Converting Woodchips Into Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Technology Networks | October 24, 2019

Production of hazardous waste during drug manufacturing is a serious concern for the pharmaceutical industry. Typically, large amounts of flammable solvents are used during these processes, which usually require several steps to make structurally complex drugs. Researchers now report in the journal ACS Central Science a method to produce pharmaceutically relevant compounds in just two or three steps, with water as the only waste product, using renewable woodchips as starting material. The process takes advantage of the lignin component of wood. Lignin consists of cross-linked phenolic compounds that give wood its strength. During paper production, it is removed from wood to prevent the resulting paper from yellowing, and, counterintuitively, to increase the strength of the paper. This process generates a huge amount of unwanted lignin, so researchers have been studying ways to repurpose the material for many years. While several groups recently developed strategies for depolymerizing lignin, the big question remained: What kind of useful products could be obtained from it? Katalin Barta and colleagues realized that, coincidentally, lignin derivatives share many complex structural features with modern pharmaceuticals, making them ideal starting materials to synthesize potential drug candidates. By exploiting this natural bounty, they could skip the typically laborious and waste-generating steps traditionally needed to create these drugs from petrochemicals.

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Lonza have built its new site, laboratories and offices in Basel, Stücki Science Park from April to September 2016. Let us invite you into a highspeed version of this built-up. Lonza Drug Product Services develops, manufactures and analyzes Drug Products for parenteral administration. Lonza’s Drug Product Services can help you address challenges in the development and commercialization of patient treatments.

Spotlight

Lonza have built its new site, laboratories and offices in Basel, Stücki Science Park from April to September 2016. Let us invite you into a highspeed version of this built-up. Lonza Drug Product Services develops, manufactures and analyzes Drug Products for parenteral administration. Lonza’s Drug Product Services can help you address challenges in the development and commercialization of patient treatments.

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Aqemia Announces an Extension of Its First Collaboration With Sanofi About AI and Quantum Physics-driven Drug Discovery in Oncology

Aqemia | June 16, 2022

Aqemia, the next-gen pharmatech company leveraging artificial intelligence and quantum physics announced, today that it has entered a new research collaboration with Sanofi. This new agreement is a follow-up to a Research Collaboration initiated at the end 2020 by Sanofi to bring the unique technologies of Aqemia to the design and discovery of novel molecules in several projects in oncology, a priority therapeutic area for Sanofi. This initial collaboration resulted in promising molecules for an oncology program, for which Sanofi and Aqemia decided to pursue joint efforts. Aqemia will take responsibility for the AI-based design of optimized molecules that fulfill several small molecule design goals among which potency and selectivity in a priority project in oncology. Unlike most AI-based technologies that need experimental data to train their algorithms prior to starting the design, Aqemia will tackle the drug discovery project by generating its own data with quantum and statistical physics-based calculations. “We are really proud of the results obtained in the first Sanofi-Aqemia oncology collaboration and are very excited to continue working together to accelerate important projects in oncology.” He added, “This follow-up of our first collaboration project with Sanofi, a global leader in the Pharmaceutical industry, demonstrates our ability to quickly generate novel potent and selective compounds for a given target, and we can’t wait to scale it up to dozens of drug discovery projects.” Maximilien Levesque, CEO and co-founder of Aqemia “We are also extremely excited by the promising results obtained by Aqemia using their proprietary and disruptive technology to design potent inhibitors on given targets. We are eager to prolong our collaboration to speed up our candidate finding process for the sake of patients suffering from cancer,” said Laurent Schio, head of Integrated Drug Discovery of Sanofi France, About Aqemia Aqemia is a next-gen pharmatech company generating one of the world's fastest-growing drug discovery pipeline. Our mission is to design fast innovative drug candidates for dozens of critical diseases. Our differentiation lies in our unique quantum and statistical mechanics algorithms fueling a generative artificial intelligence to design novel drug candidates. The disruptive speed and accuracy of our technological platform enables us to scale drug discovery projects just like tech projects.

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Fusion Pharmaceuticals and Niowave Announce Actinium-225 Collaboration and Supply Agreement

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. | June 13, 2022

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing next-generation radio pharmaceuticals as precision medicines, and Niowave, Inc., a manufacturer of medical radioisotopes from radium and uranium, today announced that the companies have entered into a collaboration and supply agreement for the development, production, and supply of actinium-225. Under the agreement, Fusion will invest up to $5 million in Niowave to further develop their technology to increase current production capacity of actinium-225, and in return Fusion will have guaranteed access to a pre-determined percentage of Niowave's capacity of the resulting actinium-225, as well as preferred access to any excess supply produced. As part of the agreement, Fusion will also have an option to invest in future production of actinium-225 to scale with Fusion's needs. "As excitement for the tumor-killing potential of alpha-emitting radio pharmaceuticals increases, we intend to stay at the forefront of actinium development and supply to support our growing pipeline of targeted alpha therapies. We continue to prioritize manufacturing and access to actinium as a critical component of Fusion's platform, and our partnership with Niowave further strengthens and diversifies our supply chain as we advance multiple actinium-based radio pharmaceuticals in the clinic." Fusion Chief Executive Officer John Valliant, Ph.D "The Niowave team has worked hard to scale up our actinium-225 production to the millicurie level and this has allowed us to start working with oncology community partners," said Niowave Chief Executive Officer/Senior Scientist Terry Grimm, Ph.D. "We have been watching Fusion's progress in the development of their pipeline of targeted alpha therapies and we are very excited to partner with them on this journey." Fusion is developing actinium-based TATs leveraging the potency and precision offered by alpha particles. Actinium-225 decay gives off four alpha emissions in relatively rapid succession, maximizing the damage to the DNA of tumor cells, with a 10-day half life that allows for central manufacturing and distribution of products to clinical sites in a ready-to-use form. About Fusion Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing next-generation radiopharmaceuticals as precision medicines. Fusion connects alpha particle emitting isotopes to various targeting molecules in order to selectively deliver the alpha emitting payloads to tumors. Fusion's lead program, FPI-1434 targeting insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial. The pipeline includes FPI-1966, targeting the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3), advancing to a Phase 1 study following the investigational new drug (IND) clearance; and FPI-2059, a small molecule targeting neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1). In addition to a robust proprietary pipeline, Fusion has a collaboration with AstraZeneca to jointly develop novel targeted alpha therapies (TATs) and combination programs between Fusion's TATs and AstraZeneca's DNA Damage Repair Inhibitors (DDRis) and immuno-oncology agents. Fusion has also entered into a collaboration with Merck to evaluate FPI-1434 in combination with Merck's KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in patients with solid tumors expressing IGF-1R. Fusion and Hamilton, Ontario-based McMaster University are building a current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility designed to support manufacturing of the Company's growing pipeline of TATs. About Niowave Niowave manufactures radioisotopes to cure cancer and save lives. Niowave builds and operates superconducting electron linear accelerators and is using that expertise to produce various radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. Niowave is a Cooperative Agreement partner with the National Nuclear Security Administration to develop a domestic supply of molybdenum-99 and currently produces yttrium-90 for use in cancer therapy. Niowave is licensed by the NRC to manufacture radioisotopes from uranium and radium and has partnerships with several universities and national laboratories focused on production and purification of radioisotopes for use in cancer therapy. By using radium targets and electron beams, Niowave is able to produce ultra pure and carrier-free actinium-225. Niowave's R&D facility is currently supplying actinium-225 samples to partners. Production-scale operations are ramping up at a second, FDA-compliant facility capable of meeting the growing actinium-225 market.

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Labcorp Plans Laboratory Expansion in Japan Through BML Collaboration

Labcorp | July 04, 2022

Labcorp a leading global life sciences company, announced that it is enhancing its central laboratory presence and drug development capabilities in Japan through an expansion of CB Trial Laboratory, the central laboratory co-managed by Labcorp Drug Development and BML, a leading Japanese provider of clinical laboratory testing services. Extending their strategic relationship that dates back more than a decade, Labcorp Drug Development and BML will begin work on a new laboratory facility in the city of Kawagoe, Saitama, expanding capacity and services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. This will bolster Labcorp Drug Development’s central laboratory services offerings in Japan and sets the stage for a continued acceleration of companion diagnostic capabilities. “Labcorp Drug Development remains committed to growing its Japanese operations and services through continued expansion and partnerships. Broadening our work with BML and increasing our laboratory footprint means we will be able to offer shorter turnaround times, superior in-country sample management and full lab testing services for global clinical trials in Japan. This will benefit patients, clients and health care providers by providing them with the information needed to make key decisions.” Honggang Bi, senior vice president and head of Asia-Pacific for Labcorp Drug Development The new facility will be located near BML’s General Laboratory in Kawagoe where the current CB Trial Laboratory is located, providing over 4,000 square meters of dedicated space for global clinical trials managed by Labcorp Drug Development. The new space will be greater than five times the size of the current facility, with additional capabilities such as genomics, microbiology and companion diagnostics in addition to expanded offerings in current lab capabilities including flow cytometry, immunology, and anatomical pathology and histology. Completion of the expanded laboratory is expected by early 2025. Through the planned laboratory expansion, Labcorp will advance biomarker and esoteric testing services, expand its companion diagnostics portfolio and deepen the integration with its clinical development services. In addition, the company will be able to intensify its focus on cell and gene therapy research and development, part of a broader commitment to precision medicine and fortifying the company’s position as an oncology leader. “In collaborating with Labcorp, we are able to offer our pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients access to both comprehensive clinical laboratory testing and drug development opportunities,” said Dr. Kensuke Kondo, president of BML. “The laboratory expansion provides additional capabilities and capacity and opens the door to enriched services, more resources and better outcomes for our clients and patients.” Labcorp and BML have successfully provided central laboratory services for global clinical trials in Japan since 2010 through kit production, sample logistics and laboratory operations at CB Trial Laboratory. Their partnership agreement was renewed in 2020. About Labcorp Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company that provides vital information to help doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and patients make clear and confident decisions. Through our unparalleled diagnostics and drug development capabilities, we provide insights and accelerate innovations to improve health and improve lives. With over 75,000 employees, we serve clients in more than 100 countries. Labcorp reported revenue of $16 billion in FY2021.

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