Atomwise | August 22, 2022
Atomwise, a leader in using artificial intelligence (AI) for small molecule drug discovery, announced that it has established a strategic and exclusive research collaboration with Sanofi that will leverage its AtomNet® platform for computational discovery and research of up to five drug targets.
The Atomwise approach shifts the mode of drug discovery away from serendipitous discovery and toward search based on structure, making the drug discovery process more rational, effective, and efficient. The AtomNet platform incorporates deep learning for structure-based drug design, enabling the rapid, AI-powered search of Atomwise’s proprietary library of more than 3 trillion synthesizable compounds.
“At Sanofi, we are committed to bringing higher quality medicines to patients faster, empowered by our advanced AI drug discovery engine. We are excited to partner with Atomwise, given their leadership in the field of virtual screening and AI-based molecular design. Together, we aim at making the drug discovery process more efficient and effective in particular when very limited information is available to support drug design.”
Frank Nestle, Global Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi
As part of this agreement, Sanofi will pay Atomwise $20 million upfront to identify, synthesize, and advance lead compounds for up to five targets which will be exclusive to Sanofi. Subsequent payments pegged to key research, development, and sales milestones could total more than $1 billion. In addition, tiered royalties have been established for products developed through the collaboration.
“At Atomwise, our mission is to use our unique technology to make better medicines, faster, by unlocking targets that have been inaccessible to traditional small molecule discovery approaches,” said Abraham Heifets, co-founder and CEO of Atomwise. “We are pleased to enter into this collaboration with Sanofi, which serves as continued validation of the important role that AI-powered platforms will play in accelerating the discovery of new therapies for diseases and conditions that may have gone untreated due to challenging or uncharacterized drug targets.”
Atomwise is a technology-enabled pharmaceutical company leveraging the power of AI to revolutionize small molecule drug discovery. The Atomwise team invented the use of deep learning for structure-based drug design; this technology underpins Atomwise’s best-in-class AI discovery engine, which is differentiated by its ability to find and optimize novel chemical matter. Atomwise has extensively validated its discovery engine, having demonstrated the ability to find compounds with therapeutic potential for biological targets in 90% of internal programs and more than 70% of the company’s 270 academic collaborations, including across a wide variety of protein types and multiple “hard to drug” targets. Atomwise is building a wholly-owned pipeline of small-molecule drug candidates, with three programs in lead-optimization and over 30 programs in discovery. The company has raised over $194 million from leading venture capital firms and collaborations to advance its mission to make better medicines, faster.
TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | July 16, 2022
TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative drug products based on its patented Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology platform, today announced a significant expansion of its R&D operations through the lease of a new research and development facility located in Austin, Texas.
The new facility of over 3,500 square feet significantly increases TFF’s total lab space, adding a dedicated lab for downstream processing of products created via Thin Film Freezing, which will complement the company’s existing formulation development capabilities. As TFF expands its in-house and partnered research, including applications in biologics, the additional laboratory space will also provide significantly more real estate to accommodate larger equipment to facilitate scale-up and manufacturing, as well as to produce supplies for preclinical studies.
The new space will be supervised by Donald Owens, Ph.D., Director of Product Development at TFF, and supported by John Koleng, Ph.D., R.Ph., Vice President of Product Development and Manufacturing. The company also plans to expand the product development team in Austin, which will be based at the new facility, to support the growing number of partnered projects. The lease arrangement used to finance the facility is also a major advantage, providing TFF with a highly flexible and capital efficient approach in expanding its R&D operations while preserving capital resources.
“The opening of our new Austin R&D facility represents an important evolution of TFF’s operations, reflecting growing demand for our Thin Film Freezing technology and product development services. The Austin facility will enable us to increase testing capacity so that we can run a larger number of feasibility studies, including a focus on biologics where demand has continued to grow. Additionally, as many of our partnered programs move to clinical evaluation, the ability to scale-up manufacturing in parallel becomes mission critical. We expect the new Austin facility will allow us to meet the current growing demand for Thin Film Freezing-based products.”
The addition of this facility also cements Austin as a central hub of TFF’s research operations. The company maintains a close relationship and research collaborations with academic institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, where TFF has extensive early-stage formulation capabilities.
“As our internal programs advance and our network of partnerships expands, establishing this additional research space in Austin is a natural next step,” added Glenn Mattes, CEO of TFF Pharmaceuticals. “I’m confident that Don and John will spearhead a successful expansion and scale-up of TFF’s capabilities to meet growing demand. We will also continue to work closely with our partners, including Dr. Robert O. Williams, Special Advisor to TFF and Co-Inventor of the Thin Film Freezing technology, who continues to advance new research demonstrating the broad applications and advantages of our technology from his home base at UT Austin.”
ABOUT TFF PHARMACEUTICALS’ THIN FILM FREEZING TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM
TFF Pharmaceuticals’ proprietary Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology allows for the transformation of both existing compounds and new chemical entities into dry powder formulations exhibiting unique characteristics and benefits. The Thin Film Freezing process is a particle engineering process designed to generate dry powder particles with advantageous properties for inhalation, as well as parenteral, nasal, oral, topical and ocular routes of administration. The process can be used to engineer powders for direct delivery to the site of need, circumventing challenges of systemic administration and leading to improved bioavailability, faster onset of action, and improved safety and efficacy. The ability to deliver therapies directly to the target organ, such as the lung, allows TFF powders to be administered at lower doses compared to oral drugs, reducing unwanted toxicities and side effects. Laboratory data suggests the aerodynamic properties of the powders created by Thin Film Freezing can deliver as much as 75% of the dose to the deep lung. Thin Film Freezing does not introduce heat, shear stress, or other forces that can damage more complex therapeutic components, such as fragile biologics, and instead enables the reformulation of these materials into easily stored and temperature-stable dry powders, making therapeutics and vaccines more accessible for distribution worldwide. The advantages of Thin Film Freezing can be used to enhance traditional delivery or combined to enable next-generation pharmaceutical products.
ABOUT TFF PHARMACEUTICALS
TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaging patented rapid freezing technology to develop and transform medicines into potent dry powder formulations for better efficacy, safety and stability. The company’s versatile Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology platform has broad applicability to convert any drug, including vaccines, small and large molecules and biologics, into an elegant dry powder highly advantageous for inhalation, with improved absorption so drugs can also be delivered to the eyes, nose and topically to the skin. TFF has two lead drug candidates in the clinic: Voriconazole Inhalation Powder and Tacrolimus Inhalation Powder, and continues to expand its pipeline by collaborating with a broad array of pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions and government partners to revolutionize healthcare around the globe. The TFF Platform is protected by 120+ patents issued or pending in the U.S. and internationally.
WuXi STA | July 07, 2022
WuXi STA, a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, announced the opening of a new large-scale oligonucleotide and peptide manufacturing facility at its Changzhou campus. The new facility underscores WuXi STA's ongoing commitment to enhance its capacity and capability to meet the fast-growing customer needs for oligonucleotide and peptide therapeutics development and manufacturing worldwide, making more innovative therapies accessible to the patients.
With the opening of the new 30,570 sq.ft. oligonucleotide plant, WuXi STA extends its leadership in oligonucleotide development and manufacturing worldwide, with four large-scale oligonucleotide production lines and more than 20 small- to mid-scale production lines that increase the overall manufacturing capacity of a single synthesis run from 1.9 mol to 6.0 mol.
The new 22,260 sq.ft. peptide plant features three new production lines with reactors that can accommodate up to 1,000 L, increasing WuXi STA's overall Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis total reactor volume to 6,490 L.
The new facility is an essential part of WuXi STA's comprehensive end-to-end Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization platform for new modalities. The platform supports oligonucleotides and peptides, including novel monomers and linkers, and complex conjugates, from early discovery to development and commercial production at any scale. With this enhanced manufacturing capacity and over 850 dedicated scientists, WuXi STA's new modality CRDMO platform can better enable global partners as their projects progress to late and commercial stages.
In addition, WuXi STA offers injectable formulation development and manufacturing services, including Lipid NanoParticle technology as well as comprehensive analytical and Chemical, Manufacturing, and Controls dossier preparation services, which further accelerate the development of new oligonucleotide and peptide therapeutics for the market.
"We are pleased to support our global partners in their efforts to develop new modality therapies for patients in need. WuXi STA is committed to enabling partners by enhancing our new modality CRDMO platform's capacity and capability to expedite the development and commercialization of more innovative therapies to benefit patients worldwide."
Dr. Minzhang Chen, Co-CEO of WuXi AppTec and CEO of WuXi STA
WuXi STA has a global network of multiple R&D and manufacturing sites across Asia, North America and Europe, including a new pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in Middletown, Delaware that is scheduled to open in 2024.
About WuXi STA
WuXi STA, a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, is a leading pharmaceutical development and manufacturing capability and technology platform company serving the life sciences industry with operations across Asia, North America and Europe. As a premier Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization, WuXi STA offers our worldwide partners efficient, flexible, and high-quality solutions for integrated CMC solutions from preclinical to commercial uses.