Proteostasis shakes up medical team; Novo funds antibiotics efforts out of Curza, Spero
→ Po-Shun Lee is hitting the exit at Proteostasis Therapeutics, triggering a promotion for Geoffrey Gilmartin to fill the CMO seat. Gilmartin, whose previous title is chief medical affairs officer, will now lead a precarious clinical journey for the microcap biotech’s cystic fibrosis doublet and triplet drug combos as it takes on the market-leading Vertex. Meanwhile, Andrey Belous has been recruited from Galapagos to become a senior medical director.
→ Takeda has found another attractive “Humabody” compound to license from its British partners at Crescendo Biologics, marking the second option exercised in their 3-year-old alliance. The Japanese pharma had paid $36 million in upfront cash to access the platform, which promises to churn out optimized immuno-oncology drugs derived from a transgenic mouse model.
→ Novo Holdings has selected Curza and Spero as the latest recipients of the North American round of its REPAIR Impact Fund, its $165 million effort to bankroll early-stage efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance. The two startups each get around $5 million to develop their small-molecule antibiotics.
→ Contravir is changing its name to Hepion to reflect its expanded focus on a broad range of liver diseases. While the company had previously billed itself as a hepatitis B specialist, it’s now presenting its lead drug as a candidate for NASH.