BUSINESS INSIGHTS

AbCellera and Empirico Expand Strategic Multi-Target Antibody Discovery Collaboration

AbCellera | May 04, 2022

AbCellera and Empirico
AbCellera and Empirico Inc. announced today that they have expanded their strategic multi-target discovery collaboration, which leverages Empirico’s Precision Insights PlatformTM to discover genetically validated drug targets and AbCellera’s technology to identify lead candidate antibodies against those targets. Following the rapid progress of their first collaborative program, which identified a lead candidate against an undisclosed G protein-coupled receptor target in less than 12 months, the companies have expanded their partnership to include seven targets. In addition, under the expanded agreement, AbCellera has a co-development option on a program-by-program basis.

Empirico’s platform is designed to uncover causal relationships between genes, proteins, and clinical outcomes by integrating genetic data and health information from millions of individuals together with experimental validation. AbCellera integrates leading technologies to solve all steps in the antibody discovery process and delivers to partners diverse and developable lead candidates against drug targets.

We have been impressed by Empirico’s ability to discover and validate new drug targets and believe the combination of our respective technologies has great potential to bring new first-in-class treatments to patients. We are pleased to build on our productive collaboration with Empirico by expanding the number of targets and maximizing the opportunity for mutual success by having an option to co-invest on a program-by-program basis.”

Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO and President of AbCellera

“AbCellera’s technology enables us to extend our competitive advantage in target discovery and validation with best-in-class antibodies to rapidly advance our programs towards the clinic,” said Omri Gottesman, M.D., CEO and President of Empirico. “We are excited to expand our relationship with AbCellera and to translate many more genetically validated targets into potential new antibody-based therapies together.”

Under the terms of the expanded agreement, Empirico will have the right to develop and commercialize therapeutic antibodies resulting from the collaboration, and AbCellera has the option to co-develop each therapeutic program to maintain up to a 50 percent ownership stake. Financial terms were not disclosed.

About Empirico Inc.
Empirico is a next-generation therapeutics company founded on utilizing human genetics, data science, and programmable biology to power novel target discovery and development. Empirico’s Precision Insights PlatformTM, a proprietary human genetics-focused discovery platform, leverages a world-leading dataset, hyperscale infrastructure and algorithmic approaches that encode and enhance human intuition to identify and prioritize therapeutic targets. All potential therapeutic targets are subjected to rigorous in vitro and in vivo experimental validation to elucidate the mechanism by which genetic variation impacts disease risk and provide insights about which therapeutic modality could be ‘programmed’ to mimic or interfere with that mechanism. Empirico is advancing multiple programs across a broad range of indications and therapeutic modalities, both independently and in collaboration with industry partners. Empirico is headquartered in San Diego, California with laboratories in Madison, Wisconsin. 

About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is a technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera partners with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development. 


Spotlight

To facilitate generic drug product availability and to assist the generic pharmaceutical industry with identifying the most appropriate methodology for developing drugs and generating the evidence needed to support ANDA approval, FDA regularly publishes product-specific guidances describing the Agency’s current thinking and expectations on how to develop therapeutic equivalents to specific reference listed drugs.


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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

invoX Pharma to Acquire F-star Therapeutics, Inc. a Pioneering Next Generation Bispecific Discovery Platform and Clinical Programs

F-star Therapeutics, Inc. | June 24, 2022

invoX Pharma a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited focused on research and development and business development activities outside of China, and F-star Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and improved lives, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement whereby invoX will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of F-star common stock for $7.12 per share. The proposed acquisition values F-star at approximately $161 million. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the invoX and F-star Boards of Directors and is expected to close in the second half of 2022. F-star’s proprietary platform technology pioneers the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies that enable the simultaneous targeting of two different antigens and a unique set of pharmacology to deliver focused, potent and safe immune activation in the tumor microenvironment. Four programs are progressing in clinic, three based on F-star’s tetravalent platform and one next generation STING agonist, with multiple further undisclosed programs in development. These programs represent potentially first- and best-in-class drug candidates for many areas of unmet medical need, including patients with cancer and other serious diseases who have few other options available. Leveraging its modular antibody technology, F-star has forged collaborations with major international biopharma companies across a wide range of therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology and neurology. invoX, established in 2021 in the United Kingdom, is Sino Biopharm’s international expansion platform, focusing on R&D and business development activities outside of China, with a core focus on oncology and respiratory therapeutics. F-star will form a key element of invoX’s strategy to accelerate Sino Biopharm’s development of innovative medicines to transform the lives of patients worldwide, complementing its existing R&D platforms and pipeline. “Today’s proposed acquisition is aligned with invoX’s strategy to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with an advancing pipeline of innovative products addressing unmet healthcare needs, worldwide. We are excited to welcome F-star employees and look forward to working with them as we invest in the company to progress and grow its clinical pipeline to realize the full potential of the platform.” Ben Toogood, Chief Executive Officer of invoX Eliot Forster, Chief Executive Officer of F-star said: “We believe our tetravalent bispecifics offer the best approach to tackle hard-to-treat cancers and other serious diseases, with the ambition to deliver longer and improved lives for patients. Today’s announcement is good news for F-star, for our shareholders and, of course, for patients. This transaction enables greater and longer-term opportunities to develop the F-star platform and accelerate delivery of our novel medicines as we work together towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases. I’d like to thank the fantastic team at F-star as well as our partners for all their hard work, support and dedication and I’m delighted to share this exciting development.” About invoX Pharma invoX Pharma was incorporated in March 2021 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharm, a global top 40 pharmaceutical company with more than 24,000 employees. United Kingdom-based invoX is Sino Biopharm’s international expansion platform, focusing on R&D and business development activities outside of China, with a core focus on oncology and respiratory therapeutics. At its core, the Company aspires to improve patients’ lives by creating access to innovative medicine. About Sino Biopharm Sino Biopharm, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading, innovative research and development driven pharmaceutical conglomerate in China, with a business scope that is vertically integrated including research and development, manufacturing and sales and marketing infrastructure. The Company’s product offerings include a variety of biologics and small molecule drugs, and in therapy areas that include hepatology, oncology, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, orthopaedics, digestive and immune and respiratory diseases. About F-star Therapeutics, Inc. F-star Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and improved lives. F-star is committed to working towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases, through the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies to create a paradigm shift in treatments. The Company has four second-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics in the clinic, each directed against some of the most promising IO targets in drug development, including LAG-3 and CD137. F-star’s proprietary antibody discovery platform is protected by an extensive intellectual property estate. F-star has over 500 granted patents and pending patent applications relating to its platform technology and product pipeline. The Company has attracted multiple partnerships with biopharma targeting significant unmet needs across several disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and CNS.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

BD TO ACQUIRE PARATA SYSTEMS TO ENTER NEW PHARMACY AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS MARKET

BD | June 07, 2022

BD a leading global medical technology company, and Frazier Healthcare Partners, a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on the health care sector, today announced a definitive agreement for BD to acquire Parata Systems, an innovative provider of pharmacy automation solutions, for $1.525 billion. Parata's portfolio of innovative pharmacy automation solutions power a growing network of pharmacies to reduce costs, enhance patient safety and improve the patient experience. Significant macro trends such as clinician shortages, wage inflation, centralization of pharmacy services and increased clinical demands on pharmacists are driving demand for intelligent workflow solutions. Through the use of automation and advanced software, pharmacists can focus more of their time on higher value clinical work and patient interactions to help improve medication adherence, medication safety and patient outcomes. The transaction will be complementary to BD's solutions in medication management with a new set of technologies across the care continuum, including acute care health systems, retail pharmacies, long-term care and home settings. Parata provides BD access to a new $600 million pharmacy automation market segment that is expected to grow approximately 10% annually to $1.5 billion in the U.S. alone over 10 years. Together with BD, the company expects Parata's solutions to outpace market growth through BD's commercial footprint, global scale and innovation capabilities. "Parata expands BD's solutions to a new area of the high-growth pharmacy automation space and is a prime example of BD executing our disciplined M&A strategy. Parata has a highly attractive financial profile and compelling value proposition that meets all of our rigorous investment criteria on growth, profitability and returns. With the addition of Parata, BD further advances our 2025 growth strategy around smart, connected care and enabling new care settings. We look forward to welcoming the talented Parata team to BD." Tom Polen, chairman, chief executive officer and president of BD Rob Kill, chief executive officer of Parata added, "BD and Parata share a common purpose with closely aligned cultures. We are very proud of the company the team has built at Parata over the past 21 years and feel BD is a great home for our company, innovative solutions and technology, and Parata's team members. The combination with BD will further advance our purpose of powering pharmacies to help people lead healthier lives." About BD BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 75,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians' care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers' capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care. About Parata Systems Parata provides pharmacy technology solutions to reduce costs, enhance patient safety and improve the patient experience by offering a comprehensive pharmacy automation portfolio with medication adherence packaging, high-speed robotic dispensing technologies and pharmacy workflow solutions. About Frazier Healthcare Partners Founded in 1991, Frazier Healthcare Partners is a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on the healthcare sector. With over $7.1 billion in total capital raised, Frazier has invested in more than 200 companies with transaction types ranging from buyouts of profitable healthcare services companies to venture capital and company creation. Frazier has a philosophy of partnering with strong management teams while leveraging its internal operating resources and network to build exceptional companies. Frazier has offices in Seattle, WA, and Menlo Park, CA, and invests broadly across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

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SS&C Partners with Xcentuate to Support Customer Digital Transformation Journeys

SS&C | June 23, 2022

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. announced a new partnership in the EMEA and APAC regions with Xcentuate, an award-winning international provider of digital productivity and performance solutions to the financial services, agricultural, pharma and public sectors. The partnership follows SS&C's recent acquisition of Blue Prism, the leading Robotic Process Automation provider, further demonstrating its commitment to the intelligent automation solutions market. Xcentuate, based in Dublin, Ireland, will serve as a consulting and implementation partner, acting as an extended team to advise, implement, support and deliver complex projects. "We are delighted to partner with Xcentuate," said Gautam Moorjani, General Manager, SS&C Intelligent Automation Solutions. "The EMEA and the Asia Pacific regions are markets with a lot of appeal - with resilient and developing economies and talented, skilled workforce. In addition, the potential for operational automation to transform how businesses work is significant." The partnership will enable SS&C to leverage Xcentuate's vast experience to access new potential customers, take new value propositions to market, develop point solutions to address current market needs, and enhance its specialized professional services to our customers. "The SS&C partnership is of significant strategic importance to us regarding our offer to the market. The breadth and depth of SS&C's expertise in financial services and healthcare technology are unmatched. In addition, this new partnership further broadens the suite of services we can offer to firms in EMEA and the Asia Pacific with an ambitious digital transformation agenda." Ray Bowe, Xcentuate founder and CEO About Xcentuate Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Xcentuate serves a range of industries including financial services, agriculture, pharma and public sector. Xcentuate works with customers in EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions to transform their business operations using a suite of best-in-class technology to deliver sustainable advantage. Combined with award-winning operational expertise and a track record of delivery, they support businesses in transforming their customer experiences and enabling them to optimise control and productivity while building an engaged, enthused workforce. About SS&C Technologies SS&C is a global provider of services and software for the financial services and healthcare industries. Founded in 1986, SS&C is headquartered in Windsor, Connecticut, and has offices around the world. Some 20,000 financial services and healthcare organizations, from the world's largest companies to small and mid-market firms, rely on SS&C for expertise, scale and technology.

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PHARMACY MARKET

IAMA Therapeutics Announces Initiation of Preclinical Development Studies in Drug-resistant Epilepsy Under a Service Agreement with Psychogenics

IAMA Therapeutics | July 26, 2022

IAMA Therapeutics, a preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel medicines to make a difference in the lives of individuals suffering from brain disorders, and PsychoGenics Inc., a leader in AI-enabled phenotypic drug discovery and preclinical CRO services, today announced that the companies have entered into a service agreement to identify the efficacy of novel drug candidates in drug-resistant epilepsy. Under the terms of the agreement, PsychoGenics will evaluate the preclinical anti-seizure efficacy of first-in-class selective-NKCC1 inhibitors, which aims to reduce intracellular chloride concentration and restore the physiological hyperpolarizing and inhibitory GABAergic transmission in an animal model of refractory epilepsy. "PsychoGenics is a leader in preclinical behavioral neurobiology with a successful track record of anti-epilepsy drug testing through translational EEG approaches, including electrographic and behavioral identification of seizure. We look forward to leveraging our collective expertise in neuroscience drug development to identify and evaluate the anti-seizure efficacy of new drug candidates, to enhance further and complement our pipeline of differentiated therapeutic opportunities for epilepsy, neurodevelopmental and cognitive disorders." Andrea P. Malizia, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer of IAMA Therapeutics “We are excited to embark of these studies with IAMA Therapeutics” said Stephen Morairty, Ph.D., Vice President of Translational Neuroscience at PsychoGenics. “Using our pre-clinical MTLE model, will carefully evaluate the efficacy of these first-in-class selective-NKCC1 inhibitors.” About IAMA Therapeutics IAMA Therapeutics is a preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel medicines to make a difference in the lives of children and adults suffering from epilepsy, neurodevelopmental and cognitive disorders. IAMA Therapeutics couples emerging advances in drug discovery and neurobiology to build a leading, next-generation neuroscience pipeline to selectively inhibit the sodium-potassium chloride cotransporter and other therapeutic targets relevant to brain disorders characterized by neuronal imbalance. The company's preclinical pipeline consists of the lead candidate IAMA-6 for the treatment of idiopathic autism, IAMA-097 for the treatment of secondary and rare forms of autism, and other compounds for treating refractory epilepsy and other brain disorders. About PsychoGenics Inc. PsychoGenics is a leader in vivo phenotypic drug discovery. The company applies its proprietary technology platforms in partnership with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to discover the next generation of drugs for neuropsychiatric disorders. PsychoGenics' capabilities include standard behavioral testing, electrophysiology, translational EEG, molecular biology, and state-of-the-art microdialysis. In addition, the company offers a variety of in-licensed transgenic mouse models that support research in areas such as Huntington's disease, Autism spectrum disorders, psychosis/schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, sleep, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy muscular dystrophy and other muscle disorders.

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Spotlight

To facilitate generic drug product availability and to assist the generic pharmaceutical industry with identifying the most appropriate methodology for developing drugs and generating the evidence needed to support ANDA approval, FDA regularly publishes product-specific guidances describing the Agency’s current thinking and expectations on how to develop therapeutic equivalents to specific reference listed drugs.

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