Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

AUG 2017

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 37

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | | AUGUST 2017 | 7 lactic acidosis, and stroke (MELAS) syn- drome and Leber hereditary optic neuropa- thy (LHON). Diseases of the central nervous system, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are included in the scope of work. To advance this work, the company also is collaborat- ing with researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, a lead- ing center for basic mitochondrial disease research and patient care. "We're doing a huge number of things simultaneously," Dr. Williams says. For example, in addition to its mitochondrial program, Bactevo is in the early stages of re- search to generate new antibiotic drugs that combat the highly drug-resistant Gram-neg- ative pathogens that cause septicemia, and chest and severe urinary tract infections. The antibiotic program is funded, in part, by the $2.0 (£1.5)-million grant it received when it won Innovate UK's Innovate Award in Janu- ary 2017. The company also is expanding the number and types of reagents that can be used with TIME to increase its therapeutic reach and chemical diversity. Nearer-term, the company intends to demonstrate the platform in a number of dif- ferent areas. "Two years from now," predicts Dr. Williams, "we expect to have products ready to transition to clinical development." Evolution and Collaboration Bactevo operated in stealth mode until this spring and only recently began talking about TIME. Now, the company is in discus- sions with select pharmaceutical companies with an eye toward participating in collabor- ative discovery programs and ultimately pre- senting its partners with compounds based upon exacting requirements. "We're evolv- ing a business model that keeps the value of the technology in the company," insists Dr. Williams. At the same time, Bactevo is aug- menting capabilities through collaborations. Later, Dr. Williams says, the company may consider licensing TIME for applications be- yond pharmaceuticals. "Usually, I see limitations with technolo- gies," remarks Dr. Williams. "I don't [see them] here." Pharma seems to agree with this senti- ment. In his talks with Big Pharma about TIME, Dr. Williams keeps hearing the same question: "How is it that you've done this and we haven't?" The answer that Dr. Wil- liams proposes is this: "In a small company, unless you solve a problem rapidly, you don't survive long." This imperative to succeed permeates Bactevo, which addresses existential threats by cultivating its staff's problem-solving skills. "We have an unusual mix of out- standing scientists and disciplines from five nationalities working within 10 yards of one another and talking about their work," informs Dr. Williams. The mix includes ex- perts in microfluidics, sequencing, nanofab- rication, artificial intelligence, and other dis- ciplines working together to solve problems. It also helps, states Dr. Williams, that Bacte- vo is based in Cambridge, U.K., "a world- leading hot-bed of innovation in many dif- ferent disciplines." … I could utilize cells from the same donor over a long time period? … immune cells could be modified non-virally in large scale ? … I beat my boss at tennis tonight, will he get mad at me? What if... BioResearch / immuno-therapy ©2017 Lonza. All trademarks belong to Lonza or its affiliates. The information contained herein is believed to be correct. No warranty is made, either expressed or implied. Solving Today's Challenges in Immunotherapy Lonza can't help you with your temperamental boss, but we can provide high quality primary cells, transfection technology and services to support your transition from research into therapy. – Large inventory of primary blood cells from individual donors – NEW! Large-scale transfection of 10 9 primary immune and stem cells – Clinical development and commercial manufacturing services for cell therapies Visit our website for immunotherapy-related technical resources. 4D-Nucleofector™ LV Unit for large-scale transfection Corporate Profile Bactevo Location The Merrifield Centre Rosemary Lane Cambridge, U.K. CB1 3LQ Phone +44 1223 423506 Website Principal David Williams, Ph.D. Number of Employees 15 Focus Bactevo has developed a Totally Integrated Medicines Engine (TIME) that performs 100 million assays per hour. TIME is being used to rapidly advance the speed, efficiency, and quality of drug discovery programs internally and with pharmaceutical partners. Vital Signs

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News - AUG 2017