PHARMA TECH

Pfizer, BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine works in more contagious coronavirus variants

Pfizer | January 11, 2021

Newly emerged variants of the novel coronavirus have sparked a key question: Will existing COVID-19 vaccines be less effective against them? But scientists have preliminary data showing that may not be the case, at least for Pfizer and BioNTech’s shot.

Researchers from the University of Texas and Pfizer found that, in lab dishes, the vaccine was able to neutralize an engineered version of a variant, which bears an N501Y mutation in its spike protein. The finding was published in bioRxiv and hasn’t been peer-reviewed.

Variants of coronavirus with this mutation were first discovered in the U.K. and South Africa and immediately grabbed global attention because they are more contagious.
Currently available COVID vaccines—including Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty, or BNT162b2—target the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus behind COVID-19. The N501Y mutation improves the ability of the virus’ spike protein to bind to its receptor on human cells, making it easier to gain entry for infection.

To test whether Comirnaty worked against the mutation, the scientists collected antibodies from 20 vaccinated trial participants and compared their ability to kill off the engineered virus with the N501Y mutation to their ability to neutralize the strain on which Pfizer and BioNTech based Comirnaty.

Spotlight

If Pharma is to create a new marketing and sales model that is fit for 2020, it will have to begin by analysing its own value chain to identify opportunities for working more closely with healthcare payers and providers. It will, for example, have to collaborate much more closely with payers (be they governments, health insurers, employers or patients) to ensure that it develops medicines which have real social and economic value.

Spotlight

If Pharma is to create a new marketing and sales model that is fit for 2020, it will have to begin by analysing its own value chain to identify opportunities for working more closely with healthcare payers and providers. It will, for example, have to collaborate much more closely with payers (be they governments, health insurers, employers or patients) to ensure that it develops medicines which have real social and economic value.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Asymchem Acquires Snapdragon Chemistry

Asymchem | February 14, 2022

Asymchem Laboratories Co., Ltd. a leading CDMO serving the global pharmaceutical and biotech industry, today announced its agreement to acquire Snapdragon Chemistry, Inc., a US-based chemical technology company providing industry-leading expertise in continuous manufacturing and early-stage chemical process development services to the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries for US $57.94 million. This addition will significantly expand Asymchem's footprint in the US, offering customers a seamless path from preclinical process R&D through commercial cGMP manufacture. "We believe continuous flow manufacturing is a revolutionary technology and represents the future of pharmaceutical production, not only generating advantages to process safety and cost, but also bringing tremendous environmental benefits. Asymchem has been deeply committed to flow chemistry technology development and its application expansion in the pharmaceutical industry for more than a decade. We are excited that this strategic acquisition will further strengthen our capabilities in continuous manufacturing, as well as broadening our service scope and client pool." Dr. Hao Hong, Chairman & CEO of Asymchem Group The two companies began collaborating in the Fall of 2020 when Asymchem announced a strategic investment in Snapdragon to help expand its cGMP drug substance manufacturing suites, as well as increase its large pharmaceutical and biotech client base. This acquisition will further streamline the transition of clients' projects from early to late-stage manufacturing and commercialization. "We are thrilled to be joining Asymchem, a company that shares our passion for advancing chemical manufacturing technology," said Snapdragon President and CEO, Dr. Matthew Bio. "Asymchem truly understands that commitment and we look forward to continuing to develop the high-quality solutions we are known for in their integrated service ecosystem." Snapdragon will operate as a standalone Asymchem division, and continue with its ongoing lab and manufacturing facility expansion with additional capacity to support larger, pilot scale manufacture in Waltham, MA. The company's executive leadership team will remain intact, while working with Asymchem leadership to sustain growth in 2022 and beyond. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, pending regulatory approval. About Asymchem Founded in 1999, Asymchem is a leading global integrated Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) providing innovative drug R&D and manufacturing. Asymchem is supported by 7000 employees based in the P.R. China, the U.S. and EU. Its mission is to drive efficiency through continuous technological advances for smarter, greener and more cost-effective manufacturing to support pharmaceutical clinical research and commercialization, backed by a proven track record of successful agency and industry inspections. About Snapdragon Chemistry Founded in 2014 out of MIT and Boston University, Snapdragon Chemistry designs practical manufacturing solutions for challenging chemical processes. Snapdragon also designs technologies that enable efficient design and development chemical processes with enhanced process understanding. The company has partnered with clients from around the globe, from Fortune 100 to leading-edge startup companies, to deliver efficient, cost-effective, and robust solutions for fine chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Snapdragon is headquartered in Waltham, MA.

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RESEARCH

UConn startup DIANT bags license for continuous nanoparticle manufacturing tech

UConn | November 20, 2020

Consistent assembling has just begun to override customary group handling in the domain of tablet creation. The following region due for an assembling update? Nanoparticle drug conveyance frameworks, one startup thinks—and it's currently prepared to pitch its foundation to drugmakers. The University of Connecticut as of late authorized its ceaseless nanoparticle fabricating innovation to DIANT Pharma, a startup helped to establish by the stage's designers Antonio Costa, Ph.D., and Diane Burgess, Ph.D. The high-throughput framework can possibly spare tidy up room space, bring down the quantity of preparing steps and diminish the quantity of bunches created every year. Since the stage is persistent, it should empower makers to hop in the event that anything turns out badly, redirecting or eliminating just a little bit of the item instead of rejecting a whole group, Costa, CEO at DIANT and partner research teacher at UConn, said in a meeting.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Ablexis and AlivaMab Discovery Services Announce Agreements with Almirall to Accelerate Antibody Drug Discovery and Development

Ablexis, LLC, | January 31, 2022

Ablexis, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company focused on licensing its AlivaMab Mouse technology for antibody drug discovery, and AlivaMab Discovery Services, LLC (“ADS”), a leader in the discovery of superior antibody-based therapeutics, today announced a multi-target licensing agreement between Ablexis and Almirall, S.A. (ALM), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health, and a research partnership between ADS and Almirall. Under the terms of the license with Ablexis, Almirall is granted non-exclusive rights to use the AlivaMab Mouse technology, a state-of-art platform for the generation of human therapeutic antibodies, for the discovery, development and commercialization of antibody drugs. Almirall selected ADS to conduct the drug discovery research, leveraging ADS’ expertise in antibody drug discovery, antibody engineering and platform processes to deliver drug-quality, fully human antibodies on exceptional timelines, including engineering for alternative modalities. “These agreements are in line with Almirall’s vision to develop innovative treatment options for patients suffering from severe skin diseases. AlivaMab Discovery Services’ profound know-how in antibody discovery and engineering together with Almirall's expertise in dermatology will strongly accelerate the development of differentiated treatments to help patients get closer to their goal of leading a healthy life. The agreements highlight the company's commitment to early biologics discovery to provide the best solutions to skin conditions through novel science.” Dr. Thomas Huber, Research Director at Almirall "We are pleased that Almirall has selected the AlivaMab Mouse technology as a key platform for its antibody drug discovery," said Larry Green, Chief Executive Officer at Ablexis, LLC. "Together with the talented and highly experienced team of antibody drug hunters at Ablexis' sister company, AlivaMab Discovery Services, we are increasingly recognized by partners with real experience in antibody drug discovery and development.” “Almirall joins our rapidly expanding list of high-quality partners that leverage the discovery, engineering and developability assessment capabilities of ADS, especially for challenging targets, functional design goals and advanced modalities,” said Justin Mika, Chief Executive Officer at AlivaMab Discovery Services. “Our partners appreciate how our team’s expertise, combined with the proven AlivaMab Mouse platform, significantly improves the probability of success and shortens timelines in discovery and development. We look forward to supporting Almirall’s efforts to help patients with dermatological conditions.” About Ablexis, LLC Ablexis, LLC created and non-exclusively licenses AlivaMab Mouse, a suite of unique, patented next generation transgenic mice, as a platform for human therapeutic antibody discovery. Ablexis has license agreements with dozens of companies, including global pharmaceutical companies, public and private biotechnology companies and other entities. Ablexis continues making AlivaMab Mouse available via non-exclusive licenses. About AlivaMab Discovery Services AlivaMab Discovery Services (ADS) sets its partners’ antibody discovery programs on the fastest and most de-risked path through discovery and development. Trusted by top-tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, ADS delivers drug-quality, fully human antibodies on exceptional timelines. ADS achieves its partners’ design goals, from simple to extraordinarily challenging, through the generation and function-first screening of large, molecularly diverse panels of antibodies. ADS focuses on rapid and efficient delivery of antibodies, characterized for function, kinetics and developability, and engineering for advanced modalities, including multispecifics and CARs. The ADS team’s experience in antibody drug discovery and development comes from many of the world’s top 15 pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche/Genentech, and translates across more than 500 discovery programs and 35 clinical candidates. This experience, combined with the use of trusted, proven technologies, including Ablexis’ AlivaMab® Mouse platforms, ensures the highest probability of success. About Almirall Almirall is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health. We collaborate with scientists and healthcare professionals to address patient’s needs through science to improve their lives. Our Noble Purpose is at the core of our work: “Transform the patients' world by helping them realize their hopes and dreams for a healthy life”. We invest in differentiated and ground-breaking medical dermatology products to bring our innovative solutions to patients in need.

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