Integral Molecular | June 09, 2022
Integral Molecular and Optimeos Life Sciences announce a partnership to develop next-generation mRNA and DNA therapeutics that will use antibody-based molecular targeting to direct vaccines and gene therapies to relevant tissues in a patient's body. This partnership combines Integral Molecular's experience in antibody discovery and mRNA immunization with Optimeos' technology for nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems.
DNA and mRNA therapeutics harness a patient's own molecular machinery to encode proteins. Integral Molecular and Optimeos plan to encapsulate these therapeutic molecules within nanoparticle spheres that are decorated with antibodies on the outer surface. The antibodies can then target the particles to specific tissues. Currently, gene therapies and mRNA vaccines are delivered into the body via infusion or injection, but only a fraction of the molecules arrive at their intended site. The proposed molecular targeting strategy has the potential to transform the delivery of vaccines and therapeutics by dramatically reducing dosages, decreasing toxicity, and enabling scalable administration.
Integral Molecular will apply its industry-leading antibody discovery expertise against complex cell-surface proteins to provide targeting moieties for the therapies. Its specialized MPS Antibody Discovery platform is tailored to work with challenging membrane protein targets and routinely uses mRNA-based immunization strategies. "Precision targeting of an isolated cell type with gene therapy holds great promise for genetic diseases and may provide brand-new directions in cancer immunotherapy including in vivo CAR-T cell therapeutics," said Joseph Rucker, Co-founder and VP of R&D at Integral Molecular.
Optimeos' technology allows the robust and scalable incorporation of mRNA and DNA therapeutics and other biologics into customizable nanoparticles. "We are excited to work with Integral Molecular towards the next generation of gene-therapy that no longer relies on viral-based delivery systems," said Robert Prud'homme, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Optimeos.
Integral Molecular and Optimeos will be attending the BIO International Convention in San Diego later this month.
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is the industry leader in developing and applying innovative technologies that advance the discovery of therapeutics against difficult protein targets. With 20 years of experience focused on membrane proteins and antibodies, Integral Molecular's technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue viruses.
About Optimeos Life Sciences
Optimeos Life Sciences has developed a novel, highly differentiated, non-viral, nanoparticle technology, for delivery of new therapeutic drugs to address important unmet medical needs. The technology is a patented and scalable polymeric drug delivery system, which was developed and refined in Professor Prud'homme's lab at Princeton University over 20 years. Optimeos' technology enables encapsulation of mRNA, DNA, peptides, proteins or small molecules, as well as their targeted delivery to cells and tissues beyond the liver.
SCA Pharma | July 15, 2022
SCA Pharma, a nationally recognized leader in the 503B compounding pharmaceuticals outsourcing industry providing quality, service, and value to hospitals nationwide, has announced today the addition of Louis Pace as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer. Pace brings over 30 years of experience serving several successful private equity backed businesses in functional and P&L leadership roles.
Most recently, Mr. Pace served as Chief Financial Officer at Orchid Orthopedic Solutions where he successfully led strategy deployment efforts that focused on growth and profitability improvement.
"I am extremely excited to welcome Louis to the team and to partner with him as we continue to accelerate growth at SCA Pharma. SCA Pharma is committed to providing innovative solutions for our 503B customers that help health systems manage their drug supply chain and pharmacy operations more efficiently. That evolution requires a more strategic and diversified approach, which suits Louis' background. Louis will manage our finance and accounting teams as well as our information technology strategy. He will concentrate on prioritizing internal and external business opportunities."
Scott Luce, CEO of SCA Pharma
"I am looking forward to working with the exceptional team at SCA Pharma. I am excited to build on SCA Pharma's current success and be a part of the company's future growth," said Louis Pace.
Mr. Pace holds an AB in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
About SCA Pharma
SCA Pharma is a nationally recognized leader in the FDA 503B outsourcing industry, specializing in providing the highest quality sterile admixture services and pre-filled syringes to hospital and health-care facility pharmacies. The company serves all therapeutic areas of pharmacy — including critical care, labor and delivery, anesthesia, and pain management — and maintains a wide portfolio of products, including ready-to-use and drug-shortage medications.
Therorna Inc. | June 21, 2022
Therorna Inc., a China-based biotech company specialized in the development of cutting-edge circular RNA technology-based new vaccines and therapies, announced the completion of a US$42 million Series A financing round. The round was co-led by a well-known industrial investment firm and MSA Capital, with participation from Sherpa Healthcare Partners, 3H Health Investment, and existing investors Quan Capital and Cenova Capital, demonstrating their continuous commitment to supporting Therorna's growth. With the new funding, Therorna plans to accelerate the build-out of its technology platform and the development of its product pipeline, as well as the clinical trials, regulatory applications, and international collaborations.
Therorna was founded in Beijing in April 2021. The company focuses on leveraging its proprietary circRNA technology platform to develop next-generation vaccines and innovative therapies. The company has established a strong pipeline of novel prophylactic and therapeutic drugs aiming to address high unmet medical needs. When combined with the previously completed angel and pre-A rounds, the company has to date raised over US$60 million.
"We really appreciate the support of our investors. As the world continues to suffer from the COVID-19, scientists are obliged to shoulder the responsibility to provide scientific solutions to end this pandemic. We are devoted to accelerating the clinical application of our circRNA-based vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants."
The scientific founder of Therorna, Professor Wensheng Wei
Therorna Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Daniel Tang commented, "I am very grateful for the support of our new and existing investors in this financing round. The successful completion of this round will play a key role in helping Therorna accelerate the development of a new broad-spectrum COVID-19 vaccine and the discovery of additional novel therapies for a variety of diseases. Our team will continue to spare no effort to advance the circRNA platform technology to develop the next-generation of breakthrough therapies and quickly deliver meaningful social benefits."
MSA Capital founder and managing partner Yu Zeng added, "We are confident in the potential of circRNA technology for drug development in the area of protein expression and regulation. Compared with linear RNA, circRNA boasts breakthroughs in expression, stability, immunogenicity, and production. In terms of the technology, Chinese scientists have proven their internationally recognized capabilities at innovation and efficient transformation. MSA Capital is impressed by Therorna's strong team of scientists and entrepreneurs. As a serial entrepreneur, Professor Wei has deep expertise in gene editing and circRNA technology application, and Therorna's management team has rich experience in drug R&D and industrial management. MSA Capital will make use of its resources to support the expansion of Therorna in international markets."
Sherpa Healthcare Partners investment VP Dr. Changzu Cai said, "mRNA drugs have achieved notable success in the application of COVID-19 vaccines, but challenges in terms of side effects remain to be addressed. Linear RNA is easily degraded and its application beyond vaccines is still under exploration. Thanks to its unique structure, the circRNA as a tool for protein expression has been proven to maintain a relatively stable protein expression level in vivo for a longer time, which is expected to further expand the application scenarios of RNA therapy. The team led by Professor Wei is leveraging their experience in applying circRNA as a gene editing tool to support the development of the circRNA expression tool. The proprietary circularization method developed by Therorna has demonstrated its advantages in terms of dosage, and activation of cellular immunity by being first applied in COVID-19 vaccines. We are pleased to continue supporting the efforts of Wei Lab in converting innovations into benefits for patients and communities, while looking forward to transforming Therorna into a platform-based circRNA technology-focused company with an international presence."
3H Health partner Dr. Minchuan Wang said, "circRNA has better stability and long-lasting expression with a potential for creating a new RNA therapy platform. The combination of Professor Wei's team with strong technical expertise in circRNA and the management team established at an earlier stage of the company with members having rich experience in promoting the adoption of new technologies will help accelerate the clinical transformation of circRNA. We are honored to support Therorna in this financing round, and we will work with the company's team, and their new and existing investors, to help the company assume a leadership role in the realm of circRNA, providing patients with pioneering therapies and addressing unmet clinical needs."
Exclusive financial advisor for this transaction and CEC Capital Managing Director, Echo Zhang commented, "circRNA has attracted widespread attention as an emerging technology for RNA drugs. Therorna is expected to take the lead in advancing the technology into clinical applications. We are honored to help Therorna complete this round of financing, and we believe that Therorna will lead the development of the global circRNA sector."
About MSA Capital
Founded in 2014, MSA Capital is an independent global private equity and venture capital firm with over $2.0 billion under management. The firm manages capital from the world's top sovereign wealth funds, international asset managers, pension funds, university endowments, fund of funds and family offices, as well as China's leading new economy entrepreneurs.
MSA actively partners with outstanding entrepreneurs in China and other technology markets to build leading, innovative companies that aim to deliver strong financial returns and meaningful, positive impact. The firm is headquartered in Beijing, with resident teams in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Middle East, North Africa and the United States.
About Sherpa Healthcare Partners
Sherpa Healthcare Partners ("Sherpa") was founded in 2018, the founders previously worked together in one of China's leading venture capital firms, built and led its professional medical investment team since 2011, set up the dedicated healthcare investment fund and responsible for healthcare investment. The founders have been teamed together in close co-operation, built on shared values, mutual trust, and complementary capabilities. Sherpa has now become an influential healthcare VC firm in the industry. Sherpa has invested in leading companies in many key areas, such as Pharma, GeneTech, MedTech and Medical services. From 2011 to 2020, the team has gone through 4 vintage year cycles of multiple U.S dollar funds and RMB funds and made 100 investments. Sherpa has the honor to work with many outstanding entrepreneurs and grow together with them.
About 3H Health Investment
3H Health Investment is a Hong Kong and Shanghai based healthcare venture capital firm. It focuses on unmet medical needs and invests in emerging fields of science and medicine to deliver breakthroughs to patients. Leveraging its extensive resources with clinical institutions, industry partners and policy institutes, 3H builds leading innovative healthcare companies together with its partners.
About Quan Capital
Quan capital is a life sciences venture capital firm with strong China expertise and global capabilities. We discover, incubate, and grow next-generation life science companies in early and growth stage, worldwide. Our portfolio companies pioneer differentiated therapies and enabling technologies to address major human diseases with high unmet medical needs.
Quan has offices in Shanghai, Menlo Park and Boston. Our investment professionals combine their strong expertise in both science and business with their diverse experiences in global drug development and healthcare investments, and they leverage their broad network worldwide to help maximize the company's value across geographies and development stages. Visit www.quancapital.com to learn more about us.
About Cenova Capital
Cenova Capital is one of the earliest healthcare funds dedicated to early and growth-stage investments in the life sciences and healthcare sectors in China. Since inception in 2010, Cenova Capital now has six funds under management with investments in over 80 companies in pharmaceuticals, medical devices，healthcare services and digital heath. Cenova Capital's investors are mainly large domestic and international institutional investors including Asian sovereign wealth investors, government institutions, insurance companies, financial institutions and multinational companies.
About CEC Capital
CEC Capital is a leading Chinese FA with a focus on the global TMT, consumption and health sectors. In addition to investment banking, CEC Capital is managing a RMB fund and a dollar fund with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and it also has a license to the US securities market. The healthcare industry is an advantageous industry that CEC Capital is concerned about. Meanwhile, CEC Capital has the largest and most professional health investment banking team in China with the most complete industry chain.
Simulations Plus, Inc. | July 04, 2022
Simulations Plus, Inc. a leading provider of modeling and simulation software and services for pharmaceutical safety and efficacy, today announced record-setting attendance and virtual content delivery for the 2022 Pharmacometrics Spring School using MonolixSuite™. New for 2022 was the introduction of the “NCA, bioequivalence, and beyond! Spring School” course using PKanalix™. Both workshops were held in March 2022.
This year’s Spring Schools focused on population modeling for model-informed drug development and simulations of clinical trials using the MonolixSuite, and the analysis of PK data using non-compartmental analysis and bioequivalence calculations using the PKanalix platform. These courses, which were free to the pharmacometrics community, comprised both theoretical discussions and hands-on sessions.
In total, there were 936 attendees from over 50 countries. The attendees were industry professionals from regulatory agencies, pharma companies, biotech, and CROs, as well as students and doctoral/postdoctoral researchers, with different backgrounds, who used the skills taught in these courses to make their modeling and simulation work more powerful and efficient.
“The positive feedback and momentum from our first Spring School in 2021 carried forward to this year’s program, further substantiating the need to provide the pharmacometrics community with quality material and training. As a leader in providing modeling and simulation (M&S) software tools and services to support the industry and our clients in their efforts to leverage M&S for more efficient drug development, we were very pleased by the strong interest and support from the user community, and we look forward to offering our pharmacometrics workshops again in 2023.”
Dr. Jonathan Chauvin, President of the Lixoft division at Simulations Plus
About Simulations Plus
Serving clients worldwide for 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.
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