RESEARCH

Pfizer, Moderna urge calm as they launch tests of vaccines against mutated COVID-19

Pfizer | December 29, 2020

After a changed, quick spreading variation of COVID-19 in the U.K. disturbed worldwide travel throughout the end of the week, an upsetting inquiry arose: Will the new antibodies from Pfizer and Moderna neutralize this startling new strain of the infection?

Presently the two organizations, alongside Pfizer's COVID-19 accomplice BioNTech, are racing to quiet an apprehensive public. They're dispatching new investigations intended to demonstrate their mRNA-based shots will fight off the new Covid strain, while at the same time communicating certainty this new antibody innovation is ideal for ensuring against quickly changing infections.

Pfizer and BioNTech have tried their antibody "for its capacity to kill various freak strains. Until now, we have discovered steady inclusion of the multitude of strains tried," they said in an assertion. The organizations are currently gathering information from individuals who have gotten the shot to decide how well they "might have the option to kill the new strain from the U.K.," Pfizer added.

Moderna didn't promptly react to a solicitation for input yet said in an assertion gave to other news sources that it expects "that the Moderna immunization instigated insusceptibility would be defensive against the variations as of late portrayed in the U.K.," and that it "will play out extra tests in the coming a long time to affirm this desire."

Pfizer brought up that when SARS-CoV-2, the infection that causes COVID-19, first arose a year prior, it was clear there was more than one strain of it, and that it was transforming as it spread. SARS-CoV-2 is a RNA infection, and all things considered, it has "astoundingly high [mutation] rates" on the grounds that the chemicals it utilizes for replication are "inclined to mistakes when making new infection duplicates," the organization said.

"One reason Pfizer and BioNTech decided to use a mRNA stage is a direct result of the potential for the adaptability of the innovation in contrast with customary immunization advancements," including the capacity to change the RNA arrangement in the antibody, should a strain arise that is not covered by the current shot," Pfizer added.

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KSQ Announces ONO’s Acquisition of Multiple Research-stage Oncology Programs

KSQ Therapeutics | January 30, 2023

KSQ Therapeutics, a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, recently announced that Ono Pharmaceutical (ONO) has acquired multiple research-stage DNA damage response (DDR) programs. The programs were identified using KSQ's CRISPRomics platform technology. All of the programs are new and have the potential to be first-in-class therapies. ONO's Discovery & Research Executive Director/ Senior Executive Officer Toichi Takino commented, "ONO appreciates the ability of KSQ's CRISPRomics platform technology to discover novel therapeutic targets with high selectivity for cancer cells." He added, "Through this acquisition agreement, we expect that the programs acquired from KSQ will lead to the creation of innovative medicines that will help treat cancer patients." (Source – Business Wire) KSQ's Chief Executive Officer Qasim Rizvi commented, "This acquisition of multiple research-stage oncology programs by ONO is further validation of the power of our platform to identify novel oncology targets and develop potential first-in-class programs." He added, "This is an important transaction for KSQ, enabling us to focus on our other programs. We look forward to watching ONO's progress as they advance these programs toward clinical studies." (Source – Business Wire) As per the terms of the agreement, ONO will pay KSQ a double-digit million upfront payment, prospective near-term milestone payments with potential long-term value in the triple-digit millions, and net sales-based royalties. About KSQ Therapeutics Founded in 2015, KSQ Therapeutics is a clinical-stage firm using its CRISPRomics® discovery platform to systematically decode the genome and identify optimal gene targets for oncology and autoimmune disease. It utilizes the platform for innovative drug development across diverse therapeutic domains and is actively creating a proprietary pipeline of tumor- and immune-focused drug candidates. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, KSQ was formed by functional genomics thought leaders and CRISPR screening technology pioneers.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH

Neochromosome Announces Successful Collaboration with Sumitovant Biopharma

Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc. | January 20, 2023

On January 19, 2023, Neochromosome, Inc., announced a partnership with Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc., a technology-driven biopharmaceutical firm expediting the discovery and commercialization of novel therapeutics. This collaboration blends Neochromosome's neoYeast™ platform with Sumitovant's DrugOME™ computational ecosystem to identify new proteins that would benefit from non-canonical amino acid chemistries that are unavailable in nature. As part of the collaboration, Sumitovant used a combination of natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and computational algorithms to identify opportunities for Neochromosome to enhance the discovery and production of proteins limited by evolution and traditional fabrication processes. For example, non-canonical amino acid inclusion allows new-to-nature proteins with improved structures and functions but often requires chemical synthesis, which is expensive, size- and complexity-restricted, and environmentally damaging. neoYeast™, based on Neochromosome's world-leading genome-scale cell engineering technology stack, enables the highly efficient and environmentally friendly integration of non-canonical amino acids into proteins, with both discovery and manufacturing possible in a single genome-engineered yeast strain. Sumitovant used DrugOME to explore libraries of traditional and non-traditional sources of data to recommend targeted protein development candidates for neoYeast. Co-Founder and CEO of Neochromosome, Leslie Mitchell, commented, "The combination of Sumitovant's technology platform and life-sciences expertise with Neochromosome's ability to both discover and biomanufacture novel proteins in a single system enables Neochromosome to accelerate and streamline the delivery of better therapies for patients." She added, "We are excited to partner with the world-class team at Sumitovant to identify opportunities to create better versions of existing drugs, along with new-to-nature compounds, and to manufacture them efficiently at scale." (Source – Business Wire) Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc. The firm has supported the development of multiple FDA-approved products and a strong pipeline of early-through late-stage investigational assets addressing unmet needs in pediatrics, oncology, urology, women's health, specialty respiratory, and infectious diseases through its proprietary computing and data platforms, scientific expertise, and diverse company portfolio. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Pharma.

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PHARMA TECH

Eyenovia Announces $15 Million Credit Facility with Avenue Venture Debt Fund

Eyenovia, Inc. | November 30, 2022

Eyenovia, Inc. a pre-commercial ophthalmic technology company developing the Optejet® delivery system for use both in combination with its own drug-device therapeutic programs for mydriasis, presbyopia and pediatric progressive myopia as well as out-licensing for additional indications, announced that the company has entered into a $15 million credit facility with the Avenue Venture Opportunities Fund, L.P. The financing is intended to support manufacturing in anticipation of a MydCombi launch and clinical supply for ongoing programs. Per the terms of the agreement, Eyenovia received $10 million of gross proceeds at closing. The additional $5 million will be available, at the company’s option, should MydCombi™ be approved for marketing in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration by August 2023. The Avenue facility replaces the company’s Silicon Valley Bank facility, which was recently paid off. “We are pleased to have the support of Avenue through this credit facility at terms which create minimal dilution as compared to a traditional equity capital raise. Together with our existing cash on-hand, we expect the additional capital provided by this facility to fund our operations through at least late 2023 or early 2024, or through value creating milestones, including the potential approval of MydCombi™ and preparations for the possible submission of a New Drug Application for our novel presbyopia treatment, MicroLine™.” Michael Rowe, chief executive officer of Eyenovia “We are pleased to provide this financing to Eyenovia as we believe its Optejet dispensing technology truly differentiates the company from its peers and offers great potential across a broad range of high value ophthalmic indications,” stated Chad Norman, Senior Portfolio Manager of the Avenue Venture Debt Fund. Eyenovia’s current pro-forma unrestricted cash balance, including approximately $9.5 million of net proceeds from this facility, is approximately $25.5 million. About Eyenovia, Inc. Eyenovia, Inc. is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print therapeutics. Eyenovia is currently focused on the late-stage development of microdosed medications for mydriasis, presbyopia and myopia progression. About Avenue Venture Opportunities The Avenue Venture Debt Fund seeks to provide creative financing solutions to high-growth, venture capital-backed technology and life science companies. The Avenue Venture Debt Opportunities Fund focuses generally on companies within the underserved segment of the market created by the widening financing gap between commercial banks and larger debt funds. The Avenue Venture Debt fund is part of the larger group of funds of Avenue Capital Group. For additional information on Avenue Capital Group, which is a global investment firm with assets estimated to be approximately $12.3 billion as of October 31, 2022.

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