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Oct 9, 2012

Monday's News in a Nutshell

  • DSM Pharmaceutical Products and Almac Group inked a deal through which the firms will be able to tap into each other’s enzyme platform technologies, services, and expertise for manufacturing APIs. The deal will give DSM access to Almac’s capabilities in rapid enzyme identification, scale-up, and implementation into early phase projects. Almac will have access to DSM’s experience in commercial manufacturing bioprocesses, and be able to offer its clients a preferred partner for large-scale production of APIs.

    H. Lundbeck and ImaginAb signed a collaboration and commercialization agreement focused on the use of reengineered antibodies to facilitate the transport of CNS-targeting biologics across the blood-brain barrier. ImaginAb has specialist expertise in the development of molecular imaging agents based on its antibody fragment technology. The deal with Lundbeck ultimately aims to develop biologics with improved blood-brain-barrier transport, and imaging agents capable of quantifying the kinetics and targeting capabilities. Lundbeck retains an option to commercialize resulting products for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

    Life Technologies acquired cancer bioinformatics firm Compendia Bioscience, just days after signing two separate big data deals, one with CollabRx, and the other with Ingenuity Systems. Compendia holds what it claims is one of the largest and most comprehensive sets of mutation profiles, gene expression data, and cellular biomarkers. The firm’s Oncomine cloud-based analytics tool integrates high-throughput cancer profiling data across a range of cancer types. Life says acquisition of Compendia will expand its ability to develop its own cancer diagnostic tests and partner with the pharma industry to develop companion diagnostics.

    Sweden-based Diamyd Medical has sold off its U.S. Diamyd Inc. subsidiary to the latter’s management. Diamyd Inc. is focused primarily on developing the firm’s nerve targeting drug delivery system (NTDDS) technology. Diamyd Medical says divesting the business will save it about SEK 18 (about $2.7 million) in fiscal 2012/2013. The firm will retain a 10% stake in Periphagen Holdings—the holding company established by the Diamyd Inc. management to effect the buyout—and will also be eligible for about $10 million in milestone payments, and 10% of any future up-front or other payments Periphagen receives from future partners, and royalties on sales of NTDDS-based drugs.

    Cellerant Therapeutics won a $1,683,503 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract and a Phase II option from the NCI to support development of the firm’s human allogeneic megakaryocyte progenitor cell therapy CLT-009 for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in cancer patients. The firm says the funds mean it will be able to carry out studies to support an IND application within the next two years. Prior NIH grants awarded to Cellerant have supported studies confirming that megakaryocyte progenitor cells can generate human platelets in preclinical models, which demonstrated similar functionality to normal human platelets.

    Trellis Bisocience and Open Monoclonal Technology (OMT) established a collaboration to develop human antibodies against therapeutic targets identified by Trellis and its partners, using OMT’s OmniRat™ transgenic rat antibody platform. The collaboration will apply Trellis’ CellSpot™ antibody screening platform to OmniRat-generated B cells to identify high-affinity, "ultra-rare" antibodies with defined specificity. The CellSpot technology is a high-throughput discovery platform designed to isolate ultra-rare antibodies with therapeutic potential from the blood of humans and other mammals, and from other antibody library sources, including hybridomas. 


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