• Paris-based Neovacs says it signed up BioSense Global for a €65 million deal covering the development of its IFNα Kinoid vaccine to treat lupus and dermatomyositis in the Chinese market. BioSense CEO Andy Li says he will launch a Phase III in China for the drug, provided it clears an ongoing Phase IIb trial conducted by Neovacs. The cash covers an upfront and milestones, though the announcement didn’t break out the prices.
• St. Louis-based Affigen has raised a $17 million Series A round. “We founded Affigen to realize the promise of targeting cell-lineage specific tumor proteins with therapeutics that have direct, potent anti-tumor activity and unrivaled safety,” said Carlos F. Santos, PhD, CEO of Affigen. “Pioneering work conducted over the past three decades has demonstrated the profound potential of this approach, but only recently has it become feasible to develop therapeutics of this kind in a manner that is both clinically relevant and commercially viable. We look forward to working with our academic, industry and financial partners to bring this new class of therapeutics to patients with critically unmet medical needs.”
• Another biotech CEO is touting his public company’s shot at a buyout. Late last week Sage’s Jeff Jonas had to walk back comments that suggested his company was the target of M&A discussions. Now Norway’s Nordic Nanovector has followed suit, with CEO Luigo Costa telling Reuters that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma drug could be on the market in 2019 — provided it clears a late-stage study. “We talk a lot with companies, and as the data improves and the company develops, the more interest we have, that’s for sure,” Costa told Reuters, shamelessly touting a possible deal.
• Houston-based Bellicum Pharmaceuticals $BLCM has dosed the first patient with BPX-601, the “first CAR T-cell product candidate to enter clinical studies that is designed to enable control over the expansion and stimulation of the cells.”
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