Pe­ter Thiel jumps aboard Al­loy's lat­est $75M round, adding some heft to the an­ti­body dis­cov­ery out­fit's nascent plat­form

Errik An­der­son

In the world of ven­ture cap­i­tal, names mat­ter — and few names are big­ger than Sil­i­con Val­ley pow­er play­er Pe­ter Thiel. Af­ter mak­ing a sprin­kling of plays over the past cou­ple years, Thiel is now putting his weighty name be­hind an­ti­body play­er Al­loy Ther­a­peu­tics as part of a new fundrais­ing round.

Boston-based Al­loy, which was found­ed in 2017, closed a $75 mil­lion Se­ries C on Mon­day, head­lined by Thiel’s in­vest­ment. The biotech is build­ing a hu­man an­ti­body dis­cov­ery plat­form, dubbed ATX-Gx, that us­es high­ly im­muno­com­pe­tent trans­genic mice strains.

Pro­ceeds from the round will al­low Al­loy to ex­pand the scope of its plat­form as well as ex­pand its ca­pac­i­ty to take on more cus­tomers, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease. Cur­rent­ly, there are more than 70 com­pa­nies us­ing ATX-Gx in labs, Al­loy said.

“At Al­loy we are build­ing an ecosys­tem of col­lab­o­ra­tion across the bio­phar­ma com­mu­ni­ty to re­duce the bar­ri­ers of trans­la­tion and make bet­ter med­i­cines to­geth­er,” CEO Errik An­der­son said in a state­ment.

Fabi­an Hansen

Hav­ing Thiel on board will in­evitably help raise the com­pa­ny’s pro­file.

In 2017, Thiel made head­lines when he in­vest­ed more than $5 mil­lion in Pep­ti­log­ics, an an­tibi­ot­ic com­pa­ny fo­cused on al­ter­ing drug dis­cov­ery for un­met needs. Just a few months ago, Thiel al­so bet on Ab­Cellera, which at the time was a lit­tle known biotech. He con­tributed fund­ing and joined the com­pa­ny’s board as a non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor as it worked to de­vel­op what would ul­ti­mate­ly be­come the first an­ti­body treat­ment au­tho­rized for Covid-19 along­side part­ner Eli Lil­ly. They won $1.8 bil­lion in gov­ern­ment con­tracts to dis­trib­ute the drug in the US. That move came short­ly af­ter Thiel spoke out against the US fed­er­al gov­ern­ment’s han­dling of the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic.

Alaa Ha­lawa

8VC, Pre­sight Cap­i­tal and Thiel led the fund­ing round, and Mubadala Cap­i­tal, Founders Fund and Gain­gels par­tic­i­pat­ed as well. As a part of the fi­nanc­ing, Fabi­an Hansen, founder of Pre­sight, will join the board of di­rec­tors and Alaa Ha­lawa will come on as a board ob­serv­er.

“We have deep roots in com­pa­ny build­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly in health­care,” Ha­lawa said in a state­ment. “Al­loy’s am­bi­tious long-term vi­sion is a nat­ur­al fit for our part­ner­ship.”

In De­cem­ber 2020, Al­loy teamed up with Maze Ther­a­peu­tics to cre­ate the spin­off com­pa­ny Broad­wing Bio. Broad­wing is fo­cused on oph­thal­mol­o­gy can­di­dates, an area that has been lack­ing in in­no­va­tion re­cent­ly.

So­cial im­age: Pe­ter Thiel (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Get­ty Im­ages)

Jean-Paul Clozel, Idorsia CEO (Patrick Straub/Keystone via AP Images)

Idor­si­a's brain bleed drug flunks PhI­II tri­al, a decade af­ter pre­vi­ous flop

Idorsia’s long journey with clazosentan came to an abrupt “unexpected result” Monday morning with a Phase III flop.

The Swiss biopharma said the drug did not meet the main goal of the late-stage REACT study, conducted in the US, Canada and Europe since early 2019.

The 409-patient trial tested the intravenous drug’s ability to prevent complications due to delayed cerebral ischemia following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), in which blood vessels in the brain narrow and blood accumulates around the brain’s surface, which then dials up the pressure on the brain.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Kenji Yasukawa, Astellas CEO (Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Astel­las taps chief strat­e­gy of­fi­cer as next CEO to 'go on the ag­gres­sive'

Five years into its big R&D revamp, Astellas says it’s time for a changing of the guard.

Kenji Yasukawa, who took over as president and CEO in 2018, will step down to become chairman of the board in April, making room for Naoki Okamura to take over. Okamura joined the company in 1986 and has served in a variety of finance, business and strategy roles, including most recently as chief strategy officer.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Clin­i­cal tri­al di­ver­si­ty da­ta show mis­match be­tween en­roll­ment and dis­ease preva­lence, GSK says

A lack of diversity in clinical trials has persisted despite decades of initiatives to try to turn the tide.

In a recent review of 17 years of clinical trials, drugmaker GSK found that there were some mismatches between the demographics of its US-based trials and how prevalent diseases were in those populations.

The results, the company says, will help GSK and others design studies that better represent epidemiological rates within races and ethnicities.

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

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

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.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

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.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

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.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

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.

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?’”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

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.”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.