A Genen tech-part nered Vi jay Pande fa vorite nabs $52M to ad vance an AI pipeline

Genen Technology部分nered Vi jay Pande fa vorite斥资5200万美元向万斯投资人工智能管道

2020-12-03 02:01:35 ENDPOINTS NEWS


Evan Fein­berg could have picked a bet­ter time to launch his AI biotech, Gen­e­sis. He an­nounced a $4.1 mil­lion round last No­vem­ber; by March, South San Fran­cis­co, Cal­i­for­nia was un­der lock­down. Still, a year lat­er, he can look back at his ear­ly tenure with a cer­tain de­gree of sat­is­fac­tion. “To see the things we’ve ac­com­plished, all from my couch?” Fein­berg told End­points News. “It’s re­al­ly bizarre.” As with most ear­ly-stage biotechs, it’s dif­fi­cult to ver­i­fy pre­cise­ly what they’ve ac­com­plished, but Gen­e­sis Ther­a­peu­tics has man­aged to check some key box­es: They’ve ex­pand­ed the team from 5 mem­bers to 12. In Oc­to­ber, James Sabry and Aviv Regev at Genen­tech tapped them to help dis­cov­er new mol­e­cules. And with some in­ter­nal proof-of-con­cept da­ta to show in­vestors, they an­nounced to­day a $52 mil­lion Se­ries A round to help them land more big-name part­ners and ad­vance an in­ter­nal pipeline of small mol­e­cule drugs. The round was led by Rock Springs, with old pals at An­dreessen Horowitz and Fe­li­cis Ven­tures, among oth­ers, chip­ping in. Gen­e­sis be­longs to a raft of biotechs now try­ing to use ma­chine learn­ing and neur­al net­works to sift through bil­lions of small mol­e­cules and find the best ones to hit a giv­en tar­get. The $52 mil­lion raise is a size­able start­ing round, al­though not out of step with the cash that has re­cent­ly be­gun to flow in­to the space; Atom­wise, ar­guably the flashiest name in the field, re­cent­ly raised a $123 mil­lion Se­ries C. Atom­wise and oth­ers have al­so no­tably at­tract­ed crit­i­cism for over-hyp­ing what their al­go­rithms can do and how quick­ly they can speed up drug de­vel­op­ment. Fein­berg and a16z’s Vi­jay Pande, who men­tored Fein­berg when he was a grad­u­ate stu­dent at Pande’s Stan­ford lab, have sought to dis­tin­guish them­selves by point­ing to the team that has been as­sem­bled. It’s not just soft­ware en­gi­neers, Fein­berg said, but al­so dyed-in-the-wool med­i­c­i­nal chemists — the tra­di­tion­al hu­man al­go­rithms of drug dis­cov­ery — such as CSO Pep­pi Pr­a­sit, a Ver­sant ad­vi­sor and vet­er­an of Mer­ck and Ami­ra Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, and VP Nick Scott, an­oth­er Ami­ra vet­er­an. “They don’t re­al­ly have pa­tience for the sort of neb­u­lous claims that of­ten pro­lif­er­ate in the com­pu­ta­tion­al space,” Fein­berg said. “They want to see da­ta, they want to see ex­per­i­ments in the lab­o­ra­to­ry ver­i­fy­ing com­pu­ta­tion­al pre­dic­tions be­ing use­ful for re­al drug tar­gets, oth­er­wise it’s just not in­ter­est­ing to them.” Fein­berg al­so points to their al­go­rithms, the ba­sis of which has been pub­lished in promi­nent chem­istry jour­nals, and which he says has im­proved sub­stan­tial­ly over the past years. The com­pa­ny is one of just a hand­ful in the AI small mol­e­cule space look­ing to build an in­ter­nal pipeline. For now, what those can­di­dates are and what they will tar­get re­main en­tire­ly un­der wraps. In 2006, a clinical trial called ILLUMINATE halted abruptly. Trial subjects treated with an investigational drug called torcetrapib started experiencing unexpected cardiovascular problems, in some cases resulting in death. After 15 years and nearly 1 billion dollars, the development of torcetrapib froze. Nine years later, a paper published in the journal Circulation explained how the ILLUMINATE disaster could have been predicted and prevented if just 9 proteins had been measured in clinical trial participants following initial treatments. In the oncology world, there’s no better hunting ground for cancer R&D execs than Genentech. The biotech franchise at Roche has worked on some of the leading drugs in the field, proven themselves with blockbuster returns, and carries weight for whatever it says and does. The exodus of R&D talent out of the South San Francisco hub is a testament to their success. Now one of their top research execs has been raided by a top China biotech player to satisfy not just their need for an oncology R&D chief as they build up their muscle in discovery and drug development, but also add a spotter for new cancer drug deals. Pfizer and BioNTech have scored a historic OK for their Covid-19 vaccine in the UK, where the first doses are expected to be delivered within days. Days after the British government authorized its Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to make a call independent of the European Union — from which it’s in the process of exiting — the regulators gave the green light for emergency use of BNT162b2. After recording close to a billion dollars in investment earnings over 9 months, driven mostly by Moderna’s soaring stock, Merck is cashing out. The company sold its stake in $MRNA — which it’s held since 2015 — in the first half of the quarter, causing a temporary 2.5% dip in Moderna’s share price before the market opened on Wednesday. By late morning, the stock was back up 3.4%. The news comes just two weeks before an FDA advisory committee meeting to discuss Moderna’s application for emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine. Eighteen months after Exelixis signed on to partner with Iconic Therapeutics on an antibody-drug conjugate, more money is flowing. Exelixis is picking up its exclusive option on the tissue factor-targeting ADC now known as XB002 (formerly ICON-2), Iconic’s lead program. Exelixis is adding $20 million to the $7.5 million it paid upfront. Part of that goes to ZymeWorks, which assisted with their ZymeLink ADC tech. Six years after Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb captured the attention of the oncology world with the first approval of their PD-1 drugs Keytruda and Opdivo, sales revenue has started to level off after a host of rivals joined the hunt for new OKs for metastatic conditions, where the FDA has proven quick to act. But a key analyst covering biopharma believes that there’s a vast, still largely untapped frontier for new approvals to come in the adjuvant setting that could once again ignite the growth of these leading cancer franchises. And once again, he’s pointing to the 2 leaders in the field as the most likely players to come out ahead — way, way ahead. Roughly five weeks after buying out Asklepios — also known as AskBio — for up to $4 billion, Bayer is hammering home its focus on cell and gene therapies. The Big Pharma announced Wednesday that it is establishing a cell and gene therapy platform within its pharmaceuticals division in order to consolidate all of its related projects under one umbrella. Researchers will continue working and developing experimental drugs on their own, Bayer said, while the execs will lay out and define the overall strategy and look to swing some more deals. Two years after tiptoeing into the protein degradation space with a discovery pact centered on neurodegeneration, AbbVie is wading deeper to explore the more common applications in cancer and immunological diseases. The pharma giant is handing Frontier Medicines $55 million upfront to get things started while promising to reimburse its preclinical R&D costs. In addition to drug candidates that target E3 ligases — a key member of the body’s natural degradation system — Frontier will also be scouting small molecule binders to targets. Just weeks after MeiraGTx touted their latest update on data emerging from their gene therapy alliance with J&J on inherited retinal diseases, the pharma giant is back with an acquisition tailored to beef up their R&D efforts in the field. This deal is focused on HMR59, an early-stage gene therapy at a small biotech called Hemera Biosciences. They’re keeping the terms under wraps for now, but J&J is grabbing a once-and-done gene therapy that is designed to protect levels of CD59, a key protein that guards the retina.
埃文•费恩伯格(Evan Feinberg)本可以选择一个更好的时机来发布他的人工智能生物技术--GeneSis。上一轮他获得了410万美元的奖金;到今年3月,南圣弗朗西斯科和加利福尼亚已经解除了封锁。 不过,一年后,他可以用一种相当程度的态度来回顾自己的任期。 费恩伯格告诉End-points News:“想看看我们在沙发上买的东西吗?”“这真的很奇怪。” 就像大多数处于初级阶段的生物技术一样,很难预先确定他们已经完成了什么,但基因技术人员已经开始检查一些关键的问题:他们已经将团队从5名成员扩充到12名。去年,Genentech的James Sabry和Aviv Regev利用他们帮助设计新的模型。为了向投资者展示一些内部的概念证明,他们今天宣布一轮投资5200万美元,以帮助他们获得更多的大牌配角,并为内部的小分子药物提供支持。 这轮比赛由Rock Springs牵头,Andreessen Horowitz和Felicis Venctures等老友也参与了进来。 现在,一大批生物技术人员正试图利用计算机学习和网络来筛选大量的小模型,并找到最好的模型来完成一项任务。5200万美元的募资是一轮规模可观的启动资金,尽管与流入该领域的现金并没有脱节;Atom Wise,无疑是该领域最耀眼的名字,成功募集了1.23亿美元的Se.C。 Atom Wise和Other们对他们的机器能做什么以及它们能以多快的速度加速毒品的研发,都不以为然地受到了批评。 范伯格和A16Z的Vijay Pande(范伯格还是潘德的斯坦福特实验室的研究生时曾对范伯格施以毒手)试图通过指出已经被削弱的团队来自我解构。费恩伯格说,这不仅仅是软件工程师,而是彻头彻尾的医学化学家--药品销售的真正的人--比如Merck和Amira Pharma ceuticals公司的副总裁兼兽医CSO Pep Pi Pra-sit,以及Amira兽医VP Nick Scott。 费恩伯格说:“他们并不像在计算机空间里的十个专业人士那样,有足够的实力来支持这种类似的声明。”“他们希望看到daeta,他们希望看到实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室里的实验室 Feinberg Also指出了他们的原理,其原理已经在《现代化学期刊》中得到了阐述,他表示,过去几年来,这些原理已经得到了长足的发展。 这个组件只是AI小型建模空间中的一只手,它可以构建一个内部管道。就目前而言,这些可能的日期是什么,它们将会得到什么,这些都是主要的包装。 2006年,一项名为ILLUMINATE的临床试验突然中止。试验对象使用一种名为torcetrapib的研究药物治疗后,开始出现意想不到的心血管问题,在某些情况下导致死亡。经过15年和近10亿美元,torcetrapib的开发冻结了。 九年后,发表在《循环》杂志上的一篇论文解释了如果在最初治疗后的临床试验参与者中只测量了9种蛋白质,那么照明灾难是如何被预测和预防的。 在肿瘤学领域,没有比基因泰克更适合癌症研发高管的猎场了。罗氏的生物技术专营权已经开发出了该领域的一些领先药物,并以惊人的回报证明了自己,而且无论它说什么,做什么都有分量。 研发人才从旧金山南部的研发中心大量外流,是他们成功的证明。 如今,他们的一位顶级研究高管被一位中国顶尖生物技术公司突袭,这不仅是为了满足他们在研发和药物开发方面增强实力时对肿瘤研发主管的需求,还为新的癌症药物交易增加了一名观察家。 辉瑞和BioNTech公司的Covid-19疫苗在英国获得了历史性的认可,首批疫苗预计将在几天内交付。 在英国政府授权其药品和医疗保健产品监管机构独立于欧盟发出呼吁几天后,监管机构为紧急使用BNT162B2开了绿灯,该机构目前正处于退出欧盟的过程中。 默克公司在过去9个月里取得了近10亿美元的投资收益,主要是受Moderna股价飙升的推动,现在正在进行套现。 该公司在上半季度出售了自2015年以来持有的$mRNA股份,导致Moderna股价在周三开盘前短暂下跌2.5%。截至上午晚些时候,该公司股价回升3.4%。这一消息是在FDA顾问委员会开会讨论Moderna紧急使用其Covid-19疫苗申请的两周前发布的。 在Exelixis签约与Iconic Therapeutics合作研制抗体-药物结合物18个月后,更多的资金正在流入。 Exelixis正在选择组织因子靶向ADC的独家选项,现在被称为XB002(原ICON-2),ICONIC的主导项目。Exelixis公司在预付750万美元的基础上又增加了2000万美元。其中一部分归ZymeWorks公司,该公司协助他们的ZymeLink ADC技术。 默克公司和百时美施贵宝公司首次批准其PD-1药物Keytruda和Opdivo,引起了肿瘤学界的关注。六年后,随着许多竞争对手加入到针对转移性疾病的新型OKs的搜寻中来,销售收入开始趋于平稳,FDA证明这方面的行动很快。 但一位负责生物制药的主要分析师认为,在辅助药物方面,仍有一个巨大的,基本上尚未开发的新领域,可能会再次点燃这些领先的癌症专营权的增长。再一次,他指出这两个领域的领导者是最有可能取得领先的球员--非常非常领先。 在斥资40亿美元收购Asklepios(又名AskBio)大约五周后,拜耳公司将重点放在了细胞和基因疗法上。 这家大型制药公司周三宣布,它正在其制药部门内建立一个细胞和基因治疗平台,以便将其所有相关项目整合在一个伞下。拜耳公司表示,研究人员将继续自行研发试验药物,而高管们将制定和定义总体战略,并寻求达成更多交易。 在凭借一项以神经变性为中心的发现协议蹑手蹑脚地进入蛋白质降解领域两年后,AbbVie正在更深入地探索癌症和免疫学疾病中更为常见的应用。 这家制药巨头向Frontier Medicinals支付了5500万美元的预付款,以启动项目,同时承诺偿还其临床前研发费用。除了靶向E3连接酶(人体自然降解系统的关键成员)的候选药物外,Frontier还将寻找靶向小分子结合剂。 就在MeiraGTx公司吹捧其与强生公司在遗传性视网膜疾病方面的基因治疗联盟所产生的最新数据后几周,这家制药巨头又回来了,收购了一家公司,旨在加强他们在该领域的研发努力。 这笔交易的重点是HMR59,这是一家名为Hemera Biosciences的小型生物技术公司的早期基因疗法。他们目前对这些条款保密,但强生公司正在抓住一种一次性的基因疗法,这种疗法旨在保护CD59的水平,CD59是一种保护视网膜的关键蛋白。