Antibiotic developer scores $50M from biotech billionaire; Biohaven's Alzheimer's drug passes futility test
→ Antibiotic developer Summit Therapeutics has scored a cool $50 million in funding from biotech billionaire Robert Duggan — the former chief of Pharmacyclics, the company behind Imbruvica that was sold to AbbVie for $21 billion in 2015 — as it steers its lead drug through late-stage development. Duggan already owned 49% of Summit having invested $25 million previously, but this latest injection will give him a controlling 72.8% stake. In connection with the capital raise, the Oxford, UK-based company is also delisting its shares from the London stock exchange but will retain its Nasdaq listing $SMMT.
→ While bulls and bears engage in heated discussions about the approvability potential of Biogen‘s recently resurrected Alzheimer’s drug, Biohaven‘s experimental drug, troriluzole, has passed a futility analysis in an ongoing Phase II/III trial in Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is an oral, once-daily tablet that is designed to modulate glutamate, a neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals between nerve cells.
→ Amgen-partnered Singaporean biotech Hummingbird Bioscience has bagged $19 million to bankroll more discovery projects — both disease targets and potential antibody therapeutics — on its platform. Its two lead cancer drugs, which target HER3 and VISTA respectively, are set to enter the clinic in the second half of 2020. South Korea-based Mirae Asset Venture Investment and GNTech Venture Capital led the Series B, bringing their total funding count to $60 million. Existing investors Heritas Capital and Seeds Capital also joined, as did new investors Delian Capital, Mirae Asset Capital, DAValue-GiltEdge, HB Investment, Wooshin Venture Investment, and Kiwoom Investment-Shinhan Capital.
→ AstraZeneca and Cambridge Judge Business School has brokered a new alliance with China Medical System, a Hong Kong-listed specialty pharma, to invest in early-stage work in the UK biotech and life sciences. China Medical System has committed to handing out £25 million to various startups in their British partners’ networks over the next five years, with the goal of potentially bringing resulting products to China.