Finance, Grants, Deals

Syncona leads cell therapy financing

Sunday 14 November 2021
Country
United Kingdom

Syncona Ltd has taken the lead in financing a new cell therapy company that is developing induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived medicines. Clade Therapeutics, located in Cambridge, US, has a platform technology that ‘cloaks’ human pluripotent stem cells and their adult derivatives enabling the development of immune compatible cell transplantation therapies. The company is initially focused on demonstrating the potential of cloaked immune cells as cancer treatments.

Merck spin-out to acquire Forendo Pharma

Sunday 14 November 2021
Country
United States

Organon, a recent spin-off of Merck & Co Inc, is to expand its portfolio of assets in reproductive health with the acquisition of Forendo Pharma Ltd of Finland. Organon has agreed to pay up to $954 for the Finnish company, a figure that includes potential outlays for the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Forendo’s lead product is being developed for endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects up to one in 10 women of reproductive age.

Agomab to acquire Origo Biopharma

Sunday 14 November 2021
Country
Belgium

Agomab Therapeutics NV is to acquire Origo Biopharma SL of Spain for an undisclosed sum in order to advance its strategy of targeting growth factor signalling pathways for the development of new therapies. The acquisition comes less than a year after Agomab, which is based in Belgium, raised $74 million in a Series B financing round led by Redmile Group of San Francisco, with participation from Cormorant Asset Management LLC of Boston, US.

Takeda to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics

Sunday 14 November 2021
Country
United Kingdom

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd is to acquire the cell therapy company GammaDelta Therapeutics Ltd, exercising an option that it obtained in 2017 from the UK company’s venture capital sponsor Abingworth LLP. Takeda is to make a pre-negotiated upfront payment for GammaDelta as well as potential development and regulatory milestone payments. In 2017, Takeda committed to invest up to $100 million in GammaDelta which included an equity investment.

Autolus secures deal with Blackstone

Monday 8 November 2021
Country
United Kingdom

Blackstone Life Sciences, an active investor in the biopharma sector, is to provide $150 million upfront to Autolus Therapeutics Plc to support its lead T cell product, obecabtagene autoleucel, for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), as well as earlier oncology projects.

Valneva raises $102 million in global offering

Thursday 4 November 2021
Country
France

Valneva SE, the France-based vaccine company, has raised $102 million in a global share offering to specialised investors which included an offering of American Depositary Shares (ADSs) in the US and a private share placement in Europe and elsewhere. The proceeds are expected to be used for the company’s vaccine portfolio which includes a candidate Covid-19 vaccine. Valneva’s ordinary shares are listed on Euronext Paris, and its ADSs trade on Nasdaq.

F-star secures deal with Janssen

Thursday 21 October 2021
Country
United Kingdom

Janssen Biotech Inc has expanded its European partnerships with a new bispecific antibody deal – this time with F-star Therapeutics Ltd of the UK. Janssen already has projects underway using bispecific technology from Genmab A/S. The deal with F-star will explore new antibody therapeutics that are both bispecific and tetravalent, meaning they simultaneously target immune and tumour cells whilst having two additional sites for antigen binding.

New collaboration in RNA epigenetics

Tuesday 19 October 2021
Country
United Kingdom

UK-based STORM Therapeutics Ltd has entered into an exclusive collaboration and licensing agreement with Exelixis Inc to discover potential treatments for cancer by inhibiting enzymes that modify RNA. The initial focus of the partnership will be on ADAR1 (adenosine deaminases acting on RNA), an enzyme that edits double-stranded RNA molecules. In so doing, the enzyme reduces their ability to activate the innate immune system.

Launch of Rectify Pharmaceuticals

Sunday 17 October 2021
Country
United States

A new biotech company with plans to target ABC transporters, one of the oldest families of proteins, has been launched with $100 million in Series A financing by US-based Atlas Venture and three other groups. Rectify Pharmaceuticals Inc will develop small molecule drugs aimed at restoring dysfunctional ABC transporters to a normal state. These transporters play an essential role in ferrying organic and inorganic molecules across cellular membranes.

Genome editing to be investigated for ocular diseases

Thursday 14 October 2021
Country
United States

A new collaboration between Intellia Therapeutics Inc and the French ophthalmology company SparingVision SAS will seek to apply genome editing technology to the treatment of diseases of the eye. Announced on 13 October, the partnership will use Intellia’s in vivo Crispr/Cas9-based platform to investigate up to three ocular targets.