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Todd Harris and Daniel Bensen. Tyra

RA Cap­i­tal, Canaan help in­fuse $50M in­to Al­ta-in­cu­bat­ed biotech bat­tling ac­quired re­sis­tance to TKIs

Since Gleevec was approved in 2001, over 40 other tyrosine kinase inhibitors have come onto the market to treat various types of cancer. But with the proliferation of the class also came a surge of acquired resistance, where patients’ tumors mutate around the drug target and stop responding to the therapies.

Tyra Bio, a Carlsbad, CA-based biotech “purpose built” to address that problem, has just raised $50 million from Alta Partners, RA Capital Management, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, and Canaan.

DCVC Bio, 5AM back col­o­niz­ing army of ge­net­i­cal­ly en­gi­neered gut bac­te­ria with $33M

A few years back, researchers studying gastric bypass noticed something: The famous gut-shrinking weight-loss surgery might work, but not because it changed how the body absorbs nutrients, as doctors believed. Rather, the surgery changed the microbes in the gut and thus the molecules they secreted, which in turn set off processes that made patients feel full faster.

Researchers then made a simple logical jump: Why not just give the patients new bacteria, and cut out the invasive surgery (bypass the bypass, if you will)? It was hardly a solitary conclusion. Other researchers found engineered bacteria could get patients the molecules needed to boost insulin production, clear out arteries, and help prevent colon cancer.

Primed for at­tack: Vac­cine tech mak­er gets $11M shot to bat­tle in­fec­tious dis­ease

Traditional antibody-based vaccines, as a basic principle, prevent infection. UK-based Emergex’s technology doesn’t care if you do contract the infection — it is engineered to ensure you don’t fall sick.

Founded in 2016 by University College London (UCL) professor emeritus of molecular medicine and serial entrepreneur Tom Rademacher, the company Emergex on Thursday secured $11 million in Series A funding, led by Vickers Venture Partners.

Shreds of Tregs: French biotech wins Medicxi back­ing to kill the rogue im­muno­sup­pres­sive agent to fight can­cer

Existing CD25 drugs tend to thwart IL-2 signaling, which is imperative to shaping the body’s immune response. But a French drug developer thinks it has found a way to snuff out regulatory T cells (known to contribute to the early establishment and progression of tumors) by targeting CD25 without disturbing IL-2, and now has €18.5 million in its coffers to prove it.

The Parisian company, Alderaan Biotechnology, is still very early in its journey. The Series A round of funding from Advent France Biotechnology (AFB) and Medicxi will be used to complete the preclinical development of its regulatory T cell (Tregs) depleting CD25-specific antibody and take it into the clinic by 2022.

Stan­ley and Rosanne Crooke stay fo­cused on an­ti-sense, steal­ing back pa­tients from dis­ease with N-of-1 tech

A little over a year after a Boston Children’s Hospital neurologist used anti-sense technology to create what may be the world’s first fully bespoke therapy, two of the oldest and biggest names in anti-sense have launched a charity to make those treatments possible to far more patients – and free of charge.

The husband-and-wife team of longtime Ionis CEO Stanley Crooke and longtime Ionis researcher Rosanne Crooke are launching the n-Lorem foundation. The couple will personally contribute $1.5 million to the project, with Ionis adding another $1.5 million and Biogen $1 million. Stanley Crooke stepped down from Ionis’ helm last year.

Rob de Ree. Biogeneration Ventures

Fish oil pill for NASH? Dutch biotech scores $40M in­jec­tion to make a mark in the bustling field

If Amarin’s fish oil pill is anything to go by, Dutch drug developer NorthSea Therapeutics is in for a ride in its quest to market its own omega 3 drug.

NorthSea’s compound, icosabutate, was in-licensed from Norway’s Pronova BioPharma — the developer of the blockbuster omega 3 cardiovascular drug Omacor that was swallowed by German chemicals giant BASF in 2013.

Akin to Amarin’s pill, icosabutate was originally tested as a treatment for hypertriglyceridemia. NorthSea is focused on testing it for NASH, a fatty liver disease, which has lured an army of drug developers but is a field littered with failure.

Daniela Salvemini. Saint Louis University

MPM backs new biotech in the hunt for non-opi­oid painkiller

A new MPM Capital-backed company is joining the search for a better way of treating chronic pain.

Six years after its quiet birth out of a St Louis lab, BioIntervene unveiled  an MPM-led $30 million Series A funding round to take its lead drug, BIO-205, into human proof-of-concept studies. They announced a new CSO too: Charles Cohen, a neuroscience veteran of Merck, Bayer, Vertex and most recently Xenon.

Luca Santarelli. Therachon

Fresh from a Pfiz­er buy­out, Lu­ca Santarel­li’s crew has cre­at­ed a new com­pa­ny — bank­ing new funds and steer­ing their lead drug to a piv­otal

Almost exactly 3 years since he joined the biotech startup world as head of Therachon, the high-profile discovery scientist Luca Santarelli is ready to start 2020 with a new company, opening a new chapter with $35 million in financing from some close venture groups and plans that point straight to Phase III later this year while they hunt new development deals.

We knew last spring that Santarelli’s Basel-based biotech was being bought out by Pfizer for up to $810 million. The pharma giant wanted their drug for dwarfism, plucking it out but letting the 20-member team remain in charge of a separate rare disease drug for short bowel syndrome.

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Bank­ing on Shang­hai's biotech boom, this Eli Lil­ly-backed play­er grabs $100M to push next-gen I/O ther­a­pies

Every six months for the past two years or so, five renowned scientists and biotech vets — David Shen of NGM Bio, Arlene Sharpe and Vijay Kuchroo of Harvard, Juno co-founder Phil Greenberg and University of Chicago’s Tom Gajewski — would meet. There (most recently at Napa Valley over wine), as a scientific advisory board, they would offer advice to a biotech startup based an ocean away in Shanghai, on their quest to uncover new targets and new antibody therapeutics for immuno-oncology.

Avak Kahvejian. Flagship

Flag­ship bankrolls quest to cre­ate gene ther­a­py 2.0, with new vi­ral de­liv­ery tech in hand

Count Flagship Pioneering in for the long and convoluted chase of new delivery vehicles that promise to expand the booming gene therapy field.

Ring Therapeutics, its latest biotech creation, has a $50 million commitment to explore anellovectors — a whole new class of viral shells that it claims offers the first “real alternative” to adenovirus-associated viruses, or AAV, approaches. If proved viable, that could open up a whole new frontier into diseases that are currently off limits to gene therapy.

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