LONDON – The global pandemic has put the term mRNA on lips worldwide, but vaccines apart, the field of RNA therapeutics has failed to overcome the problem of delivery and is stuck at first base, targeting the liver. Newco Sixfold Bioscience Ltd. is the latest company working to end this constraint, applying a mixture of computation and advanced chemistry to design tissue-specific RNA delivery systems.
Protein profiling startup Nomic Bio has secured $17 million in an oversubscribed series A financing led by Lux Capital. The funds will be used to expand the company’s servicing and manufacturing labs in Montreal and Boston, to broaden access to its proteomic platform by scaling profiling capacity to 100,000 samples per quarter starting in the second quarter of 2022 and by scaling its protein-detection method, called nELISA, to 500 on-boarded proteins.
Israeli startup Ophthalmic Sciences Ltd. is targeting 2023 for regulatory clearance of its artificial intelligence (AI)-based contactless intraocular pressure (IOP) measuring device, IO Perfect. The technology, which combines AI visual analysis in a virtual reality headset, enables remote monitoring of glaucoma. The device is designed to be used at home, in eye clinics, emergency room departments, pharmacies and primary physician settings.
LONDON – Newco Loqus23 Therapeutics Ltd. has closed a £7 million (US$9.4 million) extension of its seed round, providing the means to progress its lead small-molecule program in Huntington’s disease through lead optimization. The extended round, from the Novartis Venture Fund and the U.K. government-backed Dementia Discovery Fund, follows an initial seed investment of £4.5 million by DDF in 2019, that was not made public at the time.
DUBLIN – Sisaf Ltd. has exercised an option on an Italian preclinical program to treat a rare bone disorder, autosomal dominant osteopetrosis type 2, with an siRNA molecule, which it will deliver with its in-house Bio-courier technology.
LONDON – Four decades of academic research at the University of California, San Francisco, is to be translated through to the clinic with funding from a €1 million (US$1.2 million) European Commission grant. The money, awarded to a Dutch/German consortium will fund the generation and optimization of antibodies designed to neutralize oxidized phospholipids that mediate inflammatory changes in a swathe of diseases. The consortium that won the Eurostars award is led by Oxitope Pharma BV.
DUBLIN – Sapreme Technologies BV is taking a novel approach to the extraordinary inefficiency of intracellular delivery of macromolecular drugs by developing a series of compounds that can dramatically improve the rate with which drugs such as proteins and oligonucleotides can escape the endosome.
Developing the next generation of antibiotics is proving to be a major problem, with research reaching an almost standstill due to a lack of funding because of the poor return on R&D investment from the products.
LONDON – The scientific pioneer behind T-cell receptors has taken the helm of a new biotech he believes has the technology to overcome current shortcomings of cancer immunotherapy. Bent Jakobsen, co-founder and long-term chief scientific officer of Immunocore plc and of CAR T-cell specialist Adaptimmune plc, is now CEO of Accession Therapeutics Ltd., set up to develop what is claimed as the first oncolytic virus to be genetically engineered to exclusively infect cancer cells.