Ocular cuts staff in wake of FDA slapdown; Biogen recruits Pfizer vet; X4 inks discovery deal with Yale
→ Just days after its bid to salvage its second application for the drug/device eye therapy Dextenza failed with another slapdown by regulators, the Ocular Therapeutics $OCUL is cutting staff and shaking up the C suite. The biotech said that Antony Mattessich has assumed the role of CEO while former CEO Amar Sawhney has transitioned to executive chairman. The biotech also reduced its head count by 19%.
→ Earlier this week Biogen announced that the company had hired Pfizer veteran Anabella Villalobos as its new senior vice president, Biotherapeutic & Medicinal Sciences. Villalobos last job was as VP and chief of medicinal synthesis technologies at the pharma giant.
→ Cambridge, MA-based X4 Pharmaceuticals has inked a discovery deal with Yale to study a genetic model of WHIM syndrome, a rare genetic immunodeficiency disease which currently has no approved treatments.
→ Cambridge, MA-based Agilis Biotherapeutics and Japan’s Gene Therapy Research Institution have begun a joint venture — based in Japan — focused on developing and manufacturing AAV gene therapy vectors using Sf9 baculovirus and HEK293 mammalian cell systems, with plans to operate a process development and production facility.