CatalYm GmbH has closed a Series C financing round, raising €50 million to support development of a therapy directed at the immune system for cancer. The Munich, Germany company has a candidate monoclonal antibody engineered to neutralise the tumour-produced growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15). GDF-15 acts as a regulator of immune cell activation and as an inhibitor of immune cell infiltration into the tumour tissue.
Finance, Grants, Deals
Negotiating the sale of a pharma asset, whether preclinical or clinical, involves skills in interpersonal relations as well as a thorough understanding of the asset itself, according to speakers at a panel discussion at BIO-Europe in Leipzig, Germany on 25 October.
France-based Andera Partners has closed its newest venture capital fund, BioDiscovery 6. At €456 million, it is the largest amount raised for any of the group’s funds directed at the life sciences sector. The fund was supported by new and existing investors.
Immunic Inc, which is co-located in the US and Germany, has raised approximately $60 million in an oversubscribed private equity financing to support clinical development of its small molecule drugs for chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The newest financing extends the company’s cash runway into the fourth quarter of 2024.
Immatics NV has raised $110 million in a public share offering to advance development of its T cell receptor T cell therapies for cancer. The financing coincides with the disclosure of interim clinical data for the company’s lead product IMA203 which is being studied in multiple solid cancers.
Muna Therapeutics, a biotech company co-located in Denmark and Belgium, has received a $4.9 million grant from the Michael J Fox Foundation of the US to support preclinical research and development into small molecule potassium channel type 1.3 (Kv1.3) blockers to stop neuroinflammation and enhance neuroprotection in Parkinson’s disease.
Genfit SA of France is to acquire a small Swiss company that specialises in liver diseases in order to expand its clinical-stage portfolio for these complex disorders. The purchase of Versantis AG is expected to complete in the fourth quarter and give Genfit control of VS-01, a liposomal-based therapy for acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), a condition for which no drugs have yet been approved. Genfit will also acquire a small molecule asset and a diagnostic.
France-based SparingVision SAS has raised €75 million in a Series B financing round to bring its two lead gene therapy assets into clinical development for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited retinal disorder. The adeno-associated virus vector therapies will deliver mutation agnostic treatments to the eye with a view to correcting the disorder.
Novo Nordisk A/S and Microsoft Inc have entered a partnership to investigate how artificial intelligence can be applied to drug discovery and development. The collaboration draws on Novo’s experience in pharma R&D and Microsoft’s computational services and AI expertise to develop a series of case studies showing applications of the new technologies. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Novo Nordisk A/S, whose main therapeutic focus is diabetes, has expanded its presence in the field of rare blood disorders with an agreement to acquire Forma Therapeutics Holdings Inc of the US. Forma’s lead product etavopivat is a small molecule allosteric activator of the red blood cell isoform of pyruvate kinase. It is being developed to improve anaemia and red blood cell health in people with sickle cell disease.