Carmot closes $15M round to advance diabetes drug; Argos board clears reverse stock split, moves to small cap market

→ In a last-ditch effort to stay on Nasdaq, Argos Therapeutics $ARGS is going for a one-for-twenty reverse stock split, effective after the close of today. Starting tomorrow, the Durham, NC biotech will also transfer its listing (under the same symbol) to the small cap Nasdaq Capital Market from the mid cap Nasdaq Global Market — which still requires a minimum bid price of $1 but has lower thresholds otherwise. A developer of personalized immunotherapy with a troubled clinical record, Argos is currently trading at $0.16. As part of the reverse split, it may also issue cash payments to stockholders to compensate for any fractional shares they are entitled to.

→ Berkeley, CA-based Carmot Therapeutics has clinched $15 million in Series B funding to take its lead type 2 diabetes drug, a dual GLP-1R/GIPR agonist, through early clinical proof of concept. Diabetes is only one of many areas that the biotech hopes to develop treatments for, using a lead identification technology called Chemotype Evolution. Carmot entered into a multi-year discovery pact with Amgen just a month ago, with a focus on Parkinson’s disease. This new round of financing will also go toward several preclinical leads in obesity and fatty liver disease. A pair of new and existing investors — Horizon Ventures of Hong Kong and The Column Group, respectively — co-led the round, each bringing a new director to the board.

→ Zurich-based Inositec has recruited Roche vet Frits van Alphen to the company as chief medical officer. Alphen had headed the operational excellence team at Roche.

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