BridgeBio adds 3 more institutions to its roster of collaborators; Exscientia lands Gates Foundation money for Covid-19 pill
BridgeBio chief Neil Kumar is adding to his long list of research partners.
The biotech CEO announced this morning that the company’s hunt for new drugs to treat genetic diseases and cancers with clear genetic drivers has sparked new alliances with researchers at Stanford, MUSC Foundation for Research Development and the University of Pittsburgh.
BridgeBio — which employs a hub and spoke company structure — counts 23 institutions on its list of collaborators. That appears to be a work in progress, with more on the way. — John Carroll
Exscientia lands Gates Foundation money for Covid-19 pill
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded Exscientia a grant worth $1.5 million to create a Covid-19 treatment that tackles new mutations or other Sars viruses.
As many as 15 biologists, chemists and AI specialists will work on the project, which will try to treat people almost immediately after testing positive with a pill.
The Oxford, UK-based company is a spinoff from the University of Dundee. It has used artificial intelligence to design a new class of inhibitors that target the main enzyme of Covid, which is needed to replicate. The company has touted bringing the first “AI-discovered” molecule to human trials, which can cut down development time and lower the benchmark R&D estimate of $2.6 billion for any new drug on average.
In April, the company landed $225 million in its Series D round. — Josh Sullivan
European Parliament overwhelmingly votes for improvements to prepare for future pandemics
The EMA will establish a new EU database to monitor and report medicine shortages and enhance coordination and transparency surrounding clinical trials, the European Parliament announced in a Thursday press release.
Members have called for the new database to facilitate an exchange of information between Parliament and its member nations. The experience of running clinical trials during the pandemic exposed shortcomings, the press release said, including the underrepresentation of important subgroups, repeat efforts in the safe area and a lack of collaboration.
“The pandemic has shown that the EU and its member states were not prepared to tackle a challenge of this magnitude,” member Nicolás González Casares said in a press release. “Agencies such as the EMA did not have an adequate mandate or sufficient resources. We are now strengthening the EMA’s capacity to deal with future emergencies.” — Josh Sullivan