This week in drug discovery (21 – 25 June)

News round-up by DDW’s Megan Thomas for 21 – 25 June

Amidst the threat of new Covid-19 waves, vaccination roll-outs, funding provided and awards won, the news in the world of drug discovery this week shows the continuously pertinent trend of collaboration. The news suggests that when turning drug discovery into business, partnership is king: from Twist Bioscience’s podcast reflections on the results of successful collaboration and recruitment opportunities, to a Chinese/Western partnership which may leverage the ability to promote indigenously developed drugs in China.

1. Aleta and Cancer Research UK collaborate to advance blood cancer therapy 

Aleta Biotherapeutics and Cancer Research UK have collaborated to advance the early phase clinical development of Aleta’s CAR-T cell engager candidate, ALETA-001. Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development will fund, sponsor and conduct the first-in-human Phase I/IIa clinical trial of ALETA-001.

2. Antibody engineering: why collaboration matters – podcast

Melina Mathur, Product Manager for Biopharma at Twist Bioscience, talks about Twist’s antibody expertise, drawing on the company’s experience and looking at the importance of collaboration. The company has created some successful partnerships and she explains what these look like, why they have been fruitful, and how they have enabled Twist to use its capabilities to maximum effect.

Listen here.

3. Formedix and CDISC join forces to accelerate clinical trial set-up

Formedix, a provider of clinical trial software solutions, has collaborated with CDISC, the global clinical research data standards development organisation, to create a novel portal providing free access to ready-to-use, CDASH-compliant, annotated electronic case report forms (eCRFs).

4. First medicine approved in the EU to treat rare genetic condition

AstraZeneca and MSD’s Koselugo (selumetinib) has been granted conditional approval in the European Union for the treatment of symptomatic, inoperable plexiform neurofibromas (PN) in paediatric patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) aged three years and above.

5. Chinese/Western partnership to promote indigenous drugs

China-based Luye Pharma Group’s holding subsidiary Boan Biotech signed an agreement with AstraZeneca China in May 2021 regarding the promotion rights to the anticancer drug Boyounuo (biosimilar of Roche’s Bevacizumab Injection), under which Boan will grant exclusive promotion rights to AstraZeneca across 21 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions of China.

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