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Can­cer Re­search UK spin­off rais­es $41M+ in Se­ries B in­jec­tion

The estrogen receptor (ER) — which is inhibited by targeted drugs such as the hormone therapy tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors — is a transcription factor implicated in 75% of breast cancers. Research from Cambridge University suggests that the DNA interactions and transcriptional scope of ER rely on a protein that plays a key role in determining tumor growth and progression — even when resistance to existing drugs has built up.

Dan Hicklin (File photo)

MPM and Long­wood-backed Were­wolf Ther­a­peu­tics grabs $56 mil­lion to take tu­mors by night

Backed with the team from his last company, one of the key developers behind Keytruda has a new warchest in the race to bring immunotherapy into the tumor micro-environment.

Dan Hicklin, who oversaw Merck’s I/O portfolio and helped develop several other cancer drugs, is the founder and president of Werewolf Therapeutics, a company that aims to “shapeshift” its way into tumors and tear them apart from within. With the exception of the COO, its leadership is entirely seeded from Potenza Therapeutics, the antibody company Hicklin sold to Astellas for $165 million upfront last December. They’ll even use the same lab space.

Lon­don's bio­phar­ma-fo­cused GHO Cap­i­tal Part­ners claims close of largest-ever Eu­ro­pean fund

Three years after closing out its first €660 million ($730.5 million) private equity fund, London-based GHO Capital Partners has sealed a mammoth $1 billion-plus second fund, a feat it has claimed is the biggest-ever focused on European healthcare.

The investment firm has already injected capital into active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer Sterling Pharma Solutions and bioanalytical testing company BioAgilytix in the first quarter of 2019. GHO’s Fund II will invest in the outsourced services, pharma and medtech sectors, the company said on Wednesday.

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Burt Adelman. Novo Ventures

Here's a $25M seed fund aimed at back­ing some brash new drug ideas out of the Broad

As a former academic and a seasoned drug developer, Burt Adelman knew when he was recruited as a senior advisor to Novo Ventures in 2017 that one of his key priorities needs to be introducing the fund to the network he was so deeply embedded in.

“I was thinking long and hard on how can I, as a Boston insider, help Novo really get inside the ecosystem of Boston biotech?” he recalled in an interview with Endpoints News.

In­vestors could emerge from Neil Wood­ford de­ba­cle with £1B loss, in­ter­nal analy­sis re­veals

When Link Fund Solutions announced that it is closing Woodford Equity Income Fund permanently and kicking out Neil Woodford, it was implied that investors probably won’t get back everything they entrusted to the fund manager. But nobody knew just how much they would lose.

An internal analysis commissioned by Link suggested that the collective loss could amount to £1 billion — out of a fund last valued at £3.1 billion — Citywire has revealed.

Prakash Raman. Flagship

Flag­ship woos No­var­tis top deal­mak­er Prakash Ra­man in move to get the BD ball rolling ear­ly

Flagship Pioneering likes to be ahead of its times — so far ahead, perhaps, that it is often challenging to find partners for their startups while the scientific scaffolding is underway. But Prakash Raman is here to change that.

Raman, who most recently headed up business development at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, became Flagship’s first chief business development officer two weeks ago. By acting as a “central resource” for the 100 companies in the venture fund’s portfolio, he hopes to help entrepreneurs and management teams strategize about dealmaking to capture value beyond the near-term validation of their platform technologies, Raman told Endpoints News.

New cell ther­a­py play­er launch­es with $57M from mar­quee in­vestors to go af­ter 'de­fin­i­tive' tu­mor tar­gets

A crew of Amgen and Kite vets is publicly throwing their new startup into the cell therapy hat — though they are saying little outside of the basics and $57 million in Series A cash.

The Column Group, Vida Ventures, Samsara BioCapital and Nextech Invest are backing A2 Biotherapeutics’ quest to find new ways of engaging immune cells in selectively attacking cancer. To do so, the biotech is working with two target classes: peptide MHC targets and targets that are “irreversibly lost in tumor cells.” The former builds on an increasingly popular strategy of locating neoantigens for T cells to home in on, while the latter is inspired by a mechanism used by natural killer cells.

George Church start­up eGe­n­e­sis rakes $100M to ramp up CRISPR pig or­gan trans­plants

The baby needed a heart and because there was no human one available they brought a baboon up from the basement. Specifically, a 7-month-old with a cardiac organ the size of a walnut who had been part of the surgeon Leonard Bailey’s lab and matched “Baby Fae” — as she became known — on several immune fronts. It was 1984. For 20 days the baby lived and word of a medical marvel spread. A new era of organ donation seemed possible.

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Jean-François Pariseau and Dion Madsen, Amplitude

New Am­pli­tude fund looks to bet over $100 mil­lion on in­cip­i­ent Cana­di­an biotech mar­ket

Two top Canadian venture capitalists and the Business Development Bank of Canada have raised over $70 million for a new fund aimed sharply at funding promising ideas emerging from the “under-funded” Canadian biopharma and healthcare sector.

Jean-François Pariseau and Dion Madsen have spun out their healthcare division of BDC Capital into the Amplitude fund. They’ve raised over CAD $100 million ($76 million USD) with a goal of CAD $200 million ($152 million USD), to bolster precision medicine north of the 49th parallel. 

Pascal Soriot. AP Images

As­traZeneca sketch­es plans for a $1B ven­ture fund — and it's go­ing to Chi­na

Going down an increasingly trodden path to the world’s second largest healthcare market, AstraZeneca is helping set up a life sciences fund to groom China startups that could turn into potential partners.

CEO Pascal Soriot has outlined his vision for a $1 billion haul to be gathered over the next four years, the Wall Street Journal first reported. The short-term goal for this year is to raise $200 million to $300 million, and firms such as Sequoia Capital and Temasek have already expressed interest.

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