UK Startup Snaps up Potential Universal Cancer Immunotherapy

Labiotech.eu | January 27, 2020

The cancer vaccine developer Ervaxx has licensed a preclinical-stage ‘universal’ cancer immunotherapy based on the recent discovery of a new strain of immune T-cells at Cardiff University, UK. Last week, a team led by researchers at Cardiff University published research about T-cells capable of hunting a wide range of cancers including leukemia and melanoma. Experiments in vitro and in mice suggested that these T-cells could form the basis of a ‘universal’ cancer immunotherapy that could treat more types of cancer than current CAR-T and TCR therapies. The UK biotech Ervaxx has now closed an exclusive licensing agreement with the research group to get hold of the technology.

Spotlight

Vaping can damage vital immune system cells and may be more harmful than previously thought, a study suggests. Researchers found e-cigarettevapour disabled important immune cells in the lung and boosted inflammation.


Other News
DIAGNOSTICS

Oncode Institute and ArgoBio Launch Laigo Bio, a Targeted Protein Degradation Biotech With Programs in Oncology and Neurological Disorders

ArgoBio and Oncode Institute | February 08, 2022

ArgoBio and Oncode Institute have teamed up with Oncode Investigator Madelon Maurice, researcher and group leader at UMC Utrecht, to launch Laigo Bio, a new company in the emerging field of target protein degradation. The company has additionally secured funding from Oncode Bridge Fund and ArgoBio to further develop its proprietary pipeline of targeted immunotherapies SureTACsR. The SureTACsR technology platform is a novel approach in membrane protein degradation, applicable to a broad scope of disease applications. The primary focus lies in the area of oncology, but with parallel programs in neuro-inflammation and neuro degenerative diseases. In contrast to other small molecule approaches, this results in an efficient and sustained degradation of target receptors, potentially resulting in superior efficacy in the clinic than modalities currently being employed by other emerging protein degradation technologies. Initially driven by Madelon Maurice, who will join as the Principal Investigator, Laigo Bio is gearing up for preclinical lead development in the coming months, generating proprietary biologics for a selection of targets to showcase its potential. Laigo Bio receives strong support from seasoned entrepreneurs Neill Moray Mackenzie at ArgoBio and Emil Pot at Oncode, who will prepare the company for a Series A investment round as it aims to initiate its first clinical studies in 2025. Dr. Neill Moray Mackenzie at ArgoBio is a veteran of the IO field and Mr Emil Pot is an IP & business development expert at Oncode with 25 years of experience in life sciences. Chris De Jonghe, Valorization Director of Oncode Institute, said: “SureTACsR is building on the innovative ideas that Dr. Maurice has initially validated with the support of Oncode’s Technology Development Fund. With the foundation of Laigo Bio, another exciting step forward is made towards the translation of Dr. Maurice’s innovations into effective, and tailored therapies for cancer patients. We are thrilled to join forces with ArgoBio in this initial seed round and consider it as a token of great confidence in the potential of this platform technology.” Madelon Maurice of the UMC Utrecht, said:“We are extremely happy that ArgoBio is supporting my long-standing research here at the UMC Utrecht on how to interfere with signalling alterations that drive oncogenesis and bringing a team of experienced scientists and entrepreneurs to help with its translation to the clinic.” Dr. Neill Moray Mackenzie of ArgoBio, said: “This is exactly why we put ArgoBio together last year – to fund these early-stage opportunities. I am especially pleased that Madelon Maurice, a renowned KOL in the field, is leading this novel approach to protein degradation which has great potential to open up a completely new biology in the field of cancer therapy.” “Targeted protein degradation is an exciting space and has gained validation in clinical studies with many players now entering the field. One key differentiator here is sustained degradation of cell membrane bound proteins with a biologic, which is a very novel approach, and we believe holds a lot of promise in oncology and many neurological indications. We look forward to supporting Madelon, Neill and Emil in their journey at Laigo Bio.” Shobhit Dhawan of Oncode Bridge Fund About Argobio Argobio is a start-up studio based in Paris, France, dedicated to turning cutting-edge innovations into breakthrough biotech companies. Argobio sources innovative early-stage projects on therapeutics from renowned European academic research institutions with a focus on rare diseases, neurological disorders, oncology, and immunology. Argobio selects and incubates these projects with the goal to create biotech companies and develop them up to a significant Series A financing. Argobio provides broad expertise in the discovery and development of novel drugs with a team of highly experienced Biotech entrepreneurs. About Oncode Institute Oncode Institute unites more than 900 excellent fundamental cancer researchers in the Netherlands. Our mission is to stimulate innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The ultimate goal is to help patients survive, improve the quality of life for those affected and contribute to a more affordable healthcare system. Oncode Institute translates fundamental insights into the biology of cancer into new diagnostics, new drugs and innovative treatments. Oncode’s three strategic pillars to improve patient outcomes are Excellent Science, Collaboration and Valorization. Oncode is funded by The Dutch Cancer Society, together with the Ministries of Economic Affairs & Climate, Education Culture & Science and Health, Welfare & Sport, and Health~Holland, with a total amount of €120 million until 2022. About Oncode Bridge Fund The Oncode Oncology Bridge Fund provides early-stage financing to help the creation and growth of new enterprises based on the science of Oncode Investigators. The Bridge Fund aims to accelerate the translation of innovative cancer research of the Oncode labs into treatment options, diagnostic methods and research tools that benefit patients and society as a whole. About UMC Utrecht UMC Utrecht is one of the top-ranked academic medical centers in Europe with the core tasks of care, research and education. With more than 12,000 employees, UMC Utrecht, of which the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital is a part, is one of the largest public healthcare institutions in the Netherlands and the largest employer in the Utrecht region. Our mission: together we improve the health of people and create the care of tomorrow. Together we create more value, because we believe that every person counts. About Laigo Bio Laigo Bio is based on the research from the laboratory of Professor Madelon Maurice, known internationally for her contributions to the understanding of Wnt signaling, a key pathway for stem cell maintenance and tissue renewal. A main focus of her work is to uncover the mode-of-action of membrane-bound E3 ligases that control Wnt receptor turnover and are frequently mutated in cancer.

Read More

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.

Read More

DIAGNOSTICS

NEOGEN® and Gencove Launch InfiniSEEK™ -- The First Whole Genome and Genotyping Sequencing Solution for Cattle Breeders

NEOGEN | May 16, 2022

NEOGEN® Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) and Gencove, the leading low-pass whole genome sequencing and analysis software company, today announced the launch of InfiniSEEK™, an innovative, cost-effective solution for whole genome sequencing and targeted SNP analysis. Combining NEOGEN's world-class genomic solutions and services with Gencove's low-pass sequencing and analytics software, the solution can deliver genomic insights to help advance cattle breeding programs worldwide. NEOGEN offers innovative, high quality, value-added genomic technologies to the agrigenomics industry, With the launch of InfiniSEEK, our customers now have a data-rich, cost-efficient way to get genome-wide sequence data, specific genetic traits, and parentage markers simultaneously with excellent accuracy to characterize cattle across the world. We are excited to add this new solution to NEOGEN's portfolio." Dr. Jason Lilly, NEOGEN's Vice President of International Business. Gencove developed a process that simultaneously yields low-pass whole genome sequencing and high coverage genotyping at pre-selected loci in a single molecular reaction, InfiniSEEK is NEOGEN's first commercial product built on the Gencove software and analysis platform, and we are thrilled it will be deployed through NEOGEN's best in class genomics offering services." Dr. Joseph Pickrell, co-founder and CEO of Gencove. With InfiniSEEK, the industry now has a platform to: Minimize selection bias by sequencing more or all of a population Discover new traits impacting desired phenotypes Reliably manage more than 400 bovine genetic traits and conditions InfiniSEEK has been rigorously validated, and results demonstrate low-pass genome-wide sequencing to be greater than 99 percent concordant to deep whole-genome sequencing and can offer even higher, clinical-grade accuracy at specific regions of interest. About Gencove With additional opportunities to improve human health and the challenge of feeding the world's growing population, demand for genomic information has skyrocketed. To meet the need, Gencove combines low-pass whole genome sequencing (reading the DNA at shallower depths) with a proprietary software-as-a-service computation layer. The result is a high-throughput, cost-effective, accurate sequencing and analysis solution. As evidence of the technology's value, the company has hundreds of customers, and the largest genomics service providers in the world partner with Gencove. About NEOGEN NEOGEN Corporation develops and markets comprehensive solutions dedicated to food and animal safety, operating with the intention to "everyday, protect the people and animals we care about." The company's Food Safety segment markets dehydrated culture media and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases, and sanitation concerns. NEOGEN's Animal Safety segment is a leader in the development of genomic solutions along with the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of animal healthcare products, including diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments, wound care, and disinfectants, as well as rodent and insect control solutions.

Read More

MEDICAL

Light Bio Partners with Ginkgo Bioworks to Optimize the Brightness of Glowing Plants through Bioluminescence Engineering

Light Bio | April 18, 2022

Light Bio, Inc., a company that is creating bioluminescent plants for home and garden, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a collaboration to leverage Ginkgo's plant cell assays for bioluminescence engineering. Through the agreement, Ginkgo aims to help improve the luminescent output and efficiency of the enzymes within Light Bio's glowing ornamental plants. The scientists at Light Bio have discovered a new type of bioluminescence mechanism and are using synthetic biology to engineer plants to efficiently emit light. The original light emission pathway Light Bio uses in its glowing plants comes from bioluminescent mushrooms, and the company is now focused on expanding its engineering capabilities to support the creation of glowing plants. We are excited to collaborate with Ginkgo toward additional multifold output and efficiency improvements powered by Ginkgo's plant cell engineering capabilities across both individual enzyme and metabolic pathway improvements, Light Bio has already achieved strong light emission results on our glowing plant luminescence to date." Keith Wood, CEO, Light Bio. Nothing captures the wonder of biology quite like seeing glowing plants in person, Our platform enables developers to imagine with biology and to design all types of cells, from bacteria and yeast to mammalian and plant cells. We're so excited to bring this unique application onto our platform and to help Light Bio bring the magic of glowing plants to people." Jason Kelly, CEO, Ginkgo Bioworks. About Light Bio Light Bio creates novel biodesigns in living light. Through consumer-led applications of synthetic biology, Light Bio is opening new markets with products that have never existed before. Led by a team with deep experience in the development and commercialization of bioluminescence products, the company is sustained by its proprietary technologies backed by a strong patent portfolio. About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery.

Read More

Spotlight

Vaping can damage vital immune system cells and may be more harmful than previously thought, a study suggests. Researchers found e-cigarettevapour disabled important immune cells in the lung and boosted inflammation.

Resources