Natalie Sacks lands at Harpoon after jumping ship at Aduro; European biotech financings surge

Natalie Sacks

→ We now know where Natalie Sacks was headed after jumping ship at Aduro $ADRO.

The chief medical officer changed hats but kept the same job, joining South San Francisco-based Harpoon Therapeutics, which has been working on T cell engaging therapies.

Sacks left Aduro exactly two years after joining the biotech. And she left just days ahead of a revamp at Aduro that followed J&J’s decision to abandon its long running pair of partnerships at the company, valued at up to $1.2 billion. 

Sacks had been in charge of clinical development at Onyx earlier, playing a role in the Kyprolis program. 

→ The US and China aren’t the only regions seeing a surge in biotech financings this year. European biotechs are also enjoying a bumper crop of cash this year, with VCs, IPOs and follow-ons fueling the industry with $6.35 billion in the first 9 months of the year.

BioWorld keeps track of the stats for the continent, citing $2 billion in new venture funding, $817 million from IPOs — which are generally exclusively bound for Nasdaq these days — and $3.46 billion in follow-ons. According to BioWorld, the tally so far for this year already comes close to $6.85 billion they recorded in all of last year. The final number should break $8 billion.

Orchard Therapeutics says that it has won the EMA’s PRIME designation for OTL-300, a lentiviral gene therapy for transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. Orchard recently bagged GSK’s gene therapy portfolio, which the pharma giant punted as it restructures R&D. In their statement Orchard notes that they’ve garnered encouraging data on the therapy. “Of the seven patients with at least 12 months of follow-up as of April 2018, significant reductions in transfusion frequency and volume requirements were observed in five patients. Additionally, three of the four pediatric patients were transfusion-free since approximately one month post-treatment, and reductions in transfusion volume requirements were observed in two out of three adult patients, with one patient transfusion-free over a period of nine months.”


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Head of Business Development
Wren Therapeutics Boston, MA
Life Sciences Venture Professional
Northpond Ventures Washington, DC
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Schrödinger New York, NY

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