AstraZeneca and China partner Chi-Med launch a global PhIII; Zai Lab bags $30M for R&D effort
→ Underscoring a commitment to developing cancer drugs for a world market, China’s Chi-Med and its partners at AstraZeneca have started a Phase III for savolitinib in c-MET-driven papillary renal cell carcinoma. The move triggers a $5 million milestone payment under their pact and marks a move toward US and European marketing applications, if all goes according to plan.
→ Shanghai-based Zai Lab has rounded up a $30 million C round for its R&D work with an eye to future partnering deals. OrbiMed led this round of financing with other new investors Vivo Capital, Cormorant and Rock Springs Capital.
→ Global Blood Therapeutics $GBT got a bounce out of the news that European regulators had tapped its sickle cell disease drug GBT-440 for their PRIME program, designed to help speed along development of new therapies with marked potential.
→ Merck KGaA has struck a discovery deal with the UK’s Cancer Research Technology to go after new drugs that can target the Hippo pathway. Nic Tapon and Barry Thompson at the Francis Crick Institute will lead the effort.
→ The Boston Globe reports that Roche is cutting jobs and consolidating operations in Massachusetts.