BUSINESS INSIGHTS

To Provide Suite of Clinical Trial Technologies and Services, Labcorp Renewed Strategic Partnership with Medidata

Medidata | April 01, 2022

A Dassault Systèmes company, Medidata, announced that Labcorp, a leading global life sciences company, has extended its 14-year partnership with Medidata, laying the groundwork for their initiative to co-develop digital biomarkers and expand the use and functionality of decentralized clinical trials.

Our relationship with Medidata is built on using their core technologies to enhance our clinical trial portfolio and continue to expand our decentralized clinical trial offerings. Our work to advance sensor and digital biomarker usage in clinical research can help accelerate patient care while providing valuable information to study sponsors.”

Bill Hanlon, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and president of Clinical Therapeutic and Regulatory Sciences, Labcorp Drug Development

Labcorp Drug Development's products are based on Medidata technology, including Rave EDC, Coder, and TSDV. In addition, Labcorp is currently using most of the Medidata Clinical Cloud platform, including eCOA, RTSM, and Imaging.

“The last two years have required clinical trials to become more accessible and flexible; these changes make our strategic partnership with Labcorp Drug Development to modernize and decentralize trials even more critical,” said Anthony Costello, CEO Patient Cloud at Medidata. “With this new agreement, we’re excited to develop and deploy the innovations that help our customers run more effective clinical programs and get new treatments to patients faster than ever before.”

Through its 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Medidata is positioned to lead the digital transformation of life sciences in the era of personalized medicine by providing the industry's first end-to-end scientific and business platform, from research to commercialization.

Spotlight

TranScrip has extensive experience across the Infectious Diseases area, including antibacterials, antifungals and antivirals. TranScrip has supported small to large pharma companies in licensing and funding activities.

Spotlight

TranScrip has extensive experience across the Infectious Diseases area, including antibacterials, antifungals and antivirals. TranScrip has supported small to large pharma companies in licensing and funding activities.

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PHARMA TECH

BlackRock and QLS Advisors Partner Through BlackRock Systematic to Invest in Biomedical Innovation

BlackRock and QLS Advisors | July 19, 2022

BlackRock and QLS Advisors LLC, a life sciences technology and advisory firm, have announced a partnership through BlackRock Systematic to develop data-driven investment solutions to help accelerate biomedical innovation. The partnership will leverage the firms’ combined Research and Development and investment experience, directing funding toward public and private companies that have the potential to create transformative therapies while seeking to earn attractive investment returns for clients. Biomedicine is at an inflection point: breakthrough therapies—with the potential to extend longevity and improve quality of life—are emerging at an ever-increasing pace. Funding these therapeutic development programs has the potential to deliver attractive investment returns, but as biomedicine has grown more complex, so have the risks to investors. QLS has developed proprietary technology for estimating the probability of success of clinical trials, a key driver of financial performance, and systematically incorporating these forecasts into fundamental valuation models and portfolio construction algorithms. Their approach applies machine learning techniques to a multitude of predictive factors including therapeutic characteristics, clinical trial design features, disease-specific characteristics, and drug company track records. This methodology, coupled with BlackRock Systematic’s global platform, proprietary analytics, and more than 35 years1 of data-driven investment experience, presents a differentiated approach to investing in life sciences companies. “BlackRock’s partnership with QLS applies sophisticated quantitative investment technologies to the intersection of finance, academia, and life sciences. QLS brings an industry-leading approach to investing in life sciences that complements the work that BlackRock Systematic is doing in our actively managed portfolios. We expect this will create compelling, differentiated solutions that can deliver attractive returns for our clients while providing funding for life-changing therapies.” Rich Kushel, Head of the Portfolio Management Group BlackRock Andrew Lo, QLS Co-founder and Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management commented: “We founded QLS to improve the way financial resources are allocated to emerging therapies, with the goal of lowering the cost of capital in this important sector. With BlackRock, we gain a partner who is a recognized leader in data-driven investing and shares our passion for delivering investment returns with positive outcomes for society. We’re thrilled and honored to join forces with a firm that has such a strong and trusted global brand, broad network, and access to world-class investment resources.” BlackRock and QLS have also assembled a Scientific Advisory Council comprising renowned academics, medical doctors, and inventors. The Council will support sourcing, due diligence, and value creation through the members’ vast networks and decades of experience as industry leaders in their respective fields. The Council is expected to include Dr. Robert Langer, Institute Professor, MIT Department of Chemical Engineering, and founder of over 40 biotechnology companies including Moderna. Ms. Lita Nelsen, retired director of the MIT Technology Licensing Office; now consultant in technology licensing. Dr. Larry Norton, Senior Vice President, Norna S. Sarofim Chair in Clinical Oncology and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASCO David Karnofsky Awardee, FASCO, FAACR. Dr. Richard H. Scheller, Chairman of Research and Development BridgeBio. Board of Directors BridgeBio, Alector, 23andMe, DICE and others. Former Executive Vice President Research and Early Development Genentech and former HHMI Investigator and Professor Stanford University Medical School. Dr. Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor, MIT Department of Biology, geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered RNA splicing, co-founded Biogen and Alnylam, and the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. About BlackRock Systematic BlackRock’s systematic investment platform brings together BlackRock’s community of systematic investors across equity, fixed income, and factor-based strategies. Systematic portfolios combine cutting-edge technology, scientific research, and human insight in the relentless pursuit of investment performance. With over 35 years of experience and nearly 200 professionals across the globe managing over US$200 bn in client assets as of March 31, 2022, BlackRock Systematic partners with clients to deliver quantitative alpha-seeking and factor-based investment solutions for the whole portfolio. About QLS Advisors LLC QLS Advisors LLC is a life sciences technology and advisory company based in Cambridge, MA, dedicated to fostering biomedical innovation. QLS employs a unique blend of fundamental and quantitative tools to help clients manage risk, assess reward, and develop investment and financing strategies for portfolios of healthcare-related assets.

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PHARMA TECH

Specifica Announces Antibody Discovery Platform Transfer Agreement with Sanofi

Specifica | June 03, 2022

Specifica, a privately held antibody engineering company focused on innovative in vitro antibody libraries and discovery tools, announced an agreement with the global healthcare company Sanofi under which Specifica’s patented Generation 3 Antibody Discovery Platform will be transferred to Sanofi. The comprehensive technology transfer package will enable the integration of Specifica’s Gen 3 platform into Sanofi’s antibody discovery programs. “We are absolutely delighted to partner with Sanofi and their cutting-edge antibody discovery teams by providing our complete antibody discovery platform through a combination of Gen 3 libraries, antibody optimization solutions, and integrated discovery tools. We look forward to the realization of our collaboration with Sanofi as they continue to pursue the development of life-changing treatments.” Ken Sharples, CEO and co-founder of Specifica Specifica’s Gen 3 libraries combine clinically validated antibody frameworks with compatible binding loop sequences (CDRs) from natural human antibodies that have been purged of sequence-based developability liabilities. The Gen 3 discovery platform consistently yields a broad diversity of specific and developable antibodies with very high affinities, thereby avoiding downstream hit-to-lead optimization bottlenecks such as affinity maturation and developability optimization. About Specifica Specifica is a rapidly growing antibody engineering company specializing in the creation of exceptional antibody libraries, using next-generation sequencing for quality control at all steps of construction and validation. Specifica’s patented Generation 3 Antibody Library Discovery Platform yields drug-like antibodies directly from selections, minimizing the need for downstream affinity and biophysical engineering. Specifica provides its partners with exclusive libraries, each created from a unique donor diversity set not used for any other library, ensuring that each Gen 3 library is one of a kind. Specifica offers antibody library platforms in Fab, scFv and VHH formats. In addition to in-house antibody library designs, Specifica also collaborates closely with partners to create custom libraries in which essential elements are optimized according to partner needs. The power of the Generation 3 Platform may be accessed by engaging Specifica to execute antibody discovery and optimization campaigns, or by full transfer of the platform technology. Additionally, Specifica recently introduced AbXtractTM, a powerful suite of antibody informatics tools, through its software partner OpenEye. Specifica is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

PostEra spearheads AI-driven drug discovery collaboration to develop antiviral therapeutics with initial $68M in NIH funding

PostEra | May 19, 2022

PostEra, a biotechnology company specializing in machine learning for preclinical drug discovery, announced a multi-year collaboration with the National Institutes of Health to develop small molecule antiviral therapeutics to prevent pandemics. The center will receive initial funding of $68M. PostEra co-leads this initiative with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, a global charity with expertise in drug development for global equitable access, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. As part of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Antiviral Program for Pandemics, the AI-driven Structure-Enabled Antiviral Platform (ASAP) consortium aims to discover dozens of lead compounds against key viruses of significant pandemic concern, such as flaviviruses (responsible for endemic diseases such as Dengue and Zika), picornaviruses (including potentially debilitating enteroviruses as well as other cold-causing viruses), and coronaviruses. ASAP will further deliver three IND-ready candidates which can be immediately ready for clinical evaluation in the event of a viral outbreak, so that future pandemics can be halted before severe outbreaks occur. The consortium is committed to making resulting antivirals globally and equitably accessible, so that no patient population is left behind. ASAP will use PostEra's end-to-end AI-first approach to accelerate the discovery process, generating molecules with optimised properties, designing rapid synthesis, and optimally prioritising experiments. In particular, AI approaches are tightly integrated into structural biology to realize next generation structure-based design. ASAP is built on the success of the COVID Moonshot project, a global open-science AI-driven initiative that began in March 2020 and rapidly identified antiviral drug candidates that target the main protease of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. "We are honored to be co-leading this consortium. We believe that our AI platform will accelerate the discovery of therapeutics that will prevent pandemics." Dr Alpha Lee, Chief Scientific Officer of PostEra, who co-founded COVID Moonshot About PostEra PostEra was founded in 2019 and its technology is built on pioneering academic research done by its founding scientists. PostEra's technology addresses some of the key challenges in drug discovery R&D by integrating molecular design with chemical synthesis. PostEra advances small molecule programs through partnerships with biopharma, working on its own internal pipeline, and also offering some of its synthesis technology via its Manifold web platform. PostEra also helped launch the world's largest open-science drug discovery effort; COVID Moonshot, along with an NIH-funded antiviral research center for the prevention of future pandemics.

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