BioSpace's Global Biopharma Roundup: April 25

World Map made up of colorful Pills

Synaptive Medical – Toronto-based Synaptive Medical announced the launch of Evry, a dedicated head Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system intended to provide MRI directly at the Point-of-Care (POC) at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The QEII will be one of the first adopters to use the dedicated head-only MRI system as part of a four-year study in partnership with the Nova Scotia Halifax Authority. The purpose of Evry is specifically for imaging patients in situations that require immediate decision making, such as with acute stroke. Synaptive plans to pursue regulatory approval and adoption by leading health care facilities around the world, with completion of installation at QEII planned for fall 2019.

Epic Sciences – Epic Sciences, Inc., based in San Diego, received a CE mark in Europe for its Liquid Biopsy Test Collection Kit. The company said the kit is compatible with Epic’s rapidly expanding menu of diagnostic and clinical trial tests, including those for interventional use. With the CE marking, Epic Sciences aims to advance strategic partnerships with clinical labs, pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies to broaden access to precision medicine. Epic’s liquid biopsy collection kit is designed to stabilize and preserve blood samples for safe shipment to Epic Sciences processing sites.

ERS Genomics – Ireland-based ERS Genomics Limited secured a U.S. patent for a CRISPR-Cas9 technology. ERS Genomics Limited was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property co-owned by Emmanuelle Charpentier. The patent focuses on systems and methods for using CRISPR-Cas9 technology in a single guide format, including uses to target and edit or modulate genes. The patent covers uses in any cellular or non-cellular environment and delivery of the CRISPR-Cas9 components by any methods, the company said. The scope of the patent includes any cellular or non-cellular environment, making it applicable not only in vitro but also across living plants, animals, and human cells, ERS Genomics said in a statement.

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Biocartis – Belgium-based Biocartis forged a global strategic commercialization agreement with Covance, LabCorp’s Drug Development business. Under terms of the deal, Biocartis’ Idylla platform and its oncology assay will be provided to Covance’s customer base. Several Idylla instruments have already been placed at Covance sites in the US and China to support global oncology trials. Financial details of the agreement are not disclosed.

Inventiva – Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Inventiva, based in France, announced that its abstract on the evaluation of its YAP-TEAD Protein-Protein Interaction inhibitors for treating Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, has been accepted by the American Association for Cancer Research for its May conference in San Diego. The study, which aimed at supporting a multi-pronged approach to treat MPM, showed that Inventiva’s YAP-TEAD inhibitors significantly reduced tumor growth in MPM xenograft and orthotopic models. In addition, synergistic effects were seen in a three-dimensional spheroid model suggesting that the Company’s YAP-TEAD inhibitors, when used in combination with existing chemotherapeutics, could attenuate multidrug resistance and re-sensitize chemo-resistant cancer cells, the company said. Following these promising results, Inventiva has decided to expand its studies to other cancer indications as well as other combination strategies where standard of care agents are proven to be ineffective and where YAP is activated. Moreover, Inventiva is planning to study the capacity of its compounds to overcome immune evasion, another common challenge in treating cancer where the tumor is not recognized and eliminated by the immune system.

TC BioPharm – Scotland-based TC BioPharm initiated a Phase I clinical study of TCB002, an allogeneic cell therapy consisting of activated and expanded gamma delta T cells. The study is for the treatment of patients suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. TCB002 comprises GDT cells sourced from healthy donors, expanded and activated in large numbers before being purified and formulated for infusion into patients. The donors are selected based on criteria designed to ensure that the cells are potent killers of cancer cells, and can be a more effective and consistent treatment compared to the patient’s own cells.

Velabs Therapeutics—Heidelberg, Germany-based Velabs Therapeutics entered an agreement with Tokyo-based Chiome Bioscience to jointly discover modulatory and functional antibodies for one of Chiome’s GPCR target genes. The collaboration is expected to capitalize on Velabs’ microfluidics-based technology in the field of functional antibody screening, the company said. Chiome Bioscience has the exclusive license of the ADLib antibody generation technology from RIKEN and has several preclinical and clinical development programs for its therapeutic antibodies. Yukoh Nakazaki, Head of Antibody Research Laboratories of Chiome Bioscience, said the company opted for Velabs’ microfluidic screening technology in order to optimize time and productivity of discovering therapeutic antibodies against GPCRs.

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