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Aeov­ian Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals brings in $37 mil­lion in mTOR play

San Francisco-based Aeovian Pharmaceuticals has banked $37 million in Series A financing to launch its mTORC1 inhibitor into a proof-of-concept for what the company says is an undisclosed rare CNS disease.

Linked to a number of aging and nutrient-sensing processes, the mTOR pathway has typically been seen as a rich target for pharmaceutical companies hoping to make inroads in lifespan/healthspan extension. The secrecy behind the ‘undisclosed disease’ is not unusual in a field where research is often painted with the broad brush of ‘age-related diseases.’ Part of Aeovian’s IP comes from the Buck Institute in Novato, California, an independent research institute dedicated solely to studying connections between aging and chronic disease.

Faraz Ali, Tenaya

San Fran­cis­co biotech has its heart in heart fail­ure — and $92M in the bank

When a salamander’s heart suffers damage, the amphibian’s cells are able to divide and repair the organ. Tenaya Therapeutics wants to empower your heart with the same ability.

The South San Francisco-based company, founded by scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in October 2016, has a multi-layered approach to addressing troubles of the heart — cellular regeneration, gene therapy, and precision medicine.

ARC-T? Al­ter­na­tive CAR-T start­up bags $85M for clin­i­cal quest to redi­rect 'blind hunter' T cells

The first patient treated with modern chemotherapy was a 2-year-old boy named Robert Sandler. In 1947, Sidney Farber gave him an anti-foliate in a tiny Boston lab and for a couple miraculous months, Sandler became the first leukemia patient to ever go in remission.

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Deer­field bets on New York City, blue­prints $635M biotech hub in mid­town Man­hat­tan

In translational deals with top research labs at the Broad, Harvard, UNC Chapel Hill and Columbia, Deerfield Management has made it clear that it doesn’t mind writing big checks to get in early on biotech ventures that may be years in the making. Its latest bet is taking that strategy one step further.

Deerfield is dedicating $635 million to a real estate project with the goal of building a biotech hub in midtown Manhattan where academics and entrepreneurs from the area can flesh out the science and grow their teams. Up to two thirds of the space will be wet lab capable, and specialized ventilation as well as data systems will be outfitted.

The New York-based investment firm submitted its proposal for the project in response to the city’s call to create a life sciences hub. It’s also committing $30 million to a workforce training initiative, which features internship, fellowship and diversity programs.

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Meis­sa ob­tains $30M Se­ries A from Morn­ing­side to test syn­thet­ic bi­ol­o­gy ap­proach to 'elu­sive' RSV vac­cines

Morningside Ventures has written a $30 million check to fuel an early-stage exploration of a new kind of respiratory syncytial virus.

Meissa Vaccines has chosen a field in which the most high-profile recent development might be the demise of Gates Foundation-backed NovaVax, after its candidate failed to protect either infants or the elderly from respiratory tract infections caused by RSV. AstraZeneca has had more luck with an antibody approach, but other disappointments abound.

Boehringer In­gel­heim backs Max Planck spin­out in tak­ing a shot at tough class of can­cer tar­gets

Scientists have long known about tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens — those abnormal saccharides that are abundant on cancer cell surfaces and feed them on — but their ability to hide from the immune systems means they have proved to be evasive targets in immuno-oncology.

Two glycosciences experts at the Max Planck Institute in Germany believed synthesizing those targets in the first place is key to cracking that problem. They have now received a modest seed round to pursue that idea at their Berlin-based biotech spinout, Tacalyx.

Ralph Mechoulam. EPM via YouTube

Start­up EPM launch­es, high off cannabi­noid acid in­no­va­tion

When Sue Sisley opened the first bag of her Washington-licensed weed, she knew something was wrong. It came with the verisimilitude of government cheese, a bureaucratic knock-off that neither looked nor smelled like the real thing.

“It was this green powder with little sticks and leaves,” Sisley, head of the Scottsdale Research Group, told Endpoints News earlier this month.”So diluted.”

Mahesh Karande. (World Economic Forum / Jakob Polacsek)

New Flag­ship biotech wants to un­leash your genome

It sounds like tacky science fiction when Mahesh Karande talks about it, like a line from that movie with the pill promising to unlock the other 90% of your brain. The company “is unleashing the human genome’s native capacity,” he says.

His voice, normally deep and measured, scientific in its precision, rushes as he talks about his new biotech, his diction bouncing with schoolboy slang.

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Jeff Kindler's Cen­trex­ion re­news bid to make pub­lic de­but

Jeffrey Kindler’s plan to take his biotech — which is developing a slate of non-opioid painkillers — public, is back on.

The Boston based company, led by former Pfizer $PFE chief Kindler, originally contemplated a $70 million to $80 million IPO last year— but eventually postponed that strategy. On Wednesday, the company revived its bid to make a public debut in a filing with the SEC — although no pricing details were disclosed.

Zachary Hornby. Boundless

'A fourth rev­o­lu­tion in can­cer ther­a­pies': ARCH-backed Bound­less Bio flash­es big check, makes big­ger promis­es in de­but

It was the cellular equivalent of opening your car door and finding an active, roaring engine in the driver seat.

Scientists learned strands of DNA could occasionally appear outside of its traditional home in the nucleus in the 1970s, when they appeared as little, innocuous circles on microscopes; inexplicable but apparently innate. But not until UC San Diego’s Paul Mischel published his first study in Science in 2014 did researchers realize these circles were not only active but potentially overactive and driving some cancer tumors’ superhuman growth.