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Pfenex and PATH Partner on Vaccines

October 9, 2014 – 2:00 pm | Edit Post

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Pfenex Inc. (NYSE MKT: PFNX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company engaged in the development of high-value biosimilar therapeutics and difficult to manufacture proteins, today announced the initiation of a multi-product research program with PATH, a global health nonprofit organization, as part of an initiative to enhance production of vaccines.

“We are both pleased and honored to partner with a globally respected organization as PATH in their mission to develop and deliver health solutions for unmet medical needs,” stated Bertrand C. Liang, chief executive officer of Pfenex. “This project represents yet another example of how Pfenex’s experience in the area of complex protein development and manufacture can provide innovative solutions for global health, with a portfolio of antigens and adjuvants that have been difficult or impossible to express in other host systems or organisms facilitating vaccine development previously not possible.”

As part of a recent grant to PATH from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a model for enhancing the production of recombinant protein vaccines against two diseases that pose a high burden in low-resource countries, PATH is working with Pfenex on an initial pilot project for two important vaccine components.  The first is a promising adjuvant, the double-mutant Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (dmLT), used by PATH’s enteric vaccine initiative with several vaccine candidates under development. The second is a leading malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidate, Pfs25, supported by PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative. By partnering with Pfenex and using the high-expression system developed by Pfenex, PATH aims to accelerate the two vaccine programs in this pilot project.

A successful outcome could result in the advancement of the development of the dmLT and Pfs25, making them available in higher quantities and at lower costs. In addition, this project may lead to the creation of a platform to expedite the production of other recombinant protein vaccine antigens both for PATH and potentially other Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded vaccine product development partnerships.

Pfenex has used, and intends to continue to use, its Investor Relations website (http://pfenex.investorroom.com), as means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. For more information, visit (http://pfenex.investorroom.com).

About Pfenex Inc.

Pfenex Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company engaged in the development of high-value and difficult to manufacture proteins including biosimilar therapeutics. The company’s lead product candidate is PF582, a biosimilar candidate to Lucentis (ranibizumab), for the potential treatment of patients with retinal diseases. Pfenex has leveraged its Pfēnex Expression Technology® platform to build a pipeline of product candidates and preclinical products under development including other biosimilars, as well as vaccines, generics and next generation biologics.  

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or Pfenex’s future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, Pfenex’s expectations regarding the development and success of its vaccine antigens and the creation of a vaccine platform. Pfenex’s expectations and beliefs regarding these matters may not materialize, and actual results in future periods are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, challenges inherent in creating and developing vaccine antigens and a vaccine platform. Information on these and additional risks affecting Pfenex’s business and operating results are more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in its most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Pfenex as of the date hereof, and Pfenex disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

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SOURCE Pfenex Inc.

West Coast Biotech Roundup: CareFusion, Sunesis, Second Genome, Etc.

October 9, 2014 – 12:47 pm | Edit Post

After a week’s hiatus, the roundup is back. We’ve been busy. New Xconomy San Francisco editor Bernadette Tansey took a first look at a plan to build a local incubator for synthetic…
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Researchers Unfold New Details About a Powerful Protein

October 9, 2014 – 10:49 am | Edit Post

Using X-rays and neutron beams, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, University of Utah and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have teased out new information about Protein Kinase A (PKA), a ubiquitous master switch that helps regulate fundamental cellular functions like energy consumption and interactions with hormones, neurotransmitters and drugs.

Biotechs work to speed Ebola treatments

October 9, 2014 – 9:11 am | Edit Post

With supplies of ZMapp exhausted, another drug from San Diego is being used against Ebola.

Halozyme Announces Podium Presentation On PEGPH20 At The New York Academy Of Sciences

October 9, 2014 – 6:00 am | Edit Post

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) today announced an oral presentation on the pharmacology of PEGPH20 at the New York Academy of Sciences symposium “Targeting Key Vulnerabilities in Pancreatic Cancer,” being held on October 9, 2014 in New York City. The presentation includes preclinical data showing that treatment with PEGPH20 of tumors with high levels of hyaluronan (HA) is associated with alterations of the tumor microenvironment resulting in a reduction of fluid pressure and an increase of blood flow inside the tumors. These changes allow anti-cancer therapies such as chemotherapies, monoclonal antibodies and activated immune cells to have greater access into the tumors.  The presentation will also include data showing that in selected animal models, treatment with PEGPH20 plus anti-cancer therapies resulted in longer survival and reduced metastases compared to anti-cancer therapies alone.

PEGPH20, an investigational PEGylated form of rHuPH20 under development by Halozyme,  degrades the hyaluronan in the tumor microenvironment that may provide a supportive environment in many solid tumors.

“These data in animal models support our ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial (Study 202) evaluating PEGPH20 in patients with pancreatic cancer and offer scientific insight into ways to utilize PEGPH20 to favorably alter the tumor stroma of HA rich tumors to potentially improve many cancer therapies,” stated H. Michael Shepard, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.

Presentation Details

Title: “Enzymatic Remodeling of the Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Tumor Microenvironment to Improve Chemotherapeutic Efficacy”Presentation Time: 3:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. PT.Summary: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is characterized by a tumor microenvironment (TME) with high stromal desmoplasia, a reduction in vessel density, and poor perfusion, all instrumental in PDAs’ observed resistance to chemotherapeutic intervention. Hyaluronan (HA) has been shown to accumulate to high levels in approximately 90% of PDA tumors, and is thought to be a key component of this desmoplastic response. In preclinical mouse models, including tumor xenografts, patient-derived tumor xenografts, and genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer (KPC), depletion of HA from the TME with a pegylated recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 (PEGPH20) is associated with remodeling of the tumor stroma, reduction of tumor interstitial fluid pressure, expansion of tumor blood vessels and facilitated delivery of chemotherapy. Studies in the KPC model have shown that increased tumor perfusion following PEGPH20 treatment in combination with gemcitabine persists for weeks after therapy cessation. Combinations with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine more than doubles survival in some pancreatic tumor models.

About HalozymeHalozyme Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative products that advance patient care. With a diversified portfolio of enzymes that target the extracellular matrix, the Company’s research focuses primarily on a family of human enzymes, known as hyaluronidases, which increase the dispersion and absorption of biologics, drugs and fluids. Halozyme’s pipeline addresses therapeutic areas, including oncology, diabetes and dermatology that have significant unmet medical need today. The Company markets Hylenex® recombinant (hyaluronidase human injection) and has partnerships with Roche, Pfizer and Baxter. Halozyme is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information on how we are innovating, please visit our corporate website at www.halozyme.com.

Safe Harbor Statement In addition to historical information, the statements set forth above include forward-looking statements (including, without limitation, statements concerning future actions relating to the development of PEGPH20 including the possibility that PEGPH20 may be used to address pancreatic cancer) that involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are typically, but not always, identified through use of the words “believe,” “enable,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “intends,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “predict,” “probable,” “potential,” “possible,” “should,” “continue,” and other words of similar meaning. Actual results could differ materially from the expectations contained in forward-looking statements as a result of several factors, including delays in completion of clinical trials and other development activities, the possibility of safety events, unexpected expenditures and costs, unexpected results or delays in regulatory review, regulatory approval requirements, unexpected adverse events and competitive conditions. These and other factors that may result in differences are discussed in greater detail in Halozyme’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 11, 2014.

Investor Contact:Schond GreenwayHalozyme Therapeutics858-704-8352ir@halozyme.com

Media Contact:Susan Neath Francis212-301-7182sfrancis@wcgworld.com

 

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SOURCE Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc.

Strand Life Sciences To Demonstrate New Strand NGS Features At 2014 American Society of Human Genetics Conference

October 9, 2014 – 6:00 am | Edit Post

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Strand Life Sciences (Strand) representatives will demonstrate new capabilities of the company’s next-generation sequencing data software, Strand NGS at the 64th Annual Meeting of The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) to be held from Oct. 18th to 22nd in San Diego, California. The meeting will feature invited presentations by the world’s leading geneticists, workshops and sessions about new developments in basic, translational, and clinical human genetics research and technology. At ASHG, Strand will highlight new features in Strand NGS such as the enhanced SNP and copy number detection workflows and multi-omic analyses.

The Strand NGS 2.1 release introduces custom SNP filters in the SNP detection workflow to filter out potentially false positive variants. It also provides the ability to create coverage profiles that store the basic coverage statistics for each target region of interest, a benefit to Copy Number Variation (CNV) workflows.  “These profiles can be readily used in the CNV workflow as a reference to detect copy number variations. These enhancements reflect Strand’s continued commitment to develop new and better methods for NGS data analysis,” says Dr. Rohit Gupta, Head, NGS Application Science, Strand.

“I have used Strand NGS for more than two years and have seen it significantly increase my lab’s productivity. From small RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, and targeted RNA-Seq, through whole-transcriptome, whole-methylome, and even whole-genome analyses, there are so many features, workflows and tools available that it literally takes the work out of NGS analysis. There is no other NGS analysis product, commercial or otherwise, that can do so many things this well, and they are continually adding more features in response to customer needs. I can’t think of a better option for the biologist who wants to quickly and comprehensively analyze and understand their NGS data,” says Frank A. Middleton, Associate Professor and Director, SUNY Upstate Medical University.  

Strand NGS is developed on Strand’s proprietary ‘Avadis®’ framework which powers high-throughput data analysis solutions used by more than 3,000 customers worldwide including top pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology organizations, research and academic institutions in over 40 countries. An enterprise version of Strand NGS (Server Edition) is also available and it allows multi-member teams to collaborate, share data, and speed up the analysis. At ASHG 2014, Strand will present five posters in the sessions on ‘Bioinformatics and Genomic Technology’ and ‘Clinical Genetic Testing’. The posters highlight benchmarking studies and case studies performed at Strand. A schedule of these poster sessions is available on the Strand NGS website. Come meet Strand experts for a demonstration of the new Strand NGS features at ASHG Booth #338.

About Strand Life SciencesFounded in 2000, Strand is a leader in technology innovations for healthcare using genomics. By enhancing sequence-based diagnostics and clinical genomic data interpretation using a strong foundation of computational, scientific, and medical expertise, Strand is bringing individualized medicine to the world.

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For more information, visit www.strandls.com or follow us on twitter: @StrandLife
SOURCE Strand Life Sciences

Brain Trust

October 9, 2014 – 6:00 am | Edit Post

President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, a federal research effort designed to help researchers answer fundamental questions about how the brain works, has in recent months awarded scientists at UC San Diego with more than $10 million in grants, cementing the campus’s reputation as one of the world’s top centers for neuroscience research.

Former UC San Diego Professor Wins 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 9, 2014 – 5:00 am | Edit Post

William E. Moerner, one of three scientists who this week were named winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, first applied his Nobel Prize-winning discovery to biological problems while working in the basement of Urey Hall as a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego from 1995 to 1998.

New molecular markers for prostate cancer identified

October 8, 2014 – 9:01 pm | Edit Post

A team of scientists around Sanford-Burnham’s Ranjan Perera, Ph.D., has identified a set of RNA molecules that are detectable in tissue samples and urine of prostate cancer patients, but not in normal healthy individuals. The study sets the stage for the development of more-sensitive and specific non-invasive tests for prostate cancer than those currently available

Scientists discover a ‘good’ fat that fights diabetes

October 8, 2014 – 5:00 pm | Edit Post

LA JOLLA–Scientists at the Salk Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston have discovered a new class of molecules–produced in human and mouse fat–that protects against diabetes.