PHARMA TECH

Moderna hitches a ride with Uber to boost vaccine confidence—and, of course, drive access

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.

Spotlight

Lung cancer rates are dropping, but it remains second-most-common cancer in both men and women (excluding skin cancer). About 14 percent of all new cancers are lung cancers, and most of those are NSCLC. But today, the outlook for patients is improving, in large part because immunotherapy is transforming the way cancers are treated.

Spotlight

Lung cancer rates are dropping, but it remains second-most-common cancer in both men and women (excluding skin cancer). About 14 percent of all new cancers are lung cancers, and most of those are NSCLC. But today, the outlook for patients is improving, in large part because immunotherapy is transforming the way cancers are treated.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Mission Bio Announces Pharma Assay Development Services for Solid Tumor Research

Mission Bio | July 13, 2022

Mission Bio, Inc., the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced the launch of solid tumor assays through its Pharma Assay Development services. The availability of this new service offering will help to accelerate the development of cancer therapeutics by reducing the time and cost associated with the characterization of solid tumor cells. Precision therapeutics for solid tumors have been historically bottlenecked due to technical challenges associated with the ability to deeply profile thousands of individual cells for a rich characterization of tumor evolution and heterogeneity. This must be done at a much higher resolution compared to bulk next-generation sequencing to enable detection of rare events, at a much earlier stage before progression. Utilizing Mission Bio's Tapestri™ platform, the company's PAD services for solid tumors partner with researchers to provide high-resolution data to unmask the underlying genetic diversity across cell populations. Insights into the clonal landscape and co-occurrence of mutations enable improved patient stratification for clinical trials and the identification of druggable targets for precision therapeutics. Researchers can also monitor treatment resistance by analyzing the acquisition of rare mutations driving tumor progression over the course of treatment. The expansion of Mission Bio's PAD services to solid tumor research comes just three months after the launch of the Solid Tumor Solution on the Tapestri™ Platform, demonstrating Mission Bio's commitment to continuously developing innovative single-cell technologies for its pharma customers. "We have seen tremendous uptake and interest from top-tier pharma companies for our blood cancer Pharma Assay Development program, and we expect the same momentum for our solid tumor services. With our solid tumor services, Mission Bio partners with pharma customers to elucidate the mechanisms of drug resistance through mutation acquisition, determine how cells transform from benign to malignant states, and reveal the genomic changes enabling cancer cells to metastasize – without having to bring single-cell technology or resources in-house. From a customer's perspective, it is as easy as shipping out samples and getting a fully analyzed report back." Todd Druley, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Mission Bio Mission Bio's PAD services deliver comprehensive support across the therapeutic development process. The company has a dedicated team that works with researchers to develop assays, identify high-impact samples, and analyze the data. As part of the service, pharma partners have access to Mission Bio's innovative technology, assay development team, R&D organization, and bioinformatics support. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others. The company's Tapestri™ platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri™ is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution. The Tapestri™ Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.

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PHARMA TECH

Cambrex Completes First Phase of $30 Million Capacity Expansion Project in High Point, North Carolina

Cambrex | September 05, 2022

Cambrex today announced the completion of the first phase of its $30 million investment in its small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility in High Point, North Carolina. The newly constructed space adds analytical and chemical development laboratories totaling 30,000 square feet and provides future workspace for 85 analytical and chemical development scientists. These laboratories will support the development of APIs to be manufactured in the facility's current clinical manufacturing area, as well as the future expanded clinical manufacturing and commercial manufacturing suites. "With the growing number of therapies in clinical development and trend toward more targeted therapeutics, including orphan drugs, this expansion is preparing Cambrex to support the growing demand for small-scale API manufacturing. Our expansion goes beyond providing capacity – it provides state-of-the-art technology and laboratory equipment, an energy efficient infrastructure, and an ideal space for our scientific experts to work side-by-side with our clients." Tom Loewald, CEO, Cambrex Phase 2 of the project is ongoing and will approximately double the facility's manufacturing capacity with the addition of clinical and commercial manufacturing suites with reactors up to 2,000 liters. The new commercial area will provide an ideal scale for the manufacturing of orphan drugs and niche therapies, while larger volume products developed at the facility can be manufactured commercially at one of Cambrex's larger scale facilities in Iowa and Sweden. This expansion follows Cambrex's 2021 investment in the Cambrex High Point continuous flow R&D center of excellence, including expanded capabilities for continuous flow process development, manufacturing, and scale up. Cambrex continues to expand its capabilities and capacity across its North American and European network to meet the growing demand for outsourced product development and manufacturing services. About Cambrex Cambrex is a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization that provides drug substance, drug product, and analytical services across the entire drug lifecycle. With over 40 years of experience and a growing team of over 2,300 experts servicing global clients from North America and Europe, Cambrex is a trusted partner in branded and generic markets for API and finished dosage form development and manufacturing. Cambrex offers a range of specialized drug substance technologies and capabilities, including biocatalysis, continuous flow, controlled substances, solid-state science, material characterization, stability storage, and highly potent APIs. In addition, Cambrex can support conventional dosage forms, including oral solids, semi-solids, and liquids, and has the expertise to manufacture specialty dosage forms such as modified-release, fixed-dose combination, pediatric, bi-layer tablets, stick packs, topicals, controlled substances, sterile, and non-sterile ointments.

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PHARMA TECH

Cadence Expands into Molecular Simulation with Acquisition of OpenEye Scientific, a Pioneering Leader in Computational Molecular Design

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. About Cadence 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.

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