Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. | June 13, 2022
Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing next-generation radio pharmaceuticals as precision medicines, and Niowave, Inc., a manufacturer of medical radioisotopes from radium and uranium, today announced that the companies have entered into a collaboration and supply agreement for the development, production, and supply of actinium-225. Under the agreement, Fusion will invest up to $5 million in Niowave to further develop their technology to increase current production capacity of actinium-225, and in return Fusion will have guaranteed access to a pre-determined percentage of Niowave's capacity of the resulting actinium-225, as well as preferred access to any excess supply produced. As part of the agreement, Fusion will also have an option to invest in future production of actinium-225 to scale with Fusion's needs.
"As excitement for the tumor-killing potential of alpha-emitting radio pharmaceuticals increases, we intend to stay at the forefront of actinium development and supply to support our growing pipeline of targeted alpha therapies. We continue to prioritize manufacturing and access to actinium as a critical component of Fusion's platform, and our partnership with Niowave further strengthens and diversifies our supply chain as we advance multiple actinium-based radio pharmaceuticals in the clinic."
Fusion Chief Executive Officer John Valliant, Ph.D
"The Niowave team has worked hard to scale up our actinium-225 production to the millicurie level and this has allowed us to start working with oncology community partners," said Niowave Chief Executive Officer/Senior Scientist Terry Grimm, Ph.D. "We have been watching Fusion's progress in the development of their pipeline of targeted alpha therapies and we are very excited to partner with them on this journey."
Fusion is developing actinium-based TATs leveraging the potency and precision offered by alpha particles. Actinium-225 decay gives off four alpha emissions in relatively rapid succession, maximizing the damage to the DNA of tumor cells, with a 10-day half life that allows for central manufacturing and distribution of products to clinical sites in a ready-to-use form.
Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing next-generation radiopharmaceuticals as precision medicines. Fusion connects alpha particle emitting isotopes to various targeting molecules in order to selectively deliver the alpha emitting payloads to tumors. Fusion's lead program, FPI-1434 targeting insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial. The pipeline includes FPI-1966, targeting the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3), advancing to a Phase 1 study following the investigational new drug (IND) clearance; and FPI-2059, a small molecule targeting neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1). In addition to a robust proprietary pipeline, Fusion has a collaboration with AstraZeneca to jointly develop novel targeted alpha therapies (TATs) and combination programs between Fusion's TATs and AstraZeneca's DNA Damage Repair Inhibitors (DDRis) and immuno-oncology agents. Fusion has also entered into a collaboration with Merck to evaluate FPI-1434 in combination with Merck's KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in patients with solid tumors expressing IGF-1R. Fusion and Hamilton, Ontario-based McMaster University are building a current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility designed to support manufacturing of the Company's growing pipeline of TATs.
Niowave manufactures radioisotopes to cure cancer and save lives. Niowave builds and operates superconducting electron linear accelerators and is using that expertise to produce various radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. Niowave is a Cooperative Agreement partner with the National Nuclear Security Administration to develop a domestic supply of molybdenum-99 and currently produces yttrium-90 for use in cancer therapy. Niowave is licensed by the NRC to manufacture radioisotopes from uranium and radium and has partnerships with several universities and national laboratories focused on production and purification of radioisotopes for use in cancer therapy. By using radium targets and electron beams, Niowave is able to produce ultra pure and carrier-free actinium-225. Niowave's R&D facility is currently supplying actinium-225 samples to partners. Production-scale operations are ramping up at a second, FDA-compliant facility capable of meeting the growing actinium-225 market.
Labcorp | July 04, 2022
Labcorp a leading global life sciences company, announced that it is enhancing its central laboratory presence and drug development capabilities in Japan through an expansion of CB Trial Laboratory, the central laboratory co-managed by Labcorp Drug Development and BML, a leading Japanese provider of clinical laboratory testing services.
Extending their strategic relationship that dates back more than a decade, Labcorp Drug Development and BML will begin work on a new laboratory facility in the city of Kawagoe, Saitama, expanding capacity and services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. This will bolster Labcorp Drug Development’s central laboratory services offerings in Japan and sets the stage for a continued acceleration of companion diagnostic capabilities.
“Labcorp Drug Development remains committed to growing its Japanese operations and services through continued expansion and partnerships. Broadening our work with BML and increasing our laboratory footprint means we will be able to offer shorter turnaround times, superior in-country sample management and full lab testing services for global clinical trials in Japan. This will benefit patients, clients and health care providers by providing them with the information needed to make key decisions.”
Honggang Bi, senior vice president and head of Asia-Pacific for Labcorp Drug Development
The new facility will be located near BML’s General Laboratory in Kawagoe where the current CB Trial Laboratory is located, providing over 4,000 square meters of dedicated space for global clinical trials managed by Labcorp Drug Development. The new space will be greater than five times the size of the current facility, with additional capabilities such as genomics, microbiology and companion diagnostics in addition to expanded offerings in current lab capabilities including flow cytometry, immunology, and anatomical pathology and histology. Completion of the expanded laboratory is expected by early 2025.
Through the planned laboratory expansion, Labcorp will advance biomarker and esoteric testing services, expand its companion diagnostics portfolio and deepen the integration with its clinical development services. In addition, the company will be able to intensify its focus on cell and gene therapy research and development, part of a broader commitment to precision medicine and fortifying the company’s position as an oncology leader.
“In collaborating with Labcorp, we are able to offer our pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients access to both comprehensive clinical laboratory testing and drug development opportunities,” said Dr. Kensuke Kondo, president of BML. “The laboratory expansion provides additional capabilities and capacity and opens the door to enriched services, more resources and better outcomes for our clients and patients.”
Labcorp and BML have successfully provided central laboratory services for global clinical trials in Japan since 2010 through kit production, sample logistics and laboratory operations at CB Trial Laboratory. Their partnership agreement was renewed in 2020.
Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company that provides vital information to help doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and patients make clear and confident decisions. Through our unparalleled diagnostics and drug development capabilities, we provide insights and accelerate innovations to improve health and improve lives. With over 75,000 employees, we serve clients in more than 100 countries. Labcorp reported revenue of $16 billion in FY2021.
Inozyme Pharma Inc. | June 17, 2022
Inozyme Pharma, Inc. a clinical-stage rare disease biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of abnormal mineralization, today announced a partnership with Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine (RCIGM) to advance and evaluate a novel newborn screening technology to facilitate diagnosis of genetic diseases. The partnership includes several leading genomics, biotechnology companies and patient advocacy groups and focuses specifically on a diagnostic and precision medicine guidance tool called BeginNGS™, which incorporates rapid Whole Genome Sequencing (rWGS®) to currently screen newborns for approximately 400 genetic diseases.
“Newborn screening will be essential to identifying and initiating timely intervention in children with rare genetic disorders like GACI (generalized arterial calcification of infancy) as we advance INZ-701 through clinical testing. We look forward to working with Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine, and with the BeginNGS consortium, to advance the use of this promising screening technology.”
Catherine Nester, vice president, physician and patient strategies at Inozyme Pharma
RCIGM is in a pilot evaluation that aims to supplement existing newborn screening protocols at birthing hospitals throughout the United States. The pilot program’s goal is for BeginNGS to become the genetic disease screening standard, with testing expanding to approximately 1,000 [disorders] and sequencing of 3.7 million newborns annually. Founding members of the public-private BeginNGS consortium include Inozyme, Alexion, Travere Therapeutics, and several patient advocacy groups that are helping to advance this program.
“RCIGM helped pioneer the use of rWGS for diagnosis of genetic disease in intensive care settings,” said Stephen Kingsmore, MD, DSc, president and CEO of RCIGM. “With the proven clinical utility of diagnostic rWGS , we are using that experience to screen, diagnose, and help treat genetic conditions at or before onset of symptoms. Through a public-private consortium of leading organizations such as Inozyme, and advocacy groups in pediatrics, genetics, biopharma, biotech, and information technology, we aim to scale newborn sequencing to every life-threatening childhood genetic disease, RCIGM believes now is the time to end the diagnostic and therapeutic odyssey for all children with treatable genetic diseases.”
BeginNGS developed through a research collaboration with Alexion; AstraZeneca’s Rare Disease group; Illumina, Inc.; TileDB; Fabric Genomics; and Genomemon, which uses rWGS to diagnose and identify treatment options for genetic conditions before symptoms begin. This approach represents an advance over current pediatric uses of rWGS that focus mainly on children who are already critically ill. Once a diagnosis is made, BeginNGS uses Genome-to-Treatment (GTRx™), a tool that provides immediate treatment guidelines to help physicians understand genetic conditions and their available treatment options.
Addressing the Need for Enhanced Newborn Screening Tools
Traditional newborn screening is one of the most successful public health programs in the United States. Of nearly 4 million babies born annually, 98 percent are tested in the first days of life. The BeginNGS test identifies serious childhood diseases that have effective treatments. States currently screen for only 31 to 76 of the hundreds of severe, childhood genetic diseases that have available treatments. Adding a new condition to the screening protocol is slow (5 to 6 years per condition), laborious, and costly. In the last decade, WGS has increased in speed, diagnostic performance, and scalability. BeginNGS will not replace the current biochemical newborn screening paradigm; rather, it is designed to complement the newborn screening processes and infrastructure that are already in place.
“We are thrilled at the prospect of newborn screening to assist in early identification of infants affected by ENPP1 Deficiency and ABCC6 Deficiency via Inozyme’s collaboration with Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. Early diagnosis is crucial to improving a baby’s chances of survival and long-term health if they have these rare and devastating diseases,” said Christine O’Brien and Liz Molloy, co-presidents of GACI Global.
About Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine
Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine is transforming pediatric critical care by advancing disease-specific healthcare for infants and children with rare disease. Discoveries at the Institute are enabling rapid diagnosis and targeted treatment of critically ill newborns and pediatric patients at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and a growing network of more than 60 children’s hospitals nationwide. The vision is to expand delivery of this life-changing technology to enable the practice of Rapid Precision Medicine™ at children’s hospitals across the nation and the world. RCIGM is a non-profit, research institute embedded within Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center.
About Inozyme Pharma
Inozyme Pharma, Inc. is a clinical-stage rare disease biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of diseases of abnormal mineralization impacting the vasculature, soft tissue, and skeleton. Through our in-depth understanding of the biological pathways involved in mineralization, we are pursuing the development of therapeutics to address the underlying causes of these debilitating diseases. It is well established that two genes, ENPP1 and ABCC6, play key roles in a critical mineralization pathway and that defects in these genes lead to abnormal mineralization. We are initially focused on developing a novel therapy, INZ-701, to treat the rare genetic diseases of ENPP1 and ABCC6 Deficiencies. INZ-701 is currently in Phase 1/2 clinical trials for the treatment of ENPP1 Deficiency and ABCC6 Deficiency.