Burlingame, Calif.-based Alx Oncology Inc. pulled down a $105 million series C equity financing to support the expansion of the clinical development of ALX-148, described as a next-generation CD47 myeloid checkpoint inhibitor, in combination with cancer therapeutics, into additional solid tumor and hematologic indications. The company said it plans to rapidly move the compound into phase II trials. Vivo Capital was the lead investor with other new investors including funds managed by Logos Capital, Janus Henderson, Foresite Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, BVF Partners and investor HBM Healthcare Investments. Existing investors Venbio and Lightstone Ventures also participated in the financing. ALX-148 uses a “dead” Fc domain that does not bind to macrophages, thus reducing cytopenia and other toxicities associated with the class, Alx said.
The latest mutation to the coronavirus has sparked a reaction by many national governments, but the expense associated with rapid development of vaccines and diagnostics is considerable. Ron Klain, who served as the Obama administration’s coordinator for the response to the Ebola virus, said during an Aspen Institute seminar that drugmakers took a hit in their efforts to develop a vaccine for the Ebola virus, and thus there is a need to de-risk these and other development efforts in the private sector.
PERTH, Australia – As of Feb. 12, Australia’s Department of Health confirmed 15 cases of novel coronavirus in Australia (five in Queensland, four in New South Wales, four in Victoria and two in South Australia). Of the confirmed 15 cases, five people have recovered and the others are in stable condition. Meanwhile, the University of Queensland is gearing up to use its recently developed rapid response technology to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus that could be available in as little as six months. And scientists from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne have successfully grown the Wuhan coronavirus form a patient sample, which will provide international laboratories with crucial information.
The hormone prolactin is known for and named after its role in breastfeeding. But there are more than 300 identified functions of prolactin, which is present in both men and women, though women have higher levels, and extremely high levels late in pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Now, scientists at the University of Arizona have identified another function of prolactin signaling. In the Feb. 5, 2020, issue of Science Translational Medicine, they reported one form of the prolactin receptor sensitized pain receptors, and played a role in the induction of hyperalgesia by opioids, in female but not male mice.
New York-based Hoth Therapeutics Inc. said preliminary preclinical data on its topical nanoparticle formulation of the endocannabinoid anandamide represents "a positive step toward underlining the transformative potential" of the early stage therapy for a lupus-related skin disease. Developed in partnership with Zylö Therapeutics Inc., it's using that company's extended-release Z-pods technology. Hoth's shares (NASDAQ:HOTH) rose 3.8% on the news to $5.15 by midday.
Privately held Pinpoint Therapeutics Inc., of Philadelphia, raised $1 million in debt financing, courtesy of Kairos Ventures, to develop autophagy inhibitors to treat a range of treatment-refractory cancers. Pinpoint is targeting an enzyme in the autophagy pathway, PPT1, which is expressed in most cancers. The science from the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and its chemistry department and the inhibitors could eventually be applied as monotherapy or combination therapy. Christian Peters, Pinpoint’s CEO, said this new approach has not previously been seen in the autophagy space. Peters has worked in academia and in the pharmaceutical industry, with stints at CSL Behring LLC, Therakos Inc. and Realm Therapeutics plc.
Adamas, Adverum, Aicuris, Allena, Allovir, Anixa, Antios, Astex, Clarus, Cytodyn, Dr. Reddy’s, Eusa, Fibrogen, Fortress, Freeline, Incyte, Johnson & Johnson, Ligand, Lilly, Lipocine, Merck, Mereo, Moderna, Norgine, Oblato, Oligomerix, PDS, Polarityte, Poxel, Prevail, Psilocin, Revance, Revive, Salarius, Theravance, TLC, Tonix, Vir, Xeris, Zosano