Lynparza secures third EU nod; Protein degradation biotech grabs $16M launch round from Chinese VCs; Wave shares tumble on trial delay

Lynparza, the first PARP inhibitor from AstraZeneca $AZN to win US approval in 2014, has secured its third EU approval. The drug won the EMA nod for use patients with germline BRCA1/2-mutations and who have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, partner Merck $MRK said on Wednesday.

→ A new protein degradation biotech has raised a $16 million launch round from a pair of Chinese venture groups. San Diego-based Cullgen says it plans to put the money to use on its tech platform using ubiquitin-mediated, small molecule-induced protein degradation to go after cancer, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. Sequoia Capital China and Highlight Capital provided the cash. “Since our founding in early 2018 we have made significant advancement of our targeted protein degradation platform which has directly led to the identification of several pre-clinical assets that we are rapidly advancing towards the clinic,” notes Ying Luo, chairman and president of Cullgen.

→ Shares of Wave Life Sciences $WVE tumbled 15% Wednesday morning after the biotech revealed that it has to delay a top-line readout from their Phase Ib/IIa study of 2 new Huntington’s disease therapies until the end of the year. Researchers blamed the delay on slower than expected patient recruitment.

→ Pfizer $PFE has joined forces with Concerto HealthAI to collaborate on using real world data to help develop as well as use cancer therapies. Concerto gathers data from electronic health records and insurance claims to create their database. This is the second new pact for Concerto in a matter of days, following an earlier alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb $BMY.

→ The transPacific biotech EdiGENE has raised $15 million in the first tranche of its B round. The company is working with CRISPR on new gene editing programs for genetic diseases caused by malfunctioning proteins. UTokyo Innovation Platform joined a syndicate that includes SBI Investment, Fast Track Initiative, SMBC Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, CareNet Group. The company says it has developed CRISPR-GNDM (Guide Nucleotide Directed Modulation) to normalize levels of gene expression without cutting the DNA or RNA. 

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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