Fattaey out, Dentzer up at Curis; Belgian investors back Spanish orphan drug biotech; Verastem scores China deal
→ Spain’s Minoryx Therapeutics has raised €21.3 million ($24.9 million) to explore new uses of its lead drug, thanks to strong backing from a group of Belgian players that led the round, namely Fund+, SFPI, S.R.I.W. and Sambrinvest. The biotech believes that MIN-102 — currently in Phase II/III for adrenomyeloneuropathy — may also work in other neurodegenerative diseases as well as neuroinflammatory conditions like cerebral ALD. During its Series A, the company attracted a long list of investors, including Roche’s venture fund, which all participated in the current Series B.
→ Ali Fattaey is out as CEO of Curis. The Lexington, MA-based biotech says Fattaey is leaving the company, which is about all it has to say about that. The ex-CEO was credited with hiring his replacement, COO James Dentzer, now president and CEO. “Looking forward, we believe (Dentzer) is best positioned to lead Curis as we seek to progress our three high-value programs quickly and successfully through the clinic,” says chairman Martyn Greenacre.
→ Fresh from winning an FDA OK for duvelisib, Verastem $VSTM has now pocketed a $15 million upfront for a China licensing deal. Hong Kong-based CSPC Pharmaceutical Group did the deal, reserving $30 million for milestones.