Chinese biotech investors are pouring billions into US companies; Nektar partners with BioXcel on new I/O triple

→ “They said, ‘If you start a company, you won’t have any problem raising money.’ I didn’t quite believe that at the beginning. But as we went through the process, it was incredible,” Brii CEO Zhi Hong told Reuters as the wire service assessed the blistering pace of growth in China’s biotech sector. Hong, an ex-GSK exec, raised $260 million as Chinese investors poured $4.2 billion into U.S. biotechs — 43% of the total for the first half of this year.

→ Having explored how their immuno-oncology drugs might work together in the preclinical setting for the past few months, Nektar $NKTR and BioXcel $BTI are officially launching a clinical partnership. Focusing on pancreatic cancer, the program would test a triplet combination of BXCL701 (BioXcel’s immune-modulator), NKTR-214 (Nektar’s Bristol-Myers Squibb-partnered CD122-based agonist) and a checkpoint inhibitor. BioXcel, which is also developing drugs for neurological disorders and Alzheimer’s disease, will initiate and manage the program.

→ Entera Bio named Merck vet Arthur Santora II as its new CMO. Santora was credited as the lead researcher on the osteoporosis med Fosamax.

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