Iterative Scopes | April 29, 2022
On April 28, Iterative Scopes, a pioneer in precision medicine technologies for gastroenterology, announced that it acquired Clinical Research Strategy Group, LLC, and Precision Research. These two clinical trial optimization companies focus on streamlining and speeding the drug development process for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Through this acquisition, Iterative Scopes’ ties to the IBD clinical research community are deepened, and its knowledge of the end-to-end research process keeping in mind the provider viewpoints and pain points, has been strengthened. It will improve patient outcomes by providing improved treatment options. Chris Fourment, MD, the President, and CEO of both the companies, is a leading expert on clinical trials in IBD. He has joined Iterative Scopes as SVP of Clinical Strategy.
Founded in 2017, Iterative Scopes was a spin-out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Dr. Ng, a physician-entrepreneur who developed the company’s foundational concepts while studying at MIT and Harvard. In December 2021, the company and its investors closed a $150 million Series B funding. It attracted a roster of A-list venture capitalists, big pharma companies, and leaders in healthcare.
“I am excited to join Iterative Scopes to help the organization further harness machine learning and computer vision to aid physicians as they work to improve clinical outcomes for IBD patients earlier and with greater success. The current clinical trial process for IBD drug development has patient recruitment and clinical team workflow challenges. Iterative Scopes is employing cutting-edge computational algorithms and support services that have the potential to resolve these challenges.”
Iterative Scopes founder and CEO Dr. Jonathan Ng said, “With the addition of CRSG and Precision, Iterative Scopes has the opportunity to work more closely with different types of clinical trial sites and providers and to gain sophisticated insights about their needs and pain points, with the goal of refining our ground-breaking AI Recruitment service. Community sites face different challenges and opportunities than other types of providers, and these acquisitions help us create an intimate, holistic and fulsome knowledge of all stakeholders involved in the research process. While I have known Chris for some time now, we are thrilled to finally have him aboard our team, bringing his globally renowned expertise in IBD research to Iterative Scopes."
Cyclenium Pharma | January 06, 2022
Cyclenium Pharma, Inc. an emerging pharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of novel therapeutic agents based on their proprietary macrocyclic chemistry, and Vuja De Sciences, Inc. a biotechnology startup dedicated to discovering therapies that target the unique vulnerability of undetected disseminated tumor cells before they can cause deadly metastatic cancer recurrence, have announced today the signing of a drug discovery collaboration agreement. The companies will screen and optimize lead candidates to advance treatments uniquely suited for preventing cancer metastatic recurrence, the biggest unmet need in oncology.
The collaboration will exploit Vuja De’s proprietary anti-metastatic progression in vitro and ex vivo drug discovery screening platform and Cyclenium’s proprietary QUEST™ Library of next generation synthetic small-molecule macrocycles and associated optimization expertise to identify clinical candidates effective against dormant disseminated tumor cells for the prevention of metastatic cancer recurrence. Vuja De will be responsible for all screening efforts, while Cyclenium will be responsible for all medicinal chemistry efforts to generate new optimized macrocyclic compounds by employing its unique CMRT™ Technology.
“We are very excited about entering this collaboration with Vuja De. We are confident that our CMRT™ Technology and proven success in the macrocycle area combined with the innovative anti-metastatic progression platform and excellent research team at Vuja De will enable the discovery and development of novel macrocyclic therapeutic agents to effectively control metastatic progression.”
Helmut Thomas, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Scientific Officer of Cyclenium
“We highly appreciate Cyclenium’s expertise in the macrocycle area and their technology platform that is based on over 20 years of pioneering experience in small molecule macrocyclic chemistry,” said David Warshawsky, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vuja De. “We are very pleased to work with Cyclenium on identifying and developing novel game-changing drug candidates that prevent metastatic recurrence, the most urgent need of most cancer patients,” he added.
About Cyclenium Pharma
Cyclenium Pharma is an emerging, privately held pharmaceutical research and development company exploiting its proprietary next generation CMRT™ macrocyclic drug discovery technology for the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutic agents to address areas of unsatisfied medical need. Cyclenium is creating value through progression of internal programs in oncology, infectious diseases and inflammation/pain. In addition, Cyclenium is providing its extensive experience and exploring its CMRT-based QUEST™ screening library in risk-sharing partnerships with leading academic and research driven non-profit organizations, as well as collaborations with innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies world-wide seeking to modulate unique and difficult disease targets in diverse therapeutic areas.
About Vuja De Sciences
Vuja De is a biotechnology startup company dedicated to discovering and developing therapies that target the unique vulnerability of undetected disseminated tumor cells before they can cause deadly metastatic cancer recurrence. This vulnerability of DTCs stems from their dependence on a unique phenotype that includes stress adaptation, survival & dormancy, which we have coined “Metastatic Endurance”. ME enables DTCs to persist undetected at secondary sites like “ticking time-bombs” and eventually start to rapidly divide and form overt deadly tumors. We successfully created the first-ever cell-based and ex vivo drug screening platform that finds drugs that target ME. We are using the largely adolescent, orphan disease, osteosarcoma, as the best proof of concept model for developing anti metastatic progression drugs for many cancers such as breast, melanoma and kidney. We are testing repurposed drugs that have previously been in clinical trials, as well as novel preclinical drugs.
Osteosarcoma is an aggressive cancer of the bone and is the most common type of bone cancer in children and teens. Since metastatic recurrence has shared biological mechanism in many other cancer types, therapies that show promise in osteosarcoma can be developed in parallel for many other cancer types, such as breast, kidney and melanoma. Despite successful control of the primary osteosarcoma tumors and follow-up chemotherapy, metastasis continues to be the most common cause of mortality. The last 30 years have brought little improvement in survival outcomes for children with osteosarcoma, despite intensification of therapy. Due to lack of improved outcomes, new approaches to therapy are highly needed. Furthermore, if targeted therapeutics are found to prevent metastasis in this cancer, a strong biological rationale would exist for the evaluation of such a therapy in other human cancers.
Moderna | January 15, 2021
COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna is looking for a lift from Uber—a collaboration lift, that is. The two companies say they're planning to work together to promote vaccine confidence and ease access to coronavirus shots.
Early ideas include promoting vaccine safety on the Uber network and through in-app messages as well as incorporating Uber rides into the vaccination scheduling process.
While those details are still in the works, the appeal of Uber as a partner for Moderna is not only its nationwide network and connections but also the diversity of its 1.2 million drivers.
“Uber has broad access across the United States—its ride-sharing platform is used by Americans everywhere, and its drivers represent a wide variety of the population," Michael Mullette, Moderna's vice president of commercial operations in North America, said. "There’s a great opportunity for us to think about educating the population about how do you get immunized … but also how do you access credible information about vaccines."
The deal comes amid a U.S. vaccine rollout hobbled by confusion, lack of centralized government planning and distribution headaches. Even when vaccines are readily available and easy to access, fear is hampering uptake, thanks to the unprecedented speed of vaccine development, historical abuse of the Black community in biomedical research and more generalized anti-vaxxer sentiment.
Last month, Uber pledged 10 million free or discounted rides for underserved populations who may have difficulty with transportation to get vaccines. The company is partnering with the National Urban League, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Action Network to focus on communities of color where people have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.