Grey Wolf Therapeutics Ltd, a biotech company launched in 2017 to develop a new way of targeting solid tumours, has raised $49 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing round to bring its first product into the clinic. The financing was co-led by Pfizer Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital with support from new and existing investors. The company has generated a pipeline of small molecule drugs that inhibit enzymes which play an important role in the presentation of cancer antigens to the immune system. The enzymes are endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases 1 and 2.
Finance, Grants, Deals
Ahead of its launch as an independent Swiss company, Sandoz AG is strengthening its portfolio of generic medicines with the proposed acquisition of micafungin sodium (Mycamine), an antifungal medicine used to treat invasive candidiasis and oespophageal candidiasis. The prospective transaction is with Astellas Pharma Inc of Japan.
Bayer AG has capped a three-year research partnership with Blackford Analysis Ltd of the UK with an offer to buy the company and expand its presence in the field of medical imaging. The financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. Spun-out from the University of Edinburgh in 2010, Blackford has annual revenue estimated at $5 million.
Sanofi SA has expanded a collaboration with CytoReason Ltd, the Israeli technology company, to include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a project that uses artificial intelligence to discover novel disease targets. The two companies have been working together since 2021, initially to identify targets for treating asthma.
The UK biotech, TC BioPharm (Holdings) Plc, has announced a research collaboration with the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US to investigate how gamma delta T cells can be further mobilised to fight cancer. The Scotland-based company has already reported positive data from an early clinical trial of a gamma delta T cell product in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). As this trial continues, it will also be working with researchers at MD Anderson, which is part of the University of Texas, to better understand how gamma delta T cells behave in patients.
Sanofi SA is to increase the capital available to Sanofi Ventures, its evergreen investment fund, in order to support small companies with promising technologies. The capital injection will raise the sums available to the fund to $750 million. The fund currently has 50 companies in its portfolio, many of which have ongoing research and development collaborations with the parent company.
BioNTech SE, the Germany-based vaccine and immunotherapy company, is to take full control of InstaDeep Ltd having made an equity investment in the company in January 2022. InstaDeep is a UK-based technology company that specialises in artificial intelligence and machine learning. BioNTech has a messenger RNA (mRNA) platform and was responsible, with Pfizer, for commercialising the first Covid-19 vaccine. InstaDeep has its headquarters in London, with offices in Paris, France and four other cities in the Middle East and Africa.
Asklepios BioPharmaceutical Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer AG, has entered into a multi-year research collaboration and option agreement with ReCode Therapeutics Inc. Under the agreement, the companies will work together to discover genetic medicines that precisely target a disease. This will be done by developing technology for the use of single vectors as delivery vehicles for gene editing and DNA cargoes.
Sanofi SA has expanded a collaboration with Innate Pharma SA giving it access to new assets in the field of natural kill (NK) cell antibody development. The French multinational has been working with Innate since 2016 and will now have rights to a programme targeting an immune checkpoint molecule known as B7H3 which is overexpressed in a number of solid tumours. Sanofi will also have an option to add up to two additional molecules to its repertoire of cancer targets.
Germany-based BioNTech SE, which together with Pfizer Inc commercialised the first Covid-19 vaccine, has entered into a partnership with the UK government to research and develop mRNA vaccines for other diseases. The multi-year collaboration will include the development of vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases. For cancer, the goal is to be able to provide personalised cancer therapies for up to 10,000 patients by the end of 2030, either in clinical trials or as authorised treatments.