Rare disease startup NFlection scores $20M in Series A haul; Gilead partner Galapagos signs pact with Oxford biotech
→ A Wayne, PA-based startup called NFlection has raised $20 million in their Series A launch round. F-Prime and venBio Partners provided the cash for the rare disease biotech, funding their first clinical trial for NFX-179 Gel in adult patients with cutaneous neurofibromatosis type-1, or NF-1. “This study allows us to determine the drug’s ability to suppress key biomarkers involved in the progression of neurofibromas and will aid in the selection of doses for a larger Phase 2b study,” said CEO Christopher Powala.
→ Having steered an idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis drug to a big-money deal with Gilead, Galapagos has enlisted e-therapeutics and its silico phenotypic screening platform to discover some new approaches to modulating a specific mechanism involved in IPF and possibly other fibrotic diseases. The Oxford biotech will be responsible for the computational activities while Belgium-based Galapagos performs the experimental testing.
→ BryoLogyx has forged a pair of agreements with Neurotrope. The company agreed to acquire Neurotrope’s preclinical data and drug product for use of bryostatin-1 in an immuno-oncology application and to supply synthetic bryostatin-1 for use in clinical trials and potential commercialization for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Neurotrope has been developing bryostatin-1 under a cooperative research and development agreement with the National Cancer Institute. They didn’t disclose financial terms.
→ California-based drug developer Rezolute has bagged the FDA’s pediatric disease designation for RZ358, its mid-stage drug for congenital hyperinsulinism. The disease, characterized by excess insulin secretion, causes repeated episodes of low blood sugar. The condition often goes unnoticed in infants, putting them at risk of complications of recurring hypoglycemic events, including developmental delays, seizures, coma and death.