Black­stone leads $200M in­jec­tion in­to da­ta analy­sis soft­ware mak­er

Black­stone has led a $200 mil­lion in­jec­tion in­to DNAnexus’ bio­med­ical da­ta analy­sis soft­ware in a move de­signed to speed up its adop­tion around the world.

The promise of the plat­form is com­pre­hen­sive: to de­rive in­sights from mas­sive ge­nom­ic, mul­ti-om­ic and clin­i­cal datasets. By one es­ti­mate cit­ed by DNAnexus, the amount of gen­er­at­ed da­ta could reach 40 ex­abytes — or 40 mil­lion ter­abytes — by 2025.

Richard Daly

“The fund­ing en­ables us to ac­cel­er­ate our prod­uct roadmap to meet the glob­al de­mand for tech­nolo­gies har­ness­ing the pow­er of bio­med­ical da­ta and dri­ving pre­ci­sion med­i­cine for­ward,” said CEO Richard Daly.

The com­pa­ny first spun out of Stan­ford in 2009 with a cloud com­put­ing soft­ware and has been ac­cru­ing cus­tomers across sec­tors since then. It now counts 12,000 plat­form users across 48 coun­tries, in­clud­ing sev­en of the top 10 phar­ma com­pa­nies and eight of the top 10 di­ag­nos­tics play­ers.

The DNAnexus plat­form now stores 65 petabytes of da­ta, or 65,000 ter­abytes, it added.

“As a va­ri­ety of health­care con­stituents, in­clud­ing phar­ma, di­ag­nos­tics busi­ness­es, and the FDA, in­creas­ing­ly lever­age mul­ti-om­ic and clin­i­cal da­ta for more ac­cu­rate de­tec­tion of dis­ease and the de­vel­op­ment of pre­ci­sion med­i­cines, we be­lieve DNAnexus will con­tin­ue to serve as the en­gine that helps pow­er those im­por­tant sci­en­tif­ic de­vel­op­ments and in­sights,” said Mike Kirk­man, head of health­care for Black­stone Growth.

Black­stone, which sig­naled its in­ter­est in health­care by boot­ing up a life sci­ences arm back in 2018, has been bet­ting heav­i­ly on the com­pa­nies be­hind the IT in­fra­struc­ture that mod­ern drug­mak­ing runs on. Re­cent in­vest­ments in­clude Med­able, Pre­ci­sion Med­i­cine Group, Cry­oport and Life Sci­ences Lo­gis­tics.

With the new fund­ing, DNAnexus plans to fur­ther de­vel­op its plat­form, push ahead with in­ter­na­tion­al growth and “sup­port the in­te­gra­tion of new AI and ma­chine learn­ing tech­nolo­gies and tools” that help cus­tomers an­a­lyze a mul­ti­tude of datasets at the same time and quick­ly.

The round al­so fea­tured ex­ist­ing in­vestors North­pond Ven­tures, GV, Per­cep­tive Ad­vi­sors, In­no­va­tus Cap­i­tal Part­ners and Fore­site Cap­i­tal.

Vas Narasimhan (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

No­var­tis de­tails plans to axe 8,000 staffers as Narasimhan be­gins sec­ond phase of a glob­al re­org

We now know the number of jobs coming under the axe at Novartis, and it isn’t small.

The pharma giant is confirming a report from Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger that it is chopping 8,000 jobs out of its 108,000 global staffers. A large segment will hit right at company headquarters in Basel, as CEO Vas Narasimhan axes some 1,400 of a little more than 11,000  jobs in Switzerland.

The first phase of the work is almost done, the company says in a statement to Endpoints News. Now it’s on to phase two. In the statement, Novartis says:

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Bob Nelsen (Lyell)

As bear mar­ket con­tin­ues to beat down biotech, ARCH clos­es a $3B ear­ly-stage fund

One of the biggest names in biotech investing has a whole lot of new money to spend.

ARCH Venture Partners closed its 12th venture fund early Wednesday morning, the firm said, bringing in almost $3 billion to invest in early-stage biotechs. The move comes about a year and a half after ARCH announced its previous fund, for almost $2 billion back in January 2021.

In a statement, ARCH managing director and co-founder Bob Nelsen appeared to brush off concerns about the broader market troubles, alluding to the downturn that’s seen several biotechs downsize and the XBI fall back to almost pre-pandemic levels.

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Sanofi to cut in­sulin prices for unin­sured from $99 to $35, match­ing the in­sulin cap com­ing through Con­gress

As the House-passed bill to cap the monthly price of insulin at $35 nationwide makes its way for a Senate vote soon, Sanofi announced Wednesday morning that beginning next month it will cut the monthly price of its insulins for uninsured Americans to $35, down from $99 previously.

The announcement from Sanofi, which allows the uninsured to buy one or multiple Sanofi insulins (Lantus, Insulin Glargine U-100, Toujeo, Admelog, and Apidra) at $35 for a 30-day supply effective July 1, follows House passage (232-193) of the monthly cap in March, with just 12 Republicans voting in favor of the measure.

Shehnaaz Suliman, ReCode Therapeutics CEO (Photo by Jennifer Leahy)

Pfiz­er, Sanofi-backed LNP out­fit goes back to the well and draws $120M for its trek to the clin­ic

A preclinical biotech touting a five-lipid drug delivery platform is looking to break out of its preclinical mold, and it just secured a sizable raise to do just that.

ReCode Therapeutics reported Wednesday morning that Leaps by Bayer and Matrix Capital Management affiliate AyurMaya co-led a Series B extension round, adding $120 million to the biotech’s previous Series B haul of $80 million. The biotech has been backed by several players in Big Pharma, notably Pfizer and Sanofi from its original Series B close last fall. And in this extension — featuring all new investors, CEO Shehnaaz Suliman tells Endpoints News — Amgen’s VC arm jumped on board.

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Lina Gugucheva, NewAmsterdam Pharma CBO

Phar­ma group bets up to $1B-plus on the PhI­II res­ur­rec­tion of a once dead-and-buried LDL drug

Close to 5 years after then-Amgen R&D chief Sean Harper tamped the last spade of dirt on the last broadly focused CETP cholesterol drug — burying their $300 million upfront and the few remaining hopes for the class with it — the therapy has been fully resurrected. And today, the NewAmsterdam Pharma crew that did the Lazarus treatment on obicetrapib is taking another big step on the comeback trail with a €1 billion-plus regional licensing deal, complete with close to $150 million in upfront cash.

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How pre­pared is bio­phar­ma for the cy­ber dooms­day?

One of the largest cyberattacks in history happened on a Friday, Eric Perakslis distinctly remembers.

Perakslis, who was head of Takeda’s R&D Data Sciences Institute and visiting faculty at Harvard Medical School at the time, had spent that morning completing a review on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal. Moments after he turned it in, he heard back from the editor: “Have you heard what’s going on right now?”

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Hank Safferstein, Generian CEO

Astel­las sub­sidiary to part­ner with Pitts­burgh up­start in search for 'un­drug­gable' pro­teins

As Astellas continues its drive to build out its gene therapy portfolio and capabilities, a subsidiary of the Japanese pharma company has entered into a collaboration with a little-known Pittsburgh biotech.

Astellas-owned Mitobridge and Generian Pharmaceuticals announced on Wednesday that they will work together in a new deal for “undruggable” protein targets. Generian will net an undisclosed upfront payment and could get up to $180 million in milestones, should anything from its platform prove successful, as well as single-digit royalties on global net sales.

Adam Simpson, Icosavax CEO

Reel­ing from Covid flop, Icosavax says its RSV can­di­date passed ear­ly test. But in­vestors need some more con­vinc­ing

Three months separated from a disappointing readout of its Covid-19 vaccine, Icosavax is back with what it calls positive topline data for a different VLP vaccine candidate — although investors aren’t impressed.

IVX-121, a vaccine candidate for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), appeared to generate “robust” immune responses among both young and older adults, as measured by neutralizing antibodies, and appeared generally well-tolerated, Icosavax reported.

Eliot Charles, MiroBio executive chairman

Ox­ford spin­out nabs al­most $100M in new cash to test PD-1 in au­toim­mune dis­eases and hunt for a CEO

After about 15 years in an Oxford lab and three more years in the upstart world following a 2019 spinout, MiroBio is ready to enter UK clinical trials and, en route to the clinic, the biotech has picked up $97 million in Series B funds.

The £80 million financing round kicked off in earnest last September and includes a transatlantic consortium — led by Medicxi — ready to bankroll that first clinical trial, beginning “imminently,” as well as the debut study of a second program thereafter, executive chair Eliot Charles, an SR One venture partner, told Endpoints News.