HONG KONG – Hutchison China Meditech Ltd. (also known as Chi-Med) has received a $100 million equity investment from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which will fund ongoing research and clinical development and support the further growth of its commercialization capabilities both in China and globally.
When the first chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy, Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), was approved in 2016 for treating B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, its developer, Novartis AG, confined the initial rollout to just 20 treating centers. Its label carried a black box warning, because of the risk of life-threatening cytokine release syndrome, and Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis put in place a comprehensive risk evaluation and mitigation system to ensure its safe use. Catamaran Bio Inc., a Boston-based startup that has raised $42 million in seed and series A financing, is considering the administration of similarly engineered natural killer cells in walk-in clinics. “If the product is safe, it can be given as an out-patient treatment,” Chief Scientific Officer Vipin Suri told BioWorld. “As a field, this absolutely has to be our ambition.”
Rebus Biosystems Inc. has closed a $20 million series B fundraising round. The financing round was led by Illumina Ventures with participation by Lifecore Partners, Ncore Ventures, Xolon Invest, Ctk Investments, Ray Co. Ltd., Seegene Medical Foundation, Labgenomics Co. Ltd. and Timefolio Asset Management. Rebus builds spatial omics tools, assays and platforms. The company plans to use the new funding to support commercialization of its spatial omics solution and expansion of its marketing, sales, research, and product development teams, said Rebus CEO Paul Sargeant. Rebus plans to launch its automated, standalone Rebus Biosystems instrument and optimized assay kits for spatial transcriptomics early in 2021.
DUBLIN – Synox Therapeutics Ltd., a spin-out from Celleron Therapeutics Ltd., has raised €37 million (US$43.7 million) in a series A round to conduct a pivotal trial of emactuzumab, an antibody its parent company in-licensed from Roche Holding AG in August.
DUBLIN – Health care investor Syncona Ltd. has founded a new startup, Purespring Therapeutics Ltd., to take gene therapy into the kidney. It is committing £45 million (US$59.6 million) in series A funding, which will support the build-out of the new company and take at least one program into the clinic.