COVID-19: vaccine and drug development updates

BioTechniques | April 08, 2020

Providing the latest updates in the understanding of coronavirus, drug development and clinical trials for a vaccine for COVID-19. A study seeking to determine which of the lung and bronchi cells are targets for SARS-CoV-2 has been recently published in The EMBO Journal, suggesting the target is progenitor cells that usually develop into respiratory tract cells lined with cilia. This follows previous research that had demonstrated that the virus spike protein attaches to the ACE2 receptor on cells, yet also requires the presence of the cofactor TMPRSS2 for penetration. The team sequenced nearly 60,000 single cells for the study, and also demonstrated that ACE2 receptor density is higher with age, and in men compared with women. While only a trend and needing validation in a larger sample size, these results could help explain why the virus has infected more men than women, as well as helping therapeutic development.

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PHARMACY MARKET

TC BioPharm Begins Dosing Phase 2B Clinical Study Evaluating its Lead Compound, OmnImmune®, in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

TC BioPharm | November 23, 2022

TC Biopharm a clinical stage biotechnology company developing platform allogeneic gamma-delta T cell therapies for cancer today announced the dosing of its first three patients within its Phase 2b clinical trial of OmnImmune®, an allogeneic unmodified cell therapy focused on treating Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The initial 5 patients in the trial are deemed a "safety cohort", spaced two weeks apart with safety review by an oversight board to confirm no drug related toxicity issues, subsequent to 5 patients being dosed the study will advance to open enrollment. This safety cohort is in line with TCBP's step-wise clinical trial advancement, moving from donor matching in the Phase 1b to a universal donor model with no HLA matching of donor to patient. "The launch of our Phase 2B trial is a key milestone in the development of our lead therapeutic, OmnImmune®, for patients with AML and for TC BioPharm's emerging pipeline of 'off-the-shelf' gamma-delta T cell therapies. This study design includes a 5 patient safety cohort prior to open enrollment, we expect to complete the safety cohort before the end of 2022. The next step in the study is a 19 patient interim review, which will allow TCBP to review dosing and increase dosing to a higher level should our team deem it necessary for efficacy, or we can elect to maintain our current dosing level of 7x10^7 or 700 million cells per dose. We look forward to moving ahead with our Phase 2b trial with a target for open enrollment in January 2023, as well as our efforts to expand our clinical efforts in the US in the first half of 2023." Bryan Kobel, CEO of TC BioPharm TC BioPharm's Phase 2B trial, dubbed ACHIEVE, will enroll adults diagnosed with AML who have either relapsed or are refractory to prior treatments as well as a cohort for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes conditions that can occur when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal. The trial is expected to enroll approximately 37 patients. About TC BioPharm PLC TC BioPharm is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of gamma-delta T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer with human efficacy data in acute myeloid leukemia. Gamma-delta T cells are naturally occurring immune cells that embody properties of both the innate and adaptive immune systems and can intrinsically differentiate between healthy and diseased tissue. TC BioPharm uses an allogeneic approach in both unmodified and CAR modified gamma-delta T cells to effectively identify, target and eradicate both liquid and solid tumors in cancer. TC BioPharm is the leader in developing gamma-delta T cell therapies, and the first company to conduct phase II/pivotal clinical studies in oncology. The Company is conducting two investigator-initiated clinical trials for its unmodified gamma-delta T cell product line - Phase 2b/3 pivotal trial for OmnImmune® in treatment of acute myeloid leukemia using the Company's proprietary allogenic CryoTC technology to provide frozen product to clinics worldwide. TC BioPharm also maintains a robust pipeline for future indications in solid tumors as well as a significant IP/patent portfolio in the use of CARs with gamma-delta T cells and owns our manufacturing facility to maintain cost and product quality controls.

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PHARMA TECH

Douglas Pharmaceuticals Forms Lead Program R-107 Clinical Advisory Board

Douglas Pharmaceuticals | January 27, 2023

A clinical advisory board has been established to support Douglas Pharmaceuticals' lead program R-107, an oral extended-release dose of racemic ketamine being developed as an adjunctive or stand-alone therapy for treatment-resistant depression. Douglas Pharmaceuticals is a New Zealand-based pharmaceutical company specializing in the development of specialty generic and repurposed medications (TRD). Peter Surman, Chief Scientific Officer expressed, "We are very excited to bring together a group of world-class experts in the field of psychiatry, to help guide our late-stage development of R-107." "We believe their deep knowledge in the field, insights and contributions will be instrumental in charting an efficient course through pivotal clinical studies in TRD," he added. (Source – Cision PR Newswire) Some of the members of the clinical advisory board are as follows: • Prof. Paul Glue [MB, ChB (Otago), MD (Bristol), FRCPsych] • Prof. Alan F. Schatzberg, [MD] • Prof. Sanjay J. Mathew [MD] • Prof. Allan Young [MB, ChB, MPhil, Ph.D., FRCP (Edin.), FRCPC, FRCPsych] • Prof. Wiesław J. Cubała, [MD, PhD] • Prof. Colleen Loo [MBBS (Hons), FRANZCP, MD] About Douglas Pharmaceuticals New Zealand's largest private pharmaceutical and healthcare firm, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, employs over 700 people and exports to over 40 countries. The company provides creative, competitive, and high-quality healthcare solutions to 'improve lives'. It designs, manufactures, and distributes unique and generic products, preferring those with significant intellectual property and technological complexity in high-unmet need sectors. The company's presence in international markets continues to grow, exposing New Zealand to the world. It is dedicated to improving people's health all around the globe. Some of the products that the company works with cutting-edge partners to develop, make, market, and distribute are pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, automated compliance systems, and consumer healthcare items.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH

Epredia and Aiforia Join ReMDO’s RegeneratOR Innovation Accelerator

Epredia | January 19, 2023

On January 18, 2023, PHC Group, a healthcare company renowned in diagnostics and life sciences, announced that it would join the RegeneratOR Innovation Accelerator to grow its presence in regenerative medicine. The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) and the RegenMed Development Organization (ReMDO) are the two institutions expediting the discovery and translation of regenerative medicine therapeutics located in the Innovation Quarter. PHC Group, being an early partner of ReMDO's RegeneratOR Test Bed, offered advanced tissue processing technologies as well as support to researchers for prototype and product development. In addition, another ReMDO program, the Innovation Accelerator, was formed to give space and support to companies with innovative or emerging regenerative medicine technologies. PHC Group is now opening a local office within the Innovation Accelerator. Its holding companies and partners include Epredia, a precision cancer diagnostics company whose products are used by researchers and pathologists worldwide, and Aiforia, a medical software company that develops artificial intelligence software for image analysis in pathology. Aiforia's collection of preclinical and clinical pathology instruments is distributed globally by Epredia. The firms work together to deliver slide imaging and AI-based solutions that enable researchers to investigate and extract information beyond the scope of human visual perception. Thus, clinical research, drug discovery, and translational studies with the goal of better understanding disease states are all linked together through diagnostic microscopic imaging and artificial intelligence. PHC Group's presence, along with Epredia and Aiforia's superior technology assistance at the Innovation Accelerator, will also pave the path for RegeneratOR's newest initiative, the RegenMed Clinical Trials Catalyst. As a part of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the academic core of the newly merged Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health, the Catalyst will have access to 5.5 million patients, serving 67 hospitals in North Carolina, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Illinois. About Epredia Epredia is a leading comprehensive laboratory solutions provider for instruments and consumables in anatomic pathology, histology, and cytology. It was established through an acquisition by PHC Group from Thermo Fisher Scientific. The company provides solutions for cancer diagnostics through its renowned brands: Richard Allen Scientific, Erie Scientific, Microm, Shandon, and Menzel-Glaser. Epredia is committed to realizing its aim of advancing cancer diagnostics for patients worldwide in order to save lives.

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