Blueprint maps plans for $150M raise; GlaxoSmithKline creates discovery pact with Warp Drive
→ Blueprint Medicines $BPMC has filed to raise $150 million in a new stock offering. Most of the new money is being earmarked for upcoming clinical trials of its pipeline drugs. And the company says it will add to the $268 million already in reserves at the end of 2016, stretching its runway to the middle of 2019.
→ Cambridge, MA-based Warp Drive Bio has set up a discovery deal with GlaxoSmithKline, creating a custom DNA-tagged SMART library that GSK will build and screen against a set of ‘undruggable’ targets related to diseases of high unmet medical need. Among the Warp Drive targets are RAS, SHP2 and Cbl-b. “This unique collaboration with GSK offers an invaluable opportunity to combine two powerful platforms to create an unprecedented library of up to 200 million diverse SMART compounds for the discovery of lead chemical matter against a set of currently-inaccessible targets,” said Alan Rigby, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Warp Drive Bio.
→ There’s been a change at the helm of the embattled Depomed. The company, under assault by an activist investor, says CEO James Schoeneck is out, replaced by ex-Bayer CEO Arthur Higgins. The switch comes with a shakeup of the board. Gavin Molinelli, partner of Starboard, who’s been pushing for change, says he’s satisfied with the reorganization.
→ Acorda says it’s making good progress with long-term safety studies of its Parkinson’s drug CVT-301. “We are delighted with these results, and plan to move forward with our NDA filing for CVT-301. These two studies, which include approximately 700 participants, represent the largest safety database evaluating long-term pulmonary function in people with Parkinson’s,” said Burkhard Blank, the CMO at Acorda.
→ Korea’s Samsung BioLogics has blitzed its way to a leading spot in the emerging biosimilars market. And it’s been building up its manufacturing muscle with its pipeline. Now a top exec says the company is looking to Europe or the US for the site of its next big manufacturing site.