Industry leaders from Liverpool City Region and the Invest Liverpool City Region team at Growth Platform attending this year’s World Vaccine Congress (WVC) in Washington from 4-8 April. Among the global life sciences leaders will be representatives of Astra Zeneca, CSL Seqirus, The Pandemic Institute and ReNewVax. Last year Liverpool City Region won UK Government status as a leading location for Vaccines Development and Manufacture for its internationally significant expertise in the discovery, development and manufacture of vaccines –a market estimated to be worth a total of £53 billion by 2028.
The Royal Veterinary College signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University to jointly create the East Asian state’s first veterinary medicine degree and further develop additional undergraduate and postgraduate teaching collaborations in biological sciences. The two will collaborate on major societal challenges, including: veterinary services, food chain safety and security, and One Health research and pandemic preparedness. NTU Dean of the College of Science Professor Simon Redfern said: “The opportunities for increased research and education in the field of veterinary science within the Singapore context are clear. I think of Singapore’s ‘30 by 30’ ambition to build up the agri-food industry to produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs domestically, by 2030. This, and the recognition of the importance of One Health as an approach to secure a sustainable and healthy future, especially in Southeast Asia and the tropics, brings the relevance of our alliance front and centre.”
UK microbiology testing services provider Wickham Micro has appointed Dr. Rob Turner as its new General Manager. With more than 21 years’ experience as a microbiologist, Turner has a PhD in the field of microbial bio-adhesion and drug delivery and a lengthy background in regulated contract services for the pharmaceutical sector and has also developed bespoke novel in vitro microbial performance tests.
Particle Works, the Royston-based provider of innovative microfluidic nanoparticle synthesis platforms, is supporting Earli Inc. via its Automated Library Synthesis (ALiS) and Automated Nanoparticle (ANP) systems – to accelerate and optimise DNA-LNP formulation screening for potential cancer treatments. Particle Works’ systems use the same microfluidics technology across multiple scales, allowing Earli to precisely produce lipid nanoparticles of consistent size and structure. Earli has cited the importance of LNPs to its work, allowing the selective expression of biomarker proteins in cancer cells.
Newcastle-based biotech company developing nanorobots to diagnose deadly diseases at an early stage, Nanovery has completed a successful trial with NHS scientists. Its system detects biomarkers directly in blood serum samples with a simple workflow, whereas the process typically requires multiple steps over many hours. With applications ranging from diagnosing liver or kidney issues to cancer, this system has the potential to significantly improve access to screening across a wide range of healthcare settings. North East Innovation Lab, part of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust analysed a biomarker linked to acute liver injury from extracted Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) samples to test the accuracy of the Nanovery technology by comparison to established methods at the North East Innovation Lab, part of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Nanovery recently announced Dr Mark Chadwick as its new CEO.
Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) specialising in the development and manufacturing of solutions for biopharma, ABL has appointed Stéphanie Colloud as general manager and chief operating officer for Europe. She will be responsible for operations at the Lyon and Strasbourg development and clinical production sites, heading a 160-strong team. Her priorities will include strengthening ABL’s R&D work in its GMP production platforms for Adeno Associated Viruses and LentiViruses and she will launch a commercial production facility equipped with bioreactors of up to 2,000 litres at the Strasbourg.
Dutch firm CleanNA’s quality management system has received the EN-ISO 13485 certificate for providing medical devices, research use-only products and related services. The company said the EN-ISO 13485 certificate marks an essential point in its move into molecular diagnostics and this year it will focus on launching its first CE-IVD-certified products.
Biotech SolasCure has completed its £10.9 million Series B investment round for its development of a hydrogel containing a recombinant enzyme derived from maggots, that aims to accelerate wound debridement. The funding round was led by Seneca Partners and also included BRAIN Biotech AG, EVA Pharma, Jonathan Milner, and Wealth Club. SolasCure's first investigational product, the hydrogel Aurase Wound Gel, is due to enter further Phase II efficacy-supporting trials. The next phase of trials will include a larger and more diverse patient group compared to the Phase IIa safety study
Exothera, the viral vector CDMO specialising in gene therapy, vaccines, and oncolytic viruses has announced a collaboration with Remedium, the preclinical-stage biotechnology company developing a lead candidate disease-modifying treatment for Osteoarthritis (OA), to demonstrate the potential of Remedium’s AAV2-FGF18. It said OA is the largest unmet clinical need in rheumatology, with no currently approved disease-modifying treatments and an estimated 300-500 million patients around the globe, adding that Remedium’s lead candidate is the only disease-modifying gene therapy based on the clinically proven regenerative mechanism of FGF18.
PacBio, the leading sequencing solutions developer has launched new workflows developed with global agriculture company Corteva Agriscience to promote high throughput plant and microbial genome sequencing. This delivers workflows that streamline DNA extraction through library preparation, enabling Corteva to sequence thousands of samples annually, as part of its innovative seed and crop protection research and production programs. “New methods are vital to keep pace with agricultural demand,” said Greg May, Genomics Technologies Director at Corteva Agriscience. “These end-to-end workflows, paired with the new long-read sequencing Revio system, will drive implementation of seed product development tools like CRISPR-Cas gene editing, and cutting-edge crop protection solutions.”
Human disease modelling company MIMETAS and pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma Inchave entered a partnership using MIMETAS’ comprehensive tumour models to support the next generation of immuno-oncological therapies. Said MIMETAS CEO Paul Vulto: “Astellas is among Japan's most innovative pharmaceutical companies with ambitious programs on cancer cell therapies and bispecific immune cell engagers. MIMETAS has the expertise and technology to capture the complexity of tumours and their microenvironments. This crucial piece of a puzzle allows us to understand tumour biology more deeply and supports Astellas’ ambition to substantially increase response rate to immuno-oncological treatments.”
NADMED, a start-up providing kits and laboratory services for the measurement of NADs from biological sample, is partnering with TruDiagnostic the health data company and CLIA-certified lab to launch a novel NAD blood test in the USA. NADMED said its NAD testing kit is the only one to be CE-marked.
Biopharma Vaccitech announced positive topline final data from the HBV002 study NCT04778904, a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of VTP-300 in people with chronic Hepatitis B (HBV) infection. The completed trial included 55 patients with chronic hepatitis B, supported the generally favourable tolerability profile previously reported, with no incidents of VTP-300-related Grade 3 adverse events or product-related serious adverse events following study dosing. VTP-300 was observed to induce meaningful, sustained reductions of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in patients with chronic HBV. Declines were most prominent in patients with lower baseline HBsAg. The final results of the immunology assays are currently being analysed and full data, will be presented at the EASL Congress, 21-24 June. CEO Bill Enright stated less than 10% of those with chronic HBV reached a functional cure with current therapies.