Roche and Illumina forge genomics alliance for cancer testing

pharma news | January 14, 2020

Roche missed out on acquiring next-generation sequencing (NGS) specialist Illumina via a hostile takeover a few years back, but has compensated for that with a 15-year alliance focusing on cancer genomics. The new deal comes after Illumina called off a $1.2 billion merger agreement with another NGS player – Pacific Biosciences or PacBio – after concluding it would be unlikely to make it past antitrust regulators in the US and UK. Illumina is thought to have around 80% of the DNA sequencing market globally. The non-exclusive deal aims to expand access to NGS as well as the clinical use of the technology, and comes as treatment of oncology patients is becoming ever-more individualised based on the genetic profiles of their cancer. “As the understanding of the genomic drivers of cancer evolves, NGS has the potential to transform cancer risk prediction, detection, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring,” say the partners in a joint statement on the deal.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seeing another spring and becoming a ubiquitous part of society. Researchers and engineers have made important steps towards solving practical problems in machine learning, particularly in such applications as vision, speech, machine translation, and decision making.


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RESEARCH

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals and Selexis SA Will Advance Hemogenyx’s Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) CDX Bispecific Antibody to Human Trials

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc | January 13, 2022

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc the biopharmaceutical group developing new therapies and treatments for blood diseases, and Selexis SA, a JSR Life Sciences company, have signed a service agreement to develop the cell line for Hemogenyx’s CDX bispecific antibody for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Under the agreement, Hemogenyx will leverage Selexis’ proprietary SUREtechnology Platform™, a suite of cell line development tools and technologies that significantly reduces the time, effort, and costs associated with developing high-performance mammalian cell lines. The CDX bispecific is made using the Hemogenyx’s proprietary humanised monoclonal antibody against a target on the surface of AML cells. CDX was co-developed by Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company (“Lilly”). This cutting-edge application of immune therapy offers a potentially more benign and effective form of treatment that, if successful, could have a significant impact on treatment and survival rates for AML. CDX is planned to be the Company’s second therapeutic candidate to enter clinical trials. Following the completion of the co-development phase, Lilly granted the Company an exclusive worldwide license to certain intellectual property developed by Lilly related to the CDX bispecific antibody for all uses, including the treatment of AML and other blood cancers. “We are delighted to partner with Selexis, and access its proprietary protein expression tools and technologies, IP and know-how. The partnership is key to advancing our CDX programme into clinical trials and accelerating the timeline to deliver this innovative therapy to patients in need of a more benign and effective treatment for AML.” Dr. Vladislav Sandler, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals Mr. Dirk Lange, CEO of Selexis, added, “There’s an urgent need for effective treatments for AML, and we at Selexis are pleased to apply our technologies to help Hemogenyx advance the CDX bispecific antibody to the clinic. We’ve built a reputation for delivering cell lines rapidly and cost-effectively, without compromising safety. This is an exciting milestone for Hemogenyx and we welcome the opportunity to join the company on its journey toward delivering a promising and effective therapy for patients with AML.” Selexis’ modular SUREtechnology Platform™ facilitates the rapid, stable, and cost-effective production of recombinant proteins and vaccines, providing seamless integration of the development continuum from discovery to commercialization. About Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals is a publicly traded company headquartered in London, with its US operating subsidiaries, Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals LLC and Immugenyx LLC, located in New York City at its state-of-the-art research facility. The Company is a pre-clinical stage biopharmaceutical group developing new medicines and treatments to treat blood and autoimmune disease and to bring the curative power of bone marrow transplantation to a greater number of patients suffering from otherwise incurable life-threatening diseases. Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals is developing several distinct and complementary product candidates, as well as a platform technology that it uses as an engine for novel product development. For more than 50 years, bone marrow transplantation has been used to save the lives of patients suffering from blood diseases. The risks of toxicity and death that are associated with bone marrow transplantation, however, have meant that the procedure is restricted to use only as a last resort. The Company’s technology has the potential to enable many more patients suffering from devastating blood diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as severe autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, aplastic anemia and systemic lupus erythematosus (Lupus), to benefit from bone marrow transplantation. About Selexis SA Selexis SA, a JSR Life Sciences company, is the global leader in cell line development with best-in-class modular technology and highly specialized solutions that enable the life sciences industry to rapidly discover, develop and commercialize innovative medicines and vaccines. Our global partners are utilizing Selexis technologies to advance more than 146 drug candidates in preclinical and clinical development and the manufacture of eight commercial products. As part of a comprehensive drug development process, the Company’s technologies shorten development timelines and reduce manufacturing risks.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Nobel Biocare Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for the Nobel Biocare N1™ Implant System

Envista Holdings Corporation | December 28, 2021

Envista Holdings Corporation announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Nobel Biocare N1™ implant system. Boasting a biologically driven design of components and forward-thinking treatment protocols, the N1™ implant system represents a significant step forward in patient-centric implant solutions. More than an implant, N1 is a comprehensive system of dedicated instruments, prosthetic components, and surgical protocols. New features of the system include an implant designed for immediate placement and predictable insertion torques, a trioval conical connection for the abutment to slide into place, and an emergence profile designed for soft tissue maintenance. Innovative site preparation for greater patient comfort The Nobel Biocare N1™ system includes the novel feature of the OsseoShaper™, an instrument that redefines site preparation and is set to reshape implantology with optimized workflows, greater patient comfort and faster treatment times. By gently 'shaping' the osteotomy at low speed and without irrigation, the OsseoShaper™ reduces noise and vibration compared to conventional drilling protocols. This leads to improved patient comfort and has been shown in pre-clinical studies to preserve vital bone. Embracing surface chemistry and digital workflows Fully embracing the new Mucointegration™ concept, the Nobel Biocare N1™ features the Xeal™ and TiUltra™ surface treatments. With their specially tailored surface chemistry and topography, TiUltra implants and Xeal abutments can benefit from this design to optimize tissue integration at every level. Nobel Biocare N1™ will be further integrated into the digital workflow with the DTX Studio™ suite, giving dental professionals more opportunities to provide patients with shorter time to teeth. "For over 50 years, Nobel Biocare has been a pioneering force behind implantology. The demand for high quality patient-centric solutions is higher than ever, and the Nobel Biocare N1™ system enables clinicians to set a new standard in personalizing, digitizing, and democratizing the implant treatment experience they can offer patients." Amir Aghdaei, Chief Executive Officer, Envista Patrik Eriksson, President Nobel Biocare, explained, "Drilling protocols have hardly changed over the past 50 years. However, the OsseoShaper™ provides a completely new approach designed for patient comfort, streamlined workflow, and improved predictability; while at the same time, respects biology to achieve fast osseointegration. We are excited to partner with clinicians to bring the N1 system to US-based patients." About Nobel Biocare Nobel Biocare is a world leader in the field of innovative implant-based dental restorations. The company's portfolio offers solutions from single tooth to fully edentulous indications with dental implant systems (including key brands NobelActive® and NobelParallel™ and ceramic implant NobelPearl™*) a comprehensive range of high-precision individualized prosthetics and CAD/CAM systems (NobelProcera®), digital solutions for treatment planning and guided surgery (NobelClinician® and DTX Studio™ suite) as well as biomaterials. Nobel Biocare supports its customers through all phases of professional development, offering world-class training and education along with practice support and patient information materials. The company is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Production takes place at five sites located in the United States, Sweden, and Germany. Products and services are available in over 80 countries through subsidiaries and distributors. *Distributed by Nobel Biocare. Manufactured by Dentalpoint AG About Envista Envista is a global family of more than 30 trusted dental brands, including KaVo, Kerr, Nobel Biocare, and Ormco, united by a shared purpose: to partner with professionals to improve lives. Envista helps its customers deliver the best possible patient care through industry-leading dental consumables, solutions, technology, and services. Our comprehensive portfolio, including dental implants and treatment options, orthodontics, and digital imaging technologies, covers an estimated 90% of dentists' clinical needs for diagnosing, treating, and preventing dental conditions as well as improving the aesthetics of the human smile. With a foundation comprised of the proven Envista Business System (EBS) methodology, an experienced leadership team, and a strong culture grounded in continuous improvement, commitment to innovation, and deep customer focus, Envista is well equipped to meet the end-to-end needs of dental professionals worldwide. Envista is one of the largest global dental products companies, with significant market positions in some of the most attractive segments of the dental products industry.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Sunovion and Otsuka Initiate Phase 3 Clinical Development of Non-Racemic Amisulpride for the Treatment of People with Bipolar Depression

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. | February 10, 2022

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development And Commercialization, Inc. announced that the first patient has been randomized in SEP380-301, a Phase 3 clinical study evaluating non-racemic amisulpride for the treatment of major depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (bipolar depression). Non-racemic amisulpride is being jointly developed and commercialized as part of a collaboration between Sunovion, its parent company Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. SEP380-301, named RELEASE 1 is a six-week, global, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study examining the efficacy, safety and tolerability of non-racemic amisulpride in adults with bipolar depression. Patients will be randomized to receive fixed-dose, non-racemic amisulpride or placebo. The primary endpoint for RELEASE 1 is the reduction of depressive symptoms, as measured by the change from baseline in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score, compared to placebo, after six weeks of treatment. Following participation in the six-week study period, patients who complete RELEASE 1 may enroll in RELEASE 3, a 12-month, open-label extension study assessing the long-term safety, tolerability and effectiveness of non-racemic amisulpride. “Major depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder have a profound impact on those living with the condition. Depressive episodes are associated with mood impairment, fatigue, loss of interest in activities or social situations and, in some cases, suicidality. We are encouraged by our Phase 2 clinical results and look forward to enhancing our understanding of non-racemic amisulpride and its potential to help address unmet needs in the treatment of bipolar depression.” Armin Szegedi, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Sunovion “Randomizing the first patient in the RELEASE Phase 3 clinical development program is a significant step in our collaboration with Sunovion and our shared goal of expanding neuropsychiatric treatment options to patients living with serious mental conditions,” said John Kraus, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Clinical Development Therapeutic Head, CNS, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. “Through our collaboration with Sunovion, we hope to advance SEP-4199, which we believe shows promise for the treatment of people with bipolar depression.” About Non-Racemic Amisulpride (SEP-4199) Non-racemic amisulpride is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of major depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (bipolar depression). Non-racemic amisulpride was designed to enhance 5-HT7 receptor antagonist activity and reduce dopamine D2 receptor antagonist activity compared to racemic amisulpride. Lower D2 receptor occupancy associated with non-racemic amisulpride is intended to maintain overall effectiveness for patients with mood disorders, including bipolar depression, while reducing the burden of D2-related side effects, including movement-related symptoms, such as extrapyramidal symptoms and akathisia.1 About Bipolar Disorder Bipolar disorder affects approximately 12.6 million individuals in the United States and an estimated 29 million people worldwide.2,3 A person is usually diagnosed with bipolar disorder after experiencing at least one manic/hypomanic episode, with symptoms that are not better explained by another mental health condition, such as schizophrenia.4 Bipolar disorder is characterized by debilitating mood swings, interspersed with periods of stable mood and behavior.5 When individuals with bipolar disorder are experiencing symptoms, most tend to be depressed rather than manic.4 Bipolar disorder is associated with significant impairment in personal and professional relationships, quality of life and ability to function. About Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) Sunovion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the innovative application of science and medicine to help people with serious medical conditions. Sunovion’s vision is to lead the way to a healthier world. The company’s spirit of innovation is driven by the conviction that scientific excellence paired with meaningful advocacy and relevant education can improve lives. With patients at the center of everything it does, Sunovion has charted new paths to life-transforming treatments that reflect ongoing investments in research and development and an unwavering commitment to support people with psychiatric, neurological and respiratory conditions. Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., Sunovion is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario, is a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. About Otsuka Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide.” Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures, and markets innovative products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products to meet unmet medical needs and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health. In pharmaceuticals, Otsuka is a leader in the challenging areas of mental, renal, and cardiovascular health and has additional research programs in oncology and on several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate how Otsuka is a “big venture” company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does. Otsuka established a presence in the U.S. in 1973 and today its U.S. affiliates include Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI). These two companies’ 1,700 employees in the U.S. develop and commercialize medicines in the areas of mental health, nephrology, and cardiology, using cutting-edge technology to address unmet healthcare needs. OPDC and OAPI are indirect subsidiaries of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd. headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Otsuka group of companies employed 47,000 people worldwide and had consolidated sales of approximately USD 13.3 billion in 2020. About Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is among the top-10 listed pharmaceutical companies in Japan, operating globally in major pharmaceutical markets, including Japan, the U.S., China, and other Asian countries. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma aims to create innovative pharmaceutical products in the Psychiatry & Neurology area, the Oncology area and Regenerative medicine/Cell therapy field, which have been designated as the focus therapeutic areas. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is based on the merger in 2005 between Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Today, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has more than 7,000 employees worldwide. Additional information about Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is available through its corporate

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Sygnature Discovery to Deploy Iktos’s AI for Drug Design Software Makya™

Iktos | May 11, 2022

Iktos, a leading integrated drug discovery CRO headquartered in Nottingham, UK, with expertise across a range of therapeutic and biological target classes today announced a collaboration agreement in AI for new drug design. Under the 3-year agreement, Sygnature will deploy Iktos’ de novo generative design software Makya™, which will be used by Sygnature scientists to facilitate rapid and efficient design of novel compounds and accelerate hit-to-lead/lead optimisation, reinforcing Sygnature Discovery’s drug design expertise delivering its integrated drug discovery solutions to its world-wide customer base. In the recent years, Iktos has emerged as one of the world leaders in AI for drug design, establishing multiple collaborations with renowned pharmaceutical companies and successfully developing the AI software platforms Makya™ for new drug design and Spaya™ for synthesis planning. Makya™, a generative AI-driven de novo design software for Multi-Parametric Optimization (MPO), is available either as a SaaS platform or for implementation on customer premises or in the customer’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Makya’s user-friendly interface enables it to be used by medicinal or computational chemists, and Makya can also be operated as a Python package through a Jupyter notebook interface. Makya is based on Iktos’ generative AI technology, which helps bring speed and efficiency to the drug discovery process by automatically designing virtual novel molecules that have desired activities for treating a given disease. It is a novel solution, validated through many collaborations, to one of the key challenges in drug design: the rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. Sygnature Discovery serves its growing customer base with fully integrated drug discovery services from target validation through to preclinical candidate selection. The company has a relentless focus on quality and continually looks to improve on its ability to deliver novel therapeutics to the clinic. Colin Sambrook-Smith, Director of Computational Sciences at Sygnature Discovery commented: “Late stage lead optimisation projects routinely generate substantial data sets which are ideally placed for exploitation by AI and Machine Learning technologies. Our experience with the Iktos Makya AI/ML technology demonstrates that it generates high quality compound ideas, the QSAR models can be rapidly updated, and the interface allows us to distribute the software broadly and quickly. We believe that Makya will allow us to blend our proven medicinal and computational chemistry expertise with the benefit of AI/ML technologies to impact compound design. This is why we have selected Makya to enhance how we help our customers with their lead optimisation projects, with a view to reducing the number of compounds required to identify pre-clinical candidates and so keep overall costs and timelines down.” "We are very pleased to collaborate with Sygnature Discovery, they truly are a leading integrated drug discovery CRO and with a great track record. We are excited and proud to announce our first multi-year collaboration deal in the dynamic CRO sector and to have Sygnature’s scientists use our software to speed up their customers’ discovery programs. We are more than ever committed to make our technology available to biopharma companies around the world and maximize the impact of AI on the productivity of drug discovery." Yann Gaston-Mathé, Co-founder and CEO of Iktos About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a start-up company specializing 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, the design of 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.

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Spotlight

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seeing another spring and becoming a ubiquitous part of society. Researchers and engineers have made important steps towards solving practical problems in machine learning, particularly in such applications as vision, speech, machine translation, and decision making.

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