ROME Therapeutics Inc, a US company developing therapies based on the dark genome, has secured $72 million from a Series B round extension bringing the total amount raised up to $149 million. Strategic investors Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC Inc and Bristol Myers Squibb Inc joined the funding syndicate alongside new and existing investors.
Forbion, the European life sciences venture fund, has announced the close of a Series B financing round for Mariana Oncology, a US radiopharmaceutical company with a lead drug candidate targeting small cell lung cancer. In conjunction with the funding, Geert-Jan Mulder, a managing partner of Forbion, will join the board of directors alongside Rebecca Luse from Deep Track Capital which co-led the funding round.
The French start-up company Corteria Pharmaceuticals has raised €65 million in an oversubscibed Series A financing to progress its candidate therapies for heart failure. Announced on 7 September, the financing was co-led by Jeito Capital and Orbimed with participation from the existing investors Kurma Partners, Fountain Healthcare Partners, V-Bio Ventures, Invivo Capital, and Omnes Capital.
Sofinnova Investments has led a $90 million Series C financing round for Star Therapeutics Inc, the proceeds of which will support one of Star’s portfolio companies called Vega Therapeutics. Based in South San Francisco, US, Star is a biotechnology company consisting of subsidiary enterprises which are each focused on developing products based on specific areas of biology.
In addition to Sofinnova, investors in the oversubscribed round included the Qatar Investment Authority, Catalio Capital Management, Agent Capital, Soleus Capital and NYBC Ventures.
The first patient in a trial of a new radiopharmaceutical has been dosed – paving the way for a potentially new treatment for extensive stage small cell lung cancer, the developer Ariceum Therapeutics GmbH announced on 7 September. The Phase 1b study is taking place at the Murdoch University Health Center in Perth, Australia. It will investigate the safety and tolerability of a theranostic, or a diagnostic agent paired with the radiopharmaceutical product, 177Lu-satoreotide tetraxetan.
The private equity group Permira has made an offer to buy Ergomed Plc, a UK-based contract research organisation (CRO), for approximately £703 million. The offer represents a 32.4% premium to the three-month volume weighted average price per Ergomed share and will be executed through a newly incorporated company controlled by funds advised by Permira Advisors LLP. Ergomed has been listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange since 2014 when it raised £11 million through an initial public offering.
A Phase 3 trial of the kinase inhibitor Alecensa (alectinib) has shown a statistically significant improvement in disease-free survival in patients with early-stage anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive non-small cell lung cancer, Roche reported on 1 September. Alecensa is already approved for advanced ALK-positive lung cancer. The latest data have now shown effectiveness in an early disease setting as well. ALC-positive lung cancer is a molecular subset of non-small cell lung cancer with distinct pathological features.
Evotec SE reported a double-digit increase in group revenue for the first six months despite a serious disruption to its business from a cyberattack in the second quarter which affected productivity across the company. Direct costs from the incident were €39.3 million. But this was more than offset by new and continuing business at the start of the year generating revenue for the first six months of €383.8 million, up by 14% from a year earlier.
Novo Nordisk A/S’s weight loss drug semaglutide (Wegovy) has achieved significant reductions in heart failure-related symptoms in people with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and obesity in the Phase 3 STEP HFpEF trial. Novo announced the trial results on 25 August. They were simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The Phase 3 trial is one of more than 12 studies investigating semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, at a dose of 2.4 mg per week.