→ Investors have infused $30.5 million in Series B cash into Poseida Therapeutics’ pipeline of autologous T cell and NK cell therapies. Using its gene engineering tech, the San Diego company has identified several CAR-T and gene therapies, with the lead program, P-BCMA-101 for multiple myeloma, currently in a Phase I trial. The new round of financing will go towards that study, and push Poseida toward INDs for two programs in PSMA CAR-T and allogenic BCMA CAR-T. Longitude Capital led the round, flanked by fellow new investors Vivo Capital and the Tavistock Group, and David Hirsch — its managing director — will join Poseida’s board of directors.
→ GlaxoSmithKline is teaming up with Cambridge, MA-based Kymera Therapeutics on a discovery pact related to protein degradation, a hot field that’s seen a variety of startups come along. The 2-year deal covers new small molecules and E3 ligases – the enzymes that do trigger the degradation of proteins that cause diseases.
→ Bay Area Stanford spinout Surrozen, which recently grabbed a $33M Series A, just appointed a new CEO and scientific co-founder. Craig Parker, the former SVP of corporate development at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, is coming on board as the company’s new chief executive. He’s taking the reins from Tim Kutzkey, a managing partner at The Column Group, who’s instead taking up the role of chairman of the board. The company, founded in 2016, is researching the Wnt pathway and the role it plays in regenerative medicine. In the same news release, Surrozen also appointed a new scientific co-founder in Hans Clevers, a professor of molecular genetics at the Hubrecht Institute. “The challenge of producing Wnt has been a great source of frustration in the field, impeding the advancement of organoid technology and a deeper dissection of Wnt signaling,” Clevers said in a statement. “Surrozen’s ability to generate potent and selective Wnt pathway agonists with drug-like properties is a real breakthrough. I’m thrilled to join an esteemed group of co-founders as Surrozen continues its rapid pace of discovery and further innovates with its technology platforms.”
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