Syncona Ltd has increased its holding in SwanBio Therapeutics Inc, a gene therapy company, as part of a $56 million Series B financing to support the company’s lead product for adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease. Mass General Brigham Ventures of Cambridge, US also invested in the round.
Finance, Grants, Deals
OMass Therapeutics Ltd, a 2016 spin-out from the University of Oxford, has raised $100 million in a Series B financing round to advance its pipeline of drugs for immunology disorders and rare diseases. Proceeds from the financing will advance the company’s small molecule therapeutics towards clinical trials. The pipeline includes drugs targeting solute carriers, a group of membrane transport proteins, and G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a diverse group of cell surface receptors.
Bristol Myers Squibb Co has extended its drug discovery partnership with Evotec SE in protein degradation – less than a year after the two companies decided to work together longer on a separate project in neurodegeneration. The latest agreement, announced on 10 May, will see BMS and Evotec collaborate for an additional eight years to develop a pipeline of molecular glue degraders. These are small, drug-like compounds that can promote the degradation of disease-causing proteins.
MitoRx Therapeutics Ltd, a new UK company focused on degenerative diseases, has completed a seed financing round in order to develop therapeutics that reverse mitochondrial dysfunction. Investors in the new company include the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, Wren Capital, Oxford Technology Management as well as angel investors. The size of the financing was not disclosed.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to provide €15 million to IRBM SpA of Italy to expand research into new vaccines and treatments for SARS-CoV-2 and future coronaviruses. The funding, which runs through to 2024 will increase vaccine production capacity and prepare for future outbreaks of infectious diseases. It comes at a time when vaccine companies elsewhere are also bolstering manufacturing capacity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc is to acquire Checkmate Pharmaceuticals Inc, a US oncology company with a clinical asset under investigation for the treatment of a number of cancers. Regeneron, which is a producer of antibody therapeutics, has built a pharmaceutical presence in a wide range of disease areas including inflammatory conditions, cardiovascular disease, pain, and cancer.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc is to acquire the specialty oncology company Sierra Oncology Inc which is poised to make a regulatory submission for its lead product momelotinib in the US in the second quarter. A submission to the European Medicines agency is anticipated in the second half of 2022. Momelotinib has been developed to treat patients with myelofibrosis with anaemia. The acquisition has been valued at $1.9 billion.
France-based bioMérieux SA is to acquire Specific Diagnostics Inc of the US in order to strengthen its position in the detection of infections from antibiotic resistant pathogens. Specific Diagnostics, a privately held company, has developed an antimicrobial susceptibility test that can detect Gram negative bacteria directly from blood cultures in an average of five hours.
A new gene therapy project has been launched by ViGeneron GmbH of Germany and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc that would potentially result in the development of a treatment for an inherited retinal disorder. The two companies announced their collaboration on 6 April but did not identify the disease.
Carlyle, a private equity firm, is to expand its healthcare business with the acquisition of UK-based Abingworth LLP which has been providing venture capital to life science companies for decades. The transaction will combine Carlyle’s $301 billion of assets under management with the more than $2 billion in assets controlled by Abingworth. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.