Being in a crowded space doesn’t bother recently installed Arch Oncology Inc. CEO Laurence Blumberg. As a matter of fact, he’s reassured by it. “There’s a lot of competition in CD47, that’s correct,” Blumberg told BioWorld. “But having been in industry for a long time, competition and the magnitude of that competition in pursuit of a target usually means there’s a good reason for that interest and that there’s compelling evidence it has utility.”
In science there are often too many choices to make. Nammi Therapeutics Inc.’s CEO, David Stover, told BioWorld that he makes narrowing therapeutic options a core company principle. The redundancy of immune regulatory pathways in cancer treatments is a case in point.
DUBLIN – Immatics NV reported unexpected signs of efficacy in a first cut of data from several phase I trials of its autologous engineered T-cell therapies in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent or refractory solid tumors.
Intec Pharma Ltd. is merging with privately held Decoy Biosystems Inc. and the combined company will continue advancing Decoy’s immunotherapy technology for treating a variety of tumors and chronic viral infections.
Little more than two months after cutting a deal with Merck & Co. Inc. that could top $1 billion, Janux Therapeutics Inc. has closed on a $56 million series A. Janux is developing immunotherapies designed to trigger the immune system to kill specific tumors while leaving the healthy tissue safely alone. T-cell engagers bind to a tumor cell and use the patient’s T cells to eliminate the tumor.
HONG KONG – Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has agreed to pay Ribon Therapeutics Inc. as much as ¥15.4 billion (US$147.3 million) for exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the company’s phase I PARP7 inhibitor RBN-2397 for the treatment of solid tumors in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN countries.
Tscan Therapeutics Inc. CEO David Southwell told BioWorld that his firm’s series C financing of $100 million will allow two IND filings in liquid tumors this year and three – possibly more – in solid tumors starting next year. “We’ll be filing a lot of INDs in solid tumors,” he said. The Waltham, Mass.-based firm works with T-cell receptor-engineered T-cell therapies.
In another multibillion-dollar bid to further strengthen its oncology pipeline, Merck & Co. Inc. is set to acquire privately held Velosbio Inc. for $2.75 billion in cash. Velosbio is developing cancer therapies targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1. The company’s follow-on programs include next-generation antibody-drug conjugates and bispecific immune-engagers targeting ROR1, which it has been developing for nearly two years.
Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. posted positive top-line results from the phase III SEAL trial of Xpovio (selinexor), including meeting the study’s primary endpoint, and likely extending its reach into the company’s bottom line.
LONDON – Araris Biotech AG has raised CHF12.7 million (US$16.8 million) in a seed funding round to take forward what it claims is the holy grail for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), a linker technology that allows for the attachment of any payload to any antibody, without the need for engineering.