3 Biotech Products Intrexon Wants You to Know About
Pre-birth prevention of inherited diseases In 2013 Intrexon and OvaScience (NASDAQ:OVAS) formed a 50/50 joint venture called OvaXon that will develop tools to prevent inheritable diseases carried by parents from being passed onto their children. It might sound like a long-shot application, but most of technology needed already exists today -- and OvaScience is a critical component of the venture.
Tools that prevent diseases from being inherited by children would be a great complimentary product portfolio for OvaScience, which is developing and commercializing next-generation fertility treatments and IVF technologies for women that are struggling to find success with traditional methods. Early results from the company's first product, AUGMENT, have been spectacular, with clinics reporting success rates ranging from 25% to 53% for women with at least three failed IVF treatments. One of the pregnancies witnessed in a recent AUGMENT clinical setting occurred in a woman following seven failed IVF cycles.
Meanwhile, Intrexon could gain access to a very large market that hasn't seen any major innovations in quite some time, which is perhaps the primary reason IVF is costly and often fails. The opportunity could be huge: some estimate the global IVF market could be worth $22 billion by 2020 -- and that doesn't include next-generation technologies and services that aren't on many people's radars today. In addition to human IVF, Intrexon could apply technologies developed in OvaXon to the bovine reproduction technology platform it acquired with Trans Ova in 2014, which allows ranchers to produce more offspring from elite cows (cows with superior traits and features) to increase the value of their livestock. Put another way, whereas agricultural biotechnology applies genetic tools to plants to drive value for farmers, Trans Ova applies biotechnology tools to animals to do the same.
While there is no relationship between OvaXon and AUGMENT, the results for the latter point to a promising future for potential treatments and products. Selecting human embryos based upon their genetic profile could ensure babies aren't born with debilitating or fatal inheritable diseases such as Huntington's disease. Don't think it's possible? Consider the following selection from a recent MIT Technology Review article reviewing the state of engineering humans and human embryos:
OvaScience has been collecting, and studying, what it believes are egg stem cells from the outer layer of women's ovaries. The company has not yet perfected its stem-cell technology -- it has not reported that the eggs it grows in the lab are viable -- but [David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School and advisor to OvaScience] predicted that functional eggs were "a when, and not an if." Once the technology works, he said, infertile women will be able to produce hundreds of eggs, and maybe hundreds of embryos. Using DNA sequencing to analyze their genes, they could pick among them for the healthiest ones.
..."We think the new technologies with genome editing will allow it to be used on individuals who aren't just interested in using IVF to have children but have healthier children as well, if there is a genetic disease in their family," Sinclair told the investors. He gave the example of Huntington's disease, caused by a gene that will trigger a fatal brain condition even in someone who inherits only one copy of it. Sinclair said gene editing could be used to remove the lethal gene defect from an egg cell. His goal, and that of OvaScience, is to "correct those mutations before we generate your child," he said. "It's still experimental, but there is no reason to expect it won't be possible in coming years."
How close is such a reality? For now, the world's leading scientists have called for a global moratorium on designer babies until the risks and medical benefits can be better understood and controlled, but it seems likely the technology will be safely and responsibly commercialized at some point in the future. Intrexon and OvaScience are good bets to be first in line.
This Analyst Just Tripled Intrexon's Zika Drug Sales Estimates Intrexon Corp faces a large, multi-segment market opportunity, which outweighs near-term pressures related to its 2Q16 results, Wunderlich’s Ryan MacDonald said in a report. He reiterated a Buy rating on the company, with a price target of $50.
Intrexon’s Oxitec business has a population-based pricing model and the company intends to charging $8-$10 per person. In view of this, the estimate for the long-term revenue opportunity has been raised from $500 million to $1.6-$2.0 billion, MacDonald mentioned.
Post by smallfarmer on Sept 30, 2016 9:58:43 GMT -6
Intrexon and Inovio – Good Candidates to Receive Money from Congress’ $1.1 billion Zika Bill Yesterday Congress passed a spending bill and, pending President Obama’s signature, $1.1 billion will be allocated to combat the Zika virus. Given Inovio’s (INO, Buy, $9.32) early lead in Zika vaccine clinical testing and Intrexon’s (XON, Buy, $27.58) novel OX513A vector control technology, we believe these companies are in a good position to receive grant money. However, we also believe the time to attract significant grant money has begun. Should either company fail to secure funding in the next 3-6 months it would seem to cast doubts on the competitiveness of their respective approaches in the eyes of the current experts in the field. Zika funding – better late than never. Zika virus transmission has lost some headline power lately despite the situation in the United States clearly getting worse. Yesterday it was announced that Zika infected mosquitoes were caught in five different locations in South Beach and the Florida Department of Health announced six new non-travel related Zika cases in South Florida – bringing the total to 115 non-travel related cases for the state. In July a New York Times article noted “in Puerto Rico, officials believe thousands of residents – including up to 50 pregnant women – are infected each day.” Inovio has the early lead in Zika Vaccine Race. In July, Inovio announced it had dosed its first patient in a Phase I trial for the company’s Zika Vaccine. The phase I trial is evaluating GLS-5700’s safety, tolerability and immunogenicity in 40 healthy people. We believe there are approximately 20 companies working toward a Zika vaccine, including several large pharma/biotech companies. Searching clinicaltrials.gov today shows two Zika vaccines in the clinic – GLS-5700 from Inovio and VRC-ZKADNA085-00-VP (an NIAID candidate). Inovio’s trial follows in the footsteps of the previously reported antibody and T-cell responses generated in non-human primates tested with GLS-5700. Inovio expects reporting interim immune response and safety data from this trial during 4Q16. Early OX513A use in Piracicaba – 82% reduction and counting. Despite being only temporarily approved, a Brazilian municipality has already tested OX513A in a crisis area containing about 5,000 people that is adjacent to other crisis areas that are not being treated. Intrexon has indicated that after about half a season of treatment the Aedes aegypti (AE) mosquito larvae has been decreased by about 82% in the treated area. Furthermore in the initial Piracicaba trial area, Intrexon reported a 91% year-over-year drop in dengue fever incidences. As the AE mosquito is also a carrier/transmitter of dengue (in addition to Zika), this marker bodes well for OX513A’s epidemiological impact. Inovio has good experience obtaining for grant money. The bill’s language is pretty broad and allows the money to be used for various anti-Zika pursuits. However after reviewing the document we calculate ~$685 million is available to fund Zika vaccine research in addition to other medical countermeasures. We note Inovio has previously received U.S. government money, and last year received a $45 million grant from DARPA to develop an Ebola preventative vaccine. During 1Q16, the company reported interim data from a Phase I study of the Ebola vaccine, demonstrating it was safe and produced antibody and T cell responses. Given the company’s history of receiving U.S. grants and GLS-5700 progress thus far, we believe Inovio has good potential to secure developmental grants for their Zika vaccine.
Funding for Vector Control. Part of the spending bill appropriated – “$145,500,000, to remain available until September 30, 2017, for necessary expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Zika virus, health conditions related to such virus, and other vector-borne diseases: Provided, That funds appropriated under this heading shall be made available for vector control activities, vaccines, diagnostics, and vector control technologies: Provided further, That funds appropriated under this heading may be made available as contributions to the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Pan American Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Food and Agriculture Organization”. Given the worsening Zika situation, we expect these organizations to examine Intrexon’s OX513A mosquitoes as a potential vector control solution. The U.S. Government wants to examine OX513A. Earlier this month the Florida Speaker-Designate and 60 additional Florida House members urged the U.S. government to grant Emergency Use Authorization of Intrexon’s OX513A. In addition the FDA’s quick determination of FONSI during August suggests that agency wants to examine OX513A as a potential solution. We note an important OX513A nod will come from Florida residents voting on a nonbinding referendum to conduct an OX513A field trial in Key Haven. This vote is not trivial as exemplified by an online petition against the use of OX513A in the Florida Keys that was signed by twice as many people as actually live in the Florida Keys. GLS-5700 – Inovio’s Zika Vaccine. Zika is a flavivirus (virus with a non-integrating RNA genome) similar to dengue virus – a class of viruses that Inovio has worked with for some time (announced programs include West Nile, dengue and chikungunya). Importantly, vaccines for other virus of this type, especially dengue, have shown reasonable efficacy. For example, Sanofi’s Dengvaxia has shown protection against 66% of symptomatic disease for all four dengue virus serotypes. In addition, although the genetics of Zika is incomplete, the early signs are that the overall variation within the virus species that cause Zika is less than seen in the viral species that cause dengue – a positive for vaccine development. We note that in the preclinical setting Inovio has now demonstrated that delivering DNA plasmid-encoded Zika antigens resulted in seroconversion in monkeys (production of antibodies) allowing these non-human primates to be tested for protective immunity. We expect that the antigens chosen for these tests were largely informed by the protective antigens for dengue virus – Inovio has previously shown protection in mice against flavivirus diseases via their dMab program that introduces genes encoding anti-viral antibodies. Background - Intrexon’s OX513A Mosquitos. The Intrexon OX513A mosquitoes reduce AE populations by dilution. Briefly, fertile OX513A males are released that compete with indigenous AE males for the affections of indigenous AE females. Male mosquitos don’t bite and can’t contribute to an infection except via their female offspring. An important aspect of the OX513A males is that these mosquitoes compete essentially evenly and mate normally. This competitive mating ability of OX513A has been carefully demonstrated in lab and field tests. The key to OX513A is that the resultant larva from their matings do not reach adulthood due to the introduction of a gene that results in their death during the fragile larval stage. In addition, all OX513A mosquitos are modified with a marker gene that allows their identification – and this marker is passed on to their offspring. This marker gene makes the larva from OX513A matings fluorescent and allows the progress of an ongoing effort to dilute out native AE populations to be monitored. This monitoring is carried out by spot testing larva in an area – if most larva are fluorescent the native AE population is on the way to collapse. By contrast if an area shows low levels fluorescent (OX513A-derived) larva – more OX513A males need to be introduced into the area. Over time (3-5 years) this continuous occurrence of non-productive matings can cause the native AE population to wither away and the non-biting male OX513A insects die of old age after each release. Prices are intraday 9/29/16.
Test Marketing of Arctic® Apples Set for Early 2017
The first commercial harvest is under way. The Arctic apples created by Intrexon’s Okanagan Specialty Fruits subsidiary include three FDA-approved apple varieties that do not brown from slicing or bruising. The technology behind the advance involves suppressing expression of the gene for polyphenol oxidase. The enzyme catalyzes an oxidation reaction that accounts for the loss of about 40% of the apple harvest each year. This enzyme is not found in all apple varieties and does not contribute to the fruits’ nutritional value or taste.
Commercial sales will commence early next year. Intrexon will test market the first commercial crop of its apples, Arctic® Golden (akin to Golden Delicious), in January and February. The launch should whet the appetites of food preparers that want to offer fresh apples in sliced fruit assortments. Two more Arctic apple varieties, Arctic Granny and Arctic Fuji, should debut in the subsequent two years, as the Company planted 70,000 trees this year (~60% Granny and ~40% Golden) and has contracted for 300,000 and 500,000 trees, including its Fuji apples, to be planted in 2017 and 2018, respectively. We expect Okanagan’s revenue contribution to grow exponentially over the next five years.
The Company is leveraging its technology. We believe the Arctic apple family will expand in the near future with an FDA approval of the Arctic Gala. Then, too, Okanagan’s technology may be applied to pears, cherries, and other soft fruits, as well as some vegetables. Indeed, the initial research, conducted at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, centered on preventing bruising of potatoes by polyphenol oxidase.
We remain upbeat on Intrexon shares with a BUY rating and a target price of $55.
Under: Been on the sidelines for a bit holding (building) cash. Now that "BIGLEY" has rolled out the tax plan its time to jump in.
Dec 21, 2017 19:06:02 GMT -6
martyc: Looks like you are buying Msft again!
Dec 15, 2017 11:23:29 GMT -6
martyc: The news that Trump called Rupert to congratulate him sure seems to indicate that this is heading to approval
Dec 15, 2017 11:22:23 GMT -6
Under: DIS finally getting some traction.?
Dec 14, 2017 17:08:45 GMT -6
martyc: I took an entry level position in DIS. Will add eventually to overweight when it becomes clearer that the deal will go thru. Can't believe how well positioned they will be. 60% Hulu. 20% of content watched on NFLX they can pull. More in thread
Dec 14, 2017 11:05:16 GMT -6
Under: Great posts on $DIS
Dec 13, 2017 17:50:49 GMT -6
Under: $ROKU Citron on a war path.
Nov 28, 2017 15:11:20 GMT -6
Under: $HAS takeover bid for $MAT?
Nov 10, 2017 16:16:07 GMT -6
martyc: Not looking like the market will provide any discounted opp for SGMO. Call was just too professional and all signs indicate they are on a great path for commercialization. Happy with core but wish I had some trading shs
Nov 10, 2017 9:04:05 GMT -6
martyc: For anyone looking to find an entry point into SGMO, I'm almost hoping is sells off in next few days so I can add more. They are really clicking but the fact they haven't signed new deals might cause some to exit. Watching as I have room for trading shs
Nov 9, 2017 18:28:09 GMT -6
martyc: Been an interesting ride so far. I figured the Bears would be about this good but hoped the O wouldn't look so lame. Another building yr but still possible to get to 8-8 IMO
Nov 9, 2017 18:26:08 GMT -6
Under: whats up with your Bears this year Marty?
Nov 9, 2017 17:35:25 GMT -6
martyc: Hope you were long ROKU. I wanted to see Q first so missed out
Nov 9, 2017 7:08:53 GMT -6