Bob Langer-found­ed Lyra Ther­a­peu­tics rais­es $56M in lat­est high-end biotech IPO

An­oth­er pan­dem­ic biotech IPO has sold at the high range.

Lyra Ther­a­peu­tics said to­day their pub­lic of­fer­ing, first filed in ear­ly March, raised $56 mil­lion, with 3.5 mil­lion shares sell­ing at $16. Al­though that was a price-per-share at the top of their $14 to $16 range, the of­fer­ing re­mains just a hair short of the ini­tial goal of a $57.5 mil­lion.

Found­ed around an im­plant de­vel­oped by MIT’s Bob Langer and Har­vard’s George White­sides, Lyra is test­ing their lead can­di­date, LY-210, in a Phase II tri­al for chron­ic rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis — a con­di­tion in which spaces in­side the nose and si­nus­es are con­tin­u­al­ly in­flamed, caus­ing breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ty and a per­pet­u­al­ly stuffy nose amid a long list of oth­er symp­toms. Orig­i­nal­ly de­vel­oped for pe­riph­er­al artery dis­ease, the com­pa­ny’s im­plant is used to de­liv­er the gener­ic an­ti-in­flam­ma­to­ry mometa­sone furoate di­rect­ly to the af­fect­ed mus­cles.

Lyra’s raise comes on the heels of a string of sev­er­al large biotech IPOs, as com­pa­nies such as Zen­tal­is Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and ORIC Ther­a­peu­tics were able to raise large amounts of cap­i­tal in a mar­ket ea­ger to find as­sets large­ly in­su­lat­ed from the pan­dem­ic. Ear­li­er this week, ADC Ther­a­peu­tics, af­ter with­draw­ing a $200 mil­lion fil­ing in Oc­to­ber, re­turned with a $100 mil­lion of­fer­ing.

The com­pa­ny has a sec­ond as­set — es­sen­tial­ly the same im­plant but larg­er to ac­com­mo­date pa­tients whose si­nus­es have been en­larged from surgery — now en­ter­ing a proof-of-con­cept tri­al, but the vast ma­jor­i­ty of the pro­ceeds will go to a Phase III tri­al and com­mer­cial­iza­tion costs for LY-210. A da­ta read­out on the Phase II is ex­pect­ed in the first quar­ter of 2021.

The IPO comes just 3 months af­ter a $30 mil­lion Se­ries C led by Per­cep­tive Ad­vi­sors. En­ter­ing the pub­lic of­fer­ing, Per­cep­tive owned about a third of the com­pa­ny (32.4%). Oth­er large share­hold­ers in­clud­ed North Bridge Ven­ture Part­ners (17.3%), en­ti­ties af­fil­i­at­ed with Po­laris Ven­ture Part­ners (16%), RA Cap­i­tal Health­care Fund (9.6%) and In­ter­south Part­ners VII (7.9%).

IDC: Life Sci­ences Firms Must Em­brace Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion Now

Pre-pandemic, the life sciences industry had settled into a pattern. The average drug took 12 years and $2.9 billion to bring to market, and it was an acceptable mode of operations, according to Nimita Limaye, Research Vice President for Life Sciences R&D Strategy and Technology at IDC.

COVID-19 changed that, and served as a proof-of-concept for how technology can truly help life sciences companies succeed and grow, Limaye said. She recently spoke about industry trends at Egnyte’s Life Sciences Summit 2022. You should watch the entire session, free and on-demand, but here’s a brief recap of why she’s urging life sciences companies to embrace digital transformation.

FDA ap­proves one of the prici­est new treat­ments of all time — blue­bird's gene ther­a­py for be­ta tha­lassemia

The FDA on Wednesday approved the first gene therapy for a chronic condition — bluebird bio’s new Zynteglo (beti-cel) as a potentially curative treatment for those with transfusion-dependent thalassemia.

The thumbs-up from the FDA follows a unanimous adcomm vote in June, with outside experts pointing to extraordinary efficacy, with 89% of subjects with TDT who received beti-cel having achieved transfusion independence.

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Joel Dudley, new partner at Innovation Endeavors (Bosch Health Campus)

For­mer Google CEO’s VC is mak­ing a big­ger push in­to the biotech world, hir­ing promi­nent Ther­a­nos skep­tic

Venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors has mainly had its focus on investments across the tech space, but it has been slowly turning its attention to the biotech world. Now, a new partner is coming into the fold showing that its interest in biotech is likely to grow further.

The Silicon Valley-based company, which is headed up by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, has brought on Joel Dudley as a partner. According to Dudley’s LinkedIn page, he is joining Innovation Endeavors after serving as the chief science officer of biotech startup Tempus Labs since 2020.

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James Sabry, Roche global head of pharma partnering

Roche, Genen­tech plunk down $60M up­front to part­ner with Chi­nese phar­ma on PRO­TAC-based prostate can­cer drug

Roche and Genentech are always on the hunt for deals, and on Thursday they found their newest partner.

The pair will team up with the Chinese pharma company Jemincare to push forward a new program for prostate cancer, the companies announced. Roche is ponying up $60 million upfront to get its hands on the candidate and promising up to $590 million in biobucks, plus royalties, down the line.

In return, Genentech will get a worldwide license to develop the program, known as JMKX002992, and bring it to market.

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Andrew Hopkins, Exscientia CEO

Ex­sci­en­tia ter­mi­nates Bay­er pact half a year ear­ly, col­lect­ing small por­tion of €240M promised

Bayer and Exscientia are winding down their three-year collaboration, leaving the big German pharma to take the AI-designed compounds born out of the pact further.

London-based Exscientia revealed in its Q2 update that the partners have “mutually agreed to end” their collaboration, which kicked off in early 2020, after recently achieving a drug discovery milestone. In an SEC filing, Exscientia said it terminated the pact on May 30, about six months early.

Bayer's first DTC ad campaign for chronic kidney disease drug Kerendia spells out its benefits

Bay­er aims to sim­pli­fy the com­plex­i­ties of CKD with an ABC-themed ad cam­paign

Do you know the ABCs of CKD in T2D? Bayer’s first ad campaign for Kerendia tackles the complexity of chronic kidney disease with a play on the acronym (CKD) and its connection to type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Kerendia was approved last year as the first and only non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist to treat CKD in people with type 2 diabetes.

In the TV commercial launched this week, A is for awareness, B is for belief and C is for cardiovascular, explained in the ad as awareness of the connection between type 2 and kidney disease, belief that something can be done about it, and cardiovascular events that may be reduced with treatment.

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James Mock, incoming CFO at Moderna

Mod­er­na taps new CFO from PerkinElmer af­ter for­mer one-day CFO oust­ed

When Moderna hired a new CFO last year,  it didn’t expect to see him gone after only one day. Today the biotech named his — likely much more vetted — replacement.

The mRNA company put out word early Wednesday that after the untimely departure of then brand-new CFO Jorge Gomez, it has now found a replacement in James Mock, the soon-to-be former CFO at diagnostics and analytics company PerkinElmer.

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Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division

GSK lands first-ever UNICEF con­tract for malar­ia vac­cine worth $170M

GSK has landed a new first from UNICEF the first-ever contract for malaria vaccines, worth up to $170 million for 18 million vaccine doses distributed over the next three years.

The vaccine, known as Mosquirix or RTS,S, won WHO’s backing last October after a controversial start, but UNICEF said these doses will potentially save thousands of lives every year.

“We hope this is just the beginning,” Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division, said. “Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market. This is a giant step forward in our collective efforts to save children’s lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of wider malaria prevention and control programmes.”

Joe Jonas (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

So­lo Jonas broth­er car­ries Merz's new tune in Botox ri­val cam­paign

As the lyrics of his band’s 2019 pop-rock single suggest, Joe Jonas is only human — and that means even he gets frown lines. The 33-year-old singer-songwriter is Merz’s newest celebrity brand partner for its Botox rival Xeomin, as medical aesthetics brands target a younger audience.

Merz kicked off its “Beauty on Your Terms” campaign on Tuesday, featuring the Jonas brother in a video ad for its double-filtered anti-wrinkle injection Xeomin.

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