NeuroRx secures $95M to fund PhIII for NMDA depression drug; Trump revives science advisory council
→ After kicking off a Phase III trial testing its NMDA drug in suicidal bipolar depression, NeuroRx has secured access to around $95 million (HKD$750 million) to complete the program and fund the manufacturing activities. New York-based GEM Global Yield has committed to provide the capital — through purchasing shares — once NeuroRx gets listed on a public market. The biotech, which was founded by biopharma vet Jonathan Javitt and psychiatry researcher Daniel Javitt (the brothers are the CEO and chairman of the scientific advisory board, respectively), can draw as much or as little of the agreed amount within a 30-month term. The plan is to develop NRX-101 in both the US, where it has a breakthrough therapy designation, and China.
→ Donald Trump is finally assembling his President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, almost two years after the group last met in January 2017 just before his inauguration. There’s one biotech executive among the first seven out of 16 members named to the group: Sharon Hrynkow, SVP for Medical Affairs at Cyclo Therapeutics, who had a background in the NIH. Others on the committee include Catherine Bessant, CTO for Bank of America; Dario Gil, director of IBM Research; Fisk Johnson III, CEO of cleaning products company SC Johnson & Son; Attiganal Sreeram, senior vice president of research at Dow; Shane Wall, CTO and head of HP Labs; and UC Berkeley professor Birgitta Whaley.