First Week Highlights of 2024
ALSO: Inside the workings of one of biotech industry’s most valuable private startups; the world's first real-time pathogen detection device; preventing cellular aging
Hi! I am Andrii Buvailo, and this is my weekly newsletter, ‘Where Tech Meets Bio,’ where I talk about technologies, breakthroughs, and great companies moving the biopharma industry forward.
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First of all, happy New Year! I am hopeful that the world will become a better place in 2024 than it was before.
As to this newsletter, I am now trying a new format, including a very brief weekly recap of biotech events, followed by several more in-depth stories. Please let me know how it works.
Now, let’s get to this week’s topics!
Weekly biopharma highlights: crazy start of 2024!
🔬 Isomorphic Labs partners with Eli Lilly and Novartis, leveraging AI for small-molecule drug discovery, with deals potentially worth over $1.7 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, utilizing their advanced AlphaFold-enabled technology.
💰 Goldman Sachs launches a $650 million life sciences venture fund, focusing on early- to mid-stage biotech companies. The fund, one of the largest of its kind for a first-time private life sciences growth fund, will invest in areas like precision medicine, genetic medicine, cell therapy, and artificial intelligence, indicating a strong investor interest in the biotech venture capital sector.
📈 Metagenomi, a genetic medicines company backed by Bayer and Moderna, files for a U.S. IPO, following a significant revenue surge from collaboration agreements, despite increased losses.
🔬 ReCode Therapeutics launches a notable clinical trial for RCT1100, an inhaled mRNA therapy using SORT technology, targeting primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and showing promise in restoring ciliary function in patients with DNAI1 gene mutations.
🔬 Menarini Group and Insilico Medicine enter a global licensing deal to advance a novel AI-generated KAT6A inhibitor for treating hormone-sensitive cancers, with potential payouts exceeding $500 million.
🔬 C4X Discovery Holdings receives an $11 million payment from AstraZeneca, marking progress in their AI-enabled NRF2 Activator program for inflammatory and respiratory diseases, with a potential for up to $400 million in milestone payments.
💰 InVivo Biosystems raises $3 million to boost CRISPR technology in drug discovery, with Dr. C. Palani Palaniappan joining as Chairman to steer its innovative growth.
🚀 Owkin executives launch Bioptimus, a new startup developing a large-language model for biotech, exceeding its €20 million seed funding goal, with a focus on enhancing biotechnology applications.
🔬 Roche secures three major deals spanning antibody-drug conjugates, RNA processing, and precision oncology, spending a total of $146 million upfront with MediLink Therapeutics, Remix Therapeutics, and MOMA Therapeutics.
🔬 Novo Nordisk plans to open a new AI research facility for drug discovery in London's King's Cross Knowledge Quarter. This hub will host about 40 employees from their R&D and IT divisions and aims to accelerate AI application in new drug candidate discovery and development.
🔬 ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, is recruiting U.S. experts in various scientific fields, including computational biology and quantum chemistry, for its AI for Drug Design and AI for Science teams. This expansion into biotech and pharmaceuticals raises questions about ByteDance's broader ambitions and the potential use of data from its social media platforms in these new initiatives.