Deciphera banks a $52M C round for cancer R&D; Ionis adds $50M milestone from Biogen

→  Waltham, MA-based Deciphera Therapeutics announced that it has banked a $52 million C round to keep fueling its growing pipeline efforts, including its lead drug, still in the early stages of development, a pan-KIT and PDGFR inhibitor dubbed DCC-2618. Viking Global Investors, Redmile Group and Sphera Global Healthcare Fund led the round, joined by Deciphera’s existing investors including New Leaf Venture Partners. Said Deciphera CEO Michael Taylor: “The proceeds of this financing will be used to advance development of DCC-2618 and DCC-3014 into later-stage clinical trials with the goal of delivering new therapies that address key resistance mechanisms to improve cancer treatment outcomes.”

→  Ionis earned a $50 million milestone payment from Biogen today as Spinraza became the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy in the European Union. So far the company has earned $375 million from Biogen related to Spinraza and is still slated to receive tiered royalties on global sales of the drug. The company has previously faced a backlash over the drug’s price tag in the United States.

→ Penny biotech stock Threshold Pharmaceuticals $THLD has sold off its AKR1C3-targeting drug TH-3424 to Taiwan’s OBI Pharma for a single, undisclosed payment. Threshold shares were crushed two years ago by a pair of key trial failures. Its only other drug in the pipeline is evofosfamide, which is in a slate of studies after failing in Phase III at Merck KGaA.

→ Cambridge, MA-based Voyager announced today that it has selected VY-HTT01 as a clinical candidate for the treatment of Huntington’s disease. They hope that a single delivery of the drug to a patient’s brain will selectively knock down the production of HTT mRNA. The company is working with Sanofi Genezyme and CHDI to develop the drug.

→   The European Commission granted BioMarin marketing authorization for Brineura (cerliponase alfa), the first treatment approved in the European Union for the treatment of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 (CLN2). The FDA granted approval for the drug, one of the most expensive on the market, at the end of April.

→   The Swiss biopharma company Inthera finished a Series A with $10.5 million. Merck Ventures led the round with equal contribution from Aglaia BioMedical Ventures and Novo Seeds as well as participation of a private investor. “We are now in a position to complete the pre-clinical development of our lead program against HPV-associated cancers and expand our operations and pipeline”, said Ulrich Kessler, CEO and co-founder of Inthera.

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