Nuro’s self-driving vehicles to deliver prescriptions for CVS Pharmacy

Techcrunch | May 28, 2020

Nuro’s self-driving vehicles to deliver prescriptions for CVS Pharmacy
Nuro, the autonomous robotics startup that has raised more than $1 billion from SoftBank  Vision Fund, Greylock and other investors, said Thursday it will test prescription delivery in Houston through a partnership with CVS Pharmacy. The pilot, which will use a fleet of the startup’s autonomous Toyota Prius vehicles and transition to using its custom-built R2 delivery bots, is slated to begin in June. The partnership marks Nuro’s expansion beyond groceries and into healthcare. Last month, the startup dipped its autonomous toe in the healthcare field through a program to deliver food and medical supplies at temporary field hospitals in California set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot program centers on one CVS Pharmacy in Bellaire, Texas and will serve customers across three ZIP codes. Customers who place prescription orders via CVS’ website or pharmacy app will be given the option to choose an autonomous delivery option. These pharmacy customers will also be able add other non-prescription items to their order.

Spotlight

Although R&D spending on new drugs is high and the number of new INDs for small molecules and biologics continues to increase each year, the number of NDAs/BLAs submitted and approved by FDA has remained on average steady over the last 10 years.

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RESEARCH

Ascentage Pharma Enters into an Agreement with University of Michigan to obtain an exclusive license for Degrader

Ascentage Pharma | November 30, 2020

Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK), an internationally engaged, clinical-stage biotechnology organization occupied with creating novel treatments for malignant growths, ongoing hepatitis B (CHB), and age-related infections, today reported it has gone into a concurrence with the University of Michigan, through which the organization may acquire the selective worldwide rights to a MDM2 protein degrader created utilizing the Proteolysis-Targeting Chimeras (PROTACs) innovation. The medication competitor is as of now entering IND-empowering considers. MDM2 is a critical controller of the tumor silencer p53 and one of the most powerful inhibitors of apoptosis found hitherto. It has high articulation in tumors and assumes a critical part in the event and advancement of tumors. Official to the MDM2 protein with high proclivity, MDM2 inhibitor hinders the MDM2-p53 connections and reestablish the tumor-stifling action of p53.1 Meanwhile, these MDM2 inhibitors present a few difficulties, including portion restricting hematological poison levels, in this manner the pressing need to grow new age of MDM2-focusing on treatments in the therapy of disease. The PROTAC innovation has arisen as another and promising methodology that initiates the corruption of focused proteins through the ubiquitin-proteasome framework (UPS), and it has gotten boundless interest from both mainstream researchers and enterprises since its presentation. Contrasted with ordinary "inhabitance driven" pharmacological methodology, the "occasion driven" PROTAC innovation has numerous focal points, for example, high intensity, high selectivity, with reactant method of activity, and the capacity to target undruggable proteins.2 Prof. Shaomeng Wang, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Ascentage Pharma and Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board, and Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry, Director of Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation, University of Michigan, is a main specialist in the field. Through structure-work investigations of their recently found MDM2 inhibitors utilizing the PROTAC innovation, Dr. Wang's exploration group has gotten intense and viable MDM2 degraders that could adequately actuate fast debasement of MDM2. The lead MDM2 degrader has accomplished total and tough tumor relapse in a xenograft tumor model in mice3. "As a new strategy to induce protein degradation, PROTAC has emerged as a novel modality in drug discovery," said Dr. Wang. "Studies showed, PROTAC-induced MDM2 degradation can not only enhance the potency of MDM2 inhibitors, but also maintain a long-lasting suppression of MDM2 protein levels, providing a new strategy to the treatment of MDM2-driven tumors such as leukemia. We look forward to the further development of the asset by Ascentage Pharma." "The emergence of the PROTAC technology represents another breakthrough in the identification of small molecule drugs. The technology has received tremendous interest for its ability to target undruggable proteins," said Dr. Dajun Yang, Chairman & CEO of Ascentage Pharma. "We are very pleased to reach this agreement with the University of Michigan, to begin the assessment of this PROTAC-based MDM2 degrader and potentially bring this important addition to our existing pipeline. Through the assessment and potential development of the MDM2 degrader, we hope soon that it will offer an effective therapy for serious unmet medical needs."

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CPD AND LEARNING

Applied BioMath, LLC Announces Partnership with Antengene for Systems Pharmacology Modeling in Oncology

Applied BioMath | December 09, 2020

Applied BioMath, the business chief in applying frameworks pharmacology and unthinking demonstrating, reproduction, and examination to de-hazard drug innovative work, today reported a joint effort with Antengene Corporation for the advancement of a frameworks pharmacology displaying in immuno-oncology. Applied BioMath will build up a frameworks pharmacology model for a PDL1/41BB bispecific immunizer, ATG-101, in immuno-oncology signs. The model will be utilized to anticipate clinical beginning and useful portions for first-in-quite a while. "Antengene Corporation is devoted to growing first-in-class as well as top tier treatments in oncology," said Dirk Hoenemann, M.D., VP, Head of Medical Affairs for Asia Pacific Region (APAC) and Early Clinical Development. "We chose to work together with Applied BioMath with an end goal to give ourselves the most noteworthy probability conceivable of anticipating exact beginning and effectual dosages which is a basic piece of our first-in-quite a while." Applied BioMath utilizes a thorough fit-for-reason model advancement measure which quantitatively coordinates information about therapeutics with a comprehension of its component of activity with regards to human sickness systems. Their methodology utilizes exclusive calculations and programming that were planned explicitly for frameworks pharmacology model turn of events, reenactment, and examination. "Foreseeing beginning and effectual portions for first-in-quite a while is non-paltry for complex therapeutics, for example, Antengene's bispecific restorative," said Dr. John Burke, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Applied BioMath. "We have created calculations and devices explicitly for this reason that have a demonstrated history of foreseeing such portions. We anticipate working together with Antengene to help them in this venture." About Applied BioMath Founded in 2013, Applied BioMath's mission is to revolutionize drug invention. Applied BioMath uses mathematical modeling and simulation to provide quantitative and predictive guidance to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to help accelerate and de-risk drug research and development. Their approach employs proprietary algorithms and software to support groups worldwide in decision-making from early research through clinical trials. The Applied BioMath team leverages their decades of expertise in biology, mathematical modeling and analysis, high-performance computing, and industry experience to help groups better understand their candidate, its best-in-class parameters, competitive advantages, patients, and the best path forward into and in the clinic. For more information about Applied BioMath and its services, visit www.appliedbiomath.com. About Antengene Antengene Corporation Limited ("Antengene", SEHK: 6996.HK) is a biopharmaceutical company with an integrated drug discovery and clinical development approach, anchored in Asia Pacific with a global footprint. Antengene aims to provide the most advanced anti-cancer drugs to patients in China, the Asia Pacific Region and around the world. Since official operation in April 2017, Antengene has built a pipeline of 12 clinical and pre-clinical stage assets, obtained 10 IND approvals and has 9 ongoing cross-regional clinical trials in Asia Pacific. At Antengene, we focus on developing drug candidates with novel MoAs and first-in-class/best-in-class potential to address significant unmet medical needs. The vision of Antengene is to "Treat Patients Beyond Borders" through discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class/best-in-class therapeutics.

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Gilead, working on its own remdesivir ramp-up, scouts licensing partners for global production

Fiercepharma | May 06, 2020

Gilead Sciences can only produce so much of its newly authorized COVID-19 drug remdesivir, so it’s scouting other companies to bolster global supply. Even as it presses ahead with its own remdesivir ramp-up, Gilead says it’s in licensing talks with the “world’s leading chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies” about their ability to produce remdesivir for countries in Europe, Asia and beyond until at least 2022. Remdesivir manufacturing relies on “scarce” raw materials that command their own “lengthy” production timelines, Gilead has said. Moving forward, coordination on producing the drug will be “critical,” the drugmaker says. Disruptions could reduce output or increase manufacturing time.

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Spotlight

Although R&D spending on new drugs is high and the number of new INDs for small molecules and biologics continues to increase each year, the number of NDAs/BLAs submitted and approved by FDA has remained on average steady over the last 10 years.