Goldfinch acquires global rights to Takeda’s monoclonal antibody

Pharmaceutical Technology | October 04, 2019

US-based clinical-stage biotechnology company Goldfinch Bio has entered an agreement with Japanese firm Takeda Pharmaceutical for global rights to a preclinical, peripherally restricted cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) monoclonal antibody. Under the agreement, the company will assume the development and commercialisation responsibilities for the treatment of metabolic kidney diseases worldwide. Takeda will have the option to ask Goldfinch Bio to negotiate the sub-licensing of Japanese rights to Takeda before the initiation of pivotal studies. Goldfinch, built on a platform designed to identify kidney-specific targets, combines genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and clinical data. The company plans to use the platform to identify the subsets of kidney disease patients most likely to respond to the therapy.

Spotlight

Permafrost has kept viruses and bacteria frozen for centuries, but global warming could uncover some unpleasant surprises from the past. While in Iceland, Greg Foot looks at what the consequences could be.


Other News
BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Arrowhead Initiates Project to Build New Manufacturing and Lab Facilities

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals | December 21, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has completed a transaction to purchase 13 acres of land in the Verona Technology Park in Verona, WI, which is planned to be the site of an approximately 140,000 square foot drug manufacturing facility and an approximately 115,000 square foot laboratory and office facility to support process development and analytical activities. Arrowhead intends to invest between $200 million and $250 million into the buildout of the facilities. The Company expects that the new facilities will result in the creation of approximately 250 new jobs in the local area. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2022. Arrowhead will continue to operate additional research and development facilities in Madison, WI, and San Diego, CA. “For more than a decade, Arrowhead has been a dedicated member of the biotech community in the greater Madison, Wisconsin, area. We have built strong local relationships and are pleased to continue our growth with the new Arrowhead campus that will include a new GMP manufacturing facility and associated lab and office facility. This investment reaffirms our commitment to the Wisconsin biotech ecosystem, and we would like to thank the local agencies, who have been a pleasure to work with. Arrowhead’s pipeline of what we believe are industry leading investigational RNAi medicines continues to expand rapidly. The new Arrowhead campus will allow us to support our growing pipeline and positions us well to advance the manufacturing process, including at commercial scale, of our TRiM™-enabled drug candidates. We view this as a strong competitive advantage as we approach potential commercialization of our rapidly progressing clinical candidates.” Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., Arrowhead’s president and CEO Major project team members include Eppstein Uhen Architects, DPS Group, D’Onofrio Kottke & Associates, Smocke & Associates, Cresa Madison, and Vogel Brothers Building Company. John Chapman, Vice President and Design Principal at EUA, said, “We are privileged to be collaborating again with Arrowhead on an inventive building design which will enable their employees to treat some of the most challenging diseases.” Completion of the lab and office space is anticipated in the first quarter of 2023 and completion of the manufacturing facility is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023. About Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Using a broad portfolio of RNA chemistries and efficient modes of delivery, Arrowhead therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep, and durable knockdown of target genes. RNA interference, or RNAi, is a mechanism present in living cells that inhibits the expression of a specific gene, thereby affecting the production of a specific protein. Arrowhead’s RNAi-based therapeutics leverage this natural pathway of gene silencing.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Iktos and The University of Dundee, Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) Announce a Collaboration to Use AI for Drug Design and Retrosyntheis

Iktos | December 20, 2021

Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, and The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), School of Life Sciences, The University of Dundee, focused on the discovery of therapeutics for neglected diseases and the translation of novel biology through small molecule drug discovery, announced entering a collaboration to apply Iktos’s generative modelling artificial intelligence (AI) technology in one of DDU’s drug discovery programs. Under the agreement, Iktos will apply its de novo ligand and structure-based generative modelling technologies, its AI-based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™, and know-how complementing DDU’s drug discovery capabilities to expedite the identification of potential pre-clinical candidates and to identify additional novel chemical matter with suitable properties. The DDU was established in 2006 to respond to a lack of drug targets identified for neglected tropical diseases being translated into therapeutics for diseases impacting the poorest people in the world. The DDU translates basic science into lead compounds to validate putative drug targets, to use as tools to investigate disease pathways and, when appropriate, advance to pre-clinical drug candidates for multiple diseases, e.g. TB and cancer. Iktos’s AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps to bring new insights and directions into the drug discovery process based on a comprehensive data-driven chemical structure generation technology. This technology automatically designs virtual novel molecules with all of the characteristics of a successful drug molecule. This approach, validated through Iktos’s other collaborations, is a novel solution to one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. This approach uniquely enables the exploration of chemical space and produces innovative molecule designs with greater freedom to operate. Iktos has recently diversified its R&D efforts into the development of an AI technology for retrosynthesis. Identifying and selecting synthetic pathways is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks in synthetic and medicinal chemistry. Iktos has developed AI based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™ by harnessing the power of data-driven retrosynthesis algorithm for systematic exploration and prioritisation of synthetic routes for a desired compound in minutes. “We are thrilled to be working with Iktos to drive our projects towards drug candidates. Iktos AI platform combined with our own in-house computational and medicinal chemistry design teams provide a powerful combination for innovative new drug design.” Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the DDU “We are thrilled and proud to join forces with DDU with the aim to help in the discovery of therapeutics for neglected diseases and the translation of novel biology through small molecule drug discovery,” commented Yann Gaston-Mathé, President and CEO of Iktos. “Pleased to have earned DDU’s trust, we are confident that together with DDU and their established R&D partners, we will be able to identify promising novel chemical matter and solve complex multiparametric optimisation problems. The feedback from DDU’s research team will be highly valuable as we improve our product offerings. Our strategy has always been to tackle challenging problems alongside our collaborators where we can demonstrate value generation for new and on-going drug discovery projects.” About DDU The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) (est. 2006) within the School of Life Sciences at The University of Dundee is a fully integrated, Biotech-style, drug discovery centre working across multiple disease areas. The DDU collaborates with partners to translate world-class biology research into novel drug targets and candidate drugs to address unmet medical need. About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a French start-up company specialized in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, to design molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project. The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya™. Iktos is also developing Spaya™, a synthesis planning software based upon Iktos’s proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Bruker Acquires Optimal Companies for Pharma PAT Software and Biopharma Manufacturing Automation Expertise and Technologies

Bruker Corporation | April 06, 2022

Bruker Corporation announced the acquisition of Optimal Industrial Automation and Technologies, a leader in pharma and biopharma process analytical technology pharma manufacturing automation and Quality Assurance (QA) software and systems integration, based in the United Kingdom. The Optimal biopharma tools acquisition strengthens Bruker as a key software and solutions provider for small molecule, biologics and new drug modalities pharma companies. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Optimal’s 2022 revenue is expected to be approximately $10 million, and Optimal’s revenue growth rate and operating margins are projected to be accretive to Bruker in 2023 and beyond. The Optimal biopharma tools and automation capabilities complement Bruker’s innovative and differentiated high-value NMR, mass spectrometry, SPR, molecular spectroscopy and X-ray scientific instruments, and life-science solutions for biopharma drug discovery and development, as well as for PAT analytical and QA solutions. Together these biopharma tools enable Bruker’s global biopharma customers to bring efficacious and safe medicines to market more quickly. Optimal has a focus on the automation and optimization of batch and continuous processes in the biopharma industry – from R&D to manufacturing. As an integrated PAT solutions provider, Optimal offers development, testing, deployment and support of quality-centric pharmaceutical production systems. Optimal has more than 30 years of experience in successfully delivering regulatory-compliant biopharma solutions, ranging from the development of automated control systems for process control to the market-leading, vendor-agnostic PAT knowledge management software synTQ®. The synTQ PAT software can interface between multiple analytical instruments (spectral and univariate), multi-variate analysis (MVA) packages, manufacturing control systems and a range of adjacent software solutions to ensure quality in real-time. As a 2021 Pharma Innovation Award winner, synTQ is a proven enabler of quality-by-design (QbD) via PAT. For users of synTQ, this can significantly increase productivity and quality, while reducing waste, time-to-manufacture and time-to-market, with proven Optimal use cases tripling biopharma productivity. While remaining a vendor-agnostic biopharma solutions provider, Optimal can integrate bioanalytical technologies such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry (MS) and FTIR/NIR/Raman systems into innovative drug discovery, development, PAT and quality control workflows. Combining next-generation, high-performance technologies with Optimal solutions eases the transition from development to biopharma manufacturing, while remaining in regulatory compliance. “The acquisition of Optimal is a very exciting step for Bruker as it supports more comprehensive solutions for the biopharmaceutical industry, now adding the capabilities to integrate cutting-edge systems into biopharma manufacturing processes and workflows. We welcome the Optimal team with their strong PAT and automation expertise and, together, are eager to support biotech and pharmaceutical companies in increasing their manufacturing efficiency and flexibility – a global need highlighted by the response to the pandemic crisis.” Dr. Falko Busse, President of the Bruker BioSpin Group Mr. Martin Gadsby, the CEO and Co-Founder of Optimal Industrial Automation and Technologies, added: “We are delighted to become part of the Bruker family. Optimal and Bruker together are a perfect fit – we share the common ethos of innovation with integrity, together with our industry recognition as a high-quality solutions provider delivering tangible benefits to our customers. The whole Optimal team is excited by this new chapter in our history and looks forward to delivering benefits to even more biopharma customers and ultimately to patients around the world.” About Optimal Industrial Technologies and Automation A well-established system integrator with more than 30 years of experience, at Optimal we specialize in automating a client’s R&D or manufacturing system to ensure that their processes remain at the highest level of efficiency. The demands being placed on manufacturers in relation to production costs, product quality and business sustainability are ever increasing, and our primary aim within Optimal is to assist you in being the most competitive supplier of your product to the highest level of quality in the worldwide marketplace, and to ensure that you continue to maintain your lead in the years ahead. We have a rare and wide-ranging skill set covering a multitude of automation technologies, manufacturing processes and industry types, with very specific knowledge in highly regulated environments. In addition, we manufacture the world leading PAT Data Management software package - synTQ® and the widely used integrated Print and Inspect system - synTI®. The combination of our PAT implementation knowledge and synTQ® product together with our automation experience positions us with unique skills that can be leveraged to great advantage by our customers. About Bruker Corporation Bruker is enabling scientists to make breakthrough discoveries and develop new applications that improve the quality of human life. Bruker’s high-performance scientific instruments and high-value analytical and diagnostic solutions enable scientists to explore life and materials at molecular, cellular and microscopic levels. In close cooperation with our customers, Bruker is enabling innovation, improved productivity and customer success in life science molecular research, in applied and pharma applications, in microscopy and nanoanalysis, and in industrial applications, as well as in cell biology, preclinical imaging, clinical phenomics and proteomics research and clinical microbiology.

Read More

PHARMA TECH

CSL Limited announces tender offer to acquire Vifor Pharma Ltd

Vifor Pharma Group | December 15, 2021

Global biotechnology leader CSL Limited and Vifor Pharma Ltd, a global specialty pharmaceutical company with leadership in iron deficiency, nephrology & cardio-renal therapies, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for CSL to acquire Vifor Pharma for an aggregate equity value for Vifor Pharma of US$ 11.7 / CHF 10.9 billion. CSL has offered to acquire Vifor Pharma in an all-cash tender offer of US$179.25 per share, payable in U.S. dollars.1 The offer assumes a dividend of CHF 2 expected to be declared at the AGM of 26 April, consistent with past practice. The tender offer represents an implied premium of approximately 61% to the unaffected closing price of Vifor Pharma on 1 December 2021 and a 47% premium to Vifor Pharma’s unaffected 1-month VWAP as of 1 December 2021.2 Patinex AG, Vifor Pharma’s largest shareholder holding 23.2% has agreed to tender its shares into the offer. The Transaction remains subject to the conditions and further terms including: Minimum acceptance rate of 80% of all Vifor Pharma shares on a fully diluted basis; and further customary offer conditions, including regulatory approvals. The tender is currently expected to commence around 18 January 2022 and the transaction is expected to complete around mid-2022. The Board of Directors of Vifor Pharma considers that the proposed transaction respects the interests of all stakeholders and is unanimously recommending the offer to shareholders. There is committed financing for the deal and a strong commitment to pursue regulatory clearances. “Vifor Pharma's strategy has been to focus towards continuing being a market leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The offer provides an excellent strategic opportunity for Vifor Pharma to optimize future market opportunities from a position of strength and to create substantial value for all stakeholders.” Jacques Theurillat, Chairman of the Board of Directors Vifor Pharma Group The transaction will enable Vifor Pharma to leverage CSL’s global reach, balance sheet and capabilities to bring more products to patients within its key categories. The transaction also enables Vifor Pharma to accelerate growth in cardiovascular-metabolic, renal and transplant. Centerview Partners UK LLP is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Vifor Pharma on the transaction. IFBC have been retained as Fairness Opinion providers by the Vifor Pharma Board of Directors. About Vifor Pharma Group Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company. It aims to become the global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is a partner of choice for pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Vifor Pharma Group is headquartered in Switzerland, and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange About CSL CSL is a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving medicines, including those that treat hemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. Since our start in 1916, we have been driven by our promise to save lives using the latest technologies. Today, CSL — including our two businesses, CSL Behring and Seqirus- provides life-saving products to more than 100 countries and employs more than 25,000 people. Our unique combination of commercial strength, R&D focus and operational excellence enables us to identify, develop and deliver innovations so our patients can live life to the fullest.

Read More

Spotlight

Permafrost has kept viruses and bacteria frozen for centuries, but global warming could uncover some unpleasant surprises from the past. While in Iceland, Greg Foot looks at what the consequences could be.

Resources