Athenex's oral chemotherapy formulation scores in pivotal study; Glycomine brings in $33M in Series B haul
→ Athenex $ATNX, whose platform technology is engineered to convert widely-used intravenous chemotherapies into oral drugs, said its oral formulation of paclitaxel met the main goal of conferring a statistically significant improvement over IV paclitaxel in a pivotal study involving metastatic breast cancer patients. The company is now in the process of putting together a marketing application.
“Based on the results of the Phase III study, together with the preliminary results generated in the angiosarcoma study, Athenex believes that Oral Paclitaxel has the potential to represent a new class of oral anti-cancer drugs,” said chief Johnson Lau in a statement. “Adding to this potential are the favorable safety data from this study showing lower incidence of neuropathy, which is currently a major reason for discontinuing IV paclitaxel treatment.”
→ San Francisco biotech Glycomine, which is focused on rare diseases, has scored $33 million in a Series B round, led by Novo Holdings A/S. The funds will be used to shepherd the company’s substrate replacement therapy for the most prevalent form in the spectrum of congenital diseases of glycosylation into early stage clinical studies. In 2016, Glycomine raised a $12 million A round.
→ Led by former Sarepta CEO, antisense startup Stoke Therapeutics has got the FDA to grant its lead drug, STK-001, orphan drug status as a treatment for Dravet syndrome. The drug is designed to up-regulate production of a protein missing in patients with Dravet syndrome by targeting RNA splicing. The antisense oligonucleotide is suspended in saline and delivered via spinal injection.