Chris Garabedian. Perceptive

Per­cep­tive teams up with Chris Garabe­di­an to open up a new, $210M biotech fund fo­cused on A rounds

Per­cep­tive Ad­vi­sors is one of those pro­lif­ic biotech in­vestor groups which has tra­di­tion­al­ly en­joyed ze­ro­ing in on clin­i­cal-stage in­vest­ments and crossover rounds, a group that prefers more es­tab­lished drug de­vel­op­ment play­ers with near-term pay­off po­ten­tial.

But now they’re part­ner­ing with Xon­toge­ny chief and long­time biotech en­tre­pre­neur Chris Garabe­di­an on a $210 mil­lion fund — with mon­ey con­tributed by in­sti­tu­tion­al in­vestors and fam­i­ly funds — to go in­to the launch space with their first ear­ly-stage VC fund. Dubbed the Per­cep­tive Xon­toge­ny Ven­ture Fund, LP, or just PXV Fund, they plan to fa­vor up­starts that Garabe­di­an is fos­ter­ing in his in­cu­ba­tor. But they’ll al­so plan to reach out­side that in­ner cir­cle for more A rounds to back, with plans to dom­i­nate ini­tial fund­ing with $10 mil­lion to $20 mil­lion per new­born biotech.

And they have a new start­up to un­veil to­day in the com­ing out par­ty. It’s called Quel­lis Bio­sciences, comes out of Virid­i­an and gets $17 mil­lion in PXV mon­ey to ad­vance undis­closed an­ti­bod­ies for undis­closed tar­gets. body tech,The biotech has a li­cense to use Xen­cor’s an­ti­body tech, de­signed to ex­tend their half life to re­duce dos­ing.

Adam Stone Per­cep­tive

Click on the im­age to see the full-sized ver­sion

You can ex­pect a lot of the ear­ly mon­ey in to stay fair­ly well hid­den. As Garabe­di­an notes in an in­ter­view, they aren’t all go­ing to make it. So they’ll wait to be more forth­com­ing about some of these star­tups as they grow more as­sured of their po­ten­tial.

PXV has al­ready iden­ti­fied about half of the 8 to 10 com­pa­nies they plan to back out of fund 1. “I think this will go pret­ty quick­ly,’ says Garabe­di­an, who ex­pects the full $210 mil­lion to be com­mit­ted by late 2020 or ear­ly 2021. And once they’re done, they plan to ramp up fund 2.

Xon­toge­ny has pre­ferred a “more lean drug de­vel­op­ment ap­proach,” says Garabe­di­an, avoid­ing the big plays and cen­ter­ing on spe­cif­ic as­sets. And that suits Per­cep­tive just fine.

Per­cep­tive has large­ly stayed out of star­tups in the past be­cause “we don’t have peo­ple who have that ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Adam Stone, Per­cep­tive’s chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer. But they do have a long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with Garabe­di­an, best known for his stint at the helm of Sarep­ta, who fills that hands-on role along with his team at Xon­toge­ny.

Stick­ing with an as­set-cen­tric ap­proach gives the new fund op­tions; M&A deals and part­ner­ing have been hot now for sev­er­al years for com­pa­nies get­ting to clin­i­cal proof of con­cept. IPOs have been run­ning steady as well. And if any of those win­dows close for a while, the part­ners ex­pect to be able to push through to when things pick back up again.

The Big Phar­ma dis­card pile; Lay­offs all around while some biotechs bid farewell; New Roche CEO as­sem­bles top team; and more

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With earnings seasons in full swing, we’ve listened in on all the calls so you don’t have to. But news is popping up from all corners, so make sure you check out our other updates, too.

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Trodelvy notch­es a win in most com­mon form of breast can­cer

Following a promise last year to go “big and fast in breast cancer,” Gilead has secured a win for Trodelvy in the most common form.

The drug was approved to treat HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer patients who’ve already received endocrine-based therapy and at least two other systemic therapies for metastatic cancer, Gilead announced on Friday.

Trodelvy won its first indication in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer back in 2020, and has since added urothelial cancer to the list. HR-positive HER2-negative breast cancer accounts for roughly 70% of new breast cancer cases worldwide per year, according to senior VP of oncology clinical development Bill Grossman, and many patients develop resistance to endocrine-based therapies or worsen on chemotherapy.

Raymond Stevens, Structure Therapeutics CEO

Be­hind Fri­day's $161M IPO: A star sci­en­tist, GPCR drug dis­cov­ery and a plan to chal­lenge phar­ma in di­a­betes

What does it take to pull off a $161 million biotech IPO these days?

In Structure Therapeutics’ case, it means having a star scientist co-founder paired with the computational drug discovery company Schrödinger, $198 million in private funding from blue-chip investors, almost six years of research work on G protein-coupled receptors and a slate of oral, small-molecule drugs, with an eye on the huge and growing diabetes and weight-loss market.

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Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Francis Chung/E&E News/Politico via AP Images)

In­fla­tion re­bates in­com­ing: Wyden calls on CMS to move quick­ly as No­var­tis CEO pledges re­ver­sal

Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) this week sent a letter to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeking an update on how and when new inflation-linked rebates will take effect for drugs that see major price spikes.

The newly signed Inflation Reduction Act requires manufacturers to pay a rebate to Medicare when they increase drug prices faster than the rate of inflation.

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Af­ter 13 years, Ramy Mah­moud steps in­to CEO seat at Opti­nose; Ru­pert Vessey set to ex­it Bris­tol My­ers in Ju­ly

After 13 years as president and COO at Optinose, Ramy Mahmoud has stepped into a new role as its CEO. He is taking the place of Peter Miller, who stepped down earlier this week, though Miller is still staying with the company as a consultant.

In 2010, the two business partners joined Optinose to take it in a new direction, transforming it from a delivery platform to product company. They previously worked together at Johnson & Johnson, when Miller was president at Janssen and Mahmoud headed medical affairs. Miller said after he learned about Optinose, “I did what I always do, which is find people smarter than me to talk with about the idea. And the first person I called was Ramy … and I said, ‘Hey, Ramy, what do you think of this technology?’”

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Ma­gen­ta halts stem cell work and may sell it­self fol­low­ing pa­tient death, clin­i­cal hold

Magenta Therapeutics said it is halting work on its stem cell transplant drug pipeline and may sell itself, a week after the company reported the death of a patient in an early stage trial of its antibody-drug conjugate.

The Cambridge, MA-based company said it will conduct a “review of strategic alternatives,” and that could include an “acquisition, merger, business combination, or other transaction.”

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Te­va drops out of in­dus­try trade group PhRMA

Following in AbbVie’s footsteps, Teva confirmed on Friday that it’s dropping out of the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Teva didn’t give a reason for its decision to leave, saying only in a statement to Endpoints News that it annually reviews “effectiveness and value of engagements, consultants and memberships to ensure our investments are properly seated.”

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Sanofi CFO Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon (L) and CEO Paul Hudson (Romuald Meigneux/Sipa via AP Images)

Sanofi sees downtick in flu sales as it preps for launch of RSV an­ti­body

Sanofi expects its RSV antibody jointly developed with AstraZeneca will be available next season, executive VP of vaccines Thomas Triomphe announced on the company’s quarterly call.

Beyfortus, also known as nirsevimab, was approved in the EU back in November and is currently under FDA review with an expected decision coming in the third quarter of this year. The news comes as the FDA plans to hold advisory committee meetings over the next couple months to review RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK.

Christophe Weber, Takeda CEO (Photographer: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Take­da fo­cus­es on ‘di­verse’ pipeline prospects on heels of two ac­qui­si­tions

After a whopping $4 billion asset buy from Nimbus Therapeutics, along with a $400 million deal with Hutchmed for a colorectal cancer drug, Takeda executives touted pipeline optimism on its latest earnings call this week.

That’s because the TYK2 inhibitor for psoriasis Takeda is getting from Nimbus, along with the Hutchmed fruquintinib commercialization outside of China, are just two of what it reports are 10 late-stage development programs of promising candidates.