As the six-month interim analysis of phase II data for ATA-199 in progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) nears, investors in Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. – not to mention patients – are growing more intrigued by the prospect, an off-the-shelf T-cell candidate that targets Epstein Barr virus-infected B cells and plasma cells in the central nervous system.
Bone Therapeutics SA has entered an exclusive three-month discussion period with Medsenic SAS, which could culminate in a reverse merger. The potential transaction represents a lifeline for the troubled Belgian cell therapy developer, which is running out of cash and which has been more or less abandoned by its shareholders.
Nuvig Therapeutics Inc. emerged from stealth mode with a $47 million series A round to back efforts to develop drugs that induce immune homeostasis as a way of treating autoimmune diseases without disturbing the system’s normal function.
Privately held Amphista Therapeutics Ltd. has cut massive deals with two biopharma giants, Merck KGaA and Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (BMS), that together could bring the company up to $2.25 billion. The companies will use Amphista’s Eclipsys platform to generate protein degrader-based therapeutics. Merck is looking to discover and develop small-molecule protein degraders for treating cancer and immune disease. Indications in the BMS deal were not announced.
Dianthus Therapeutics Inc. has, appropriately, flowered in springtime. The Waltham, Mass.-based company emerged from stealth with $100 million in series A funding and lofty ambitions to rewrite the rules of targeting the complement system with a pipeline of antibodies that bring new levels of selectivity to an area of innate immunity that has proved difficult to target.
A handful of developers are advancing drug prospects in the localized scleroderma (LS) space, with candidate mechanisms that range from cell-based gene therapy to IL-4 or IL-6 antagonism to PDE4 blocking, and with efforts that involve approved as well as experimental compounds.
Versant Ventures is committing $50 million in series A funding to Cimeio Therapeutics Inc., which aims to bring new possibilities in terms of disease targeting and safety to bear on a wide range of cell therapy applications, including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and adoptive cell transfer.
Tiziana Life Sciences Inc.’s intranasal, fully human anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody will need testing in 10 or 20 more patients to confirm the signal in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), but key opinion leaders on a conference call March 14 sounded optimistic as they checked out the prospect’s early efficacy.