Early-stage cancer biotech nails $85M C round; Flemming Ornskov's Galderma scores 'breakthrough' status
→ Zentalis Pharmaceuticals just nabbed an $85 million round from a syndicate that includes Matrix Capital, Viking Global Investors, Redmile Group, Farallon Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Surveyor Capital and Eventide Asset Management. Their lead drug is ZN-c5, which is currently in Phase I/II trials. The biotech describes that drug as a “potential best-in-class oral Selective Estrogen Receptor Degrader for estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative (ER+/ HER2-) breast cancer.”
Zentalis scored a partnership with Pfizer last year that matches their CDK 4/6 Ibrance with their early-stage drug. The C round brings Zentalis’s total take to $147 million.
→ Dermatology company Galderma, which months ago secured the services of former Shire chief Flemming Ørnskov as CEO, on Monday scored the FDA’s breakthrough status for nemolizumab, a therapy under development to treat pruritus associated with prurigo nodularis, a rare chronic skin condition characterized by thick skin nodules covering large body areas.
→ Months after scoring $56 million in fresh funding, UK-based Healx is sharing its AI-based drug discovery platform with Boehringer Ingelheim, to help the German drugmaker explore new indications for the existing assets in its arsenal.
→ Germany’s Algiax Pharmaceuticals has garnered a €5.5 million round. The biotech is focused on the development of GABA(a) receptor modulators for neuropathic pain. Occident and an undisclosed German family office led this round, which will be used to fuel a Phase IIa study named “CURE“ for its lead compound AP-325.
→ Life sciences venture firm Epidarex Capital is launching a new biotech fund called Epidarex Exeed. WSJ Pro reported in March that Epidarex Capital had raised over $100 million for a new fund focused on early-stage assets. In their release today Epidarex called the new venture “a therapeutic discovery engine” and said it would apply seed funding and management to “transform breakthrough life science innovations into investable assets over a period of 12-18 months.”
→ Onconova Therapeutics — which picked up a few million in cash to fund the Phase III program for its lead drug, rigosertib, back in May — has collaborated with Inceptua Medicines Access, a subsidiary of Iceptua Group, to make available intravenous rigosertib via a pre-approval access program in selected countries across the world. A pre-approval access program allows for experimental agents in development to be made available upon request of a physician or a patient for appropriate patients for whom no alternative treatment option exists in their country.