RESEARCH

TurtleTree Launches New Research and Development Facility in Greater Sacramento

TurtleTree | October 04, 2021

TurtleTree has officially opened its new R&D facility in California's state capital. Located in West Sacramento, this 24,000-square-foot building will house a world-class research hub showcasing the company's extensive array of innovations and cell-based technologies. 

Representing a milestone in TurtleTree's US-based expansion plans, the research facility will spur the development of precision fermentation technology currently used to produce valuable milk ingredients like lactoferrin. This marks a significant stride towards the production of consumer-ready milk and dairy, reaffirming TurtleTree's status as a leading player in the field of sustainable nutrition.

In addition to improving these capabilities, the establishment of this groundbreaking facility will also further TurtleTree's mission of uplifting the world beyond the creation of sustainable food. To adequately staff the facility, the company will create approximately 40 new tech-related jobs in and around Greater Sacramento. These will span diverse fields from food science to engineering, yielding fresh opportunities for seasoned professionals and fresh graduates alike.

Referencing this positive impact, TurtleTree's CEO and co-founder, Fengru Lin, stated: "Establishing this R&D facility in Greater Sacramento marks the first step towards bringing our unique products from development to market—one that we're very glad will help unlock new opportunities within the local community. We're eagerly looking forward to working with the brilliant talent in the area and building a future generation of nutrition that we can all enjoy for decades to come."

Echoing similar sentiments, various West Sacramento representatives have also offered their support for the new facility. President and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Barry Broome, stated: "We want to congratulate TurtleTree for locating their R&D and manufacturing facility in West Sacramento. This move signals market validation of why Greater Sacramento is world-class in biotech, specifically alternative proteins research."

West Sacramento is honored to have been chosen by TurtleTree as the location for their much-anticipated research facility. The city looks forward to assisting the TurtleTree leadership to achieve their goals, with respect to the facility, through an accelerated occupancy permit process, TurtleTree is making significant contributions to a sustainable, global food supply and is also creating opportunities to prepare future generations to continue this important scientific work through our student internship program, which will be of great benefit to the city's youth.

- West Sacramento mayor, Martha Guerrero

Moving forward, TurtleTree remains committed to its role in developing the food and agriculture ecosystem in Northern California. Aside from functioning as a research hub, the R&D facility will also serve as an integral touchpoint for TurtleTree to connect and collaborate with educational institutions, research-focused partners, strategic partners, future customers, and investors.

About TurtleTree
TurtleTree is a biotech company that's using cell-based technologies to create sustainable food and dairy. In spite of this, we earnestly believe that what we do extends beyond the dining table and into the heart of humanity. At our core, we seek to uplift the world by providing a new generation of nutrition that's better for the planet, better for the animals, and better for people everywhere.

About the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC)
The Greater Sacramento Economic Council is the catalyst for innovative growth strategies in the Capital Region of California. The organization spearheads community-led direction to retain, attract, grow, and scale tradable sectors, develop advanced industries, and create jobs and investment throughout a six-county region. Greater Sacramento represents a collaboration between local and state governments, market leaders, influencers, and stakeholders, with the sole mission of driving inclusive economic growth. The Greater Sacramento region was founded on discovery, built on leadership, and fueled by innovation.

About the City of West Sacramento
West Sacramento is located minutes from the state capital, midway between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, in the heart of California's Great Central Valley. West Sacramento has abundant land, high-quality water, and nearby agricultural production combined with market access and proximity to the world-renowned food and agricultural research of U.C. Davis. Over 60 companies in food and ag-tech research, production, and distribution have established West Sacramento's Global Food Industry Hub, including Origin Materials, TOMRA Sorting Solutions, NuSeed Americas, Nor-Cal Beverage, Bayer Crop Science, and Nippon Shokken U.S.A.

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The Genomic Science program of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research1 (BER) within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science focuses on understanding microbes, microbial communities, and plants as integrated systems of relevance to DOE’s energy and environmental missions.


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MEDICAL

Anixa Biosciences Announces the Initiation of its Ovarian Cancer CAR-T Phase 1 Trial at Moffitt Cancer Center

Anixa | March 31, 2022

Anixa Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANIX), a biotechnology company focused on the treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious diseases, today announced the initiation of a Phase 1 trial evaluating its novel chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy in ovarian cancer. The CAR-T approach used for Anixa's therapy is known as chimeric endocrine receptor T-cell (CER-T) since the target of the engineered T-cells is an endocrine receptor. The Phase 1 trial at Moffitt Cancer Center will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Anixa's therapy in patients with ovarian cancer. Anixa holds an exclusive, worldwide license for the technology, which was developed at the Wistar Institute. While CAR-T therapy has shown efficacy in some hematological tumors, reproducing the same results with solid tumors, such as ovarian cancer, has proven challenging. One of the reasons for this difficulty is that effective CAR-T therapy needs a specific antigen to recognize that is only present on target cancer cells in order to avoid negatively affecting healthy cells. The CER-T therapy being evaluated in Anixa's Phase 1 study differs from traditional CAR-T in that it targets the follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), which research indicates is exclusively expressed on ovarian cells in healthy adult females. We are thrilled to have partnered with world-class scientists at Moffitt Cancer Center to advance our CER-T platform and feel that this partnership provides a critical opportunity to make a significant impact on the treatment of solid tumors, We strongly believe that our unique targeting approach differentiates our CER-T platform from traditional CAR-T approaches and that CER-T has potential to work in solid tumors where other therapies have failed." Dr. Amit Kumar, President, CEO and Chairman of Anixa Biosciences. CAR-T therapies are rapidly becoming an important player in cancer therapy, and our lab has developed a technology that has the potential to target tumors by using an existing biological mechanism that is well understood. If our CER-T approach is successful, it could serve as a model for future targeted CAR-T therapies in other cancer types. The goal in cancer therapy has always been to kill cancer cells with limited damage to healthy tissue, and we look forward to seeing how this CER-T therapy may be able to accomplish that in solid tumors, which have historically proven challenging to eradicate with cell therapy." Jose R. Conejo-Garcia, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Immunology at Moffitt Cancer Center and co-inventor of the CER-T technology. About Anixa's CER-T Approach (Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor-Mediated CAR-T technology) Anixa's chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) technology approach is an autologous cell therapy comprised of engineered T-cells that target the follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR). FSHR is found at immunologically relevant levels exclusively on the granulosa cells of the ovaries. Since the target is a hormone (chimeric endocrine) receptor, and the target-binding domain is derived from its natural ligand, this technology is known as CER-T (chimeric endocrine receptor T-cell) therapy, a new type of CAR-T. About Anixa Biosciences, Inc. Anixa is a clinical-stage biotechnology company with a number of programs addressing cancer and infectious disease. Anixa's portfolio of therapeutics includes a cancer immunotherapy program being developed in collaboration with Moffitt Cancer Center, which uses a novel type of CAR-T, known as chimeric endocrine receptor T-cell (CER-T) technology, and, with partner MolGenie GmbH, a COVID-19 program focused on compounds targeting the Mpro enzyme of SARS-CoV-2, which is largely conserved across all recently identified variants like Delta and Omicron. The company's vaccine portfolio includes a novel vaccine being developed in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic to prevent breast cancer – specifically triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most lethal form of the disease – as well as a vaccine to prevent ovarian cancer. These vaccine technologies focus on immunizing against "retired" proteins that have been found to be expressed in certain forms of cancer. Anixa's unique business model of partnering with world-renowned research institutions on clinical development allows the company to continually examine emerging technologies in complementary fields for further development and commercialization

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

BeiGene Announces Approval for BRUKINSA (zanubrutinib) by Swissmedic for Treatment of Adult Patients with Waldenströms Macroglobulinemia

BeiGene | February 18, 2022

BeiGene a global, science-driven biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines, today announced that BeiGene’s BTK inhibitor BRUKINSA received approval from Swissmedic for the treatment of adult patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia who have received at least one prior line of therapy, or for treatment-naïve patients who are not suited for standard chemo-immunotherapy. BRUKINSA had previously been granted orphan drug status. “The authorization of BRUKINSA will bring a new option and an innovative medicine that has potential to offer deep and durable response for eligible patients with WM in Switzerland. BRUKINSA is a next-generation BTK inhibitor which has also provided meaningful improvements in tolerability for some patients with WM compared to ibrutinib, as treatment discontinuation remains a concern.” Pr. Davide Rossi, Deputy Head of the Division of Hematology of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland IOSI Reto Kessler, Country Manager, Switzerland at BeiGene added, “This approval is a significant development for people living with WM in Switzerland and for BeiGene’s expansion in Europe. Our teams are committed to collaborating with the Federal Office of Public Health and healthcare professionals to ensure access to BRUKINSA for patients in Switzerland.” The Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) is supported by data from the global Phase 3 ASPEN clinical trial, a Phase 3 randomized, open-label, multicenter trial (NCT03053440) that evaluated BRUKINSA compared to ibrutinib in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) or treatment-naïve (TN) WM who harbor a MYD88 mutation (MYD88MUT). In the ASPEN trial, BRUKINSA demonstrated a numerically higher very good partial response (VGPR) rate and a favorable safety profile over ibrutinib, although the primary endpoint of statistical superiority related to deep response (VGPR or better) was not met. As assessed by independent review committee (IRC) per adaptation of the response criteria updated at the Sixth International Workshop on Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (IWWM), the combined complete response (CR) + VGPR rate in the overall intention-to-treat (ITT) population was 29% with BRUKINSA (95% CI: 20, 40), compared to 19% with ibrutinib (95% CI: 12, 30). In the ASPEN trial, of the 101 patients with WM randomized and treated with BRUKINSA, four percent of patients discontinued due to adverse events, including cardiomegaly, neutropenia, plasma cell myeloma, and subdural hemorrhage. Adverse events leading to dose reduction occurred in 14% of patients, with the most common being neutropenia (3%) and diarrhea (2%). The recommended dose of BRUKINSA is either 160 mg twice daily or 320 mg once daily, taken orally with or without food. The dose may be adjusted for adverse reactions and reduced for patients with severe hepatic impairment and certain drug interactions. About Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia WM is a rare B-cell lymphoma that occurs in less than two percent of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas.2 The disease usually affects older adults and is primarily found in bone marrow, although lymph nodes and the spleen may be involved.1 Throughout Europe, the estimated incidence rate of WM is approximately seven for every one million men and four for every one million women.2 About BRUKINSA BRUKINSA is a small molecule inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) discovered by BeiGene scientists that is currently being evaluated globally in a broad clinical program as a monotherapy and in combination with other therapies to treat various B-cell malignancies. Because new BTK is continuously synthesized, BRUKINSA was specifically designed to deliver complete and sustained inhibition of the BTK protein by optimizing bioavailability, half-life, and selectivity. With differentiated pharmacokinetics compared to other approved BTK inhibitors, BRUKINSA has been demonstrated to inhibit the proliferation of malignant B cells within a number of disease relevant tissues. BRUKINSA is supported by a broad clinical program which includes more than 3,900 subjects in 35 trials across 28 markets. To date, BRUKINSA has received more than 20 approvals covering more than 40 countries and regions, including the U.S., European Union, China, Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland. Currently, more than 40 additional regulatory submissions are in review around the world. BeiGene Oncology BeiGene is committed to advancing best- and first-in-class clinical candidates internally or with like-minded partners to develop impactful and affordable medicines for patients across the globe. We have a growing R&D and medical affairs team of approximately 2,900 colleagues dedicated to advancing more than 100 clinical trials that have involved more than 14,500 subjects. Our expansive portfolio is directed predominantly by our internal colleagues supporting clinical trials in more than 45 countries and regions. Hematology-oncology and solid tumor targeted therapies and immuno-oncology are key focus areas for the Company, with both mono- and combination therapies prioritized in our research and development. BeiGene currently has three approved medicines discovered and developed in our own labs: BTK inhibitor BRUKINSA in the United States, China, the EU and U.K., Canada, Australia and additional international markets; and the non-FC-gamma receptor binding anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab as well as the PARP inhibitor pamiparib in China. BeiGene also partners with innovative companies who share our goal of developing therapies to address global health needs. We commercialize a range of oncology medicines in China licensed from Amgen, Bristol Myers Squibb, EUSA Pharma and Bio-Thera. We also plan to address greater areas of unmet need globally through our other collaborations including with Mirati Therapeutics, Seagen, and Zymeworks. In January 2021 BeiGene and Novartis announced a collaboration granting Novartis rights to co-develop, manufacture, and commercialize BeiGene’s anti-PD1 antibody tislelizumab in North America, Europe, and Japan. Building upon this productive collaboration, including a biologics license application (BLA) under FDA review, BeiGene and Novartis announced an option, collaboration and license agreement in December 2021 for BeiGene’s TIGIT inhibitor ociperlimab that is in Phase 3 development. Novartis and BeiGene also entered into a strategic commercial agreement through which BeiGene will promote five approved Novartis Oncology products across designated regions of China. About BeiGene BeiGene is a global, science-driven biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide. With a broad portfolio of more than 40 clinical candidates, we are expediting development of our diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics through our own capabilities and collaborations. We are committed to radically improving access to medicines for two billion more people by 2030. BeiGene has a growing global team of over 8,000 colleagues across five continents.

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MEDICAL

Texas Children's Pavilion for Women Acquires Austin Perinatal Associates Expanding Hospital's Maternal-Fetal Medicine Footprint to Central Tex

Texas Children's Hospital | May 09, 2022

Texas Children's Physician Group announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Austin Perinatal Associates, a well-known private maternal-fetal medicine practice based in Austin. Located at 6500 North Mopac Expressway, the facility is the ninth community maternal-fetal medicine clinic operated by the Texas Children's Pavilion for Women and the first to offer women's services in Central Texas – bringing the hospital's well-known, top tier women's health care closer to patients in this growing region of the state.  The announcement comes a decade after the expansion of Texas Children's Hospital into obstetrics and gynecological care, with a special focus on high-risk pregnancies, fetal surgery, and multiple births. Additional growth in the area includes a new freestanding, top tier children and women's hospital in North Austin that will top off in mid-May. Texas Children's Hospital Austin is set to open Q1 2024. The clinic, founded by Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist Dr. David L. Berry, has served as a convenient location for patients to receive a full array of care, including ultrasounds, genetics services, antenatal testing, and diabetes and hypertension management since 1997. Patients will now have access to clinical support with specialty programs at Texas Children's, including the Texas Children's Hospital Fetal Center, The Women's Place, and nutritional counseling Texas Children's continues to expand from Houston into the Austin area to bring Central Texans the same personalized, family-centered, high-quality medical care and services they've provided since 1954, With more than 60 years of newborn care experience, over 6,000 births a year, and maternal-fetal medicine offices throughout the Houston area, I'm excited to be a part of their expansion efforts into Austin." Berry. Berry is a fourth generation physician who returned to his hometown following his residency and post-graduate fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine to launch Austin Perinatal Associates in order to meet the medical needs of women experiencing high-risk pregnancies. His expertise includes prenatal diagnosis, invasive fetal diagnostics and therapeutics, infectious disease, cancer in pregnancy, and critical care obstetrics. We are proud to announce the growth of our world-class, specialized care for mothers and babies in the Austin community and excited to welcome Dr. Berry to our team, Our maternal-fetal medicine physicians at Texas Children's Fetal Center are known worldwide for their expert care for high-risk pregnancies, and this clinic allows for a seamless connection to our Fetal Center – one of the nation's leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities in unborn and newborn infants." Dr. Michael Belfort, OB/GYN-in-Chief at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women and Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. About Texas Children's Hospital Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children's hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children's has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women's health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children's care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children's Health Plan, the nation's first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children's Pediatrics; Texas Children's Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that's channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children's Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

c-LEcta Announces That It Has Reached Agreement to Be Acquired by Kerry Group

c-LEcta | February 16, 2022

c-LEcta, a leading biotechnology company in enzyme engineering and bioprocess development, has announced that it has reached an agreement with Kerry Group for it to acquire a majority shareholding of the company. Kerry is a world-leading taste and nutrition partner for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. This strategically compelling combination will accelerate Kerry’s innovation capabilities in enzyme engineering, fermentation and bio-process development while also enabling c-LEcta to fufill its long term growth potential. “We are very happy to join Kerry group and their global presence in the food and pharmaceutical sectors gives us access to additional markets. At the same time, their expertise in ingredient technologies and applications is a perfect fit as we continue to drive our growth potential in the future. We will continue to collaborate with our existing industry partners and will of course continue to produce and distribute our products for our valued customers.” Dr Marc Struhalla, founder and CEO of c-LEcta Thomas Pfaadt, CFO of c-LEcta adds: “We want to thank our previous investors for the great cooperation over the past years. Without their contribution, such a development would not have been possible. Together, we have achieved a lot and we are thankful for their support.” Commenting on the agreement with c-LEcta, Dr Albert McQuaid, Chief Science and Technology Officer of Kerry, said: “The food and pharmaceutical industries are on the cusp of a new wave of innovation where new developments in biotechnology, synthetic biology and precision fermentation are radically transforming these sectors. c-LEcta is a leader in these new technologies, which includes fermentation-based products such as disruptive new enzymes, and the strategically compelling combination with Kerry will accelerate our innovation capabilities in enzyme engineering, fermentation and bio-process development. Our broad market reach across food and pharma markets, combined with our deep enzyme applications expertise and integrated ingredient technology design, will enable and accelerate the growth potential of c-LEcta’s strong portfolio and technology capabilities while also supporting us in the creation of tastier, more sustainable and healthier products.” About c-LEcta c-LEcta is a leading biotechnology company located in Leipzig, Germany. The company has established itself as a leading player in the realisation of high-value biotechnology products for regulated markets, either as in-house development or in close cooperation with the industry. c-LEcta innovation capability delivers cost-efficient and sustainable production processes, creating growth opportunities across existing and new markets. About the Kerry Group Kerry is a world-leading taste and nutrition partner for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical markets and with its broad portfolio of ingredient solutions reaches more than one billion customers worldwide. Together with their customers, Kerry develops innovative products with great taste, improved nutritional value, and higher functionality, while having a better impact on the environment. Thanks to their leading consumer knowledge, their global RD&A team with more than 1,100 food scientists, and their comprehensive, global presence, Kerry can overcome the complex challenges of their customers with differentiated solutions. Kerry is willing to be a valued partner for their customers and to create a world of sustainable nutrition.

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Spotlight

The Genomic Science program of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research1 (BER) within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science focuses on understanding microbes, microbial communities, and plants as integrated systems of relevance to DOE’s energy and environmental missions.

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