Six March 2024 deals advancing drug discovery

  1. Allogene Therapeutics and Arbor Biotechnologies

Biotechnology companies Allogene Therapeutics and Arbor Biotechnologies entered a non-exclusive, global gene editing licensing agreement for use of Arbor’s proprietary CRISPR gene-editing technology in Allogene’s AlloCAR T platform for the treatment of autoimmune disease (AID).

“The potential for CAR T as a therapeutic option for autoimmune disease has captured the collective imagination of the scientific community,” said Zachary Roberts, Executive Vice President of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer of Allogene. “Accordingly, this excitement created a new field for CAR T that has become quickly crowded, making differentiation key for future success.”

  1. Ubiquigent and Nanna Therapeutics

Under the terms of a new partnership agreement, Ubiquigent will provide Nanna Therapeutics (a subsidiary of Astellas) with access to its deubiquitylase (DUB) focused drug discovery platform to support the development of novel therapeutics for human disease targets selected by Nanna.

Jason Mundin, CEO of Ubiquigent, commented: “We are delighted to enter this latest agreement and look forward to supporting the team at Nanna Therapeutics. Our platform was established to support those seeking to modulate DUB activity for therapeutic benefit and has been used by a long list of global partners which we are very pleased to add Nanna Therapeutics to.”

  1. The Jackson Laboratory and LG AI Research

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and LG AI Research have created an alliance between JAX’s knowledge of biomedical research and data analysis and LG’s AI research and product development understanding.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the vast opportunities in AI,” said JAX President and CEO Lon Cardon. “LG AI Research shares our vision to maximise the value of AI and the potential to transform human health. Together, we can leverage our unique strengths to realise a future where AI and genetics revolutionise healthcare.”

  1. Ricoh and ERS Genomics

Ricoh has signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement in the USA and Japan with ERS Genomics for access to the company’s foundational CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology patents.

The company aims to predict the mechanism of action of candidate drugs for patients with varied genetic backgrounds and to improve the speed and efficiency of mRNA design by combining its core technologies with CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology. Through manipulations such as genetic editing of cells to enhance or diminish specific functions, Ricoh hopes to create highly reliable disease models, including those for rare diseases.

  1. ProBioGen and Mapp Biopharmaceutical

CDMO ProBioGen and Mapp Biopharmaceutical have entered a partnership to develop a cell line for an afucosylated antibody targeting Marburg virus (MARV) infection.

Under the terms of the agreement, ProBioGen will contribute its expertise in cell line development including its DirectedLuck transposase system and GlymaxX technology to enhance antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity of the molecule.

  1. Resilient Biotics and CosmosID

Resilient Biotics and CosmosID have announced plans to explore the intricate microbiome strains that colonise the respiratory tract tissues, a critical step towards advancing respiratory health research and therapeutic development.

Together, the two companies will work on identifying, analysing, and understanding respiratory tract microbiome systems across multiple animal models and carry out genomic sequencing of respiratory colonisers from the Resilient Biotics strain collection. They hope the combined effort will expand the understanding of the function and impact of individual strains on overall respiratory health.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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