BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH
prnewswire | April 11, 2023
Cerner Enviza, an Oracle company, along with John Snow Labs, are now helping support the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's drug safety Sentinel Initiative. By developing artificial intelligence (AI) tools aimed at extracting critical information from clinical notes within electronic health records (EHR), Oracle and John Snow will aid the FDA in better understanding the effects of medicines on large populations. Looking at the asthma drug, montelukast, and its possibility of mental health side effects, this two-year project will demonstrate how the use of machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) technology with unstructured data may help fill gaps in knowledge.
Cerner Enviza leverages decades of life sciences expertise spanning commercial, real world, clinical and regulatory research. This includes working with a broad range of Oracle provider networks to help accelerate the discovery, development, and deployment of health insights and therapies. John Snow Labs is known for its AI and NLP in healthcare and is the developer of the Spark NLP library. Together, Cerner Enviza and John Snow Labs will develop a new methodology to enhance computerized queries, or phenotyping, of digital patient data and clinical notes to support pharmacoepidemiology.
Cerner Enviza, who will lead the team, was chosen by the Sentinel Innovation Center, who is headed by Mass General Brigham and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.
"Development and evaluation of tools that can enhance our ability to utilize unstructured EHR data is a key strategic priority for the Sentinel Innovation Center. We look forward to this new relationship and exciting initiative led by Cerner Enviza," said Rishi Desai, Ph.D., Mass General Brigham executive leadership team member, Sentinel Innovation Center.
Traditional manual methods for analyzing clinician notes often can be a bottleneck for fully understanding the symptoms and outcomes that patients experience at the population level. However, advances in AI offer a scalable and transportable NLP processes.
"This is an incredible opportunity to work with these exceptional leaders to use Oracle's de-identified EHR data to help transform unstructured clinical notes into validated and useable data for physicians and researchers," said Mike Kelly, global head, Cerner Enviza. "Connected technologies and unified data can accelerate innovation and, in turn, help providers realize better recommendations and outcomes for their patients."
"We are thrilled to team with Cerner Enviza to apply NLP in such an important real-world evidence project," said David Talby, CTO, John Snow Labs. "We're honored by the Sentinel Innovation Center's vote of confidence in our joint ability to help investigate this use case. Together, Cerner Enviza and John Snow Labs have all the right expertise, data, and technology to make it happen."
The project known as the Multi-source Observational Safety Study for Advanced Information Classification Using NLP (MOSAIC-NLP) is also supported by the participation of Children's Hospital of Orange County, National Jewish Health, and Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute who will provide clinical expertise and consulting.
About John Snow Labs
John Snow Labs is an AI and NLP company that provides software, models, and data to help healthcare and life science organizations put AI to good use. The company is the developer of Spark NLP and host of the NLP Summit.
Globenewswire | May 16, 2023
Athenex, Inc. a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and related conditions, today announced that, following an ongoing strategic review, it has reached agreement with its lenders to move forward with an expedited sales process of the Company’s assets across its primary businesses: Athenex Pharmaceutical Division (“APD”), Orascovery, and Cell Therapy.
To best facilitate this process, Athenex and certain of its subsidiaries filed voluntary proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. This will enable the Company to divest its assets and wind down the Athenex platform in an orderly fashion, while seeking to maximize value for its stakeholders. The Company anticipates concluding the expedited sales process by July 1, 2023, with the Chapter 11 cases continuing thereafter to resolve claims.
Athenex has also reached an agreement with its secured lenders, subject to court approval, for the consensual use of cash collateral, which will enable the Company to, among other things, satisfy certain obligations to its vendors for authorized goods received and services rendered after the filing. Athenex Pharma Solutions (“APS”), which includes the Company’s manufacturing facility in Clarence, New York, is expected to continue its operations for at least the next 90 days, to provide commercial supply of tirbanibulin ointment. In addition, APD is continuing to operate in the ordinary course and fill customer orders with the ample inventory it has on hand.
Dr. Johnson Lau, Chief Executive Officer of Athenex, on behalf of the management team and the Athenex Board of Directors, said, “Throughout our history, we have sought to become a leader in bringing innovative cancer treatments to the market and improving patient health outcomes. Our team was successful in bringing tirbanibulin, through regulatory approvals, to the U.S. market and a number of EU countries, as well as Taiwan. Unfortunately, our oral paclitaxel product candidate received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and this significant regulatory setback, coupled with challenging biotech markets and the difficult economic environment, put tremendous pressure on our ability to continue to fund our businesses.
“Over the past two years, we made considerable progress in refocusing our business around our promising NKT cell therapy platform, monetizing non-core assets to improve our balance sheet and extending our cash runway, paying down $108 million of debt, and undertaking a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to create value for our stakeholders. While we explored every viable avenue to avoid this outcome, an orderly sales process represents the best path forward at this time.
“Our goal remains to identify purchasers who will continue development of the important drug candidates for which we have established a good foundation, and to bring them to market on behalf of medical practitioners and, most importantly, for patients. We are incredibly thankful to our team for their dedication to Athenex and will look to support our colleagues through this transition period.”
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP is acting as Athenex's legal counsel. MERU is serving as its financial advisor and Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC as its investment banker.
About Athenex, Inc.
Founded in 2003, Athenex, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to becoming a leader in the discovery, development, and commercialization of next-generation cell therapy products for the treatment of cancer. The Company’s mission is to become a leader in bringing innovative cancer treatments to the market and to improve patient health outcomes. In pursuit of this mission, Athenex leverages years of experience in research and development, clinical trials, regulatory standards, and manufacturing. The Company is focused on its innovative Cell Therapy platform, based on natural killer T (“NKT”) cells.
BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH
Businesswire | March 29, 2023
Simulations Plus, Inc. a leading provider of modeling and simulation software and services for pharmaceutical safety and efficacy, today announced that it established a strategic research collaboration with the Sino-American Cancer Foundation (SACF). This collaboration will leverage Simulations Plus’ staff and Artificial Intelligence-driven Drug Design technology in the ADMET Predictor® software platform to support the discovery and design of novel inhibitors of methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 2 (MTHFD2), an emerging cancer target.
Per the terms of the collaboration, Simulations Plus will develop quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models for efficacy against MTHFD2, using information from SACF as well as academic and patent literature. The biologists, computational and medicinal chemists in the Early Drug Discovery Services team at Simulations Plus will work with the researchers at SACF to define the multi-objective parameters against which the lead molecule(s) will be optimized. The new AIDD Module in ADMET Predictor® will then be employed to generate libraries of virtual compounds that are optimized for potency and other chosen parameters. The teams will select promising candidates for synthesis and testing, and ensuing rounds of QSAR model building and AIDD optimization will be performed until the milestone criteria in the collaboration agreement are achieved.
“We value the trust and confidence SACF has in our team and AI technology to complement and accelerate conventional drug design and lead optimization processes,” said Dr. Jeremy Jones, Principal Scientist at Simulations Plus and project lead. “By combining their drug discovery expertise with our algorithmic and data science know-how, we are confident we will successfully support their hit-to-lead target development activities.”
As part of this agreement, SACF will provide upfront funding to Simulations Plus to design a set number of compounds for efficacy against MTHFD2 which will be exclusive to SACF. Subsequent milestone payments will be made as key research and development goals are met.
“SACF has had an active interest in AI for de novo design for some time, and we have found a trusted partner in Simulations Plus to help us integrate this into our research,” added Dr. Frank Luh, CEO of SACF. “Scientists from the two organizations will work side-by-side to combine SACF’s data with all that Simulations Plus offers to identify the next generation of compounds that could help in the treatment of cancer.”
John DiBella, SLP Division President, said, “The Early Drug Discovery Services offering at Simulations Plus is tailor made for this type of partnership, where our team of experts, including computational, medicinal, and cheminformatics specialists, provide end-to-end AI-driven drug discovery and optimization support to complement the SACF team. Simulations Plus continues to invite future collaborations which benefit organizations and, most importantly, the global communities we serve.”
About Simulations Plus, Inc.
Serving clients worldwide for more than 25 years, Simulations Plus is a leading provider in the biosimulation market providing software and consulting services supporting drug discovery, development, research, and regulatory submissions. We offer solutions that bridge machine learning, physiologically based pharmacokinetics, quantitative systems pharmacology/toxicology, and population PK/PD modeling approaches. Our technology is licensed and applied by major pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and regulatory agencies worldwide.