Biogen recruits Roche vet Ghosh as head of research, early development; Cell Medica raises £60 million; Aerpio bags $40M raise

Anirvan Ghosh

→ Biogen has recruited Roche vet Anirvan Ghosh as its new SVP of research and early development. He is joining Biogen from E-Scape Bio, where he worked on Alzheimer’s and neurosciences work. And at Roche he had been global head of neuroscience discovery and biomarkers. “Biogen has been a pioneer in bringing breakthrough medicines to patients with multiple sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy, as well as finding new approaches for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS – conditions that represent some of the hardest challenges in medicine,” said Dr. Ghosh.

→ The UK’s Cell Medica bagged a £60 million Series C with participation from Touchstone Innovations, Invesco Perpetual, and Woodford Investment Management. The biotech plans to use the money for its cell-based immunotherapy products. Cell Medica’s lead product, baltaleucel-T (CMD-003), is in the CITADEL Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with advanced lymphomas associated with the Epstein-Barr virus.

→ Aerpio Pharmaceuticals executed a reverse merger and raised $40 million from Novartis Venture Fund, OrbiMed, Satter Investment Management, Kearny Venture Partners, Venture Investors, LLC., and Triathlon Medical Ventures. New institutional investors, Montrose Capital Partners and Ally-Bridge, also participated in the offering. The biotech is a launching a 150 patient, Phase 2b trial of once- and twice-daily dosing of AKB-9778 for 12 months to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients with moderate to severe DR without diabetic macular edema.

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