BioSpace Global Roundup, May 21
FluoGuide A/S -- Denmark-based FluoGuide A/S has been awarded Best IPO of 2019 by Affärsvärlden’s IPO Guide, an independent analysis group that has reviewed all Swedish IPOs since 2017. FluoGuide is traded under the ticker FLUO on the Danish branch of the Swedish-based stock exchange (Spotlight Stock Market). FluoGuide was introduced on the Spotlight Stock Market in May 2019, after a significantly oversubscribed IPO. FluoGuide’s primary focus is to maximize surgical outcomes in oncology. The Company’s first product, FG001, is designed to improve surgical precision by illuminating cancer cells intraoperatively. In 2019, the guide reviewed 42 Swedish listings and ranked them by both quality and price development.
Inventiva – France’s Inventiva published its latest research paper in the journal PLOS ONE supporting the company’s understanding of the mechanism of action of odiparcil, the Company’s product candidate for the treatment of MPS VI (mucopolysaccharidoses). Non-clinical studies showed that in vitro, treatment with odiparcil was associated with reduced intracellular GAG content in skin fibroblasts isolated from MPS VI patients and concomitant the secretion of GAGs outside the cells in the culture media. Additionally, the study observed in vivo in wild-type rats that odiparcil was well distributed in MPS VI disease-relevant tissues and organs such as bone, cartilage, heart and cornea, where enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), the current standard of care for MPS VI, has shown poor penetration. The data set obtained with this latest study supports Inventiva’s understanding of the mechanism of action of odiparcil, which acts to divert the synthesis of cellular GAGs into secreted soluble species. This data set is also consistent with positive results observed in the clinical development of odiparcil, which is undergoing clinical trials as a potential orally-delivered GAG clearance therapy for MPS VI patients.
In addition to its research data, Inventiva also announced entry into a €10 million credit agreement, guaranteed by the French State, with a syndicate of French banks. The credit enables Inventiva to extend its anticipated cash runway from the end of the second quarter 2021 to the end of the third quarter 2021.
BC Platforms – BC Platforms, based in Switzerland, and Kaiser Permanente announced they are winners of the 2020 Microsoft Health Innovation Award in the Reimagine Health Category for enabling a unique way of pairing clinical and genomic data on the same platform to advance precision medicine capabilities. BC Platforms and Kaiser Permanente collaborated using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to safely and securely integrate data from multiple research centers into a single virtual biobank framework.
Guerbet – Based in France, medical imaging company Guerbet announced the Canadian registration of Vectorio, a kit for imaging hepatocellular carcinoma. Vectorio is a set of Lipiodol-resistant medical devices including patented syringes, stopcock and sampling devices.
Halio Dx – Another company based in France, Halio Dx announced a collaboration with ImCheck Therapeutics. The companies will work together to generate tumor immune contexture information, which is determined by the density, composition, functional state and organization of immune infiltration into the tumor, for patients enrolled in EVICTION, the first-in-human clinical trial of ICT01. ICT01 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that activates γ9δ2 T cells, part of the innate immune system that is responsible for immunosurveillance for malignancy and infection, by targeting BTN3A, a unique target expressed in several solid and hematologic tumors.
Sophia Genetics – Switzerland-based SOPHiA Genetics was named Best Overall Genomics Company as part of the 2020 MedTech Breakthrough Awards. In response, SOPHiA said: “We excel at what we do because we are passionate about our work and the capabilities of our united efforts as a community. Together we celebrate moments like this, all the while knowing that there is much more to be done, especially now. Now is the time to break through with Data-Driven Medicine powered by SOPHiA.”
NeonMind – Canada-based NeonMind completed the design of a preclinical study to confirm that psilocybin, the psychedelic found in some mushrooms, can be an effective treatment for weight loss and food cravings. NeonMind engaged CRO Translational Life Sciences Inc. to design the study. NeonMind plans to complete the study in Canada in accordance with all Health Canada rules and regulations.
NanoMab – London-based NanoMab announced a collaboration with University Hospital Aachen to initiate a cancer therapy program to bring a novel radiopharmaceutical product to patients with HER2 positive breast cancer. The program will use Nanomab’s next generation NM-02 radiopharmaceutical product (a theranostic pairing of a diagnostic and a therapeutic medical radioisotope coupled to a camelid single domain antibody). The trial is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of this year.
Kancera – Sweden-based Kancera submitted an application to the Swedish Medicines Agency for permission to conduct a Phase II clinical study of the drug candidate KAND567 in COVID-19 patients. The ultimate goal of the clinical development is to curb hyperinflammation and thus avoid intensive care treatment and long-term rehabilitation for patients with COVID-19. The study will be conducted in collaboration with Capio St. Görans Hospital and the Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm. Kancera's drug candidate KAND567 works by blocking the Fractalkine receptor. The receptor plays a key role when the body's immune system initiates the inflammatory process. When the Fractalkine receptor is blocked by treatment with KAND567, certain types of immune cells are prevented from accumulating in various tissues and organs, which can attenuate a harmful inflammatory reaction. Because KAND567 acts selectively only against cytotoxic immune cells, treatment is expected to support the immune system's ability to fight the virus that causes covid-19 with antibodies.
SERB Specialty Pharmaceuticals – Belgium-based SERB Specialty Pharmaceuticals acquired privately-owned Veriton Pharma. Based in the U.K., Veriton was founded in 1997 to develop medicines for a targeted range of rare diseases. Today, Veriton focuses on the development of licensed medicines for neurological conditions and rare metabolic disorders, and unlicensed medicines for rare diseases that cannot be treated with existing licensed medicines. The company adds a highly complementary product offering and geographical footprint to SERB, with particularly strong distribution networks in the UK, the Middle East and Australia,
Hansa Biopharma – Sweden’s Hansa Biopharma announced its novel IgG-degrading enzyme, imlifidase, will be highlighted in three presentations including a late breaking poster presentation at the upcoming 2020 American Transplant Congress (ATC).
New Wave – Canada’s New Wave Holdings has expanded its footprint to Jamaica with mushroom cultivation and extraction facilities. New Wave has already invested over $2.5 million to build these two facilities.
Celonic Group – Switzerland’s Celonic Group and Airway Therapeutics struck a deal to produce the novel human recombinant protein AT-100 (rhSP-D) as a therapeutic candidate against COVID-19. Based on the agreement, Celonic will be responsible for process optimization and GMP manufacturing of AT-100 for clinical study. Production of AT-100 is expected to begin in June 2020. AT-100 is an engineered version of an endogenous protein that has been shown in preclinical studies to reduce inflammation and infection in a range of bacterial and viral respiratory diseases by modulating the body’s immune response.