→ Boehringer Ingelheim and MiNA Therapeutics will collaborate on new drugs for fibrotic liver diseases like NASH. MiNA’s been working on a small activating RNA platform, and now is in line for up to €307 million in milestones.
→ South San Francisco-based Tricida has raised $57.5 million to complete an ongoing Phase III study of its lead drug. The money is earmarked for TRC101, an experimental drug for chronic metabolic acidosis in patients with chronic kidney disease. Wellington Management Company LLP, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners and Cormorant Asset Management joined existing investors OrbiMed, Longitude Capital, Sibling Capital Ventures, Limulus Venture Partners and Vivo Capital in the round.
→ Ark Biosciences has sealed a collaboration with the California Institute for Biomedical Research (known as Calibr), an affiliate of The Scripps Research Institute, or TSRI. The Chinese company, which specializes in viral infection and respiratory diseases, will help develop a Calibr/TSRI discovery recently published in Science: a decarboxylative borylation reaction that could be applied to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung ailments. COPD affects 300 million globally, making it a prime target for Ark, which has offices in Australia and Switzerland, and aims to become the “gateway” for international academic institutions.
→ CRISPR/Cas9 startup Exonics Therapeutics has raised $40 million from The Column Group in its series A funding, taking another step toward bringing a one-time gene editing treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy to the clinic. The infusion of cash is a big boost for Exonics, which started out of Eric Olson’s UT Southwestern lab with $5 million in seed money from CureDuchenne. “This funding from a leading healthcare venture capital firm further validates the potential for Exonics’ novel gene editing technology to help correct many of the mutations that cause Duchenne and other neuromuscular diseases,” said CEO John Ripple in a statement, which announced that two members of TCG will be joining Exonics’ board.
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