Kezar bags a $50M B round in wake of PhIa study; Bayer kicks back a partnered drug
→ Right on the heels of what it calls a successful Phase Ia study for its immunoproteasome inhibitor, South San Francisco-based Kezar Life Sciences has attracted a big syndicate for a $50 million B round. Cormorant Asset Management and Morningside Venture led the round, which includes new investors like Cowen Healthcare Investments, Pappas Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners and Bay City Capital. They were joined by existing investors EcoR1 Capital, Omega Funds, and Aju IB Investment. Kezar has now raised a total of $73 million since its inception in 2015.
→ Bayer has opted to kick back one of the two drugs it is partnered on with Israel’s Compugen. “(A) recently completed joint assessment by Compugen and Bayer of potential drug candidates against the CGEN-15022 target program has suggested that its potential to serve as a key immune checkpoint for the treatment of cancer immunotherapy may be limited and does not justify further investment. Therefore, it has been determined that the current collaboration will focus solely on CGEN-15001T and all rights to CGEN-15022 will be returned to Compugen.”
→ After a year of discontent, there’s been a change at the top of France’s National Research Agency as Michael Matlosz steps down.