Software solutions

Global overview: BICO Group takes over Biosero and its software solutions

The Swedish group BICO, which was formerly known as Cellink, acquires Biosero, a leading provider of software for automated workflows and laboratory connectivity. The $165 million acquisition will enable BICO to offer fully automated and connected workflow solutions from its current portfolio, as well as with Biosero’s software solutions.

Biosero is based in San Diego and employs 75 people. The company offers software solutions that enable seamless lab automation for connected and intelligent workflows. These solutions are expected to have a significant impact on BICO’s entire core industrial ecosystem in cell line development, multi-omics, tissue engineering and diagnostics.

BICO said these “cross-company synergies have the potential to unlock significant orders related to automated workflows.” Following the acquisition, BICO announced plans to invest $20 million over three years to accelerate Biosero’s commercial program to expand into new geographic markets.

“At BICO, we are committed to leveraging our bioconvergence technologies to develop smart, automated and sustainable solutions for our customers, and in turn revolutionize the healthcare industry. With Biosero, we are taking an important and strategic step in expanding our portfolio with combinatorial intelligent software systems to enable automated workflows,” said Erik Gatenholm, CEO and co-founder of BICO in a statement. “The Biosero software platform will serve as the glue for our impressive portfolio of hardware instruments and solutions, linking together the excellent hardware technologies we have acquired over the years. Through improved effectiveness and efficiency, this leads to better and faster decision-making for our customers and helps solve the modern health challenges we face.

Elsewhere in the world:

Metrion Biosciences – UK-based Metrion Biosciences Limited and Belgium-based Bioqube Ventures, a European life sciences investment firm, have forged a collaboration supported by Bioqube Factory Fund I, to incubate a research project on discovery of drugs targeting autoimmune diseases. Bioqube and Metrion will advance a previously identified lead series of highly potent and selective small molecule inhibitors of the Kv1.3 human potassium ion channel to enable further development. Activation of this voltage-gated ion channel in effector memory T cells is thought to be an early and necessary step in the development of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus nephritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, plates and many more.

Mesoblast Limited – Australian company Mesoblast has received comments from the US Food and Drug Administration regarding a planned Phase III study of rexlemestrocel-L in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) due to refractory degenerative disc disease (DDD) available therapies, including opioids. In the United States, there is excessive use of opioids in this patient population, with more than 50% of opioid prescriptions in the United States being for the treatment of CLBP. Treatment with non-opioid medications continues to be a major unmet medical need and a priority. A key goal is to demonstrate reduction in pain and opioid use and to position rexlemestrocel-L as a potential opioid-sparing agent.

UCB – The Belgian company UCB announced the first positive results of the interim analysis of the phase III BE MOBILE 2 study, which evaluates the efficacy and safety of bimekizumab in adults with active ankylosing spondylitis. The BE MOBILE 2 study met its primary endpoint, as measured by the proportion of patients who achieved the ASAS40 (Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society 40) response at 16 weeks. The ASAS40 improvement was 40% from baseline. The study also met all graded secondary endpoints, including significant improvements with bimekizumab versus placebo at week 16 in patient-reported disease activity and nocturnal spinal pain score. BE MOBILE 2 is one of two Phase III studies evaluating bimekizumab across the spectrum of axial spondylitis (axSpA), which includes both ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic (nr)-axSpA.

Variational AI – Vancouver-based Variational AI has partnered with the University of British Columbia and adMare BioInnovations to develop a novel SARS-CoV-2 master protease inhibitor (3CLpro) as potential against all variants of concern . The COVID-19 drug discovery program is funded by Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, which is supported by Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science and Industry.

xeltis – Netherlands-based medical technology company Xeltis has announced that it has implanted the first ever restorative synthetic hemodialysis access grafts in patients. The company said that several patients with kidney failure or advanced kidney disease requiring dialysis have been successfully implanted with aXess grafts in a European first-in-man trial. aXess grafts allow early puncture, or initiation of dialysis, shortly after implantation. Over time, they are designed to transform into living blood vessels, as their porous microstructure is colonized by the patient’s own tissues.

Ji Xing Pharmaceuticals Limited – China-based Ji Xing and Cytokinetics have expanded an ongoing collaboration to develop and commercialize omecamtiv mecarbil for the proposed treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in Greater China.

ITM isotope – Germany-based ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization have extended their partnership by entering into a long-term license agreement that will see ANSTSO continue to produce nca177 Lu for the Australian and neo-markets. -Zealanders using ITM’s unique production technology. Nca177 Lu is used as a radiopharmaceutical precursor in targeted radionuclide therapy, a new treatment regimen in precision oncology.

Osivax – France’s Osivax has announced promising results from a phase IIa study of OVX876, a broad-spectrum influenza vaccine candidate. OVX836 targets the inner nucleoprotein (NP), a highly conserved antigen that is much less susceptible to mutations and potentially provides universal protection. OVX836 exhibited an excellent safety profile at all dose levels tested and demonstrated a strong and durable cellular NP-specific immune response following intramuscular injection. Although the study was not designed to measure clinical efficacy, an early signal of protection against flu symptoms in the 180µg arm was observed, the company said.

Menarini Group– Italy’s Menarini has licensed Karyopharm Therapeutics’ Nexpovio, a first-in-class oral Selective Nuclear Export Inhibitor (SINE) compound. Menarini has received exclusive rights to commercialize Nexpovio for the treatment of oncology indications in the European Union and other European countries, including the United Kingdom, Latin America and other key countries. In exchange, Karyopharm will receive an upfront payment of $75 million and is eligible to receive up to an additional $202.5 million in future stages.

Gédéa Biotech – Swedish women’s health company Gedea Biotech has announced that it has received funding for a research project with the Center for Translational Microbiome Research at Karolinska Institutet (KI), for its lead product, pHyph, a vaginal tablet for the topical treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV). The objective of the project is to better understand the microbial etiology of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and the factors associated with the success of antibiotic-free treatment with phyph.

Avacta Group – UK group Avacta said its AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test had received CE marking for use as a consumer self-test in the UK and EU. The AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Lateral Flow Self Test will be marketed by Medusa Healthcare under the brand name “MeduFlow”.