Synthetic biology news in brief-w/c 27th Jan

synthetic biology news updates

Date: 3rd February 2020


Merck KGaA invests in Swiss state-of-the-art biotech development facility

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, have announced an investment of €250 million euros in a new facility, based in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.  The new Merck Biotech Development Center will be dedicated to biotech development and manufacturing for clinical studies.

The new centre, based near to their current biotech commercial manufacturing site, will expand their presence in the region. The move will see the bridging together of research and manufacturing.

The investment is hoped to speed up the availability of new medicines for patients in need and will housed with the advanced digital solutions and highest technological standards, including continuous manufacturing and laboratory automation.



New gene correction therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Somatic gene editing by CRISPRs ameliorates skeletal and cardiac muscle failure in pig and human models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

For more information see our article in brief:


Horizon Therapeutics announces expansion and relocation of US operations

Horizon Therapeutics announced today that it has agreed to purchase a three-building campus, formerly belonging to Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Deerfield, US.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, with Horizon hoping to occupy the campus in the second half of this year.

The new campus will give Horizon the flexibility to accommodate current employees as well as anticipating its long-term growth.

Horizon is focused on researching, developing and commercialising medicines that address critical needs for people impacted by rare and rheumatic diseases.



New Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult CEO brings continuity and ambition for further impact

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), is a global leader in the field of advanced therapies, based in London, UK.  They have announced that their new Chief Executive Officer will be Matthew Durdy, who is currently the Chief Business Officer of the organisation.

The appointment will be effective from the beginning of April 2020.  The organisation is prepared to further expansion the industry and successfully meet the increasing demands for innovation to drive growth and productivity.



Mammoth Biosciences raises $45 million to build next generation CRISPR products for therapeutics and diagnostics

Mammoth Biosciences, industry leaders in CRISPR-based disease detection, have announced the latest round of Series B funding will drive Mammoth’s robust platform for protein discovery to extend into gene-editing and therapeutics applications.

The $45 million will fuel the development of the CRISPR platforms with a particular focus on the Mammoth-discovered and characterised Cas14. Cas14 is a unique enzyme that opens up new possibilities due to its extremely small size, diverse targeting ability and high-fidelity. The Cas14 properties will enable Mammoth to achieve next-generation editing with a broader target range for both ex-vivo and in-vivo applications and is a foundation for enabling advanced CRISPR modalities such as targeted gene regulation, precision editing, and beyond.


Abcam expands cell engineering capabilities

Abcam, Cambridge, UK, a global innovator in life science reagents and tools and has announced the asset purchase of the gene editing platform and oncology product portfolio of Applied StemCell, Inc. for life science research and diagnostic markets.

It is hoped that move will rapidly accelerate and expand the cell line market, providing more choice, currently the market is in early stages of development as a research tool.  Applied StemCell’s platform will become Abcam’s discovery engine for developing novel edited cell lines.


Nanoparticles target ‘stealth cells’ to reduce atherosclerotic plaques

Atherosclerosis is a condition where the arteries become narrowed and hardened due to an accumulation of plaque around the artery wall. It is the primary cause of coronary heart disease (CHD), which occurs when the arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle are affected and is the leading cause of death worldwide, killing over 7 million people per year.  Now scientists have turned to the immune system and nanotechnology – creating ‘Trojan horse’ nanoparticles to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

For more information see our article in brief: