PostEra | May 19, 2022
PostEra, a biotechnology company specializing in machine learning for preclinical drug discovery, announced a multi-year collaboration with the National Institutes of Health to develop small molecule antiviral therapeutics to prevent pandemics. The center will receive initial funding of $68M. PostEra co-leads this initiative with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, a global charity with expertise in drug development for global equitable access, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
As part of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Antiviral Program for Pandemics, the AI-driven Structure-Enabled Antiviral Platform (ASAP) consortium aims to discover dozens of lead compounds against key viruses of significant pandemic concern, such as flaviviruses (responsible for endemic diseases such as Dengue and Zika), picornaviruses (including potentially debilitating enteroviruses as well as other cold-causing viruses), and coronaviruses. ASAP will further deliver three IND-ready candidates which can be immediately ready for clinical evaluation in the event of a viral outbreak, so that future pandemics can be halted before severe outbreaks occur. The consortium is committed to making resulting antivirals globally and equitably accessible, so that no patient population is left behind.
ASAP will use PostEra's end-to-end AI-first approach to accelerate the discovery process, generating molecules with optimised properties, designing rapid synthesis, and optimally prioritising experiments. In particular, AI approaches are tightly integrated into structural biology to realize next generation structure-based design. ASAP is built on the success of the COVID Moonshot project, a global open-science AI-driven initiative that began in March 2020 and rapidly identified antiviral drug candidates that target the main protease of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
"We are honored to be co-leading this consortium. We believe that our AI platform will accelerate the discovery of therapeutics that will prevent pandemics."
Dr Alpha Lee, Chief Scientific Officer of PostEra, who co-founded COVID Moonshot
PostEra was founded in 2019 and its technology is built on pioneering academic research done by its founding scientists. PostEra's technology addresses some of the key challenges in drug discovery R&D by integrating molecular design with chemical synthesis. PostEra advances small molecule programs through partnerships with biopharma, working on its own internal pipeline, and also offering some of its synthesis technology via its Manifold web platform. PostEra also helped launch the world's largest open-science drug discovery effort; COVID Moonshot, along with an NIH-funded antiviral research center for the prevention of future pandemics.
Cadence | July 26, 2022
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held OpenEye Scientific Software, Inc., a leading provider of computational molecular modeling and simulation software being widely and increasingly used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for drug discovery.
The addition of OpenEye’s technologies and experienced team with its deep scientific expertise accelerates Cadence’s Intelligent System Design™ strategy and expands its total addressable market bringing Cadence’s computational software expertise to apply proven algorithmic, simulation and solver advances to life sciences.
Technological advancements, coupled with the rising demand for new drugs across a range of diseases, are driving increased demand for computational drug design. The growing utilization of computational techniques in drug discovery for pharmacology, chemical synthesis and drug screening to study the 3D structure of molecules is a major factor fostering the growth of the global biosimulation market, which has an estimated TAM of $2B and predicted to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 15% over the next five years.
Biosimulations are a critical tool for pharmaceutical research as they provide atomic-level insight into molecular interactions, and there’s a growing demand for high-performance simulation of larger biological systems over longer time scales.
Cadence continues executing its Intelligent System Design strategy and has successfully leveraged its computational software expertise to expand into the system analysis space to address the electromagnetics, thermal and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) challenges in the high-tech electronics, aerospace and defense, and automotive sectors. Cadence is now extending that computational software core competency to molecular modeling and simulation that is targeted to life sciences.
OpenEye, an industry leader in computational molecular design, has pioneered physics-based approaches and the cloud-native Orion® software platform to accelerate advances in human health. The acquisition allows pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to benefit from more robust drug discovery solutions that combine OpenEye’s innovative molecular modeling and simulation software solutions for drug discovery with Cadence’s algorithmic and solver expertise, efficient large data management infrastructure, and leading AI/ML and cloud solutions.
OpenEye’s products are used by 19 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies globally—including Pfizer and AstraZeneca—as well as numerous biotechnology companies and academic institutions. Orion, OpenEye’s market-leading cloud-native software-as-a service (SaaS) platform, is growing rapidly as pharmaceutical and biotechnology users embrace its flexibility and scalability to perform complex molecular calculations on a large scale.
“Drug discovery is an increasingly complex process that requires significant investment in research and development. The pending acquisition of OpenEye, with its scientifically tested methodologies and expertise, accelerates Cadence’s Intelligent System Design strategy with our entry into a new system domain of life sciences. Cadence’s deep computational software expertise drives further innovation in algorithms that enhance the reliability, efficiency and speed of molecular simulations. We look forward to welcoming such an accomplished team and are delighted to accelerate innovation and improve research and development productivity in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.”
Dr. Anirudh Devgan, president and CEO of Cadence
“We founded OpenEye to stretch the boundaries of what’s possible in computational drug discovery,” said Dr. Anthony Nicholls, CEO of OpenEye Scientific. “Our 3D search technology, programming toolkits, and more recently, our cloud platform, Orion, have led the industry for more than 25 years, and this opportunity to join with Cadence to pursue even greater scale and accuracy is simply amazing. We foresee a time when pharmaceutical design, no matter the modality, is predominantly computational. The realization of that goal with our skills and Cadence’s resources and expertise is going to have a profound impact on human health.”
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Cadence will pay approximately $500 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to contribute immaterial revenue this year and about $40 million in fiscal 2023. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to completion of Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory review and customary closing conditions.
Cadence is a pivotal leader in electronic systems design, building upon more than 30 years of computational software expertise. The company applies its underlying Intelligent System Design strategy to deliver software, hardware and IP that turn design concepts into reality. Cadence customers are the world’s most innovative companies, delivering extraordinary products from chips to boards to complete systems for the most dynamic market applications, including hyperscale computing, 5G communications, automotive, mobile, aerospace, consumer, industrial and healthcare. For eight years in a row, Fortune magazine has named Cadence one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.
About OpenEye Scientific
OpenEye Scientific is an industry leader in computational molecular design through rapid, robust and scalable software, toolkits, technology and design services, and Orion®, the only cloud-native fully integrated software-as-a-service molecular modeling platform that runs on Amazon Web Services. Combining unlimited computation and storage with powerful tools for data sharing, visualization and analysis in an open development platform, Orion offers unprecedented capabilities for the advancement of pharmaceuticals, biologics, agrochemicals, and flavors and fragrances. Founded in 1997, OpenEye Scientific is a privately held company headquartered in Santa Fe, N.M., with offices in Boston, Mass.; Cologne, Germany; and Tokyo, Japan.
MediPharm Labs Corp. | July 12, 2022
MediPharm Labs Corp. a pharmaceutical company specialized in precision-based cannabinoids, has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement with OneLife Botanicals PTY for the sale of MediPharm Labs Australia Pty Ltd a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, for a minimum value of $6.9M AUD. The Agreement is subject to routine conditions and is anticipated to close within 90 days.
The Agreement includes the assets of MPLA, specialized licensing, operational knowledge, and Australian and New Zealand customers currently served from that facility. All international contracts outside of Australia and New Zealand will remain with MediPharm Labs and be serviced from our Barrie GMP facility.
In July 2021, MediPharm Labs was the first purpose-built cannabis facility to receive a pharmaceutical Drug Establishment License. Awarded by Health Canada, this license is recognized in over 50 countries as part of the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme. At this time, the Company has completed a review of its international manufacturing platform and identified significant potential savings in moving all domestic and international manufacturing to the Canadian facility.
After an extensive sale process, the Agreement with OneLife Botanicals was identified as a strategic fit for both parties. OneLife Botanicals is an emerging leader in Australia region for cannabis-based wellness and medical products, with plans to launch OTC CBD products across Australia. Purchasing the MPLA facility expedites OneLife Botanicals' timing to commercialization. The Company and OneLife Botanicals will also enter into a transition services agreement to allow for the two companies to smoothly transition products and services produced in the facility, and to work together on future commercial opportunities.
David Pidduck, CEO of MediPharm Labs commented, "This sale represents a major milestone for MediPharm Labs as it continues to focus on rightsizing the business to achieve profitability. As we look to maintain our strong cash balance, this transaction paired with corporate restructuring completed in June 2022 should allow us to reduce our quarterly burn rate as we improve sales.
I want to personally thank our Australian team. This group of professionals are trailblazers in the Australian and international medical cannabis market, achieving major milestones such as multiple customer product launches and our first deliveries to Germany. OneLife Botanicals is gaining one of the most capable medical cannabis manufacturing teams in Australia."
"This purchase aligns and expedites the strategic aim of our organization to produce high quality medicinal cannabis products by integrating manufacturing into the end-to-end supply chain. The integration of a fully operational facility brings forward our objectives to take our products and brand to the market.
OneLife Botanicals CEO Andrew Grant
Our company undertook extensive research in considering this important acquisition and is highly confident about the capabilities and capacity of the operation to manufacture products in accordance with all compliance and quality standards.
The integration of this business with our existing cultivation facility facilitates savings in capital investment, access to operational efficiencies and establishes us as a significant supplier in the Australian medicinal cannabis industry.
We intend to build on the existing customer base and develop additional product distribution opportunities to become a formidable participant in the market."
About MediPharm Labs
Founded in 2015, MediPharm Labs specializes in the development and manufacture of purified, pharmaceutical-quality cannabis concentrates, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and advanced derivative products utilizing a Good Manufacturing Practices certified facility with ISO standard-built clean rooms. MediPharm Labs has invested in an expert, research driven team, state-of-the-art technology, downstream purification methodologies and purpose-built facilities with five primary extraction lines for delivery of pure, trusted and precision-dosed cannabis products for its customers. Through its wholesale and white label platforms, MediPharm Labs formulates, develops processes, packages and distributes cannabis extracts and advanced cannabinoid-based products to domestic and international markets. In 2021, MediPharm Labs received a Pharmaceutical Drug Establishment Licence from Health Canada, becoming the only company in North America to hold a domestic Good Manufacturing Licence for the extraction of natural cannabinoids. The Company carries out its operations in compliance with all applicable laws in the countries in which it operates.
About OneLife Botanicals
Onelife Botanicals is a niche producer of medicinal cannabis in Melbourne, Australia. The company has a passion for developing and producing products that provide a range of health benefits and assist in treating a range of specific health conditions.
The company operates an existing cultivation site with extensive Infrastructure, including fit for purpose glasshouses for growing Medicinal Cannabis in a controlled environment. The glasshouses facilitate the optimum growing environment through temperature and climate control, allowing natural sunlight to be maximized in a protected and secure environment.
The Directors and stakeholders are focused on identifying and exploring market opportunities, along with embracing innovation in the production processes. The success of the business is able to be achieved with an extensive Research and Development program, aimed at staying ahead of changes in growing methods, technological solutions and product applications, along with advanced automation ensuring that we minimize operating expenditure and maximise quality control.