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Choon-Peng Ng, ImmunoScape CEO

TCR up­start gets fresh fund­ing as it looks to charge to­ward the clin­ic

While several companies have been finding success in the TCR-T cell therapy space — with Intellia having its treatment accepted by the FDA last year — another company is using machine learning to get in on the action and find a candidate to bring toward the clinic.

ImmunoScape, a biotech based in Singapore and California, has raised $14 million in a fresh round of financing. The company itself was founded in 2016 as a spinout from the Singapore-based Agency for Science, Technology and Research, setting up its US operations in San Diego in 2020.

MD An­der­son wants to 'be part of the game,' part­ners with Ra­dio­pharm Ther­a­nos­tics for ra­di­oli­gand joint ven­ture

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has linked arms with Australian biotech Radiopharm Theranostics to build a joint venture dubbed Radiopharm Ventures.

The newly formed initiative will take four candidates from two MD Anderson scientists —  David Piwnica-Worms and Samir Hanash — and push them through preclinical and Phase I studies over the course of the next three years. One of those candidates, a radioligand targeting the tumor antigen CD276, has already gone through preclinical studies, and the venture hopes to get it into its first clinical trial late next year, Radiopharm Theranostics CEO Riccardo Canevari told Endpoints News.

Jon Waldstreicher, Galvanize Therapeutics CEO

From three com­pa­nies to one — Gal­va­nize Ther­a­peu­tics gets $100M to push elec­tric field ther­a­py

ATP (formerly Apple Tree Partners) was once home to three electric field therapy companies. Now, it’s home to only one — which is forging forward with a $100 million Series B.

Gala Therapeutics, Galaxy Medical, and Galvanize Therapeutics have merged under the umbrella of Galvanize Therapeutics. The newly merged company will be working to develop electric field therapy in the same three areas that the three old companies worked on separately, but now under one platform called Aliya.

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Laura Shawver, Capstan Therapeutics CEO

Backed by five phar­ma gi­ants and a crew of Penn su­per­stars, a start­up us­es mR­NA to cre­ate in vi­vo CAR-T — with a pro at the helm

Earlier this year, Jonathan Epstein and other scientists at Penn published a paper in Science that spelled out the intriguing results of a mouse study. Using CD-5 targeted lipid nanoparticles, the tiny vehicles used to carry messenger RNA, they were able to reprogram T lymphocytes into CAR-Ts in vivo, in the body. Trained to recognize fibrotic cells specifically in the heart, the scientists involved were able to restore cardiac function in mice.

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Stéphane Boissel, SparingVision CEO

‘Dif­fi­cult to go pub­lic with’: Spar­ingVi­sion turns to ex­ist­ing back­ers to fund its first two oc­u­lar gene ther­a­py tri­als

On the hunt to improve upon the foundations of Luxturna by creating a gene therapy that it hopes can be given to a broader swath of patients with a rare retinal disease than its Big Pharma rival, SparingVision has secured another round of financing. But it didn’t come easy.

The Paris and Philadelphia biotech’s leadership began the Series B process in January, and at that time, they agreed that if by the end of spring it proved to be “too challenging, impossible or that the value that we were looking for was just impossible to obtain, we were going to focus on an insider-only round,” CEO and president Stéphane Boissel told Endpoints News.

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(L-R) Peter Rohweder, Kevan Shokat, Ziyang Zhang, Daniel Green, Charly Craik

The sci­en­tist who pi­o­neered KRAS drugs has a new idea about mak­ing them more pow­er­ful

It’s only been nine years since Kevan Shokat’s group at the University of California, San Francisco published the seminal paper breaking the “undruggable” spell thought to ensnare KRAS, one of the most common oncogenes. In less than a decade — breakneck speed by drug development standards — the space went from utterly barren to having one approved drug, plus a close rival ready to duke it out.

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Jay Parrish, Pretzel Therapeutics CEO (ARCH)

Fresh­ly baked: Pret­zel Ther­a­peu­tics takes out the oven mitts to drug dis­eases in the pow­er­house of the cell 

After helping co-found Vir Biotechnology and lead the biotech’s business development through the first few years, including a rare emergency use authorization for a Covid-19 treatment, Jay Parrish has found a new home at the pretzel powerhouse.

Focused on the so-called powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria, Pretzel Therapeutics emerged Monday with $72.5 million in Series A backing from ARCH Venture Partners and Mubadala Capital, along with a syndicate of other investors.

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Nader Halim, Innervace CEO

Deer­field backs a Penn spin­out aim­ing to shake up Parkin­son's treat­ments us­ing stem cells, brain surgery

Unlike in other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, the pathology of Parkinson’s is relatively well-understood. Researchers have known for decades that the disease affects the brain’s production of dopamine, whereas Alzheimer’s has flummoxed those investigating amyloid and other once-promising theories.

But the broader depth of knowledge has still yet to translate into newer, more effective therapies. After the FDA approved Sinemet in the 1970s, a combination of two drugs designed to convert into dopamine in the brain (and maintain that conversion), the product remains patients’ primary therapy.

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Brian Fenton, Photys CEO

Go­ing be­yond pro­tein degra­da­tion, a new Broad start­up kicks in­to gear to fix pro­tein func­tion­al­i­ty

There’s a plethora of protein degradation biotechs, and a smaller handful of protein stabilization players, but Lizzie Ngo was searching for something more.

The principal at Longwood Fund, the investment firm behind the likes of Bicycle Therapeutics, wanted to know, “What else could we do beyond just targeted protein degradation?” she told Endpoints News.

While mapping out the space, she and a colleague came across a 2020 paper from Amit Choudhary’s lab at MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute. As so many biotechs’ origin stories begin, the paper led to a new startup with ambitions going beyond protein degradation and stabilization and into activation, inactivation and trafficking of proteins.

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Harmonic Discovery team

In­no­va­tion En­deav­ors doles out first in­vest­ment in the Joel Dud­ley era, with seed fund­ing for a small mol­e­cule start­up

Joel Dudley recently joined the team at the investment firm Innovation Endeavors, started by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in August with a mission to invest deeply in the biotech world. And now, several weeks after bringing him on, the firm has made its latest such investment and the first with Dudley on board.

Innovation Endeavors has led an $8 million seed round in Harmonic Discovery, the firm announced Thursday morning. Dudley will also join the company’s board.