Protocols

BridgeBio bags Alexion’s ultra-rare disease asset; Allergan touts a new set of late-stage data for oral CGRP drug

→ Startup factory BridgeBio has snatched an asset from Alexion, set it up under a new company called Origin Biosciences, and funded its operations. The tech is a synthetic enzyme co-factor called cyclic pyranopterin monophosphate, or cPMP. Back when it was on Alexion’s shelves, it was dubbed ALXN1101. The therapy, which scored breakthrough therapy designation in 2013, is meant to treat patients with an ultra-rare disease caused by molybdenum cofactor deficiency (MoCD) Type A. And when they say ultra-rare, they mean it — as of 2010, there had been only 150 cases reported. This is the first ultra-rare disease deal done by BridgeBio.

Neil Kumar

“Patients born with MoCD face a bleak future, and we will do all we can to pursue the development of this exciting compound, which has the potential to replace the missing enzyme,” said Neil Kumar, CEO of BridgeBio, in a statement. “BridgeBio aims to sustainably pursue even the rarest of diseases, such as MoCD, especially where we can support drug programs that target well described genetic diseases at their source.”

Financial details weren’t disclosed, but BridgeBio did say it has committed “sufficient resources” to Origin to enable clinical development, regulatory approval, and to support commercialization of the drug. Alexion will also get additional payments on development and sales milestones.

Allergan says its other oral CGRP migraine drug has been doing well in a Phase IIb/III study. Researchers highlighted positive, though sometimes marginal, dose-ranging data for atogepant, painting a bright picture for the program as they push ahead on the pivotal program. Allergan has also been developing its lead oral CGRP drug ubrogepant.

LabCorp has acquired Sciformix Corporation, a scientific process outsourcing company focused on pharmacovigilance and regulatory solutions. They now plan to add the company to its CRO Covance. No terms were disclosed.

→ South San Francisco-based Nkarta Therapeutics has in-licensed a natural killer engineering platform tech from National University of Singapore and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. CEO Paul Hastings noted: “With this license we have gained access to exclusive expansion and targeting technologies that will generate an abundant supply of our proprietary engineered and enhanced NK cells that can selectively kill tumor cells.”


With contribution by Brittany Meiling.


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