Appili's Covid-19 oral antiviral fails PhIII trial; Oncology biotech Ankyra raises $45M in Series B
Appili Therapeutics’s investigational oral antiviral Avigan/Reeqonus failed in a Phase III trial, the biotech said in a statement this morning.
The Nova Scotia biotech’s PRESECO trial, which enrolled more than 1,200 patients to test a treatment for mild-to-moderate Covid-19, did not achieve statistical significance on the primary endpoint of time to sustained clinical recovery.
Additional analyses of the trial data are ongoing, according to the biotech.
“While we are disappointed by the topline results of the PRESECO trial, we remain steadfast in our belief that safe and effective oral antivirals are urgently needed for patients who are still struggling to overcome COVID-19,” said Appili CEO Armand Balboni. “We wish to thank all the patients who participated, and hope that information obtained from our trial can help guide research and development around more potential treatment options for COVID-19.”
Next steps? According to Balboni, the biotech will continue developing its pipeline.
Ankyra Therapeutics raises $45M — and brings 2 execs on board
Oncology-focused Boston biotech Ankyra Therapeutics just closed a Series B round.
Hauling a modest $45 million from Borealis Ventures, Fidelity Management & Research, and other new investors, they join existing investors Polaris Partners and Mithril Capital.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to progress Ankyra’s lead molecule, ANK-101, out of preclinical, into IND-enabling studies and eventually Phase I clinical trials — as well as advance additional cytokine programs.
“We are fortunate to have the support of investors who share our vision of developing tumor-localized cytokines and other immune therapies to treat cancer with enhanced efficacy and safety,” said Ankyra executive chairman and co-founder Tillman Gerngross.
And with this round, Ankyra is adding two people to its leadership team: Phil Ferneau with Borealis to Ankyra’s board of directors, and Howard Kaufman to the C-suite as CMO. Once the SITC president from 2014-2016, Kaufman was brought on by Immuneering as head of R&D back in 2020 — and this is his next step.
“We look forward to extending our preclinical observations into cancer patients in our upcoming Phase 1 clinical trial,” Kaufman said in a prepared statement.