.

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MEDTECH

Salipro Biotech Receives European Patent for Antigen production

Salipro Biotech | February 09, 2022

Swedish biotech company Salipro Biotech AB announced that the European Patent Office has granted a further European Patent to the company, No. EP 3 043 814 B1 entitled "Antigen and method for production thereof", following the approval of the US-member of this patent family already in 2018 under US Patent 10,159,729 B2. The patents cover the composition-of-matter, methods and uses of the company's novel antigen technology, strengthening Salipro Biotech's proprietary platform technologies for the discovery and development of next-generation therapeutics against challenging drug targets such as GPCRs, ion channels and transporters. "We're constantly increasing our collaborations, partnerships and licensing agreements with major pharma companies on a wide range of challenging drug targets. Expanding our already strong patent portfolio further will enable us to increase the value of such collaborations for our partners as well as moving towards building our own discovery pipeline." Maria Knudsen, Business Development Director at Salipro Biotech AB Jens Frauenfeld, CEO, comments: "We're excited about this important milestone that provides additional protection for our core technologies. The market for therapeutic antibodies, vaccines and biologics is ever expanding. Securing these patents protects our innovative platform and further strengthens our position by supplementing our foundational and follow-up patents that have already been granted to Salipro Biotech in many countries, including US, EU, China and Japan." About Salipro Biotech AB Salipro Biotech AB is a privately held biotech company focused on unlocking challenging drug targets for the development of next-generation therapeutics. The company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with a fully owned IP portfolio that covers the Salipro® platform technology for the stabilization of membrane proteins.

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Spotlight

We believe that data-driven marketing shouldn’t be confusing. Every company should know what works for their campaigns in order to make more ROI-driven decisions. At Directive, we not only craft customized campaigns for your unique marketing objectives - we exceed those objectives and truly revolutionize your digital presence. We pride ourselves on the comprehensive and in-depth nature of the campaigns we build. From the outset - we prioritize transparent and accurate tracking to get the best picture of how campaigns are performing.

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