DUBLIN – Verona Pharma plc raised $200 million in a combined private placement and share subscription, which ensures the London-based firm has the funds in place to proceed with a phase III program for its lead drug candidate, ensifentrine, as maintenance therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s solid evidence that the company’s decision to bring in a new senior management team earlier this year is working. CEO David Zaccardelli and Chief Financial Officer Mark Hahn joined up in February, not long after they had led specialty pharma firm Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc. to a buyout deal with Stockholm-based Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, worth up to $915 million.
PERTH, Australia – Melbourne, Australia-based Dimerix Ltd. saw its shares gain 66% on the news that its lead candidate, DMX-200, has been chosen to enter the global REMAP-CAP platform trial as a potential treatment for COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
LONDON – With results of its first phase I trial imminent, inflammasome specialist Nodthera Ltd. has raised $55 million in a series B round, providing funding for phase II proof-of-concept studies and to advance a second, brain-penetrant, compound to the clinic.
Stem cells haven’t exactly panned out as hoped when it comes to approved therapeutics. There are only a couple that have received a nod from the FDA in very specific indications. But the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could push stem cells back into the limelight and more firmly establish them as therapeutically relevant.
Weeks after raising an oversubscribed $60 million series A, Affinia Therapeutics Inc., of Waltham, Mass., is collaborating with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a far larger deal, one potentially worth more than $1.6 billion.
LONDON – The search for modulators of the immune cascade that is the cause of the most severe respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 is intensifying, with Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Pharming Group NV adding their drugs to the list of repurposing projects.
Leo Pharma A/S, of Ballerup, Denmark, has eyed a stronger company presence in Asia during the past year and took a giant step to achieving it by signing a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with Oneness Biotech Co. Ltd., of Taipei, Taiwan, and Microbio Shanghai Co. Ltd. to develop and commercialize FB-825 for treating atopic dermatitis and allergic asthma.
Privately held Recode Therapeutics Inc. brought in $80 million through an oversubscribed series A financing with plans to continue its preclinical work in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and cystic fibrosis (CF).
Mallinckrodt plc is engaging with the U.S. FDA, NIH and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to address the potential use of its INOmax (nitric oxide) inhaled gas to treat COVID-19-associated lung complications. INOmax is marketed in the U.S. by the Staines-upon-Thames, U.K.-based company to treat full- and near-term neonates with hypoxic respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hypertension.
PERTH, Australia – Australian stem cell therapy company Mesoblast Ltd. plans to evaluate its allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) candidate, remestemcel-L, in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S., Australia, China and Europe.