Mitoconix lands $20M to develop neurodegenerative platform out of Stanford; RaNA gets a new name following mRNA deal with Shire

→ Mitoconix has a neurodegeneration platform tech from Stanford and a base in Israel from which it plans to push its lead therapy into clinical testing with the help of a $20 million A round. The science comes from the lab of Stanford’s Daria Mochly-Rosen, who has been studying the effect of excessive fission on mitochondria. Their lead drug is the preclinical MTC-1203, an inhibitor for fission that’s been put through animal tests for Huntington’s disease. The fledgling biotech also believes it can work in a variety of other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Remiges Ventures led the round with help from OrbiMed, Dementia Discovery Fund, Arix Bioscience, RMGP Bio-Pharma investment Fund and others.

Ron Renaud, RaNA CEO

→ Cambridge, MA-based RaNA Therapeutics is getting a makeover. The biotech has changed its name to Translate Bio following its acquisition of a messenger RNA platform from Shire. In addition, Michael Heartlein has been named chief technical officer and Brian Fenton has been brought in as chief business officer. “Translate Bio is the combination of two passionate teams of scientists coming together under one shared mission: to translate RNA science into revolutionary medicines,” said CEO Ron Renaud.

→ The Dutch VC BioGeneration Ventures Fund has raised €66 million for its third outing. Focusing on therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics in Europe, particularly in Benelux and Germany, the VC says it has already made 4 investments out of the fund and plans a total of 15 through its life. Edward van Wezel, Managing Partner said: “Our third fund makes BGV amongst the largest life sciences funds dedicated to seed investments in Europe.”

→ Avenue Therapeutics has successfully made the leap into the public markets $ATXI. The biotech — developing an IV version of tramadol, sold 5.5 million shares at $6, the middle of the range.

→ Switzerland’s Selexis has struck a deal to work with Takeda on recombinant fusion proteins.

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Skyhawk Therapeutics Waltham, MA
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