Financings

Azeria Therapeutics Ltd. raised £32 million (US$41.3 million) in a series B round to take forward small-molecule inhibitors of FOXA1, a transcription factor that is pivotal to the growth and progression of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

Immunitas Therapeutics Inc., a company founded by Longwood Fund, launched with a $39 million series A financing.

Werewolf Therapeutics Inc. came out of the shadows with a $56 million series A fundraiser to state its plans to develop immune-stimulatory therapeutics to trigger immune responses to cancer.

Shenzhen-based Xbiome Co. Ltd., said to be China’s first AI-based microbiome drug development company, closed a series B financing round to pocket ¥100 million (US$14 million).

Deals

Harpoon Therapeutics Inc. and Abbvie Inc. cut their second deal in little more than two years as they embark upon an exclusive worldwide option and license transaction for HPN-217, Harpoon’s B-cell maturation antigen T-cell engagers targeting solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

Novo Ventures, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard launched a development greenhouse.

…And more

Less than four months after accepting Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s NDA for Givlaari (givosiran), the FDA approved the new RNAi therapy for the treatment of adults with the rare genetic disorder acute hepatic porphyria.

Aravive Biologics Inc. dispelled doubts that may have persisted after the disclosure of early data from the ongoing phase Ib portion of the phase Ib/II trial with AVB-500 in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, and Wall Street rewarded the company’s shares (NASDAQ:ARAV) with an 48.1% hike, or $3.13, to close Wednesday at $9.64.

Crispr Therapeutics AG delivered what appears, so far at least, to be a safe, functional cure for the first patient enrolled in each of its phase I/II trials of lead CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing therapy CTX-001, in beta-thalassemia and in sickle cell disease.

Hong Kong-headquartered Hutchison China Meditech Ltd.’s NDA for surufatinib as a treatment for patients with advanced non-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors has been accepted for review by China’s NMPA.

China-based Hua Medicine (Shanghai) Ltd.’s phase III trial of a potentially first-in-class dual-acting glucokinase activator, dorzagliatin (HMS-5552), met its primary endpoint in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Myovant Sciences Ltd. reported that its lead candidate, relugolix, met its primary endpoint and all six secondary endpoints in a phase III study of men with advanced prostate cancer.

On its PDUFA date, the FDA cleared Xcopri (cenobamate) tablets from South Korea’s SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. to treat partial-onset seizures in adults.


Word on the Street: BioWorld’s favorite quotes of the week

“Imagine if an everyday item like milk cost $3.50 in Canada, but $22.85 across the border in the U.S.”

Daniel Kolb, co-founder and managing director of Medbelle Ltd., which released an index showing the disparity in drug prices across 50 countries, with the U.S. by far paying the highest prices

 

“If you are talking small molecules, big pharma has the advantage. When talking about cell and gene therapies, there is disruptive change.”

Jan Thirkettle, chief development officer of gene therapy specialist Freeline Therapeutics Ltd., during the Consilium Healthcare conference in London

 

“President Trump has an incredibly poor track record when it comes to nominations.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), during this week’s Senate confirmation hearing for Stephen Hahn for the FDA commissioner post, who pointed to Hahn’s lack of experience in federal government and no policy track record on issues affecting the FDA

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