Checkmate Pharmaceuticals brings two new execs on board; Takeda sheds 30 drugs, gains $200M in Acino deal
→ Amid a $22 million financing round led by Decheng Capital last year, Checkmate Pharmaceuticals CEO Art Krieg announced that he was turning in his tile to Barry Labinger and, instead, moving to a CSO role within the company. Now, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company welcomes two new execs to the team: James Wooldridge as CMO and Steven Hamburger as vice president of regulatory affairs.
“In the past year, we have made tremendous progress in advancing the development of our lead compound, CMP-001, that is currently in clinical trials in combination with anti-PD-1/L1 antibodies for multiple solid tumor types,” said Labinger.
Wooldridge jumps over after a stint as the CMO of Aeglea BioTherapeutics. His previous roles include serving at Eli Lilly, where he served as CSO for immuno-oncology clinical development, and conducting research as a faculty member at the University of Missouri in Columbia and the University of Iowa. Hamburger hops aboard after a stint as vice president of regulatory affairs & quality assurance at Tarveda Therapeutics. His previous stints include roles at Castle Creek Pharmaceutical, Immunomedics, Johnson & Johnson, Millennium/Takeda and Eli Lilly.
→ Eager to offload some non-core assets in pursuit of a streamlined structure integrated with Shire, Takeda has found a buyer for 30 products in its primary care portfolio — both prescription and OTC — in parts of the Middle East and Africa plus Ukraine. Swiss pharma Acino is paying $200 million for rights to “selected pain management, gastroenterology, cardiovascular and respiratory products. Takeda will continue to manufacture the meds, but the sales and marketing responsibilities will shift to Acino and some staff will move over as part of the deal.
→ Relmada Therapeutics — focused on developing treatments of central nervous system (CNS) diseases — has presented data from its Phase II clinical trial of REL-1017 as an adjunctive treatment in patients with treatment-resistant depression. The study evaluated the safety, tolerability and efficacy of two doses of REL-1017 (dextromethadone), 25 mg once a day and 50 mg once a day. Findings show that both patients dosed with the 25 mg and 50 mg of REL-1017 experience statistically significant improvement of their depression compared to subjects in the placebo group on all efficacy measures.
→ Medical dermatology company Azitra has closed a $14 million Series A financing round — bringing their total financing to date to $17 million. KdT Ventures led the financing with existing investor Bios Partners, along with Connecticut Innovations and Godfrey Capital. The company says that the round will be used to expand the management team and to advance Azitra’s medical dermatology products in the clinic.