Seagen and Zai Lab ink partnership on Tivdak expansion into China and surrounding areas; NC biotech snaps up seed funding
Zai Lab has signed on to commercialize Seagen and Genmab’s Tivdak — an ADC for recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer in patients in which chemotherapy isn’t working — in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Seagen will get $30 million upfront, along with downstream milestone payments and tiered royalties. But the company will be splitting all earnings from the Zai Lab agreement 50:50 with Genmab.
Tivdak got accelerated approval in the US last year.
In a statement, Lingying Wu, the director of gynecologic oncology at China’s National Cancer Center said:
Following progression on first-line standard of care therapy, there are limited treatment options, and chemotherapy has low objective response rates with poor outcomes. This represents one of the biggest challenges faced by gynecologic oncologists with significant unmet needs for new therapies. We believe Tivdak could become an important treatment option for patients with cervical cancer in China, as it demonstrated clinically meaningful, durable responses with a tolerable safety profile.
— Lei Lei Wu
Tavros Therapeutics raises a second seed round with $7.5 million going into its coffers
Durham, NC-based biotech Tavros Therapeutics is looking to march ahead with six figures in its pocket.
The Duke University spinout has raised a Seed II round that was “oversubscribed” to the tune of $7.5 million. The cash will be going toward drug discovery and finding targets in the oncology space.
“This financing strengthens Tavros’ financial foundation as we continue expanding the utility of our platform and grow our team,” said Tavros CEO Eoin McDonnell in a statement.
The company got off the ground in 2020 with $3 million in seed financing, along with a strategic collaboration with Zentalis Pharmaceuticals for the discovery of small molecule drug candidates.
The current raise was co-led by Piedmont Capital Investments and KdT Ventures, with participation from Alexandria Venture Investments. — Tyler Patchen
X4 Pharmaceuticals reveals Phase Ib data, now pushing to expand study
Three months after slashing one-fifth of its staff after securing $55 million in a PIPE financing, X4 Pharmaceuticals revealed some Phase Ib data. The biotech has been working on developing lead candidate mavorixafor in a variety of indications, such as WHIM syndrome (warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections and myelokathexis) and per the Phase Ib data, in different types of chronic neutropenia.
The Phase Ib trial evaluated the drug’s ability to work as a monotherapy to increase the number of absolute neutrophils in people with one of three types of chronic neutropenia: idiopathic, cyclic or congenital. The study also looked at mavorixafor as a concurrent therapy with injectable granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, also known as G-CSF.
The data showed that all 14 neutropenic patients enrolled in the study reached normalized ANC (absolute neutrophil count), described as at least 1,500 cells/microliter. When the drug was given to six patients with severe chronic neutropenia as a monotherapy, a single dose of mavorixafor led to normalized ANC levels in all participants within two hours, with a mean ANC increase at peak of ~2,500 cells/microliter.
X4 CMO Diego Cadavid praised the results, adding that the trial is being amended and expanded to a larger patient population — hoping to start getting additional data in the first half of next year. — Paul Schloesser