Pfizer chips in on $26M raise for rheumatoid arthritis collaborator; Hansoh licenses an anti-fungal for a mysterious infection
Two weeks after Pfizer jumped into an R&D partnership with Imcyse, the Belgian biotech reports that the pharma giant has helped contribute to a new, $26 million add-on raise to their B round.
Imcyse reports Wednesday morning that the added cash will go to help fund its work on a pipeline of immunotherapies. Biogenosis, Epimede, LSP, Noshaq, Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie (SRIW), Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement (SFPI) and KU Leuven all participated.
Pfizer signed up for a collaboration in early February covering rheumatoid arthritis, a move that led it to take an unspecified equity stake in the company.
“Our aim is to be a major player in active specific immunotherapy,” says CEO Denis Bedoret in a prepared statement. “In this pursuit, we have taken our lead Imotope candidate into Phase II for type 1 diabetes and have four other programs running in multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders, celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis.” — John Carroll
Hansoh licenses an anti-fungal for a mysterious infection
Chinese pharma powerhouse Hansoh has a new partner, teaming with the New Jersey biotech Scynexis to develop a drug that has recently gained attention for its potential to treat drug resistant and difficult-to-treat infections, including a particular form of fungus.
Hansoh will pay Scynexis $10 million upfront, $112 million in potential milestones and double-digit royalties to license ibrexafungerp, a broad-spectrum antifungal, for China and neighboring regions. It would not be a major deal for most biotechs, but it represents a significant investment for companies in the infectious disease space, who have historically struggled. (Unless you focus on viruses; virus companies are doing just fine right now.)
Scynexis developed ibrexafungerp most prominently for vaginal infections, but it gained worldwide attention in 2019 for its potential to treat Candida Auris, a deadly fungus that mysteriously cropped out in a handful of patients in disparate locations across the globe. Some scientists now suspect climate change is the culprit. — Jason Mast
Lilly presents full tirzepatide PhIII data
Eli Lilly revealed full data from its tirzepatide Type 2 diabetes study, data it hopes can prove to be winners in front of the FDA.
The program significantly reduced A1C and body weight from baseline in adults with type 2 diabetes, Lilly announced Thursday morning. In the topline results of two Phase III trials, tirzepatide met all primary and secondary endpoints.
One of the trials compared the candidate to titrated insulin degludec over 52 weeks, while the other pitted it against placebo on top of titrated insulin glargine through 40 weeks.
In the first trial, the highest dose of tirzepatide (15 mg) reduced A1C by 2.37% and body weight by 12.9 kg (13.9%), while it reduced A1C by 2.59% and body weight by 10.9 kg (11.6%) in the second. The placebo trial also saw 62.4% of participants achieve an A1C of less than 5.7%, the level seen in people without diabetes.
The compound itself is a once-weekly dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1 receptor agonist. — Max Gelman