Evercore ISI assembled a dozen internal specialists for a webinar to talk about COVID-19 from a variety of perspectives, with opinions aplenty on transmission route, up-and-coming treatment prospects, and problems in how testing procedures are understood – or not.
Second Genome Inc. (SG) CEO Karim Dabbagh said his firm’s deal with Gilead Sciences Inc. is “pretty significant, given some of the other deals in the microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] space,” telling BioWorld the potential $1.5 billion-plus agreement involves “biomarkers in multiple disease areas on five of Gilead’s portfolio programs in inflammation, fibrosis and oncology. Associated with that is a drug discovery collaboration around five targets in the context of IBD.”
Having chalked up three marketed drugs after only nine years in existence, Venbio Partners LLC proved its appeal yet again by closing on about $394 million in a capital raise that included new and existing investors, with a broad range of institutional concerns in the mix.
During its recent fourth-quarter and full-year earnings report, Foster City, Calif.-based Mirum Pharmaceuticals Inc. provided an update on the apical sodium dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT) inhibitor maralixibat for Alagille syndrome (ALGS), which will be the subject of a rolling NDA starting in the third quarter of 2020.
The allure of gene therapy was proved yet again as Waltham, Mass.-based Affinia Therapeutics Inc. bagged an oversubscribed $60 million series A financing to boost the push for drugs to benefit people affected by muscle and central nervous system conditions.
Akero Therapeutics Inc. rolled out stellar non-COVID-19 (for a change) clinical news with long-acting fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) analogue AKR-001 in biopsy-confirmed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), but even in liver disease the pandemic became part of the discussion.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Elevatebio LLC has triple-pronged plans for its $170 million series B round, which the company said will be directed toward manufacturing cell and gene therapies, enabling new technology platforms, and pursuing therapeutics.
During the conference call on earnings in March, CEO Dror Harats told investors that “the most important thing” about VBL Therapeutics Ltd.’s then-upcoming analysis of interim phase III data with gene therapy VB-111 (ofranergene obadenovec) is that it was “designed in a way that will enable us to tell the market if we are at least as good as what we've seen” in the phase II experiment.
Castle Creek Biosciences Inc. CEO John Maslowski told BioWorld the firm’s $75 million financing will propel phase III research with FCX-007 in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), with top-line data due in the first quarter of 2021 – “a big inflection point” for the Exton, Pa.-based company, which plans a BLA filing for that year as well.