Allergan aesthetics chief David Moatazedi becomes CEO of Evolus; CARB-X invests $6.2M into Melinta’s next-gen antibiotics

David Moatazedi

Allergan aesthetics chief David Moatazedi is leaving to take the helm of Evolus, a much smaller biotech developing a rival to Botox. Evolus’ new drug DWP-450 (PrabotulinumtoxinA) is under review. Moatazedi noted: “The team at Evolus has done a fantastic job in bringing forward what I believe will be the most exciting new product in aesthetics. I look forward to working with this talented group of professionals and completing the build out of a best in class leadership team.”

Melinta Therapeutics $MLNT is the latest recipient of a CARB-X grant, collecting an initial award of $2.3 million with $3.9 million more promised if certain milestones are met. Melinta is developing a new class of antibiotic called pyrrolocytosine, the 10th class CARB-X has funded in the hopes that at least one of them would become the first new Gram-negative bacteria treatment since 1962. Designed with the New Haven, CT-based biotech’s bacterial ribosome-targeting platform, the pyrrolocytosine compounds have been through preclinical studies that show they are active against multidrug-resistant pathogens highlighted by the CDC. The cash from CARB-X — part of an ongoing effort to fight the increasingly dire threats of “superbugs” — will help push Melinta’s most promising pyrrolocytosine assets through preclinical optimization so that they can eventually be tested in humans. This marks the third award CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) has handed out in a month, following announcements of funding for Idorsia and Achaogen.

→ Swedish drugmaker Promore Pharma has out-licensed its drug PXL01 for spinal surgery to PharmaResearch Products LTD, which will finance the development of its use to prevent fibroids after spinal surgery. Although PXL01 was initially aimed at preventing postsurgical adhesions after tendon repair surgery, the drug might also work against scar formation by reducing inflammation and affecting fibrin formation. “There are numerous potential medical applications for PXL01, but Promore Pharma has finite resources and therefore, we feel that investments from strategic and capable partners such as PRP in our technology and products is an appealing opportunity for us to broaden the applicability of our technology base, and in that way raise the value of our company,” said the company’s president and CEO Jonas Ekblom in a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With contribution from Amber Tong and Brittany Meiling.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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