The allocation of capital to the build-out of next-generation gene therapies continues apace. Dyno Therapeutics Inc., a leader in applying artificial intelligence to advanced capsid engineering, raised $100 million in a series A round to fund its expansion and that of its Capsidmap platform.
The development of gene therapy has come a long way over the past two decades after getting off to a rocky start following the death of a young patient after being treated with an experimental therapy. Since that time continuing scientific progress has enabled the development of a robust product pipeline of promising therapies that could lead to, according to FDA estimates, 10 to 20 cell and gene therapy products a year within the next five years. The renaissance of the sector has also attracted record amounts of investment capital and significant business development.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Agios Therapeutics Inc.’s encouraging phase III data from a pair of trials with allosteric activator mitapivat in pyruvate kinase deficiency brought more attention to the space, where Rocket Pharmaceuticals Inc. – at a much earlier stage – is trying a gene therapy called RP-L301.
With the massive amounts of capital raised by global public and private biopharmaceutical companies last year generating approximately $134 billion – a total that was almost double the previous record of about $69 billion raised in 2015 – it is not surprising that financing for the regenerative medicine and advanced therapy sector also set an annual record.
Elevatebio LLC, a provider of infrastructure, expertise and investment for a growing roster of cell and gene therapy companies, has raised $525 million in series C financing to advance its work. Matrix Capital Management led the round, joined by new investors Softbank Vision Fund 2 and Fidelity Management and Research Co. Existing investors also joined in.
Jaguar Gene Therapy LLC, a startup reuniting former Avexis Inc. executives to develop a portfolio of potential treatments for severe genetic diseases, announced its public debut Feb. 25 with more than $40 million in series A financing from co-creator Deerfield Management.
Avrobio Inc. said Feb. 8 that the first person dosed with AVR-RD-01, an investigational ex vivo lentiviral gene therapy from its upgraded manufacturing platform, Plato, experienced a complete clearance of the toxic substrate lyso-Gb3 in a kidney biopsy.
While it’s too late to save the contingent value rights connected with the acquisition of Celgene Inc., Bristol Myers Squibb Co.’s CD19-targeted CAR T therapy, lisocabtagene maraleucel, for treating certain types of relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma patients who have received at least two prior therapies, won FDA approval.
At the recent 39th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. popped the lid off top-line results from its ongoing phase III GENEr8-1 study with valoctocogene roxaparvovec – also known as valrox, now commonly called Roctavian. Data, though encouraging, may not have quelled controversy around the prospect.