Alector presents PhII data on lead dementia drug; Chinese oncology biotech nets modest Series A+
Back in June, GSK paid Alector $700 million to kickstart an alliance for rights to two drugs targeting a range of neurological diseases.
The next month, Alector showed via early data that one of the drugs, antibody AL001 for a genetic and rapidly progressing form of dementia, brought levels of progranulin back to near-normal levels after six months in nine patients. Seven stayed at near-normal after a year.
And now, Alector is flashing some Phase II data at an Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease conference, this time in dementia with a different type of mutation: C9orf72. Results in this cohort also showed elevated levels of progranulin in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid while patients were on monthly treatment for a year.
Additionally, clinical assessments showed a delay in annualized disease progression — close to 54%.
“We are encouraged by these findings and look forward to evaluating latozinemab in additional indications,” Alector’s interim CMO Sam Jackson said in a statement.
Alector is actively enrolling a Phase III pivotal study of the drug in both at-risk and symptomatic FTD-GRN patients. Progranulin is a protein that regulates immune response, lysosomal function and neuronal survival in the brain,
Oncology biotech raises $40 million in Series A+ round
A Chinese company has nabbed more money in a new financing round just 9 months after its Series A, gaining its largest raise by all indications.
According to DealStreetAsia, Shanghai biotech Nutshell Therapeutics raised $40 million thanks to a Series A+ led by Genesis Capital (helmed by former Tencent executives) and HengXu Capital. Several existing shareholders jumped onto the deal as well, including Source Code Capital and Northern Light Venture Capital.
While details remain scant, this is the biotech’s biggest financing round so far after it raised $15.8 million in a pre-Series A in December 2020, and then raised $20 million in a Series A round last June.
The company focuses on allosteric drug discovery, with a few preclinical drug candidates in its pipeline for colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and solid tumors.