Exscientia to Screen 15,000 Drugs in Search for Coronavirus Treatment

HIT Consultant | April 07, 2020

Exscientia to Screen 15,000 Drugs in Search for Coronavirus Treatment
Exscientia announced a joint transatlantic initiative with Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility and Calibr, a division of Scripps Research (USA), to screen nearly every known approved and investigational drug against key COVID-19 drug targets to progress compounds that could rapidly become viable drugs for the rapid treatment of the coronavirus. Exscientia has gained access to Calibr’s world’s leading collection of 15,000 clinically-ready molecules, and working with Diamond Light Source and Oxford University, will apply its advanced biosensor platforms to rapidly screen this collection against key coronavirus drug targets involved in viral replication and entry into human cells.

Spotlight

Today investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) announced the opening of enrollment for a unique precision medicine clinical trial. NCI-COG Pediatric Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (Pediatric MATCH) is a nationwide trial to explore whether targeted therapies can be effective for children and adolescents with solid tumors that harbor specific genetic mutations and have progressed during or after standard therapy.

Spotlight

Today investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) announced the opening of enrollment for a unique precision medicine clinical trial. NCI-COG Pediatric Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (Pediatric MATCH) is a nationwide trial to explore whether targeted therapies can be effective for children and adolescents with solid tumors that harbor specific genetic mutations and have progressed during or after standard therapy.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Ligand and GSK Expand Global Collaboration and License Agreement

Ligand Pharmaceuticals | December 22, 2021

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announced today the expansion of an existing collaboration and license agreement between its subsidiary, Icagen, and GlaxoSmithKline. The expansion will leverage Icagen’s ion-channel-based discovery technology and unique expertise in small molecule therapeutics targeting transmembrane proteins. This new agreement builds upon the initial December 2020 agreement to identify and develop inhibitors of a specific genetically-validated molecular target relevant to neurological diseases. “We are very pleased to expand our collaboration with GSK to include a second neurological target. Over the past year this has been a productive relationship combining our technologies and expertise with GSK’s history of successfully working with others to access innovation and deliver next-generation transformational medicines.” Matt Foehr, President and COO of Ligand “We look forward to strengthening our collaboration to identify genetically-validated targets for neurological diseases utilizing Icagen’s technology,” said John Lepore, Senior Vice President, Head of Research, GSK. “Our expanded collaboration provides a framework to advance drug discovery by maximizing the strengths of our two scientific organizations to develop novel drug candidates efficiently and effectively.” In addition to all payments available under the original 2020 collaboration and license agreement, under the terms of the expanded collaboration and license agreement, Ligand will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and is eligible for development and regulatory milestones up to $67.5 million. Furthermore, should the potential new medicine receive regulatory approval in major markets, the deal provides for commercial milestone payments to Ligand of up to $60 million at first commercial sale, and up to $120 million in sales-related milestone payments. Ligand will receive tiered royalties on net sales of any drug that is commercialized by GSK. Ligand will be responsible for most preclinical activities up to lead optimization, with Ligand and GSK collaborating to identify candidates for entry into IND-enabling studies. GSK has the exclusive option to license any identified molecules and will be responsible for the further development and commercialization of any drug candidates identified through the collaboration. About Icagen Ion Channel Technology The Icagen technology is focused primarily on ion channel and transporter novel drug discovery. Ion channels and transporters are key components in a wide variety of biological processes that involve rapid changes in cells and have broad therapeutic applicability including oncology, metabolic disease, pain, neurological diseases, infectious diseases and others. The Icagen technology leverages proprietary expertise in the combination of biological assays, medicinal chemistry, and in silico and computational chemistry applications to enable the discovery of ion channel targeting therapeutics. Partners in the pharmaceutical industry leverage Icagen’s platform to develop first-in-class therapies for patients in need, typically under collaborative arrangements through the time of clinical candidate selection, with partners responsible for subsequent clinical development and commercialization. About Ligand Pharmaceuticals Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing or acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. Our business model creates value for stockholders by providing a diversified portfolio of biotech and pharmaceutical product revenue streams that are supported by an efficient and low corporate cost structure. Our goal is to offer investors an opportunity to participate in the promise of the biotech industry in a profitable, diversified and lower-risk business than a typical biotech company. Our business model is based on doing what we do best: drug discovery, early-stage drug development, product reformulation and partnering. We partner with other pharmaceutical companies to leverage what they do best (late-stage development, regulatory management and commercialization) ultimately to generate our revenue. Ligand’s OmniAb® technology platform is a patent-protected transgenic animal platform used in the discovery of fully human monoclonal and bispecific therapeutic antibodies. The Captisol platform technology is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Ligand’s Pelican Expression Technology is a robust, validated, cost-effective and scalable platform for recombinant protein production that is especially well-suited for complex, large-scale protein production where traditional systems are not. Ab Initio™ technology and services for the design and preparation of customized antigens enable the successful discovery of therapeutic antibodies against difficult-to-access cellular targets. Ligand has established multiple alliances, licenses and other business relationships with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies including Amgen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, Janssen, Takeda, Servier, Gilead Sciences and Baxter International.

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Guerbet (GBT) to sale its pharmaceutical site in Montreal (Canada) to MedXL

Guerbet, MedXL | July 16, 2020

Guerbet (GBT) today announced the sale of its pharmaceutical site in Montreal (Canada) to MedXL, a specialist in medical devices and sterile pre-filled syringes. The Montreal industrial facility specializes on the one hand in filling and finishing of contrast media and on the other in the large-series manufacture of syringes pre-filled with sterile solutions for third parties, which is not a core business for Guerbet. Guerbet will gradually transfer its contrast agent production, carried out previously in Montreal, to its pharmaceutical sites in France and the USA. Guerbet sells this site as part of its plans to optimize its industrial network. The operation will make Guerbet more competitive by improving capacity utilization at its other manufacturing sites. Guerbet is very happy about this transaction with MedXL, under which all 240 of its employees will keep their job. MedXL will use the Montreal site to step up its development in response to the structural growth of the sterile pre-filled syringes market.

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RESEARCH

GenScript Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization for World's First SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody Detection Kit

GenScript | November 09, 2020

GenScript USA Inc., the world's leading research reagent provider, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the cPass™ SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Antibody Detection Kit. This is the first commercially available test to specifically detect neutralizing antibodies without the use of live virus. Neutralizing antibodies, a subset of antibodies that are specifically able to block the ability of the virus to enter a cell, are widely recognized biomarkers of immunity. The test measures the presence of neutralizing antibodies in any sample, from those from patients recovering from COVID-19 or those vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.

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