News briefing: Top FDA official exits; Sun Genomics closes $9.25M Series A
The FDA’s principal associate commissioner for policy, Lowell Schiller, has left the agency, according to a Politico report.
Schiller was hired by former commissioner Scott Gottlieb in 2017, and previously served as acting chief counsel. According to Politico, Schiller’s deputy Lauren Roth will step in as acting head of the policy office.
The news comes just weeks after FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn ousted the agency’s newly-hired chief spokesperson, Emily Miller. The One America News vet was at the FDA 11 days before losing her position. That announcement followed a week of controversy for Hahn over misleading comments about the efficacy of convalescent plasma as a Covid-19 treatment.
NYU bioethicist Art Caplan, who had been critical of the decision to authorize plasma, spoke with Endpoints last month about concerns of political meddling at the FDA.
“Well look, letting go people who got caught up in controversy shows nothing about what’s next,” Caplan said. “These are heavily tilted right-wing appointments. I expect to see more of the same. The president wants it.” — Nicole DeFeudis
Sun Genomics closes $9.25 million Series A
Sun Genomics, a custom probiotics and gut health startup, closed a Series A financing Wednesday worth $9.25 million. Funding will be used for scaling up the company’s delivery services and helping publish research studies as it prepares to enter international markets.
The round was led by Pangaea Ventures with new investments from Orion Fund, Danone Manifesto Ventures, SOSV, Human Longevity, and Nascita Ventures.
Sun Genomics was founded in 2016 with the release of its Floré product, a microbiome test and gut probiotics solution that utilizes genome sequencing to evaluate different digestive system data points. The company then uses that data to send customers a personalized product based on their gut profiles.
More recently, Sun Genomics launched Floré Defense in July, a formula product aimed at boosting immunity and respiratory health. — Max Gelman
Inhibikase announces terms for $25 million IPO
Inhibikase Therapeutics is looking to raise $25 million in an IPO to develop its pipeline of kinase inhibitors. And to do so, the Georgia-based company plans to offer 2.3 million shares at a range of $10 to $12.
The preclinical biotech has filed two INDs for its lead candidate, IkT-148009 — one of which is for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease-related gastrointestinal complications. It plans to dose the first patients with the c-Abl protein kinase inhibitor after the offer closes.
The company will list under the symbol $IKT. — Nicole DeFeudis