Montgomery County to spend $500,000 on push for global pandemic center – Washington Post

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An ambitious push to create a “Global Pandemic Center” in suburban Maryland got a $500,000 boost Tuesday from the Montgomery County Council, which said the project could help drive the county’s post-pandemic economic recovery and foster resilience against the next major health crisis.

Spearheaded by the regional nonprofit Connected DMV, the center would involve scientists and policymakers from across the globe but operate primarily from the D.C. region, with a likely headquarters in Montgomery.

It would “identify and launch strategic projects needed to advance pandemic avoidance and preparedness,” Connected DMV said in its pitch to the council, including a $2 billion flagship initiative, titled “AHEAD 100,” that would stockpile monoclonal antibodies — laboratory-made treatments — for 100 pathogens most likely to cause global pandemics.

“We were the first place [in Maryland] hit by this covid-19 initially, and we paid a heavy price,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) said in an interview Tuesday, citing the county’s high death toll during the first part of the pandemic. “Anything we can do to avoid being that off-guard is going to be worthwhile.”

The county dollars, which are coming out of its general reserves, will go toward Connected DMV’s $2.5 million “strategy phase” to secure federal support, private- sector partnerships and other resources needed to launch “AHEAD 100.”

Other early contributors include the state of Maryland and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said Connected DMV chief executive Stu Solomon. The organization hopes to nail down a strategic plan by the end of August.

Click here to read more via the Washington Post.

Novavax Initiates Pediatric Expansion for Phase 3 Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced that it has initiated a pediatric expansion of its Phase 3 clinical trial for NVX-CoV2373, the company’s recombinant protein vaccine candidate against COVID-19. The additional arm of the ongoing PREVENT-19 pivotal trial will evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373 in up to 3,000 adolescents aged 12-17 across up to 75 sites in the United States.

Participants will randomly receive either the vaccine candidate or placebo in two doses, administered 21 days apart. Two-thirds of volunteers will receive intramuscular injections of the vaccine and one-third will receive placebo. A blinded crossover is planned to take place six months after the initial set of vaccinations to ensure that all trial participants receive active vaccine. Participants will be monitored for safety for up to two years following the final dose.

“Through the expansion of our PREVENT-19 clinical trial, we hope to build upon the encouraging safety and efficacy data generated to-date in adults for our vaccine candidate and to play a significant global role in offering vaccination to as many people as possible across age groups to end the suffering caused by the pandemic,” said Gregory M. Glenn, M.D., President, Research and Development, Novavax.

Dr. Glenn will share an update regarding this arm of the PREVENT-19 trial during the 21st annual World Vaccine Congress taking place online, May 4-6. He will participate in two sessions during the congress, including a presentation and a panel discussion. Details are as follows:

Morning Plenary:

Date: Tuesday, May 4
Time: 9:10am – 10:40am EST
Title: Safety, efficacy, and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines
Moderator: Jakob Cramer, M.D., Head of Clinical Development, CEPI

Afternoon Session: COVID-19: Vaccine Response & Approaches

Date: Tuesday, May 4
Time: 3:30pm – 3:45pm EST
Title: Novavax COVID-19 Program Update

To register, please visit the World Vaccine Congress website here. Dr. Glenn’s presentation slides will be posted to the company’s website following the presentation here.

About NVX-CoV2373
NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. NVX-CoV2373 was created using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and is adjuvanted with Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. NVX-CoV2373 contains purified protein antigen and can neither replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19. In preclinical studies, NVX-CoV2373 induced antibodies that blocked the binding of spike protein to cellular receptors and provided protection from infection and disease. It was generally well-tolerated and elicited robust antibody response in Phase 1/2 clinical testing.

NVX-CoV2373 is being evaluated in two pivotal Phase 3 trials: a trial in the U.K. that demonstrated 100% protection against severe disease, efficacy of 96.4% against the original virus strain, 86.3% against the B.1.1.7/501Y.V1 variant and 89.7% overall; and the PREVENT-19 trial in the U.S. and Mexico that began in December 2020. It is also being tested in two ongoing Phase 2 studies that began in August 2020: A Phase 2b trial in South Africa that demonstrated 100% protection against severe disease and 48.6% efficacy against a newly emerging escape variant first described in South Africa, and a Phase 1/2 continuation in the U.S. and Australia.

NVX-CoV2373 is stored and stable at 2°- 8°C, allowing the use of existing vaccine supply chain channels for its distribution. It is packaged in a ready-to-use liquid formulation in 10-dose vials.

About Matrix-M™
Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant has demonstrated a potent and well-tolerated effect by stimulating the entry of antigen presenting cells into the injection site and enhancing antigen presentation in local lymph nodes, boosting immune response.

About Novavax
Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) is a biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. The company’s proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce highly immunogenic nanoparticles designed to address urgent global health needs. Novavax is conducting late-stage clinical trials for NVX-CoV2373, its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. NanoFlu™, its quadrivalent influenza nanoparticle vaccine, met all primary objectives in its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in older adults and will be advanced for regulatory submission. Both vaccine candidates incorporate Novavax’ proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.

For more information, visit www.novavax.com and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Novavax Forward Looking Statements
Statements herein relating to the future of Novavax and the ongoing development of its vaccine and adjuvant products are forward-looking statements. Novavax cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Novavax Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this press release. You are encouraged to read our filings with the SEC, available at sec.gov, for a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this document, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of the statements. Our business is subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, including those referenced above. Investors, potential investors, and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.

Contacts:

Investors
Novavax, Inc.
Erika Schultz | 240-268-2022
ir@novavax.com

Solebury Trout
Alexandra Roy | 617-221-9197
aroy@soleburytrout.com

Novavax Media
Laura Keenan | 202-709-7521
media@novavax.com

Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus Welcomes New Resident Company, AlgometRx to JLABS @ Washington, DC Site

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On April 26, 2021, AlgometRx Inc., a Children’s National spinout company developing a handheld device to objectively measure pain by pupillary response, will relocate to Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC on the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus. The AlgometRx move comes following the company being awarded the JLABS @ Washington, DC Children’s QuickFire Challenge, which includes a one-year residency at the newly opened JLABS @ Washington, DC – a 32,000-square-foot incubator located at the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus in northwest Washington, D.C. As an awardee, AlgometRx also receives access to research and development space, capital equipment, mentorship, resources and programming.

Located on a nearly 12-acre portion of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus, the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus is the nation’s first campus dedicated to pediatrics, which formally opens in September 2021. This campus aims to help address a significant problem: the development of medical and surgical devices for children has long lagged behind that for adults. Over the past decade, only one in four medical devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were indicated for use in children, and the majority were for those ages 12 and up.

By bringing together public and private partners, the campus is a one-of-a-kind innovation ecosystem that aims to accelerate breakthrough discoveries into new treatments and technologies.

AlgometRx was founded by pediatric anesthesiologist Julia C. Finkel, M.D., and originated at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National.

“Pain is the only vital sign that is not objectively measured,” Finkel said. “The current standard of measuring pain is the 0-10 scale, which is based on observations and subjective assessment. This technique increases the likelihood for inaccuracies, especially for infants and children who cannot clearly communicate their pain.”

Click here to read more via Innovation District.

Biotech Innovation Company Aditxt to Establish State-of-the-Art Immune Monitoring Center in Richmond, VA

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AditxtScore™ Center is the first of a planned immune monitoring network and will initially monitor COVID-19 immunity status;
New facility expects to target more than 300 jobs over three years to the area

Mountain View, CA and Richmond, VA – May 3, 2021— Aditxt (Aditx Therapeutics, Inc.) (Nasdaq: ADTX), a biotech innovation company focused on improving the health of the immune system, today announced plans to build a high-capacity AditxtScore™ Center in Richmond, VA in the second half of 2021. Aditxt is targeting a capital investment of $31.5 million over three years to scale up its state-of-the-art immune monitoring center, including projected new jobs, laboratory equipment, and construction. The announcement was made at a joint press conference with Governor Ralph Northam, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and other local business executives and political officials.

The new immune monitoring center is being developed to increase processing capacity for the company’s flagship AditxtScore™, a pioneering new approach to immune health monitoring that provides a comprehensive profile of the immune system. By assessing an individual’s immune biomarkers, AditxtScore™ will be able to measure indications of immunity to specific disease. AditxtScore™ applications include the recently commercialized AditxtScore™ for COVID-19, developed for use in detecting antibodies and neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Other applications under development include, among others, predicting dynamic monitoring of the immune system in infectious and autoimmune diseases, organ transplantation, and allergy.

Amro Albanna, co-founder and CEO of Aditxt, commented, “Richmond is an ideal location for our first high-capacity AditxtScore Center given its skilled workforce, location, and infrastructure. As we begin rolling out the AditxtScore platform and applications for immune monitoring, the establishment of an AditxtScore Immune Monitoring Network is vital to realizing our full vision for AditxtScore, which is to transform how we monitor the immune system from reactive testing to proactive monitoring. We look forward to working with the community to complete this important step in the execution of Aditxt’s strategic plan, and we are grateful to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Northam, his team, and all involved for their support and welcoming reception.”

Aditxt expects to create more than 300 new jobs over the next three years to increase AditxtScore™ processing capacity up to a projected 10 million reports annually in efforts to provide more access to individuals to monitor and understand their immune profiles. The company will occupy 25,000 square feet of BioTech 8 in the Virginia Bio+Tech Park, a campus of Activation Capital, with plans for future expansion.

“The Richmond region has emerged as a hub for cutting-edge biotech companies, and this thriving industry will be bolstered by the addition of Aditxt’s Immune Monitoring Center,” said Governor Northam. “The Virginia Bio+Tech Park is an ideal location for the company to continue its groundbreaking work to improve the health of our communities and help us better understand our own immune systems—something that has become extremely important over the past year. We are honored to welcome Aditxt to the Commonwealth, and we thank the company for creating more than 300 well-paid jobs for the people of Virginia.”
View the Governor’s Press Release

Support for Aditxt’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Northam Administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

About Aditx Therapeutics
Aditxt is developing technologies specifically focused on improving the health of the immune system through immune monitoring and reprogramming. The immune monitoring technology is designed to provide a personalized comprehensive profile of the immune system. The immune reprogramming technology is currently at the pre-clinical stage and is designed to retrain the immune system to induce tolerance with an objective of addressing rejection of transplanted organs, autoimmune diseases, and allergies. For more information, please visit: www.aditxt.com

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of federal securities laws. Forward looking statements include statements regarding the Company’s intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things, the Company’s ongoing and planned product and business development; the Company’s intellectual property position; the Company’s ability to develop commercial functions; expectations regarding product launch and revenue; the Company’s results of operations, cash needs, spending, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth and strategies; the industry in which the Company operates; and the trends that may affect the industry or the Company. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in the Company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All such statements speak only as of the date made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media and Investor Relations Contact:
Sunny Uberoi
Chief Communications Officer
Aditxt
917-747-2018
ir@aditxt.com

JLABS @ Washington, DC Incubator Opens for Business with Diversity at its Core

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The pandemic wasn’t going to slow JLABS down. Two years after announcing a new location, Johnson & Johnson’s incubator arm opened its doors in the nation’s capital on Monday, right on time.

The new hub, dubbed JLABS @ Washington, D.C., will host up to 50 startups spanning pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer and health tech companies, including those working on pediatric care. The first group of companies moving in includes spinouts from the Children’s National Hospital, J&J’s partner in running the site, startups local to the D.C. area, and those from other parts of the country.

“We’ve selected companies that are here in the [D.C., Maryland and Virginia] region and we’ve also selected a company from New York and one from Alabama that are looking specifically to expand in the D.C. area,” said Sally Allain, head of JLABS @ Washington, D.C. “We have two international companies coming in as part of the first group of companies.”

Though it’s home to the National Institutes of Health and federal agencies like the FDA, the D.C. area doesn’t always spring to mind as a biotech hub the way Boston, San Diego or the Bay Area do.

“It’s unfortunate, because the capital region has so much here. I think it’s untapped,” said Allain, who figures that with the growth in manufacturing and investing in the area, the region could catapult into the top five biotech hubs pretty soon.

Click here to read more via FIERCE Biotech.

Mason Start-up Ceres Nanosciences Experiences Big Wins and Increases Footprint in Prince William County

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Ceres Nanosciences, a Northern Virginia bioscience company spun out of George Mason University that specializes in diagnostic products and workflows, has opened a 12,000-square-foot advanced particle manufacturing plant in Prince William County’s Innovation Park. The new facility increases the manufacturing capacity of Ceres’ Nanotrap® Magnetic Virus Particles, which improve diagnostic testing for viruses like SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus.

The completion of the new facility also reflects the partnership between Mason and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development (PWCDED).

“The PWCDED has a long-standing relationship with Mason, specifically with the Science and Technology Campus that anchors our bioscience hub in Innovation Park,” said Christina Winn, executive director of PWCDED. “Ceres was the first company to graduate our Science Accelerator, and we are invested in their growth as a leader, collaborator and innovator in our life sciences industry cluster.”

The construction of the facility, which was completed in under four months, was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative to expedite the production and commercialization of diagnostic tests for the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has become known as COVID-19. Prince William County also supported the swift development of the site.

“We’re immensely grateful for the NIH funding that supported this new facility,” said Ross Dunlap, Ceres Nanosciences CEO. “Not only are we now able to deliver a robust supply of this critical reagent that the industry needs, but the facility also is a major element of Ceres’ long-term growth plan.”

Click here to read more via George Mason University.

Gain Therapeutics Announces Multi-Target Drug Discovery Collaboration Agreement with Zentalis Pharmaceuticals

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Collaboration to use Gain’s proprietary Site-Directed Enzyme Enhancement Therapy (SEE-Tx™) computational platform technology to identify new and previously difficult-to-drug oncology targets

BETHESDA, Md., April 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gain Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: GANX) (“Gain”) today announced a multi-target collaboration agreement with Zentalis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZNTL) to discover new product candidates for the treatment of cancer. Gain will use its proprietary SEE-Tx computational platform technology to identify new sites on target proteins for potential use in oncology. SEE-Tx applies a proprietary computational algorithm and supercomputer processing to the published 3D structure of proteins to discover new binding sites with the ability to modulate protein function. The intended output is newly-discovered targets or target protein interactions that can then be drugged for therapeutic benefit to intervene on protein misfolding.

“We are pleased to enter into a relationship with Zentalis, an oncology company at the forefront of developing differentiated treatments for patients,” said Eric Richman, Chief Executive Officer at Gain. “Our unique algorithm, based on a patented method to analyze molecular dynamics and powered by supercomputers, is designed to enable discovery of novel targets in various therapeutic areas. Zentalis’ team brings extensive industry experience and a proven track record in the discovery and clinical development of innovative cancer therapies, which will be beneficial as we work to further validate SEE-Tx for use in combating cancers and other devastating diseases. Together, we are looking forward to changing the way the industry thinks about drug discovery in oncology.”

Prof. Xavier Barril, Chief Scientific Officer of Gain, added, “Over the past several decades, the evidence linking protein misfolding and cancer has continued to grow, with chaperones that mediate protein folding being identified as critical modulators of proper cellular function. Of particular note, while most proteins have a half-life of one to two hours, many oncogenes have half-lives of just a few minutes, meaning that they are continually being synthesized, folded and degraded, offering significant opportunities for misfolding. We are excited to collaborate with Zentalis with its promising pipeline of oncology therapeutic candidates. Zentalis sees the potential of our SEE-Tx platform technology to address this challenge in cancer.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Gain will pursue binding site identification on target proteins that will be selected and agreed upon by both parties. Next, Gain will identify and determine the potential suitability of these sites as drug targets, as well as their prospective therapeutic use. Selected compounds will be tested in the lab by Zentalis against the target protein to confirm binding and action to identify and characterize novel compounds for development.

About SEE-Tx™

SEE-Tx is the first proprietary technology platform exclusively designed use the 3D structure of proteins to systematically identify allosteric binding sites never described previously and predict their druggability. Powered by supercomputers, its novel algorithm orchestrates molecular modeling at a speed and efficiency that has the potential to redefine drug discovery.

About Gain Therapeutics, Inc.
Gain Therapeutics, Inc. is redefining drug discovery with its SEE-Tx™ target identification platform. By identifying and optimizing allosteric binding sites that have never before been targeted, Gain is unlocking new treatment options for difficult-to-treat disorders characterized by protein misfolding. Gain was established in 2017 with the support of its founders and institutional investors. It has been awarded funding support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and The Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson’s with GBA, as well as from the Eurostars-2 joint program with co-funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and Innosuisse. In July 2020, Gain Therapeutics, Inc. completed a share exchange with Gain Therapeutics, SA, a Swiss corporation, whereby GT Gain Therapeutics SA became a wholly owned subsidiary of Gain Therapeutics, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements
Any statements in this release that are not historical facts may be considered to be “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties which may cause results to differ materially and adversely from the statements contained herein. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the market opportunity for Gain’s product candidates; and the business strategies and development plans of Gain. Some of the potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expected include Gain’s ability to: make commercially available its products and technologies in a timely manner or at all; enter into other strategic alliances, including arrangements for the development and distribution of its products; obtain intellectual property protection for its assets; accurately estimate its expenses and cash burn and raise additional funds when necessary. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except as required by law, Gain does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date they are made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Gain Therapeutics Investor Contact:
Daniel Ferry
LifeSci Advisors
+1 617-430-7576
daniel@lifesciadvisors.com

Gain Therapeutics Media Contact:
Cait Williamson, Ph.D.
LifeSci Communications
+1 646-751-4366
cait@lifescicomms.com

Immunomic Therapeutics Announces License Agreement With Lineage Cell Therapeutics for Cancer Immunotherapy

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Partnership Leverages Lineage’s Investigational VAC Allogeneic Cancer Vaccine Platform and Immunomic’s Proprietary Tumor Associated Antigen to Generate a Novel Oncology Product Candidate

ROCKVILLE, Md. & CARLSBAD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”), a privately-held clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today a worldwide license and development collaboration agreement with Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American and TASE: LCTX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel cell transplants for serious medical conditions. The collaboration will generate a novel product candidate derived from Lineage’s investigational allogeneic VAC cancer immunotherapy platform and targeting a proprietary Tumor Associated Antigen (TAA) construct provided by ITI, for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Lineage and ITI will collaborate in the manufacturing and clinical development of a novel VAC product candidate. Following the full development and delivery of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) VAC product material, ITI will assume full and independent clinical and commercial responsibility and further advancement of the program. Under the terms of the agreement, Lineage will be entitled to an upfront payment of $2 million paid in the first year and development and commercial milestones totaling $67 million across multiple indications. Lineage also will be eligible to receive royalties up to 10% on future product sales.

“We’re very pleased to collaborate with Lineage, a well-recognized cell therapy company, to expand our pipeline with the development of a novel product candidate to treat GBM,” commented Dr. William Hearl, CEO of ITI. “Over the last several years, ITI has invested significant capital and development resources to identifying multiple novel paths forward in GBM. By teaming up with Lineage, we are hoping to expand our efforts in this difficult to treat indication and look forward to the benefit that the VAC immunotherapy platform can bring to our antigen constructs.”

“The VAC platform provides us with the opportunity to generate a broad pipeline of product candidates, each targeting a different type of cancer,” stated Brian Culley, Lineage CEO. “This collaboration represents the first of many partnerships we hope to enter into with our platform and we believe it helps further validate VAC as a promising new therapeutic vaccine platform. Our objective is to leverage our technology to generate additional VAC-derived cell therapies for our pipeline, as well as in collaboration with partners, capitalizing on the strength of Lineage’s recent manufacturing and cell transplant success. These alliances also will diversify our oncology pipeline across more programs, providing new opportunities for success without the financial burden of independent development. We appreciate ITI selecting our antigen delivery platform for this collaboration and look forward to a productive partnership on this new VAC-derived product candidate. We also are eager to collaborate with additional partners on future versions of VAC.”

About Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) (also called glioblastoma) is a fast-growing glioma that develops from star-shaped glial cells (astrocytes and oligodendrocytes) that support the health of the nerve cells within the brain. GBM is often referred to as a grade IV astrocytoma. These are the most invasive type of glial tumors, rapidly growing and commonly spreading into nearby brain tissue. GBMs can arise in the brain “de novo” or evolve from lower-grade astrocytomas or oligodendrogliomas. In adults, GBM occurs most often in the cerebral hemispheres, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. GBM is a devastating brain cancer that typically results in death in the first 15 months after diagnosis, with only 25% of glioblastoma patients surviving more than one year, and only 5% of patients surviving more than five years.

About VAC2

VAC2 is an allogeneic, or non-patient specific “off-the-shelf,” cancer vaccine product candidate designed to stimulate patient immune responses to an antigen commonly expressed in cancerous cells but not in normal adult cells. VAC2, which is produced from a pluripotent cell technology using a directed differentiation method, is comprised of a population of nonproliferating mature dendritic cells. As the most potent type of antigen presenting cell in the body, dendritic cells instruct the body’s immune system to attack and eliminate harmful pathogens and unwanted cells. Because the tumor antigen is loaded exogenously into the dendritic cells prior to administration, VAC2 is a platform technology that can be modified to carry selected antigens, including patient-specific tumor neo-antigens or viral antigens. VAC2 is currently being tested in a Phase 1 study in adult patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the advanced and adjuvant settings (NCT03371485), conducted by Cancer Research UK.

About Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc.

Lineage Cell Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel cell therapies for unmet medical needs. Lineage’s programs are based on its robust proprietary cell-based therapy platform and associated in-house development and manufacturing capabilities. With this platform Lineage develops and manufactures specialized, terminally differentiated human cells from its pluripotent and progenitor cell starting materials. These differentiated cells are developed to either replace or support cells that are dysfunctional or absent due to degenerative disease or traumatic injury or administered as a means of helping the body mount an effective immune response to cancer. Lineage’s clinical programs are in markets with billion dollar opportunities and include three allogeneic (“off-the-shelf”) product candidates: (i) OpRegen®, a retinal pigment epithelium transplant therapy in Phase 1/2a development for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the developed world; (ii) OPC1, an oligodendrocyte progenitor cell therapy in Phase 1/2a development for the treatment of acute spinal cord injuries; and (iii) VAC, an allogeneic dendritic cell therapy platform for immuno-oncology and infectious disease, currently in clinical development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. For more information, please visit www.lineagecell.com or follow the Company on Twitter @LineageCell.

About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.

Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held, clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of vaccines through its investigational proprietary technology platform, UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression (UNITE), which is designed to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop vaccines that have the potential to generate broad immune responses. The UNITE platform has a robust history of applications in various therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, oncology, allergy and autoimmune diseases. ITI is primarily focused on applying the UNITE platform to oncology, where it could potentially have broad applications, including targeting viral antigens, cancer antigens, neoantigens and producing antigen-derived antibodies as biologics. In 2020, an investment of over $77M by HLB Co., LTD, a global pharmaceutical company, enabled ITI to accelerate application of its immuno-oncology platform, in particular to glioblastoma multiforme, and rapidly advance other key candidates in the pipeline, including the most recent initiative into infectious diseases with development of its vaccine candidate for COVID-19. The Company has built a large pipeline from UNITE with eight oncology programs, multiple animal health programs and a SARS-CoV-2 program to prevent and treat COVID-19. ITI has entered into a significant allergy partnership with Astellas Pharma and has formed several academic collaborations with leading Immuno-oncology researchers at Duke University and the University of Florida. ITI maintains its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.immunomix.com.

MCEDC and FLC Partnership to Strengthen Local Engagement with Federal Laboratories and Support Tech Commercialization

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MOU builds on presence of 50 local federal facilities to support increased collaboration and tech transfer for Montgomery County companies 

Rockville, Md. — The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize a strategic partnership to help build a stronger local relationship between federal labs and Montgomery County’s private sector, particularly small businesses.

This FLC/MCEDC partnership will help advance technology transfer (T2) opportunities for Montgomery County businesses, bringing new cutting-edge technology to the marketplace. As increased engagement between the labs and businesses leads to more research collaboration and tech commercialization, the partnership has the exciting potential to accelerate the local economy and aid in job creation.

This is the first FLC MOU signed with a county economic development organization. With its significant concentration and diversity of major federal facilities, Montgomery County, MD is a natural choice for a formalized joint agreement between the FLC and a local economic development organization. According to the recent FLC draft census, Maryland is home to around 95 federal labs—of which approximately 50 are in Montgomery County. Their presence creates many potential opportunities to help drive the local economy and support emerging industry sectors such as immunology and quantum computing.

In a strengthened relationship with MCEDC, the FLC member laboratories can advance their national mission through greater collaboration with local and regional businesses. As an example, Maryland’s TEDCO recently won two FLC National Awards specifically for their work with federal labs NIST and NCI, resulting in new business and job creation.

“By maximizing our local federal presence, we are creating greater opportunities for Montgomery County businesses to partner and commercialize exciting new technologies being developed by some of our top federal scientists,” said Benjamin H. Wu, MCEDC President & CEO. “This timely partnership with FLC charts another path for us to support more cross-over, content-rich innovation projects to benefit our diverse business community—resulting in a stronger economy for all.”

The connecting opportunities created by this first-ever FLC partnership with a local economic development entity like MCEDC can serve as a model for other jurisdictions, creating a formal process to share resources and enhance the transfer of federal laboratory research and technology.

“Partnerships are the key to successful technology transfer programs. We work with many labs and learn best practices for engaging partners and building meaningful relationships to move federal discoveries out of the labs and into the marketplace,” said John Dement, FLC Chair. “Year after year, the T2 community engages in partnerships benefitting research, innovation and public health, leading to greater value for the next generation.”

Some key elements of the new partnership include stronger collaboration between FLC and MCEDC to find collaborative opportunities, create a larger presence in each partner’s marketing outreach, educate businesses on federal programs, and jointly sponsor events to widen the outreach to new companies.

The FLC promotes, facilitates and educates labs and industry about the tech transfer process. More than 300 federal laboratories and agencies develop and generate technologies that ultimately benefit the welfare of the public, and support the military at home and abroad. See examples of public/private partnerships facilitated by the FLC.

The FLC/MCEDC Memorandum of Understanding can be found here.


ABOUT MCEDC

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is the official public-private economic development organization representing Montgomery County, Maryland. Created in 2016, MCEDC is led by a Board of Directors of business executives. Its mission is to help businesses start, grow and relocate in Montgomery County by helping them gain access to top talent, business and market intelligence and prime locations. For more information, visit our website. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

ABOUT FLC

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is a formally chartered, nationwide network of more than 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers that foster commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies from out of the labs and into the marketplace. To learn more, visit www.federallabs.org.

MacroGenics Enters Research Collaboration with Sweden’s Alligator Bioscience to Develop a Novel Immunotherapy

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LUND, Sweden, April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Alligator Bioscience (Nasdaq Stockholm: ATORX) today announced that it has entered into a joint research collaboration with MacroGenics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGNX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. The research collaboration will lead to the expansion of Alligator’s proprietary patient specific immunotherapy Neo-X-Prime™ by incorporating MacroGenics’ proprietary DART® and TRIDENT® multi-specific platforms against two undisclosed targets.

Under the joint research collaboration agreement, which covers activities from candidate drug generation up until IND-enabling studies, each company will be responsible for its own costs. The parties may continue further development of the resulting bispecific molecule under a separate co-development collaboration and licensing agreement.

“We are truly excited to start this collaboration with MacroGenics, validating the Neo-X-Prime drug concept. The aim is to create a drug candidate that takes advantage of a unique mechanism of a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. We look forward to working collaboratively to expand the Neo-X-Prime concept with MacroGenics’ antibodies, their proven DART technology, and extensive capabilities,” says Malin Carlsson, interim CEO of Alligator Bioscience.

The Chairman of Alligator Bioscience, Peter Benson stated “MacroGenics is widely viewed as a leader in the antibody field as evidenced by their extensive pipeline of antibody-based molecules in clinical testing that are based on various platform technologies. Furthermore, MacroGenics’ capabilities are an excellent fit with Alligator’s strategy to develop next generation tumor specific immunotherapies to improve the lives of cancer patients.”

Neo-X-Prime is a drug concept for more personalized immunotherapy, launched by Alligator in 2020. The concept builds on bispecific antibodies that physically link circulating tumor material to the immune system, to allow neoantigen-specific T cell priming with potential for superior anti-tumor efficacy.

MacroGenics’ DART and TRIDENT multi-specific platforms enable the creation of potential medicines comprised of a single molecule designed to simultaneously bind to two or more targets, each with antibody-like specificity, with the goal of creating a more significant biological effect.

For further information, please contact:

Malin Carlsson, interim CEO
E-mail: mcn@alligatorbioscience.com
Phone: +46 46 540 82 00

The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 08:00 a.m. CET on April 15, 2021.

About Alligator Bioscience

Alligator Bioscience AB is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing tumor-directed immuno-oncology antibody drugs. Alligator’s pipeline includes the two key assets ATOR-1017 and mitazalimab. Furthermore, there are two partnered assets: ALG.APV-527 in co-development with Aptevo Therapeutics Inc. and AC101 in clinical development by Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc. In addition, the company has developed a novel concept for more patient-specific immunotherapy: Neo-X-Prime. Alligator’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (ATORX). The Company is headquartered in Lund, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.alligatorbioscience.com.

This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com

https://news.cision.com/alligator-bioscience/r/alligator-bioscience-and-macrogenics-enter-into-a-research-collaboration-to-develop-a-novel-immunoth,c3325649

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