Drug Development, Protocols

Protocols: Tillman Gerngross’s Avitide goes back to the well for more venture cash; Novartis leads $17M startup round

Avitide CEO Kevin Isett

Avitide CEO Kevin Isett

A year ago, Avitide CEO Kevin Isett told me that a $7.6 million round would be plenty to take the protein therapeutic company to profitability. But that calculation may have been off by a little. This morning the Lebanon, NH-based biotech, co-founded by Adimab’s Tillman Gerngross, noted a new Series D has been closed, without saying just how much new money is being added. Mithril Capital Management led the round. It’s not likely to be a huge amount, though. Avitide had raised a grand total of only $12.5 million when it set its sights on profitability, far lower than the average biotech.

Novartis Venture Fund has co-led a $17 million startup round for Ireland’s Inflazome, a biotech upstart developing inhibitors of the inflammasome, targets involved in the innate immune system. Fountain Healthcare Partners co-led the round with Novartis. “Inflammasome activation is now implicated in many diseases driven by chronic inflammation, from Parkinson’s to asthma,” said CEO and co-founder Matt Cooper. “These conditions are often inadequately treated by current therapies. We want to help people with debilitating diseases facing limited or no treatment options.”

Three years after inking a collaboration with MacroGenics for MGD010, its bispecific cancer molecule targeting CD32B and CD79B, Takeda has decided to punt its interests back to the biotech. MacroGenics says the deal was terminated due to a reprioritization of the Japanese pharm’s pipeline.

Auburndale, MA-based Advantagene says it raised $14.2 million for its Series A, following $2.2 million in convertible debt last year. The round was handled by National Securities Corporation and much of the cash is earmarked for a Phase III study of ProstAtak (GMCI) for prostate cancer.

Switzerland’s Adienne Pharma & Biotech SA is proceeding with an initial public offering, seeking a listing on the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange.

Martin Shkreli never misses a chance to heckle one of his targets. Usually, he uses Twitter, but this time he took to the streets to heckle Hillary Clinton outside her daughter’s apartment, according to several news reports, where the presidential candidate had retreated after feeling ill at a 9/11 ceremony. In his own words, back on Twitter, Shkreli enjoyed “screaming” at Clinton. The former biotech exec is out on $5 million bail, facing a trial next summer on federal fraud charges.

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