AstraZeneca vet heads to UK biotech as the new CSO; Mallinckrodt touts positive PhIII data
→ UK-based early cancer detection company Oncimmune Holdings has welcomed Tariq Sethi as CSO, Matthew Luttrell as CMO and Cléa Rosenfeld as head of investor relations. Sethi is a professor of respiratory medicine at King’s College London. Before jumping on board at Oncimmune, Sethi was chief physician-scientist, vice president in the clinical discovery unit at AstraZeneca. He is also the founder of Galecto Biotech. Luttrell joins the company after a stint as head of hematology, growth and emerging markets at Shire (now Takeda). He’s served in other roles at Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Gilead, and GSK. Rosenfeld brings experience to her new role from her time as head of investor relations at Shire, where she helped bring the company from a FTSE 250 Company to a top 50 FTSE company.
→ Mallinckrodt has released positive data from its Phase III clinical trial, testing the use of its investigational StrataGraft regenerative tissue in patients with deep partial-thickness thermal burns.
Results showed that with the use of StrataGraft, patients had a significantly smaller area of burn wounds that required autografting by three months in comparison to the area of burn wounds treated exclusively with autograft (p<0.0001). In addition, “results showed that the proportion of StrataGraft-treated wounds that achieved durable wound closure at three months exceeded the pre-defined threshold for statistical significance.” Based on the data, the company is planning to submit to the FDA a biologics license application for StrataGraft tissue in the first half of 2020.
→ Back in May, microbiome upstart, Vedanta Biosciences got an extra $18.5 million in the bank after wrapping up $45.5 in Series C round financing. The biotech secured even more today, nabbing $16.6 million in a Series C-2 financing round — bringing its total capital in its Series C and C-2 round to $62.1 million. Funding was led by QUAD Investment Management, SV Investment, Shinhan Investment-Private Equity, Shinhan Capital-Yeollim Partners, Partners Investment, FC Capital, and SymBiosis. Others included previous C-round investors, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Rock Springs Capital, JSR Corporation, Shumway Capital, Invesco Asset Management, Health for Life (Seventure Partners), and founder PureTech Health.
The funding will be used to further support the expansion of the company’s pipeline, including “recently launched Phase Ib/II study of VE416 in food allergy, a planned Phase Ib/II study of VE800 and Opdivo (nivolumab) in advanced or metastatic cancers, and the ongoing Phase II study of VE303 in recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDI).”
→ STAT reported that RA Capital has quietly launched an incubator program, called Carnot. The program will “serve as a place where the firm’s partners can stress-test and develop ideas that could someday become independent companies.” RA Capital has been shifting its focus since its founding in 2001, now focusing more on investing in early-stage biotech companies, such as recent investments in Vor Biopharma‘s $60 million Series A round, Freenome’s $160 million Series B round and Nexus‘ $308 million VC fund.