Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies and mRNA-based vaccines represent two of the most significant new modalities to gain regulatory approval in the past decade. Capstan Therapeutics Inc. has emerged from stealth with bold ambitions to combine these two approaches in mRNA-programmed cell therapies that will be generated in vivo from patients’ endogenous cells. It has so far secured $165 million in equity funding to pursue that vision, with backing from a string of big pharma investors, including Pfizer Ventures, the Novartis Venture Fund, Leaps by Bayer, Bristol Myers Squibb Co., and Eli Lilly and Co., as well as private equity investors Orbimed, RA Capital, Vida Ventures, Polaris Partners, and Alexandria Venture Investments.

Sparingvision closes $75M B round as it moves RP gene therapy to the clinic

Ocular gene therapy firm Sparingvision SA raised €75 million (US$75 million) in a series B round to fund its transition to clinical development. The Paris-based company is about to move its lead program, the mutation-agnostic gene therapy SPVN-06, into a phase I trial in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). “We are in the middle of the regulatory submission process,” CEO Stéphane Boissel told BioWorld.

Neukio raises $50M to develop next-gen cell therapies

Neukio Biotherapeutics Co. Ltd. has raised $50 million to support preclinical validation and clinical development of new cell therapies for cancer. The series A-1 round was led by CD Capital, Beijing Alwin Asset Management Co. Ltd. and Surplus Capital, with contributions from previous investors Lilly Asia Ventures, Sherpa Healthcare Partners Co. Ltd., and IDG Capital.

HELP: US government emergency response not yet ready for prime time

Over the past two decades, the U.S. has experienced four public health emergencies. Now, it is dealing with two at the same time. And with both COVID-19 and monkeypox, the federal government has bungled the response, according to both Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Speaking at a HELP hearing today on the government’s response to monkeypox, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the ranking member of the committee, attributed many of the missteps to individual agencies engaging in turf wars, protecting their territory and failing to come together to lay out a plan at the first sign of a public health threat.

South Korea’s Veronoi out-licenses pan-RAF inhibitor to Metis in $482.2M deal

South Korea’s Voronoi Inc. out-licensed its pan-RAF inhibitor program in a deal worth up to $482.2 million with Metis Therapeutics, a Boston-area company integrating drug discovery and delivery with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Neobe plans bacterial assault on tumor microenvironment

Over the past decade cancer immunotherapy has redefined standard care in many kinds of tumor, but low response rates remain a problem and there have been some shock trial failures where checkpoint inhibitors have failed to work as expected. To help, Neobe Therapeutics Ltd. is attempting to tackle an important constituent of the tumor microenvironment, the extracellular matrix.

ESMO 2022: Hutchmed’s phase III mCRC results ‘solid foundation’ for regulatory talks

Top-line phase III results showing Hutchmed Ltd.’s targeted therapy fruquintinib reduced the risks of death and disease progression by 34% and 68%, respectively, for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer could “lay a solid foundation for Hutchmed to initiate discussions with regulatory authorities worldwide,” a spokesperson of Hutchmed, told BioWorld. The data were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2022.

The BioWorld Insider Podcast: $1B+ biopharma deals keep values afloat, even amid muted volume

BioWorld writers bring you the details of new R&D alliances, financings, IPOs and M&A every day. These stories are the heartbeat of the relationships between industry giants and their smaller, more innovative peers. But what's the top-line read for dealmaking these days? With nearly 1,000 biopharma deals completed through early August amid a volatile economic climate, there's a lot to talk about. Join the BioWorld Insider podcast as we talk with Senior Analyst Karen Carey, whose data-driven research delivers a detailed picture of the ups and downs.

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Acadia, Adamis, Akero, Akeso, Akouos, Amolyt, Apollomics, Arctic, Astrazeneca, Atyr, Benitec, Biontech, Biophytis, Bryn, Caladrius, Cardiff, Cel-Sci, Clovis, Coave, Cstone, Dynavax, Edgewise, Elicio, Eton, Hansa, Himalaya, Ilya, I-Mab, Inmed, Innocare, Karolinska, Larimar, Lundbeck, Lyra, MD Anderson, Medincell, Merck, Metis, Nacuity, Nanoscope, Neuron, Novavax, Novome, Obseva, On Target, Oramed, Otsuka, PDC*Line, Pfizer, Point, Radiopharm, Rayzebio, Recursion, Relay, Respira, Sabin, Sarepta, Selection, Starpharma, Strata, Sunstone, TC, Tetra, Transcenta, Valeo, Vaxxinity, Voronoi, Zymeworks