Ex­elix­is, Storm join up in col­lab­o­ra­tion and li­cense agree­ment; Teligent files for bank­rupt­cy

Ex­elix­is and RNA-fo­cused biotech Storm Ther­a­peu­tics en­tered in­to an ex­clu­sive col­lab­o­ra­tion and li­cense agree­ment, the com­pa­nies joint­ly an­nounced to­day.

Pe­ter Lamb

The deal is for dis­cov­er­ing and ad­vanc­ing on­col­o­gy can­di­dates — ini­tial­ly fo­cus­ing on ADAR1 and then ex­plor­ing an undis­closed tar­get.

Ex­elix­is will pay Storm $17 mil­lion up­front and pro­vide re­search fund­ing, in ex­change for li­cens­ing two of Storm’s dis­cov­ery pro­grams tar­get­ing RNA mod­i­fy­ing en­zymes, in­clud­ing ADAR1.

Ex­elix­is will al­so be sole­ly re­spon­si­ble for glob­al de­vel­op­ment, man­u­fac­tur­ing and com­mer­cial­iz­ing any re­sult­ing mol­e­cules. Storm will be el­i­gi­ble for mile­stone pay­ments as well as tiered roy­al­ties on sales of any com­mer­cial­ized com­pound done un­der the col­lab­o­ra­tion.

“We be­lieve this col­lab­o­ra­tion has the po­ten­tial to ex­pand our port­fo­lio of dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed small mol­e­cule ther­a­pies in the field of on­col­o­gy and de­liv­er a first-in-class ADAR1 in­hibitor,” said Ex­elix­is ex­ec­u­tive VP of sci­en­tif­ic strat­e­gy and CSO Pe­ter Lamb.

Teligent files for Chap­ter 11 bank­rupt­cy

New Jer­sey phar­ma com­pa­ny Teligent filed for bank­rupt­cy this morn­ing.

The phar­ma, which re­cent­ly re­called its lo­cal anes­thet­ic for be­ing too po­tent, filed for vol­un­tary pro­tec­tion un­der Chap­ter 11 of the US Bank­rupt­cy Code in the Bank­rupt­cy court in Delaware. There, they in­tend to sell the com­pa­ny.

To that end, Teligent start­ed mar­ket­ing be­fore fil­ing to de­ter­mine mar­ket in­ter­est. Dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing the sale are on­go­ing with “in­ter­est­ed par­ties,” ac­cord­ing to a re­port from RTT News.

The share price took a dive af­ter the mar­ket opened as $TL­GT went down more than 30%, com­ing in at just 17 cents a share.

The com­pa­ny ex­pects to sell the en­tire­ty of the busi­ness or its main as­sets by ear­ly next year. Teligent’s Cana­di­an af­fil­i­ate, Teligent Cana­da, will be pur­su­ing a sale process out­side of court.

ACB rais­es $10 mil­lion more for MYC and con­tact in­hi­bi­tion restora­tion re­search

Dun Yang

Chi­nese on­col­o­gy biotech An­ti­cancer Bio­science (ACB) an­nounced more than $10 mil­lion raised to­day in seed ex­ten­sion fund­ing from new Chi­nese in­vestors, led by Three Rivers Cap­i­tal.

The biotech, which was found­ed ear­li­er this year and has now raised more than $31 mil­lion, will use the mon­ey to move pre­clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for­ward on two pro­grams: MYC-syn­thet­ic lethal­i­ty and con­tact in­hi­bi­tion restora­tion.

“It un­der­lines our progress over the past months and will help ac­cel­er­ate our five drug dis­cov­ery pro­grams through op­ti­miza­tion to can­di­date se­lec­tion and IND en­abling stud­ies,” said ACB founder, pres­i­dent and CEO Dun Yang in a state­ment. “We aim to ini­ti­ate two clin­i­cal tri­als in 2022.”

Sarep­ta un­veils $500 mil­lion un­der­writ­ten pub­lic of­fer­ing

Sarep­ta re­vealed a new un­der­writ­ten pub­lic of­fer­ing of 6,172,840 shares of its com­mon stock to­day — at a price to the pub­lic of $81.00 per share.

In ad­di­tion, Sarep­ta is giv­ing un­der­writ­ers a 30-day op­tion to pur­chase up to an ad­di­tion­al 925,926 shares of that com­mon stock on the same terms and con­di­tions as ini­tial shares that were sold to the un­der­writ­ers.

The biotech an­tic­i­pates gross pro­ceeds from the of­fer­ing to be around half a bil­lion dol­lars, be­fore ex­pens­es and be­fore the un­der­writ­ers’ op­tion to pur­chase ad­di­tion­al shares. The of­fer­ing is ex­pect­ed to close some­where around Mon­day, ac­cord­ing to a com­pa­ny state­ment.

Sarep­ta is plan­ning to use the fund­ing to con­tin­ue and start up clin­i­cal tri­als, and then funds for com­mer­cial­iza­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing and oth­er pur­pos­es.

Biotech and Big Phar­ma: A blue­print for a suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship

Strategic partnerships have long been an important contributor to how drugs are discovered and developed. For decades, big pharma companies have been forming alliances with biotech innovators to increase R&D productivity, expand geographical reach and better manage late-stage commercialization costs.

Noël Brown, Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Investment Banking, and Greg Wiederrecht, Ph.D., Managing Director in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at RBC Capital Markets, are no strangers to the importance of these tie-ups. Noël has over 20 years of investment banking experience in the industry. Before moving to the banking world in 2015, Greg was the Vice President and Head of External Scientific Affairs (ESA) at Merck, where he was responsible for the scientific assessment of strategic partnership opportunities worldwide.

Credit: Shutterstock

How Chi­na turned the ta­bles on bio­phar­ma's glob­al deal­mak­ing

Fenlai Tan still gets chills thinking about the darkest day of his life.

Three out of eight lung cancer patients who received a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed by his company, Betta Pharma, died in the span of a month. Tan, the chief medical officer, was summoned to Peking Union Medical College Hospital, where the head of the clinical trial department told him that the trial investigators would be conducting an autopsy to see if the patients had died of the disease — they were all very sick by the time they enrolled — or of interstitial lung disease, a deadly side effect tied to the TKI class that’s been reported in Japan.

No­var­tis' sec­ond at­tempt to repli­cate a stun­ning can­cer re­sult falls flat

Novartis’ hopes of turning one of the most surprising trial data points of the last decade into a lung cancer drug has taken another setback.

The Swiss pharma announced Monday that its IL-1 inhibitor canakinumab did not significantly extend the lives or slow the disease progression of patients with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer when compared to standard of-care alone.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 120,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Peter Nell, Mammoth Biosciences CBO

UP­DAT­ED: Jen­nifer Doud­na spin­out inks a Mam­moth CRISPR deal with Ver­tex worth near­ly $700M

When a company gets its start in gene editing pioneer Jennifer Doudna’s lab, it’s bound to make headlines. But three years in, the fanfare still hasn’t died down for Mammoth Biosciences. Now, the Brisbane, CA-based company is cheering on its first major R&D pact.

Mammoth unveiled a nearly $700 million deal with Vertex on Tuesday morning, good for the development of in vivo gene therapies for two mystery diseases. The stars of the show are Mammoth’s ultra-small CRISPR systems, including two Cas enzymes licensed from Doudna’s lab over the past couple years, Cas14 and Casɸ.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 120,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

An­gion's or­gan dam­age drug strikes out again, this time in high-risk kid­ney trans­plant pa­tients

After flopping a test in Covid-19 earlier this year, Angion’s lead organ damage drug has now hit the skids again in kidney transplant patients.

Angion and partner Vifor Pharma’s ANG-3777 failed to beat out placebo in terms of improving eGFR, a measure of kidney function, in patients who had received a deceased donor kidney transplant and were at high risk of developing what is known as delayed graft function, according to Phase III results released Tuesday.

(Photo courtesy Pfizer)

FDA's vac­cine ad­comm votes al­most unan­i­mous­ly in fa­vor of Pfiz­er's Covid-19 vac­cine for younger chil­dren

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Tuesday voted 17-0, with one panelist abstaining, that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine outweigh the risks for children between the ages of five and 12.

The vote will likely trigger a process that could allow the shots to begin rolling out as early as next week.

The vaccine, which is one-third of the adult Pfizer dose, proved to be about 90% effective in a placebo-controlled trial in which about 1,500 kids in this age range received the vaccine, and only about 12% of those receiving the vaccine had any adverse event. All serious adverse events in the trial were unrelated to the vaccine.

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna CEO (Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Mod­er­na chips in fur­ther on African vac­cine sup­ply — but ad­vo­cates are call­ing for even more

In a sign of its growing commitment to the continent, Moderna will supply up to 110 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to the African Union, the company announced Tuesday. And CEO Stéphane Bancel said it’s just the first step.

“We believe our vaccine can play an important role in addressing the needs of low-income countries given its combination of high Phase 3 efficacy against COVID-19, strong durability in the real-world evidence, and superior storage and handling conditions. We recognize that access to COVID-19 vaccines continues to be a challenge in many parts of the world and we remain committed to helping to protect as many people as possible around the globe,” Bancel said in a statement.

An image of Alzheimer's brain tissue. The red show gingipains, a protein from P. gingivalis, intermixing with neurons (yellow) and glial cells (green)

An Alzheimer's dark­horse fails its first big tri­al, but of­fers hope for a long-over­looked hy­poth­e­sis

Three years ago, Cortexyme emerged out of obscurity with some big-name backers and an unorthodox approach to treating Alzheimer’s.

They moved their drug into a pivotal study the next year, offering one of the first major tests for a hypothesis that has fluttered on the outskirts of Alzheimer’s research for decades: that, in many cases, the disease is driven by infectious agents — the havoc they wreak in the brain and the inflammation the body uses to try to fend them off. And that quashing the infection could slow patients’ cognitive decline.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 120,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

ARCH-backed SciNeu­ro kicks off search for CNS au­toan­ti­bod­ies with new deal; Mer­ck + Gilead an­nounce PhII tri­al for HIV com­bo

From the very beginning at SciNeuro, CEO Min Li has envisioned a mix of licensing deals and scientific efforts to replicate the breakout success of China’s oncology companies in neuroscience.

The GlaxoSmithKline vet has now inked a deal that somewhat straddles the line between the two strategies.

Teaming up with Mabylon out of Zurich, SciNeuro is now looking to test the hypothesis that the human immune system can play a role in fighting neurodegenerative diseases by discovering and developing human autoantibodies against neurological “targets of mutual interests.” The new partners offered TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43) and apolipoprotein E (APOE), which are linked to ALS and Alzheimer’s, as examples.