Pfizer takes its option in AnTolRx deal; Secura Bio scores access to $145M for cancer drug launches
→ Two-and-a-half years after Pfizer stepped up to seed the biotech startup AnTolRx, the pharma giant has stepped in to take their option on an immune tolerance therapy for Type 1 diabetes. Based on the lab work of Francisco Quintana, a professor of neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston — who’s specialized in antigen-specific tolerance — AnTolRx has been working on a pipeline of immune tolerance therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory ailments. The biotech is picking up an unspecified upfront payment in the deal.
→ As a group of industry vets gather at Secura Bio to commercialize cancer therapies around the world, Athyrium Capital Management has jumped in to provide the funds they need to identify and bag new assets. The executive team — comprising Joseph Limber, Mark Spring, Brett Lund, William Davis and Juan Estruch — chipped in for the $55 million in equity financing, and in addition to that Athyrium is also committing to $90 million in the form of debt, $50 million of which is payable immediately. Headquartered in Henderson, Nevada with a San Diego office, Secura Bio’s first product will be Novartis’ Farydak.
→ Long struggling to get the FDA on its side regarding an overdue BLA, little Ampio Pharma $AMPE now says it has reached a key agreement with regulators, marking another step in starting a confirmatory trial. It has to do with the forms of concurrent control to be used in the osteoarthritis of the knee trial — a major factor in the FDA’s decision to slap down its application for Ampion last August in the first place. “The company will quickly determine which control to include in our trial design and then update and resubmit our SPA,” CEO Michael Macaluso said. “We will be ready to begin the confirmatory clinical trial as soon as the SPA is awarded.”
→ A restructured Intarcia is going ahead and licensing the autoimmune drug Switzerland’s Numab has discovered for them under a research and option agreement. A tri-specific antibody fragment, ND016 simultaneously targets interleukin-17A, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and serum albumin, with potential in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Per the deal, Boston-based Intarcia will pay up to $69 million in license fees as it continues to develop the drug.