Bone-mar­row fo­cused Ima­go Bio­Sciences scores $40M in Omega-led round

Rough­ly four and half years af­ter se­cur­ing $26.5 mil­lion in a Clarus Ven­tures-led Se­ries A, San Fran­cis­co biotech Ima­go Bio­Sciences has an­oth­er $40 mil­lion in the bank to de­vel­op its bone mar­row-fo­cused ther­a­py, cour­tesy a fi­nanc­ing round led by Omega Funds.

The pri­vate­ly-held drug de­vel­op­er is tar­get­ing the man­age­ment of pro­lif­er­a­tive dis­eases of the bone mar­row — in­clud­ing acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodys­plas­tic syn­drome, poly­cythemia ve­ra, myelofi­bro­sis and es­sen­tial throm­bo­cythemia — that trig­ger un­bri­dled bone mar­row cell growth, dri­ven by ge­net­ic mu­ta­tions.

Its lead drug IMG-7289 is de­signed to in­hib­it LSD1, an en­zyme reg­u­lat­ing cy­tokine ex­pres­sion that is con­sid­ered cru­cial for sus­tain­ing self-re­new­al in can­cer stem/prog­en­i­tor cells, par­tic­u­lar­ly neo­plas­tic bone mar­row cells. It is be­ing test­ed in a Phase II myelofi­bro­sis study, and last year com­plet­ed a Phase I AML/MDS study. The cap­i­tal in­jec­tion will be used to shep­herd the ex­per­i­men­tal drug through the com­ple­tion of Phase IIb stud­ies, the com­pa­ny said on Thurs­day.

The name Ima­go in­vokes the fi­nal and ful­ly de­vel­oped stage of an in­sect af­ter its meta­mor­pho­sis, and the com­pa­ny is hop­ing to do the same by trans­lat­ing sci­en­tif­ic the­o­ry in­to new treat­ments.

Oth­er in­vestors par­tic­i­pat­ing in the round in­clude ex­ist­ing in­vestors Fra­zier Health­care Part­ners, Am­gen Ven­tures, and MRL Ven­tures Fund as well as High­Light Cap­i­tal, Phar­maron and Green­spring As­so­ci­ates. Omega Funds’ Di­na Chaya from is slat­ed to join Ima­go’s board.

An­oth­er com­pa­ny look­ing in­to the po­ten­tial of in­hibit­ing LSD1 is In­cyte $IN­CY, which is test­ing its drug IN­CB059872 for Ew­ing sar­co­ma and oth­er can­cers.

MedTech clinical trials require a unique regulatory and study design approach and so engaging a highly experienced CRO to ensure compliance and accurate data across all stages is critical to development milestones.

In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

Avance Clinical is the Australian CRO for international biotechs providing world-class clinical research services with FDA-accepted data across all phases. With Avance Clinical, biotech companies can leverage Australia’s supportive clinical trials environment which includes no IND requirement plus a 43.5% Government incentive rebate on clinical spend. The CRO has been delivering clinical drug development services for international biotechs for FDA and EMA regulatory approval for the past 24 years. The company has been recognized for the past two consecutive years with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan CRO Best Practices Award and a finalist in Informa Pharma’s Best CRO award for 2022.

Mathai Mammen (Rob Tannenbaum, Endpoints News at BIO 2018)

Math­ai Mam­men makes an abrupt ex­it as head of the big R&D group at J&J

In an after-the-bell shocker, J&J announced Monday evening that Mathai Mammen has abruptly exited J&J as head of its top-10 R&D group.

Recruited from Merck five years ago, where the soft-spoken Mammen was being groomed as the successor to Roger Perlmutter, he had been one of the top-paid R&D chiefs in biopharma. His group spent $12 billion last year on drug development, putting it in the top 5 in the industry.

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Amid mas­sive re­struc­tur­ing, Bio­gen looks to re­duce phys­i­cal pres­ence in Boston

Biogen is putting a sizable chunk of office and research space in Kendall Square and Weston, MA up for sublease, marking another big change as the biotech grapples with the aftershock of a disastrous and controversial rollout for its Alzheimer’s drug.

The company calls it “part of Biogen’s overall implementation of the ‘Future of Work,’ which is allowing us to optimize our footprint and reduce the amount of space we occupy, taking into consideration new elements such as the hybrid work model,” the Boston Globe reported, quoting a spokesperson.

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Robert Califf, FDA commissioner (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Hop­ing to ex­pand mon­key­pox vac­cine sup­ply, US paves the way for new route of ad­min­is­tra­tion

After making it clear that the US’ current monkeypox vaccine supply is insufficient, the FDA on Tuesday authorized a new route of administration that should increase the number of available doses by five-fold.

Regulators cleared Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos vaccine for intradermal injection in adults older than 18. Unlike subcutaneous injection — the current method by which vaccine is delivered under the skin — an intradermal jab goes directly into the skin. It’s believed that this method requires less vaccine, since the dermis is rich in dendritic cells which specialize in taking up foreign antigens and presenting them to the immune system, according to Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

John Quisel, Disc Medicine CEO

Disc Med­i­cine goes pub­lic in re­verse merg­er with strug­gling Gem­i­ni Ther­a­peu­tics

After licensing a failed Roche schizophrenia drug last year, Disc Medicine is going public via a reverse merger with Gemini Therapeutics.

The combined company, while still named Disc Medicine, will trade under the stock symbol $IRON, in reference to Disc’s lineup of therapies for blood iron disorders. Alongside the merger, Disc has secured $53.5 million in another financing round, building on the $90 million Series B it raised in September.

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Illustration: Kim Ryu for Endpoints News

Why non-opi­oid pain drugs keep fail­ing — and what's next for the field

In 1938, Rita Levi-Montalcini was forced to move her lab into her bedroom in Turin, as Mussolini’s facist government expelled Jewish people from studying or working in schools in Italy. Levi-Montalcini, then just a few years out of medical school and using sewing needles as scalpels in her makeshift lab, would soon discover nerve growth factor, or NGF, in chicken embryos.

Her discoveries formed the basis of our understanding of the peripheral nervous system and how cells talk to each other, and Levi-Montalcini went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1986. Much later, NGF was hailed as a promising target for new pain therapies, with some analysts quoting an $11 billion market. However, the latest anti-NGF candidate, Pfizer and Eli Lilly’s tanezumab, was rejected by the FDA last year because of a side effect that dissolved bone in some of its patients.

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Samantha Du, Zai Lab CEO

Any­one still look­ing for a CD47? Zai Lab shelves PhI pro­gram af­ter re­view­ing 'com­pet­i­tive land­scape'

Over the past few years, the promise of blocking CD47 — a “don’t eat me” signal co-opted by cancer cells — has sent drugmakers big and small into a frenzy. But one biotech is now bowing out.

Zai Lab is deprioritizing ZL-1201, its CD47 inhibitor, scrapping plans for a Phase II trial. It will now “pursue out-licensing opportunities,” the company said in its Q2 update. The decision was based on a review of the competitive landscape, it added, without going into further details.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (Patrick Semansky/AP Images)

US weighs new route of ad­min­is­tra­tion for mon­key­pox vac­cine as cas­es climb — re­port

Less than a week after HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra declared monkeypox a national health emergency, reports have emerged that the US plans to extend its vaccine supply by opting for a different route of administration.

Officials are expected to call for intradermal injection of Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos vaccine — the only shot approved specifically for monkeypox in the US — as opposed to subcutaneous injection, unnamed sources told both the New York Times and Washington Post on Tuesday.

'Messy at best': Is the US re­peat­ing the same Covid mis­steps with mon­key­pox mes­sag­ing?

When Kyle Planck first suspected he might have monkeypox in late June, he went to the CDC website and found six photos of different types of lesions. And that was about it for general public information.

Planck, who is a sixth-year PhD pharmacology researcher at Weill Cornell, kept looking though and found a separate part of the CDC website meant for healthcare professionals. There he found a medical slide deck with more pictures, professional journal articles and more details about symptoms and diagnosis.

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