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MGI Tech Expands Sequencing Capabilities in Europe

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MGI Tech Expands Sequencing Capabilities in Europe

In November, MGI Tech Co, a Shenzhen-based biotechnology company, an affiliated company of BGI Group, committed to building core tools and technology for genome sequencing, opened a Customer Experience Center (CEC) in London, expanding its presence on the European continent. This came after the first CEC opened its doors in Riga, Latvia in late October, joining a roster of existing MGI’s demo labs in Australia and Japan. The new London-based site provides local customers and partners with first-hand experiences with MGI’s advanced instruments and reflects the company’s commitment to the European market.

Major VC Rounds For AI Companies in Drug Discovery and Biotech in 2022

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Major VC Rounds For AI Companies in Drug Discovery and Biotech in 2022

Despite the economic situation and political climate in 2022, such fields as drug discovery and biotech keep evolving and bringing vital solutions to challenges of the time drawing the attention of venture capitalists (VCs). In this piece let's focus specifically on artificial intelligence (AI)-driven biotech and drug discovery companies which managed to attract investors and raise notable rounds in 2022.

How “Big Tech” is Slowly Winning Pharmaceutical Markets

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How “Big Tech” is Slowly Winning Pharmaceutical Markets

Recent news by Business Insider point to Amazon’s ambition to expand its focus into Life Sciences and drug discovery, leveraging its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, cloud infrastructures, and other “high-tech” assets. As per data obtained by Business Insider from an internal AI conference, Amazon executives discuss using machine learning to revolutionize drug discovery, genomics, clinical trials, and more.

It is impossible to deny the increasing impact that “big tech” giants, like Google, Microsoft, Tencent, and others, have on the Life Sciences industry. All of us have heard of DeepMind’s success in solving protein structures with AlphaFold, and this technology developed by Alphabet’s subsidiary has become a game changer for the pharmaceutical industry, at least conceptually -- illustrating what is possible and where the application of high-tech to fundamental biology problems, may lead us at some point.

And just days ago, Meta (formerly Facebook) did just that -- researchers from this California-based social media giant have used AI to predict the structures of some 600 million proteins from bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that haven’t been characterized. They used a ‘large language model,’ a type of AI that can predict text from just a few letters or words.

So, what attracts technological giants into the Life Sciences market?

5 Companies in Spain Merging Technology and Biology

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5 Companies in Spain Merging Technology and Biology

While Spain's biotechnology research centers, including the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University, retain their positions in world rankings, the country's biopharma enterprises are yet to prove leadership in the field. President of the Spanish association of bioenterprises ASEBIO explained in the interview with Pharmaboardroom that, in his opinion, the country lacks “the ability to transform the science we generate into the industry and economic value; it is a chronic challenge that has faced us for 50 years, but, luckily, we are making progress.”

In recent years, several biotech companies emerged in Spain, bringing unique technologies to the market, from virtual reality to artificial intelligence. Below are five companies we picked up to illustrate what is happening in Spain’s biopharmaceutical tech scene.

What Makes Israel's Life Sciences Ecosystem Successful?

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What Makes Israel's Life Sciences Ecosystem Successful?

Israel's biotech sector has been considered secondary to its thriving Medtech field for decades. Still, the turn of millennia brought a significant shift to the biotech landscape in the country.

Part of the growth originates from Israel’s focus on building a solid education with roughly 6% of GDP being spent on this sector. Israeli biotech field caught the attention of pharma giants and other corporations, such as Pfizer, GE, Johnson & Johnson, and more, to build R&D centers and startup incubators in the country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel was among the fastest to vaccinate its population due to data-sharing deals between the Israeli government and Pfizer.

The Promise of DAOs in Drug Discovery

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The Promise of DAOs in Drug Discovery

In August, Pfizer announced it requested to join VitaDAO with a half-a-million bid. VitaDAO is a new type of decentralized autonomous organization (DAOs) built on blockchain technology. DAOs are new smart contract-based entities that enable capital, talent, and crowd intelligence exchange between several organizations. DAOs operate by rules and financial transactions encoded on a transparent blockchain architecture, controlled by the stakeholders and not influenced by a central governing body, like in a usual company. Essentially, DAOs are member-owned.

First-of-its-kind AI-based Diagnostics Solutions Approved in Europe

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First-of-its-kind AI-based Diagnostics Solutions Approved in Europe

According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 - nearly every 6th death worldwide happens because of this disease. Among all cancer cases, the top 3 types of cancer by incidence were breast (2.26 million cases), lung (2.21 million cases), colon and rectum (1.93 million cases). With the drastic lifespan increase over the last semi-centenary, more and more people will be diagnosed with cancer. Based on 2015-2017 data National Cancer Institute of the United States concluded that 39.5% of men and women will become oncology patients at some point of their lives. And this number will only increase as NIH expects a trifold rise of cancer related deaths in 2040 compared to 2020.These appalling predictions leave no other choice than to address this problem, and  major biotech companies and renowned research institutions all over the world are striving to offer solutions to this challenge for more than a century.  

The Rise of Synthetic Biology Platforms

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The Rise of Synthetic Biology Platforms

Even though the term ‘synthetic biology’ remains foreign to an average person, the idea behind it is familiar to many. Nearly 3 decades ago Steven Spielberg released a famous sci-fi movie where a bunch of genetically modified creatures escapes the premises and starts terrorizing human beings. And while Hollywood scenarists use stories similar to this one from ‘Jurassic world’ to play on the audience’s nerves, major scientific advances in life sciences over the last 50 years provided researchers with technologies that could turn those scenarios into reality. 

So what is synthetic biology? Polish geneticist Waclaw Szybalski introduced this term to designate the engineering of natural biologic systems such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi, plants and animals to produce the desired products. A known example of synthetic biology application is rice modified to produce beta-carotene, a nutrient usually associated with carrots, to prevent child vitamin A deficiency in poor countries.

9 Companies Using Artificial Intelligence to Fight Infectious Diseases

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9 Companies Using Artificial Intelligence to Fight Infectious Diseases

Development of a novel drug is a tedious process that requires immense investments of resources and time - on average, it takes at least ten years and $ 2.6 B for a new medicine to complete the journey from initial discovery to the marketplace. And then patents give pharmaceutical companies the right to be the sole supplier of a new drug in a certain country to make such time and efforts investments justified. But if we are talking about a rapidly developing new plague, time resources at the disposal of the pharmaceutical industry appear to be scarce and new solutions to emerging challenges have to be found faster.  

AI-driven Anima Biotech Achieves Milestone with Takeda Illustrating Opportunities in Small Molecule mRNA Drugs Discovery

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AI-driven Anima Biotech Achieves Milestone with Takeda Illustrating Opportunities in Small Molecule mRNA Drugs Discovery

New Jersey-based Anima Biotech, a leader in the discovery of small molecule mRNA drugs and their mechanisms of action (MOAs) by phenotypic screening with AI-powered image analysis, announced a research milestone in its collaboration with Takeda.

Anima Biotech identifies small molecule drug candidates that selectively modify the translation of mRNA into proteins on ribosomes to modulate the levels of protein produced, to consequently elucidate their MOA in a target space. Research of the company is powered by a custom technology that attaches fluorescent tags to frequently repeating transfer RNA (tRNA) pairs during translation with fluorescent light. One of Anima’s key areas of interest is neurosciences, the subject of an ongoing, up-to-$1.49 billion collaboration with Eli Lilly.

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