Drug discovery deals highlight key growth areas


The latest acquisitions and strategic partnerships in the drug discovery and development sector reveal the areas where companies predict significant growth in the near future: proteomics, CAR-T, antibody discovery, artificial intelligence (AI) and microbiomics.

Thermo Fisher Scientific acquires proteomics experts Olink

Thermo Fisher Scientific will acquire proteomics company Olink in a transaction valued at approximately $3.1 billion.

Olink specialises in solutions for proteomics discovery and development. Its proprietary technology, Proximity Extension Assay (PEA), provides high throughput protein analysis.

Through the purchase, Thermo Fisher will also gain a library of more than 5,300 validated protein biomarker targets.

“The acquisition of Olink underscores the profound impact that proteomics is having as our customers continue to advance life science research and precision medicine,” said Marc Casper, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thermo Fisher.

GenomeFrontier partners with BioCina on CAR-T therapy

CDMO BioCina and GenomeFrontier Therapeutics will partner on the development of virus-free CAR-T products for cancer treatment.

BioCina will provide process development and GMP manufacturing for Minicircle DNA and Plasmid DNA. GenomeFrontier will use their virus-free cell and gene engineering platforms and Quantum Engine cell-engineering system to manufacture the CAR-T therapy for use in a Phase I clinical trial.

GenomeFrontier’s Founder and CEO/CSO, Sareina Wu, said: “We believe that a cancer-free world is not only possible but is more real than ever before, due to major advancements in gene therapy. Therefore, we passionately strive to provide patients with next-generation virus-free gene therapies that are not only advanced and accessible, but also affordable.”

Antiverse and GlobalBio extend cancer antibody collaboration

The two companies have announced that they will build on their current collaboration, which has already seen two anti-PD-1 antibodies identified for continued development.

The project combines Antiverse’s AI-driven Antibody Discovery Platform and GlobalBio’s ALTHEA semisynthetic libraries.

Antibodies D6, highly specific for human PD-1, and D13, cross-reactive with dog PD-1 and related variants, are now progressing to preclinical development in an extension of the collaboration.

Ben Holland, Co-founder and CTO of Antiverse, said: “Through these types of innovative collaborations, Antiverse plays a vital role in accelerating the identification and development of novel antibody therapeutics for cancer, reducing drug discovery timelines and costs. We aim to continue to ‘open up’ the druggable antibody space.”

Renovaro Biosciences purchases AI health company GEDi Cube

Renovaro and GEDi Cube have signed an agreement that will make GEDi Cube a wholly-owned subsidiary of Renovaro.

Renovaro hopes that its pre-clinical and clinical trial data can be utilised to accelerate GEDi Cube’s AI capabilities which will result in the development of potential new therapies.

Dr Mark Dybul, CEO of Renovaro Biosciences, said: “The combined company will have independent operating divisions that will allow each technology to move as quickly as possible to commercialisation while the collaboration between divisions will aim to drive new advances in both AI and medicine.”

Renovaro Biosciences expects to begin human Phase I/II clinical trials of its leading candidate for pancreatic cancer and other solid tumours with poor life expectancy by the second half of 2024.

Clinical Microbiomics and CosmosID announce merger

Just 12 months after its acquisition of MS-Omics, Clinical Microbiomics has revealed a merger with CosmosID to form the “first-ever microbiome service company with a global infrastructure of state-of-the-art multi-omics laboratories, advanced bioinformatics, applied AI and integrative systems biology expertise meeting GxP Standards”.

Anders Grøn, CEO at Clinical Microbiomics, said: “We are a company made up of scientists – Innovation is at the heart of our DNA. With this merger, we pool our expertise, resources, and commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in microbiome research. Microbiome is the next modality in healthcare, and we’re here to help our clients and partners lead the way.”

The integrated company hopes to accelerate standardisation to ensure reliability and comparability of results, addressing a major hurdle for global studies.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, Drug Discovery World

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