Peter Smith, Remix Therapeutics CEO

Fol­low­ing po­ten­tial bil­lion-dol­lar J&J deal, RNA pro­cess­ing biotech Remix re­turns with fresh fi­nanc­ing

A few months ago, Remix Ther­a­peu­tics penned a deal with John­son & John­son that could end up be­ing worth more than $1 bil­lion dol­lars down the line.

Now, Remix is back with $70 mil­lion in new fi­nanc­ing as it con­tin­ues to de­vel­op its RNA pro­cess­ing tech­nol­o­gy, the com­pa­ny an­nounced this morn­ing. The Cam­bridge, MA-based biotech hous­es a dis­cov­ery plat­form aimed at drug­ging RNA pro­cess­ing, the un­sung (dif­fi­cult) mid­dle child in a phar­ma world that has large­ly paid more heed to pro­tein tar­gets and DNA ther­a­pies un­til re­cent­ly.

Remix was born in 2019 when CEO Pe­ter Smith was an en­tre­pre­neur-in-res­i­dence at At­las. Un­like RNA-based prod­ucts, such as the Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na Covid vac­cines, which send RNA strands in­to the body, Remix’s the­o­ret­i­cal drugs would tar­get the RNA al­ready in the body as it’s be­ing re-out­fit­ted for trans­la­tion. By do­ing so, they could up- or down-reg­u­late — or even elim­i­nate — the amount of pro­tein made.

“Drug dis­cov­ery has pri­mar­i­ly cen­tered on tar­get­ing pro­teins but many ge­net­i­cal­ly val­i­dat­ed dis­ease mech­a­nisms and tar­gets re­main un­ad­dressed. Al­ter­nate ap­proach­es to build­ing new med­i­cines are need­ed, so we are thrilled to sup­port Remix’s mis­sion to cre­ate a new set of tools to not on­ly treat dis­ease in new ways, but to treat dis­eases more ef­fec­tive­ly,” Michael Rome, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Fore­site Cap­i­tal, one of Remix’s in­vestors, said in a state­ment.

While the plat­form could be used for drug dis­cov­ery across fields, Remix has pri­mar­i­ly been fo­cus­ing on “high val­ue tar­gets in on­col­o­gy and neu­ro­science right now,” Smith told End­points News.

Remix is one of the new­er play­ers in a line of Big Phar­ma-part­nered biotechs try­ing to drug RNA. In Jan­u­ary, Ar­rakis, which launched back in 2015, agreed to a “sev­er­al bil­lion dol­lars” biobuck deal with Am­gen. Since emerg­ing from stealth in 2018, Sky­hawk has amassed a laun­dry list of part­ners  — Take­da, Mer­ck (which went back for a sec­ond deal), Bio­gen, Roche, Ver­tex, and Bris­tol My­ers Squibb.

In Feb­ru­ary, Remix inked a deal with J&J for up to three can­di­dates that paid $45 mil­lion up front, but promised much more in down­stream mile­stones. While de­tails sur­round­ing the deal were sparse, Smith did note that the two were work­ing on some “re­al­ly tough tar­gets” to­geth­er.

With this most re­cent round of fi­nanc­ing, Remix al­so hopes to get in the clin­ic, Smith said.

“We’re still re­fin­ing what the clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment plans need to look like for the lead pro­grams,” he said. “I think as the year pro­gress­es, we’ll be start­ing to talk more and more pub­licly about tar­gets and ther­a­peu­tic ar­eas, and how we’re look­ing to de­vel­op these pro­grams in­to drugs for pa­tients.”

In this lat­est round of fi­nanc­ing, Remix gained one new in­vestor, Sur­vey­or, that joined its ex­ist­ing ship of Fore­site Cap­i­tal, At­las Ven­ture, and The Col­umn Group, among oth­ers.

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In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

Avance Clinical is the Australian CRO for international biotechs providing world-class clinical research services with FDA-accepted data across all phases. With Avance Clinical, biotech companies can leverage Australia’s supportive clinical trials environment which includes no IND requirement plus a 43.5% Government incentive rebate on clinical spend. The CRO has been delivering clinical drug development services for international biotechs for FDA and EMA regulatory approval for the past 24 years. The company has been recognized for the past two consecutive years with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan CRO Best Practices Award and a finalist in Informa Pharma’s Best CRO award for 2022.

Gold for adults, sil­ver for in­fants: Pfiz­er's Pre­vnar 2.0 head­ed to FDA months af­ter Mer­ck­'s green light

Pfizer was first to the finish line for the next-gen pneumococcal vaccine in adults, but Merck beat its rival with a jab for children in June.

Now, two months after Merck’s 15-valent Vaxneuvance won the FDA stamp of approval for kids, Pfizer is out with some late-stage data on its 20-valent shot for infants.

Known as Prevnar 20 for adults, Pfizer’s 20vPnC will head to the FDA by the end of this year for an approval request in infants, the Big Pharma said Friday morning. Discussions with the FDA will occur first and more late-stage pediatric trials are expected to read out soon, informing the regulatory pathway in other countries and regions.

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FDA ap­proves sec­ond in­di­ca­tion for As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi's En­her­tu in less than a week

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s antibody-drug conjugate Enhertu scored its second approval in less than a week, this time for a subset of lung cancer patients.

Enhertu received accelerated approval on Thursday to treat adults with unresectable or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have activating HER2 (ERBB2) mutations, and who have already received a prior systemic therapy.

J&J to re­move talc prod­ucts from shelves world­wide, re­plac­ing with corn­starch-based port­fo­lio

After controversially spinning out its talc liabilities and filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to settle 38,000 lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson is now changing up the formula for its baby powder products.

J&J is beginning the transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio, the pharma giant announced on Thursday — just months after a federal judge ruled in favor of its “Texas two-step” bankruptcy to settle allegations that its talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. An appeals court has since agreed to revisit that case.

CSL is gathering its four business units under a unified brand identity strategy (Credit: CSL company site)

CSL brings Se­qirus, Vi­for un­der par­ent um­brel­la brand in iden­ti­ty re­vamp

CSL is gathering its brands under the family name umbrella, renaming its vaccine and newly acquired nephrology specialty businesses with the parent initials.

CSL Seqirus and CSL Vifor join CSL Plasma and CSL Behring as the four now uniformly branded business units of the global biopharma. The Seqirus vaccine division was formed in 2015 with the combination of bioCSL and its purchase of Novartis’ flu vaccine business. CSL picked up Vifor Pharma late last year in an $11.7 billion deal for the nephrology, iron deficiency and cardio-renal drug developer.

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Tony Coles, Cerevel CEO

Cerev­el takes the pub­lic of­fer­ing route, with a twist — rais­ing big mon­ey thanks to ri­val da­ta

As public biotechs seek to climb out of the bear market, a popular strategy to raise cash has been through public offerings on the heels of positive data. But one proposed raise Wednesday appeared to take advantage not of a company’s own data, but those from a competitor.

Cerevel Therapeutics plans to raise $250 million in a public offering and another $250 million in debt, the biotech announced Wednesday afternoon, even though it did not report any news on its pipeline. However, the move comes days after rival Karuna Therapeutics touted positive Phase III data in schizophrenia, a field where Cerevel is pursuing a similar program.

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Tony Coles, Cerevel CEO

Cerev­el's Tony Coles is still count­ing his mon­ey as a ri­val's boost helps fu­el a po­ten­tial $609M wind­fall

These days in biotech, you never want to miss a chance to raise money for public companies. As much money as possible.

That survival strategy was in full view over the last 24 hours as Cerevel $CERE announced a major stock/debt raise, then upped the ante with a bigger debt load than initially planned.

The tally: $238 million – net — with a shot at boosting that to $274 million from the stock sale, provided the underwriters come back for more. And there’s $335 million from the debt, provided their first round buyers come back for an added bite. Rounding up, that’s $609 million with the add-on. Even without the add-ons, though, it’s still $530 million in the bank.

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Benjamin Oakes, Scribe Therapeutics CEO

CEO of Doud­na spin­out: With­in five years, genome ed­i­tors will have a 're­al­ly big im­pact' on pa­tients' lives

“CRISPR-by-design” is the idea behind Scribe Therapeutics, a company spun out from Jennifer Doudna’s Nobel-winning lab that’s competing in a closely-tracked field of genome editor companies just starting to make their way to the clinic.

After nabbing $100 million last March for its Series B funding round, Scribe is taking a different tack from some of its competitors, crafting a new enzyme isolated from bacteria called CasX, which has now been tweaked extensively and may be targeted to a range of genome-related diseases, offering a plethora of therapeutic options.

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No­var­tis re­ports two pa­tient deaths af­ter treat­ment with Zol­gens­ma

Two children with spinal muscular atrophy have died after receiving Novartis’ Zolgensma, a gene therapy designed as a one-time treatment for the rare fatal disease.

The deaths, which resulted from acute liver failure, occurred in Russia and Kazakhstan, Novartis confirmed in a statement to Endpoints News. Having notified health authorities across all the markets where Zolgensma is available, it will update the drug label “to specify that fatal acute liver failure has been reported,” a spokesperson wrote.

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