The Superbug is rising: where are the new antibiotics?

Gulfnews | April 19, 2019

According to Alan Westwood, chief executive of Matoke, a company hoping to develop a new form of antibiotic, the issue of antibiotic resistance is one of the most troubling issues of our times. It is one of the biggest threats to human health. In 30 years, it’s estimated 10 million people will die annually from infections impervious to what have been the most powerful weapons in our pharmaceutical arsenal. This is more than the combined number of people dying today from cancer and diabetes. Superbugs bacteria which are resistant to all known antibiotics are evolving fast as uncontrolled sale and misuse of antibiotics are creating resistance rates as high as 20 per cent for some infections. It is an emerging crisis on a global scale. So, you would think that pharmaceutical companies the world over must be racing to find new antibiotics and pouring billions into research.

Spotlight

The number of therapeutic antibodies entering the market continues to grow annually, with 2017 seeing ten approvals in either the European Union or the United States supported by a robust late-stage clinical pipeline that will likely yield even more approved drugs in 2018 and 2019. Making a drug is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor requiring an incredible level of detail and rigor to ensure that drugs are safe, efficacious, manufacturable and convenient to administer to the patient. While antibody generation is highly commoditized, with modern in vivo and in vitro libraries typically producing vast numbers of clones, the analytical tools used to characterize them at the molecular level to understand their mechanism of action often fall orders of magnitude behind in throughput.


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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Element Materials Technology Announces Completion of its Acquisition by Temasek

Element and Temasek | July 08, 2022

Element Materials Technology a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification services, has completed its acquisition by Temasek, a global investor headquartered in Singapore. Temasek has been a minority shareholder in Element since 2019. Temasek has acquired Element from Bridgepoint, whose successful ownership has been an important part of a more than ten-fold increase in Element’s turnover over the past decade. The acquisition, which was subject to regulatory approvals, was previously announced on 25th January 2022. As a highly differentiated TIC leader with a track record of technical expertise, Element is a trusted partner to customers, supporting them from early R&D, through complex government approvals, and into production, with a focus on laboratory-based testing. Its 7,000+ scientists, engineers, and technologists, based across a global network of more than 200 laboratories in 30 countries, serve technically demanding and highly regulated sectors, ensuring products are safe and sustainable. Element works with customers across a wide spectrum, from developing the next generation of aircraft, spacecraft, and autonomous vehicles, to vaccine component testing in its US pharmaceutical laboratories; and from the certification of smartphones and wearable technologies, to providing 5G carrier approvals and developing connected robots. The Group generates annual revenues of more than $1 billion and has grown at over 20% a year over the last ten years. It is well-positioned to accelerate this growth as it builds deeper leadership positions in critical end-markets including life sciences and connected technologies. Element also benefits from strong global ESG tailwinds - with over 60% of its work directly supporting customers on their sustainability journeys, it will continue to play a critical role in the decarbonization of the global economy. “We are delighted to complete this landmark transaction with Temasek, and to begin work on the next chapter of Element’s story. Their partnership over the last three years has been hugely beneficial to our growth. Today, Element is the partner of choice to companies at the forefront of innovation, from advanced medical science to autonomous cars, and has one of the most talented and highly qualified teams in the TIC space. Jo Wetz, CEO of Element We are excited to build upon that legacy of success and drive Element forward by scaling our business further through strategic investments and acquisitions, with a focus on high growth end-markets such as life sciences and connected technologies. Element will continue to play a crucial role in supporting our customers on their sustainability journeys, and in making tomorrow safer than today.” Allan Leighton, Non-Executive Chairman of Element, said: “Element is a true success story – a talented management team leading an exceptional group of experts across offices and laboratories in more than 30 countries around the world. We’re now entering another exciting chapter of purpose-driven growth, together with our customers and our new owners”. Chris Busby, partner at Bridgepoint, said: “Element has been bold in its ambition, delivered impressive organic growth, and implemented a targeted acquisition strategy. As a result, it has significantly expanded its expertise for over 50,000 customers worldwide and become an undisputed heavyweight in TIC. We are proud of what Element has achieved and wish them continued success in the future.” Element was advised by Bank of America Securities, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild & Co A&O EY BCG DLA, Jamieson and PwC. About Element The Element Materials Technology Group is one of the world’s leading global providers of testing, inspection, and certification services for a diverse range of products, materials, and technologies in advanced industrial supply chains where failure in use is not an option. Headquartered in London, UK, Element’s c.7,000 scientists, engineers, and technologists, working in our global network of over 200+ laboratories, support customers from early R&D, through complex regulatory approvals, and into production ensuring their products are safe and sustainable, and achieve market access. In 2021, Element set out its new, industry leading environmental commitments, adopting science-based targets and committing to net zero emissions across its entire global business by 2035. These environmental commitments follow Element’s achievement of the highest ESG ranking in the testing, inspection and certification industry from Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG research and data. About Temasek Temasek is a global investment company with a net portfolio value of S$381 billion as at 31 March 2021. Headquartered in Singapore, it has 13 offices in nine countries around the world. The Temasek Charter defines Temasek’s three roles as an Investor, Institution, and Steward, which shape its ethos to do well, do right, and do good. As a provider of catalytic capital, it seeks to enable solutions to key global challenges. With sustainability at the core of all Temasek does, it actively seeks sustainable solutions to address present and future challenges, as it captures investible opportunities to bring about a sustainable future for all.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

IceCure Submits Regulatory Filing in Vietnam for Approval of ProSense®

IceCure Medical Ltd | August 30, 2022

IceCure Medical Ltd. developer of minimally-invasive cryoablation technology, the ProSense® System that destroys tumors by freezing as an alternative to surgical tumor removal, announced it has submitted a regulatory filing with the Department of Medical Equipment and Construction of Vietnam's Ministry of Health for the ProSense System and accessories. The application covers indications including benign and malignant breast tumors, benign and malignant lung tumors, benign and malignant liver tumors, kidney cancer, ablation of cancerous or malignant tissue, musculoskeletal tumors, and other indications. Vietnam's medical device market was valued at $1.4 billion in 2019 and was projected to grow 10% annually through 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, with overall healthcare expenditures in the country totaling $17 billion. Liver, lung, and breast cancer were the three most prevalent cancers in Vietnam in 2020 according to the World Health Organization. "Asia is a significant market for ProSense and Vietnam is one of the fastest growing healthcare markets in the region. Having started the regulatory process in Vietnam, we anticipate high interest from potential distributors in the country. This comes on the heels of our recent successes in the region with Shanghai Medtronic Zhikang Medical Devices Co. Ltd. in China and Terumo in Japan, Singapore, and Thailand." IceCure CEO, Eyal Shamir About IceCure Medical Ltd. IceCure Medical Ltd. develops and markets ProSense®, an advanced liquid-nitrogen-based cryoablation therapy for the treatment of tumors (benign and cancerous) by freezing, with the primary focus areas being breast, kidney, bone and lung cancer. Its minimally invasive technology is a safe and effective alternative to hospital surgical tumor removal that is easily performed in a relatively short procedure. The system is marketed and sold worldwide for the indications cleared to-date by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approved in Europe with the CE Mark.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Asahi Kasei Bioprocess to Showcase Award-winning MOTIV™ Buffer Management Technology for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing at ACHEMA 2022

Asahi Kasei Bioprocess | August 01, 2022

Asahi Kasei Bioprocess America, subsidiary of diversified Japanese multinational company Asahi Kasei, will be featuring their MOTIV™ Buffer Management Technology at ACHEMA 2022 in Frankfurt this August. Winner of “Best in Show” at Interphex in 2017, “Technology of the Decade” from Bioprocess international in 2012 and originator of the concept for inline buffer formulation (IBF™), Asahi Kasei Bioprocess is a market leader that keeps pharmaceutical production moving efficiently and precisely through solutions like MOTIV with built-in automation software so that medicine can get to patients sooner and safer. Buffers are used for the vast majority of processes in pharmaceutical development, which has traditionally required storage in extremely large tank farms to be utilized as necessary. MOTIV can blend buffers from concentrates in small, single-use bags and is controlled with sensors to maintain and assure precision. It is also able to blend buffers to exact specifications as needed during a downstream development process and can handle a wide variety of buffer formulations. In addition, it is automated by the integrated OCELOT™1 System Control software to be repeatable and also helps to reduce waste created in the development process, so it is a more sustainable means of pharmaceutical manufacturing. “We have been working to ‘standardize’ system designs as much as we can, to make them more readily available with shorter lead times; but are also very capable at building custom systems to meet the specific needs of customers,” says Chris Rombach, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Asahi Kasei Bioprocess America. “One of our strengths is not only having an innovative product, but also an extensive family of MOTIV systems to choose from. Buffer is the lifeblood of pharma manufacturing and with the R&D opportunities of being a part of the Asahi Kasei Group we have been able to develop MOTIV to be the most reliable and efficient IBF technology in the market today. Not to mention, Operation Warp Speed helped push capacity to expand globally and billions of dollars are being invested by manufacturers to ramp up production as quickly as possible. This drives a new sense of value for systems like our MOTIV family that can streamline processes.” 1 The OCELOT System Control is an Asahi Kasei Bioprocess proprietary technology that integrates and/or interfaces with plant-wide control systems in a universally compatible format, allowing for far-reaching data collection and analysis. About Asahi Kasei Bioprocess The Fluid Management Business Unit of Asahi Kasei Bioprocess is devoted to solving therapeutic product safety, efficiency and purity challenges within the pharmaceutical and bioprocessing industries. With technology platforms for virus filtration, chromatography, inline buffer formulation and oligonucleotide synthesis, our bioprocessing systems, columns, and automation solutions advance GMP manufacturing of critical drug substances around the world. Built with pride, built with quality, built to exceed your high expectations. “Built for You.” About Asahi Kasei The Asahi Kasei Group contributes to life and living for people around the world. Since its foundation in 1922 with ammonia and cellulose fiber businesses, Asahi Kasei has consistently grown through the proactive transformation of its business portfolio to meet the evolving needs of every age. With more than 46,000 employees around the world, the company contributes to a sustainable society by providing solutions to the world's challenges through its three business sectors of Material, Homes, and Health Care. Its health care operations include devices and systems for acute critical care, dialysis, therapeutic apheresis, transfusion, and manufacture of biotherapeutics, as well as pharmaceuticals and diagnostic reagents.

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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

The number of therapeutic antibodies entering the market continues to grow annually, with 2017 seeing ten approvals in either the European Union or the United States supported by a robust late-stage clinical pipeline that will likely yield even more approved drugs in 2018 and 2019. Making a drug is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor requiring an incredible level of detail and rigor to ensure that drugs are safe, efficacious, manufacturable and convenient to administer to the patient. While antibody generation is highly commoditized, with modern in vivo and in vitro libraries typically producing vast numbers of clones, the analytical tools used to characterize them at the molecular level to understand their mechanism of action often fall orders of magnitude behind in throughput.

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