Show cover of Beyond Biotech - the podcast from Labiotech

Beyond Biotech - the podcast from Labiotech

Welcome to the official podcast - Beyond Biotech! Each week, we talk about what's happening in the world of biotech, with news and interviews with experts from companies around the world. Join us as we cover the latest news, breakthroughs and innovations shaping the life sciences industry.A new podcast episode is available every Friday.The host is Jim Cornall.


Antisense oligonucleotides
German-headquartered Isarna Therapeutics is developing a portfolio of antisense therapies targeting an emerging therapeutic field in human biology – transforming growth factor beta (TGF-B) signaling. Precise modulation of TGF-B pathways using antisense therapy may result in safer and more effective treatment options for a broad range of indications.The company’s lead compound, ISTH0036, is in clinical development in ophthalmology.On the podcast this week we chat with René Rückert, chief operating officer at Isarna Therapeutics, who explains TGF-B and antisense oligonucleotides’ role in tackling disease.00:59-02:45: About Isarna Therapeutics02:45-05:05: What is transforming growth factor beta?05:05-06:16: Why is TGF a good target?06:16-09:00: What are antisense oligonucleotides?09:00-10:02: What are antisense oligonucleotides useful for treating?10:02-11:21: What advantages do antisense oligonucleotides have?11:21-13:00: How can antisense oligonucleotides be delivered?13:00-14:58: Are antisense oligonucleotides still being researched?14:58-16:31: Are there challenges with using antisense oligonucleotides?16:31-16:56: Are many companies working on antisense oligonucleotides?16:56-18:06: Are antisense oligonucleotides best used as a monotherapy or with other treatments?18:06-20:42: What is Isarna’s pipeline?20:42-22:47: How does your AMD treatment work?22:47-23:50: What is the timeline for your treatment?23:50-26:34: What can patients expect?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
27:22 5/17/24
Making waves in cardiovascular disease treatment
Cytokinetics is a late-stage, specialty cardiovascular biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing first-in-class muscle activators and next-in-class muscle inhibitors as potential treatments for debilitating diseases in which cardiac muscle performance is compromised.This week, we have a conversation with the CEO of Cytokinetics, Robert Blum, about the company’s aficamten, its next-in-class cardiac myosin inhibitor, prior to results from a phase 3 clinical trial in obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. 00:54-02:32: About Cytokinetics02:32-04:11: What are the current treatments for cardiovascular conditions?04:11-05:44: About cardiovascular disease05:44-08:59: What is aficamten?08:59-09:12: How is it administered?09:12-10:04: Where is aficamten on the path to commercialization?10:04-12:06: What does this mean for patients?12:06-12:42: What will you be presenting in Portugal?12:42-16:06: Could aficamten have other applications?16:06-16:50: What is CK-136?16:50-18:02: What is omecamtiv mecarbil?18:02-20:26: Cytokinetics’ business modelInterested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
21:02 5/10/24
New ways to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder with progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to changes in the protein dystrophin, which helps keep muscle cells intact. There are few treatments for DMD, although recent advances mean that males – who are primarily affected by DMD – can now sometimes survive into their 30s.More drugs are being developed in the fight against DMD, and this week we had a conversation with Frank Gleeson, CEO of Satellos Bioscience, about recent work on addressing DMD, including the company’s own work in the field.00:47-02:01: About Satellos Bioscience02:01-04:33: What is Duchenne muscular dystrophy?04:33-05:43: What are the challenges in treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy?05:43-09:08: What are the new treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy?  09:08-11:20: What is your treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy?11:20-13:42: Are there different approaches to treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy?13:42-14:06: How is your treatment delivered?14:06-17:32: How important is early intervention?17:32-18:56: Where is Satellos at with clinical trials?18:56-20:41: Preclinical trial results20:41-21:44: Outreach to the Duchenne muscular dystrophy community21:44-23:12: Is a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy possible?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter 
23:56 5/3/24
Overcoming clinical trial challenges
This week, we have a conversation about clinical trial design with Gen Li, the president and founder of Phesi, a global provider of patient-centric data analysis. Earlier this year, Phesi’s global analysis of all clinical trials conducted in 2023 revealed that more than a quarter (28%) of trials were cancelled during phase II – above the average attrition rate of 20% before 2020. 00:39-01:31: About Phesi01:31-01:49: Is your database global?01:49-03:08: How successful are the different phases of clinical trials?03:08-04:29: What are the biggest challenges for clinical trials currently?04:29-06:23: Are clinical trials improving?06:23-08:14: How can data improve clinical trials?08:14-10:47: How does artificial intelligence affect clinical trial design?10:47-12:53: Can clinical trial costs be reduced?12:53-15:15: Can clinical trial times be shortened? 15:15-18:21: Can data help with clinical trial diversity?18:21-19:46: How can you fill knowledge gaps?19:46-22:01: Do you have less data for rare diseases?22:01-23:28: How does your company help with clinical trial design?23:28-25:12: What kind of solutions can you provide?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
26:00 4/26/24
The biotech investment landscape in 2024
RTW is a global multi-strategy investment firm focused on supporting innovative biotech and biopharma companies across the US, Europe, and China. The company invests in both public and private companies across their entire life cycle, with a focus on those addressing next-generation gene and RNA therapies, rare diseases, targeted oncological, cardiovascular, and neurological disorders, and more.To get an overview of what’s happening in financing for biotech companies currently, we had a conversation with Stephanie Sirota, chief business officer of RTW Investments.01:11-04:18: About RTW Investments04:18-06:45: What kind of biotech companies do you invest in?06:45-08:31: How do you evaluate biotech companies?08:31-11:36: How hands-on are you with companies you invest in?11:36-14:08: How can companies raise funds currently?14:08-16:05: Are there any undervalued sectors in biotech?16:05-17:52: How important are M&As?17:52-18:30: Is there a trend with M&As?18:30-19:46: What is the state of the market with IPOs?19:46-21:21: What are the major trends in biotech in 2024?21:21-22:17: How could the US elections affect biotech funding?22:17-24:41: What is the royalties market?24:41-26:12: Are there regional differences?26:12-27:52: Getting good biotech deals todayInterested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
28:32 4/19/24
Redefining chronic pain treatment
Doloromics is a precision neuropharmaceuticals company. It was set up four years ago, to use newer technologies, particularly in the omics space, to take advantage of different single-cell transcriptomic technologies or proteomic technologies to better understand the progression of neurological diseases like chronic pain.The Doloromics pipeline is built upon a proprietary discovery and validation platform DOLOReS. Jackson Brougher, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Doloromics, is our guest on this week’s Beyond Biotech podcast.00:46-04:41: About Doloromics04:41-07:09: What is chronic pain?07:09-08:30: How challenging is the subjectivity of pain?08:30-11:04: What is nociception?11:04-12:23: The challenges of treating pain12:23-16:35: Is chronic pain a disease?16:35-19:57: What is VX-548?19:57-22:17: Monoclonal antibodies and CGRPs22:17-26:22: How have recent advances in genomic technologies advanced the understanding of pain?26:22-31:03: What is the DOLOReS platform?31:03-32:37: Delivery methods32:37-33:55: Keeping costs low33:55-34:58: Next stepsInterested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
35:42 4/12/24
Colossal aims to bring back mammoth by 2028
Based in Austin, Texas, biotech Colossal Biosciences is at the forefront of de-extinction, critically endangered species protection and the repopulation of critical ecosystems. Its mission is to use CRISPR technology to bring back extinct animals, such as the mammoth, the thylacine, and the dodo.Since DNA was recovered in 2021 from mammoths frozen in the Arctic tundra, the company has been working on splicing bits of the recovered DNA into the genome of its closest relative, the Asian elephant, as it shares 99.6% of its DNA. Ben Lamm, co-founder and CEO of Colossal Biosciences spoke with us about the company’s plans.01:03-02:57: Introduction to Ben Lamm02:57-04:26: About Colossal Biosciences04:26-09:35: What techniques are used to tackle de-extinction?09:35-13:48: What are the biggest challenges?13:48-14:57: What tools do you need to ‘build’ an extinct species? 14:57-19:17: How do you address not adversely affecting ecosystems?19:17-22:22: How do you take on negativity over your de-extinction work?22:22-23:26: Reintroducing existing species into previous habitats?23:26-24:06: Does this extend to critically endangered species?24:06-25:54: Why is there a lot of interest in de-extinction?25:54-28:10: How do you ensure we don’t repeat the same patterns of extinction?28:10-29:38: Can you address the loss of current species?29:38-30:35: How can you help solve the loss of species?30:35-33:48: Addressing the challenges of introducing different species?33:48-35:22: Transparency through documentaries35:22-37:27: 2028 goal for mammoth calvesInterested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
38:24 4/5/24
New treatments being developed for schizophrenia
It would appear that 2024 is shaping up to be a big year for the development of treatments for schizophrenia, with several clinical trials under way.Recently, Boehringer Ingelheim and Sosei Group Corporation (Sosei Heptares) announced a global collaboration and exclusive option-to-license agreement. This is to develop and commercialize Sosei Heptares’ portfolio of first-in-class GPR52 agonists, a novel G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) target. The goal is to improve patient outcomes by addressing the positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.Clíona MacSweeney, Sosei Heptares’ GPR52 program leader, spoke with us about that partnership, as well as other developments in the field of schizophrenia treatments.00:57-03:44: What is schizophrenia?03:44-04:52: What are the current schizophrenia treatments?04:52-06:27: Why is schizophrenia challenging to treat?06:27-07:34: Why is 2024 a big year for schizophrenia treatments?07:34-08:56: Seratonin and dopamine modulation08:56-10:46: How does muscarinic modulation work?10:46-12:35: Excitatory and inhibitory tone pipeline 12:35-14:12: Digital therapeutic and epigenetic modulation14:12-16:12: GPR52 agonists16:12-17:53: How are GPR52 agonists different?17:53-19:03: Are there lots of schizophrenia treatments coming?19:03-20:10: Will some new schizophrenia treatments be used in conjunction with existing treatments?20:10-20:49: Is a schizophrenia cure possible?20:49-21:22: Treatment frequency21:22-22:21: Where is Sosei Heptares with clinical trials for schizophrenia?22:21-22:45: What else is in Sosei Heptares’ pipeline?22:45-23:35: Sosei Heptares becoming Nxera23:35-24:42: Schizophrenia conferencesInterested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
25:31 3/22/24
Reformulating psychedelics for neurodegenerative diseases
There is a clear demand for novel, neurological treatments. While it’s widely known psychedelics hold enormous therapeutic potential, there are a host of challenges, including dosing and potential side effects for the patient.Our guest this week is Dr Sam Clark, who founded Terran Biosciences to develop a safe, effective portfolio of therapeutics and technologies for patients with neurological and psychiatric diseases. 00:52-04:09: About Terran Biosciences04:09-06:03: What are the challenges of using psychedelics?06:03-07:32: Is there still a stigma attached to use of psychedelics? 07:32-11:45: How do psychedelics work on the brain?11:45-13:44: Why are psychedelics a good treatment?13:44-16:51: What is Idazoxan XR?16:51-18:01: How do you make changes to drugs?18:01-21:19: How did you develop your business model?21:19-22:40: What are Eplivanserin and Volinanserin?22:40-24:49: How useful are repurposed drugs?24:49-29:06: Keeping drugs affordable29:06-30:31: Dealing with patents30:31-32:41: What are empathogens?32:41-33:12: Where is the company at with clinical trials?33:12-35:45: What is NM-101?35:45-37:47: How does Terran differ from other companies?37:47-39:54: Are you looking to cure conditions?39:54-40:48: SchizophreniaInterested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
41:37 3/15/24
How AI immune system mapping can boost drug discovery
Immunai is mapping the immune system at unprecedented scale and granularity. The map, paired with machine learning, looks at how the immune system will respond to drug targets, offering an affordable way to prevent expensive drug failures. The ultimate goal is to market immune treatments for diseases like cancer faster than ever before. In this week’s conversation, Noam Solomon, CEO and co-founder of Immunai, covers the data gap in drug discovery and how machine learning (ML) can solve it, how to de-risk early-stage drug discovery, predictions for AI, and more.00:41-01:05: About Immunai01:05-01:37: Why map the immune system?01:37-02:36: Are you taking a step back to study the problem in order to move forward?02:36-03:41: How difficult is it to map the immune system?03:41-05:21: What is your AMICA platform?05:21-07:16: Where does your data come from? 07:16-09:01: How do you account for differences between patients?09:01-11:27: What are the biggest challenges to drug development?11:27-13:59: How can AI improve drug development?13:59-14:47: Will AI advances speed up drug development?14:47-15:58: Is the use of AI applicable in all diseases and conditions?15:58-17:40: What sets your approach apart from other companies using AI?17:40-18:46: What partnerships does Immunai have? 18:46-20:16: What are pharma companies looking for from Immunai?20:16-23:09: How can AI help with clinical trials?23:09-24:24: Can AI help with preventative care?24:24-26:22: Google Maps for the immune system26:22-27:10: What will we see from AI in drug discovery in the short term? 27:10-27:58: What are the next steps for Immunai?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
28:46 3/8/24
Is Tome writing the final chapter in genomic medicine?
Tome Biosciences recently exited stealth mode with almost a quarter of a billion dollars in funding. The company has developed a new approach to gene editing, programmable genomic integration (PGI), which it says represents the final chapter in genomic medicines. We discussed the company’s formation and approach with the CEO and president of Tome, Rahul Kakkar. 00:45-04:30: About Tome Biosciences04:30-05:37: Is there still a role for CRISPR-Cas9?05:37-07:41: Raising funds for Tome07:41-11:15: What are the benefits of PGI?11:15-12:54: How do you find and change the genetic code?12:54-15:04: What is the difference between integrase-mediated PGI and ligase-mediated PGI? 15:04-16:41: Are there dangers with these techniques? 16:41-17:30: Is the editing reversible?17:30-20:11: What diseases or conditions will you be addressing?20:11-21:38: Is success considered to be curing diseases?21:38-25:16: How will you address costs and scalability?25:16-29:03: Can you explain this being the final chapter in genomic medicine?29:03-30:24: How will you fine tune these techniques?30:24-31:24: What was the reason for the takeover of Replace Therapeutics? 31:24-32:26: What are the next steps?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
33:11 3/1/24
Transforming treatments for epilepsy
After decades of lagging nearly many other disease areas, neurology is finally seeing signs of significant innovation. One of the biggest reasons it’s trailed behind has been the difficulty in teasing out complex neurobiology – an understanding necessary to design novel medicines. Rapport Therapeutics is playing a significant role in turning the tide. Rapport creates precision neuromedicines that act only in the brain regions where disease originates, avoiding the side effects that affect many of today’s treatments.This week, we have a conversation with Rapport CEO Abe Ceesay, about the company’s transformational approach, and about what’s new in neuromedicine.00:45-02:43: About Rapport02:43-05:01: What attracted you to Rapport?05:01-09:13: What are the issues in developing drugs in neuroscience?09:13-12:09: What are the areas with unmet needs?12:09-16:24: What are receptor-associated proteins?16:24-19:25: How do you avoid side-effects?19:25-20:35: Are other companies working in this space?20:35-23:49: How do you approach designing treatments for different conditions?23:49-26:10: Where is Rapport currently with clinical trials?26:10-28:26: How do you define success in your trials?28:26-30:27: Is your treatment used in conjunction with others?30:27-32:45: How is your treatment administered?32:45-36:10: Why is there increased interest in developing drugs for neurological disorders?36:10-38:20: Looking to the future38:20-40:44: What are the next steps for Rapport?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
41:27 2/23/24
How does AI assist drug discovery?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is certainly in the news constantly; however, it’s been used in drug discovery for some time.A new collaboration between artificial intelligence drug discovery company Insilico Medicine and University of Toronto biochemist and molecular geneticist Igor Stagljar will test AI-designed molecules against "undruggable" cancer targets. The research will test 15 to 20 undruggable targets - but are they undruggable? And how does AI work in the drug discovery process?This week, we have a conversation with Kyle Tretina, Alliance Manager of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, on a wide range of subjects including drug discovery, undruggable targets, the collaboration with the University of Toronto, and more.00:58-05:11: About Insilico Medicine05:11-06:09: Why is AI in the news?06:09-07:39: Helping people through AI07:39-09:10: What is Insilico Medicine doing with AI?09:10-10:15: Does Insilico Medicine take drugs from idea to trials?10:15-11:32: How do your partnerships come about?11:32-19:34: How does drug development start with AI?19:34-24:43: Can AI address undruggable targets?24:43-25:05: What do you need to do after finding a potential drug?25:05-27:57: Can quantum computing aid drug development?27:57-30:13: How can AI help reduce costs and save time?30:13-32:56: What is your partnership with the University of Toronto?32:56-36:24: What is the timescale for introducing drugs from AI?36:24-37:29: What conditions are you working on?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
38:26 2/16/24
Biosimilars and what’s new in cell and gene therapies
This week on the podcast, we have a conversation with Fran Gregory, vice president of Emerging Therapies at Cardinal Health. The discussion covers the company’s role in healthcare, biosimilars, the latest in cell and gene therapies, and what’s new at Advanced Therapies Week.00:40-02:30: About Cardinal Health02:30-05:12: What is Cardinal Health’s role in industry?05:12-06:11: What are the challenges of logistics?06:11-07:20: How important is innovation to Cardinal Health?07:20-12:26: How can Cardinal Health help to reduce costs?12:26-13:08: Keeping up with global healthcare13:08-19:46: How do you stay in touch with what’s new in drug discovery?19:46-22:07: Biosimilars Report22:07-27:15: What is the current state of the cell and gene therapy space?27:15-29:57: Are there interesting recent advances in the cell and gene therapy?29:57-33:38: Advanced Therapies Week33:38-36:40: What trends are you expecting in 2024?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
37:17 2/9/24
BioSenic developing severe knee osteoarthritis treatment
BioSenic, a Belgian clinical-stage company specializing in serious autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and cell therapy, will share data on its late-clinical asset JTA-004 at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) World Congress 2024 in Vienna, Austria. The post hoc analysis of a phase 3 study found that a single injection of JTA-004 was safe and efficacious for patients with a newly characterized severe inflammatory subtype of knee osteoarthritis (OA). This week on the podcast, we talk about the treatment with BioSenic chief scientific officer and chief operating officer, Dr Carole Nicco.  00:52-03:19: About BioSenic03:19-07:34: What is osteoarthritis?07:34-11:45: What is ALLOB?11:45-15:03: What is JTA-004?15:04-17:14: What will you be presenting at the OARSI event? 17:14-20:20: How useful is attending events for BioSenic?20:20-21:04: How often will JTA-004 need to be administered?21:04-24:08: Are other companies working on osteoarthritis?24:08-26:26: What stage are your arsenic trioxide trails at?26:26-29:50: Will this be useful in treating other autoimmune diseases?29:50-31:08: What are the next steps?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
31:43 2/2/24
Boosting fertility by changing the vaginal microbiome
Freya Biosciences is a clinical-stage biotech company dedicated to reimagining women's health and redefining fertility for those previously deprived of options. With a focus on microbial immunotherapies, Freya addresses immune drivers underlying a range of reproductive health conditions.The company recently received $38 million Series A financing to advance the clinical development of its lead drug candidate, an investigational vaginal microbial immunotherapeutic. The treatment is to address infertility in women with dysbiotic vaginal microbiota who are undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART). This week’s conversation is with Freya chief science officer and co-founder Johan van Hylckama Vlieg.00:58-01:55: About Freya Biosciences01:55-07:12: What is the vaginal microbiome?07:12-08:11: Are there differences between individuals’ vaginal microbiomes?08:11-10:20: Does this make treatments challenging?10:20-15:33: How does your platform use immunotherapy on the microbiome?15:33-16:51: How does the vaginal microbiome change following treatment?16:51-18:14: What happens to the vaginal microbiome of unsuccessful treatments?18:14-20:10: How is success measured?20:10-21:51: Could this lead to treatments of other conditions?21:51-22:51: Does the vaginal microbiome change during menopause?22:51-25:05: What are your clinical trials?25:05-26:25: Does your treatment work better in combination with others?26:25-27:36: Is it easy to find patients for trials?27:36-30:14: How are the treatments manufactured?30:14-31:55: How important is your recent funding?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
32:38 1/26/24
Epic Bio - gene editing without cutting DNA
Epic Bio is an epigenetic editing company, leveraging the power of CRISPR without cutting DNA. The company’s proprietary Gene Expression Modulation System (GEMS) includes the smallest Cas protein known to work in human cells, enabling in vivo or ex vivo delivery via a single viral vector. This week, we discuss epigenetic editing, why it’s reversible, and how it can treat FSHD and other conditions, with Epic Bio’s founder, Dr Stanley Qi, one of the original inventors of CRISPR.01:15-02:51: Dr Xi’s background02:51-05:11: The beginning of Epic Bio05:12-09:23: What is epigenetic editing?09:23-10:47: What is the Gene Expression Modulation System?10:47-12:47: How is the editing reversible?12:47-18:01: How will epigenetic editing advance treatments?18:01-21:24: Tackling multiple conditions21:24-22:46: How will your platform tackle FSHD?22:46-24:18: FSHD clinical trial24:18-25:51: How will you address costs?25:51-27:18: Are other companies working on epigenetics?27:18-29:27: What else is in the pipeline?29:27-31:58: What are the next steps?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
32:43 1/19/24
Could natural killer cells transform Alzheimer’s treatment?
A US company, with its origins in South Korea, is using natural killer (NK) cells to treat Alzheimer’s disease, with remarkable results.This week, we have a conversation with Dr Paul Song, CEO of NKGen Biotech, a company with its sights set on changing the Alzheimer’s treatment landscape.00:58-02:55: About NKGen Biotech 02:56-05:39: Why is Alzheimer’s so challenging to treat? 05:39-07:28: Are there other treatments making a difference? 07:28-13:47: What is NKGen Biotech’s approach to treating Alzheimer’s? 13:47-15:38: Can you treat multiple conditions at the same time? 15:38-15:55: Are there any side effects? 15:55-16:33: What dose are you able to give? 16:33-18:31: How can you keep the cost of treatments low? 18:31-19:19: How, and how often, will it be administered? 19:19-20:49: How are you approaching taking on later stage Alzheimer’s? 20:49-22:21: Are you looking to cure Alzheimer’s? 22:21-23:50: Can this approach be used for other diseases? 23:50-24:47: Are you looking for partnerships? 24:47-25:47: What stage are your trials at? 25:47-26-19: What are the next steps for NKGen Biotech? 26:19-26:35: How are you enrolling patients? 26:35-27:32: What is your approximate timeline?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
28:14 1/12/24
Gene editing in the microbiome to treat acne
Eligo Bioscience is a gene-editing company focused on addressing diseases driven by the expression of bacterial genes from the microbiome. Its first target is moderate to severe acne vulgaris, an inflammatory disease that affects about 3% of the global population.This week, we talk to Xavier Duportet, CEO of Eligo Bioscience, as the company looks to head to the clinic with its acne vulgaris treatment. 00:53-02:42: About Eligo Bioscience 02:42-06:07: How are you creating a new class of transformative genetic medicine? 06:08-10:07: How important is the microbiome? 10:07-11:48: How do you account for differences in the microbiome? 11:48-13:17: What conditions are you looking to treat? 13:17-18:42: What is your EB005 platform? 18:42-21:28: How will your acne treatment be administered? 21:28-22:06: How will Eligo keep the cost of the acne treatment low? 22:06-24:36: Will your platform be applicable to other diseases? 24:36-25:52: Will a combination of treatments of the microbiome make a difference? 25:52-28:14: What will the recent funding mean to Eligo Bioscience?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
29:02 1/5/24
Tackling challenging diseases with vaccines
Vaxxinity, Inc. is a U.S.-based biotechnology company looking to develop vaccines for several hard-to-treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The company is pioneering a new class of medicines through its proprietary technology platform, which has enabled the innovation of novel synthetic peptide immunotherapy candidates to bring the efficiency of vaccines to the treatment of chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, migraine, and hypercholesterolemia. In this week’s podcast, the company’s CEO, Mei Mei Hu, tells us about its work, and the aim of democratizing healthcare across the globe. 01:00-02:21: About Vaxxinity 02:21-03:39: How does Vaxxinity’s approach differ from other companies? 03:39-04:38: How important is being able to roll out products globally? 04:38-06:28: What is your new class of vaccines? 06:28-08:58: How are you tackling diseases that are difficult to treat?08:58-10:10: How does your Vaxxine Platform work? 10:10-10:58: Do synthetic peptides make this more scalable? 10:58-12:02: How are you addressing safety? 12:02-13:03: What has the reaction been like to your company? 13:03-14:14: What diseases are you tackling? 14:14-15:40: What is your pipeline for taking on these conditions? 15:40-16:16: Do you vaccines need booster shots?16:16-18:17: Are you looking to cure diseases? 18:17-20:02: Could your approach be applied to other diseases? 20:02-20:29: Are you looking to partnerships? 20:29-21:10: What are the next steps? 21:10-21:24: When do you expect to see data? 21:24-21:42: When do you hope to have products being delivered to patients?21:42-24:37: How does your COVID vaccine differ from others?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
25:47 12/15/23
Using worms to treat diseases
Is there a connection between worms being eradicated from the gut in the early 20th Century and an increase in allergies and autoimmune disease?  This week, we have a conversation with Holoclara CEO Andrea Choe, who not only believes there is a connection, but also sees secretions from worms as a way to tackle such diseases. 01:31-06:05: About Holoclara 06:06-08:26: From discovery to setting up a company 08:26-10:40: Was this a symbiotic relationship? 10:40-12:30: As we are losing species for a variety of reasons, are there other species that may also be beneficial? 12:30-14:03: What are roundworms secreting? 14:03-15:28: How do you take these secretions and advance that to creating a drug?15:28-15:44: Do you need the worms to make your product? 15:44-16:02: What conditions are you looking to address?16:02-16:43: Are you looking to cures or disease maintenance?16:43-16:58: How far down the path are you with this? 16:58-17:26: How important are partnerships and investment? 17:26-18:12: What is reaction like to the concept of using worms to tackle diseases? 18:12-19:25: What are the next steps? 19:25-20:44: Are there other cures to be discovered from other species?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
21:37 12/8/23
Ipsen advances liver disease treatment
Jennifer Schranz is senior vice president and global head of rare diseases in the R&D division at Ipsen. On the podcast this week, she discusses a breakthrough treatment for primary biliary cholerangitis and cholestatic liver disease.00:56-00:49: Background information 01:44-03:21: What are primary biliary cholerangitis (PBC) and cholestatic liver disease? 03:21-03:50: How rare is PBC? 03:50-04:45: How easy is PBC diagnosis? 04:45-05:45: What are the current treatments for the condition? 05:45-07:22: What are the challenges to innovation? 07:22-08:27: What is elafibranor? 08:27-08:37: How is it administered? 08:37-09:18: Is elafibranor taken for life? 09:18-11:08: What is the ELATIVE trial, and what were the results you presented at the AASLD Liver Meeting? 11:08-13:09: What was the reaction at the meeting? 13:09-13:55: A patient-centric approach 13:55-14:44: Is a cure for PBC a possibility? 14:44-17:20: How important are acquisitions to Ipsen’s pipeline? 17:20-18:33: Working on multiple diseases 18:33-19:58: How much impact can you have on liver diseases? 19:58-21:04: What are the next steps for elafibranor? Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
21:47 12/1/23
New class of small molecule therapeutics introduced
On this week’s podcast we have a conversation with Jordi Mata-Fink, co-founder and chief executive officer of the newly-launched U.S. company Gate Bioscience.00:45-01:06: About Gate Bioscience 01:06-02:09: What are disease-causing extracellular proteins?02:09-04:44: How have diseases caused by extracellular proteins been treated in the past? 04:44-05:47: Have there been diseases that haven’t been addressed? 05:47-07:05: Tackling the different issues created by extracellular proteins 07:05-09:41: What are molecular gates? 09:41-12:56: How does your technique distinguish between good and bad extracellular proteins?12:56-16:24: How did the idea become a company?16:24-17:24: Which diseases will you focus on?17:24-18;47: How do you address costs? 18:47-19:11: How will this be given to patients?19:11-20:01: Disease cure or disease management? 20:01-21:35: How was the company created? 21:35-24:18: The rise of small molecules24:18-25:58: What are the next steps?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
26:35 11/24/23
How to make vaccines affordable
Among other things, UK-headquartered company Phenotypeca has been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce albumin for low and middle-income countries to reduce the costs of vaccines.The company’s CEO, Johnny Cordiner, and research and development director, Professor Ed Louis, tell us about the work, as well as the company and its other projects.01:01-11:57: About Phenotypeca 11:57-14:04: What is recombinant protein technology? 14:04-16:39: What are the issues around the cost of albumin? 16:39-20:48: How can you help improve affordability? 20:48-26:55: What is QTL technology? 26:55-30:18: What are the benefits of this technology? 30:19-34:22: Partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 34:22-36:37: What’s the timeline? 36:37-39:45: What else are you working on?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
40:36 11/17/23
Mending a broken heart with biotech
French company CellProthera has seen some remarkable results treating people who have had a heart attack.  On this week’s podcast, the company’s CEO Matthieu de Kalbermatten tells us how it works.01:00-03:29: About CellProthera03:30-06:30: What are ProtheraCytes?06:30-09:02: Is this a cure?09:02-10:24: Is prevention the best option?10:25-11:49: Is this therapy useful to treat other conditions?11:50-13:55: How quickly do you need to treat a patient?13:56-16:39: The field of regenerative therapy16:39-17:52: Is regenerative therapy a growing sector?17:53-18:26: Clinical trials18:26-19:22: Upcoming phase 3 trials19:22-20:36: The regulatory pathway20:37-23:25: Cost and scale23:25-24:20: The need for partnerships24:21-24:57: Next steps24:57-28:30: Is there excitement in the medical field for this treatment?Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
29:10 11/10/23
How quantum computing can accelerate drug discovery
On today’s podcast, Jean-Philip Piquemal, the chief scientific officer and co-founder of Qubit Pharmaceuticals, explains how the company’s Atlas platform is leading the way to more effective and safer drugs.00:54-01:52: The history of Qubit Pharmaceuticals01:52-04:04: What is the Atlas software?04:04-05:18: Failing quickly is the key05:19-06:53: What are digital twins?06:54-09:00: Improving safety, reducing costs, and boosting drug discovery09:00-10:44: Areas of interest10:44-13:21: Recent successes13:23-14:57: Preparing for future pandemics14:58-17:03: Staying ahead of other companies17:04-18:29: Enough diseases to go around18:30-20:11: Upgrading Atlas software20:13-21:59: How Qubit works with pharma companies21:59-24:41: The Quantum for Bio program24:42-27:58: Looking to the future, and helping patients Interested in being a sponsor of an episode of our podcast? Discover how you can get involved here! Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter
28:45 11/3/23
Beyond Biotech podcast 69 – improving access to cell and gene therapy
This week, our guest on the podcast is Jason C. Foster, CEO of Ori Biotech.Ori is a London, U.K. and New Jersey, U.S. based manufacturing technology company pioneering flexible process discovery with translation and scalable commercialization of cell and gene therapies (CGT). Ori has developed a proprietary, full stack manufacturing platform that closes, automates and standardizes CGT manufacturing allowing therapeutics developers to develop and bring their products to market at commercial scale. The promise of the Ori platform is to fully automate CGT manufacturing to increase throughput, improve quality and decrease costs by combining proprietary hardware, software, data and analytics.Ori was founded in 2015 by Dr Farlan Veraitch from University College London.The company also produces a monthly report on its website, which covers the latest in CGT approvals, regulations, trials and industry news.
37:06 10/27/23
Beyond Biotech podcast 68 – rejuvenation with stem cells
This week, our guest on the podcast is Mark Kotter, founder of newly-created company, a sister company to, which Kotter also founded and is the CEO of, aims to extend and improve quality of life by reversing the harmful effects of time in our cells, harnessing the regenerative capabilities of human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).These hiPSCs have the ability not only to stay young but also to rejuvenate when forced to’s approach is to harness this power of ‘resetting the clock’ in hiPSCs to identify new approaches to treating age-related diseases. It has developed an aging model that ‘force ages’ hiPSCs and triggers their self-rejuvenation mechanism. Unbiased CRISPR screens on large samples of these cells allows for the identification of gene candidates that are causally relevant for cell rejuvenation.This enables a decoding of rejuvenation biology and corresponding IP; the resulting knowledge will be used to create novel treatment approaches.The company’s mission is to extend health span by 20 years based on biomarkers of aging in a phase 3 trial by the end of this decade. recently published a white paper for rejuvenation therapies and a blueprint for
29:43 10/20/23
Beyond Biotech podcast 67 – natural killer cells
This week, we speak to Artiva Biotherapeutics’ CEO, Fred Aslan, M.D. The company has demonstrated the potential for efficacy and safety with natural killer (NK) cells in two cancer clinical trials. In August, the company announced FDA clearance for an IND for lupus – marking a first for an allogeneic, off-the-shelf NK or CAR-T cell therapy in autoimmune disease.AlloNK (also known as AB-101) is a non-genetically modified, cord blood-derived, allogeneic, cryopreserved, ADCC-enhancing NK cell therapy candidate for use in combination with monoclonal antibodies or innate-cell engagers in the out-patient setting. Artiva is investigating AlloNK in a phase 1/2 multicenter clinical trial to assess the safety and clinical activity of AlloNK alone and in combination with the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, rituximab, in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell-non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). Artiva is also investigating the safety and clinical activity of AlloNK in combination with rituximab in patients with lupus nephritis. In addition, Artiva is collaborating with Affimed in a phase 2, open-label, multi-center, multi-cohort study, testing a combination therapy, comprised of AlloNK and the innate cell engager AFM13, for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory CD30-positive lymphomas. Artiva selects cord blood units with the high affinity variant of the CD16 receptor and a KIR-B haplotype for enhanced product activity. Using the company’s cell therapy manufacturing platform, Artiva can generate thousands of doses of pure, cryopreserved, infusion-ready NK cells from a single umbilical cord blood unit while retaining the high and consistent expression of CD16 and other activating NK receptors, without the need for engineering. AlloNK is being administered in the outpatient setting over multiple doses and multiple cycles.Artiva’s pipeline also includes AB-201, an anti-HER2 CAR-NK cell therapy candidate for the treatment of HER2-overexpressing tumors, such as breast, gastric, and bladder cancers, and for which an IND has been allowed by FDA, and a pipeline of CAR-NK candidates targeting both solid and hematopoietic cancers. Artiva has also entered into therapeutic NK cell collaborations with Merck Sharp & Dohme. 
28:55 10/13/23
Beyond Biotech podcast 66 – treating rare diseases with tRNA
Compared to the smallest mRNA molecule, which is 300 nucleotides long, the largest transfer RNAs (tRNA) is less than a third of the size at 76 nucleotides. Scientists at Alltrna are harnessing the unique biology of tRNAs to engineer a single tRNA medicine that could treat thousands of rare diseases that share the same genetic mutation. This year, Alltrna presented at ASGCT the first demonstration that an engineered, modified tRNA could recognize and correct, in vivo, a flawed mRNA instruction no matter where it occurred in the genome.Alltrna, which was founded in 2018 by Flagship Pioneering, recently announced it had raised $109 million in a Series B financing to advance the company’s platform and first drug candidates towards the clinic for a first indication in Stop Codon Disease.  Stop Codon Disease encompasses ​​thousands of rare and common diseases that arise from premature termination codons (PTC), also known as nonsense mutations, where the code for an amino acid has been mutated into a premature “stop” codon. This results in a truncated or shortened protein product with no or altered biological activity that causes disease. Approximately 10% of all people with a genetic disease have Stop Codon Disease, representing approximately 30 million people worldwide. Alltrna’s tRNA medicines can read these PTC mutations and deliver the desired amino acid, thereby restoring the production of the full-length protein.The company’s platform incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to ‘learn’ the tRNA language and deliver diverse, programmable molecules with broad therapeutic potential. This week, our conversation is with Alltrna CEO, Michelle Werner.
32:08 10/6/23

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