• LBT Innovati0ns engaged by global pharma company, AstraZeneca
  • Volpara nabs $7m plus contracts
  • Imugene receives ethics approval for Vaxinia


LBT to partner with AstraZeneca

LBT Innovations (ASX:LBT) surged 22%% this morning after announcing that it has been engaged by AstraZeneca for the full product development of its APAS Pharma product.

Under the agreement, global pharma AstraZeneca will fund the development of the APAS Pharma analysis module, and validate the final product.

The project is expected to cost around $1m, with payment received based on achieving a series of technical milestones.

The Automated Plate Assessment System (or APAS Independence) uses LBT’s intelligent imaging and machine learning software to automate the imaging, analysis and interpretation of culture plates following incubation.

The technology remains the only US FDA-cleared artificial intelligence technology for automated culture plate reading.

It’s expected that the APAS Independence instrument will be deployed to AstraZeneca to support data collection and testing as part of the development for the new APAS Pharma analysis module.

Once validated, APAS Pharma will automatically report negative results, providing an important time saving and improved quality control traceability of results to pharmaceutical laboratories.

“This partnership is really exciting for the company,” says LBT CEO, Brent Barnes.

“AstraZeneca leads this field and is looking to innovate its processes and set the standard for others to follow.

“Our APAS technology is ideally suited for the application of microbial quality control, able to improve consistency of results and drive standardisation across manufacturing sites.”


Volpara hits pay dirt on multi-million dollar contracts

Volpara (ASX:VHT)’s share price climbed 15% after the company said it has signed five 5-year contracts worth over US$7.8 million in Total Contract Value (TCV).

The new contracts include some of the US’s leading healthcare providers: Bon Secours Mercy Health, Northside Hospital, Adventist Health, Duly Health and Care, and Onsite Women’s Health.

The company also announced that Centura Health, a 19-hospital health system serving patients across Colorado and western Kansas, has renewed for an additional five-years. The contract adds a further US$887K in TCV for Volpara.

“The growing demand for Volpara’s breast software, which brings together cancer risk assessment, density scoring, image quality optimization, and patient tracking and reporting, reflects an industry transformation to more data-driven, personalised, high-quality care,” said Volpara CEO, Teri Thomas.

Thomas also added that these agreements validate its focus on “elephant-sized” industry leaders for recurring revenue growth.

“These new contracts are also representative of the “elephant” commercial opportunities Volpara is prioritizing to drive recurring revenue growth.

“The upgrades and renewals reflect the success providers rely on Volpara to deliver,” Thomas added.


Imugene receives ethics approval in Australia for VAXINIA

Imugene (ASX:IMU) has received Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) approval to commence a Phase I clinical trial of its oncolytic virotherapy candidate, VAXINIA, in Australia.

Ethics approval is confirmation that Imugene has completed all the necessary pre-clinical safety and efficacy testing of VAXINIA required to commence human clinical trials.

The first hospital to receive the ethics approval is Tasman Oncology Research, a cancer hospital located in Eastwood, South Australia.

Additional clinical sites will be opened in Australia, as have already been in the US following a FDA investigational new drug (IND) approval 12 months ago.

The trial is anticipated to run for approximately 24 months and is funded from existing budgets and resources.

The primary aim of the Phase 1 trial is to determine safety and an optimal biological dose of VAXINIA (CF33-hNIS) as a monotherapy, and later in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Efficacy, tolerability and immune response will also be measured.

The City of Hope-developed oncolytic virus VAXINIA has been shown to shrink colon, lung, breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer tumors in preclinical laboratory and animal models1.

“The start of our Australian study is a significant milestone for Imugene and clinicians treating Australians faced with the challenge of advanced solid tumour cancers,” says CEO, Leslie Chong.


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