Sandra Glucksmann (Cedilla)

Third Rock-backed Cedil­la reels in $57.6M for small mol­e­cule pro­grams to fight can­cer

Cedil­la Ther­a­peu­tics launched just over two years ago with a $56 mil­lion Se­ries A and a plan to chart new ter­ri­to­ry in the pro­tein degra­da­tion space. Now, CEO San­dra Glucks­mann is fol­low­ing up with a $57.6 mil­lion Se­ries B round to steer the Cam­bridge, MA-based biotech in a slight­ly dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion.

The com­pa­ny is cur­rent­ly fo­cused on find­ing new small mol­e­cule bind­ing sites — which may af­fect pro­tein degra­da­tion, in­hi­bi­tion or both — to drug the un­drug­gable.

“The sci­ence takes you to places, and we broad­ened that um­brel­la,” Glucks­mann told End­points News, adding lat­er: “You’ve got to go where the sci­ence goes, right?”

The Se­ries B — led by Cas­din Cap­i­tal and Box­er Cap­i­tal of Tavi­s­tock Group — will fund ear­ly de­vel­op­ment of the biotech’s small mol­e­cule pro­grams, in­clud­ing pre­clin­i­cal work on its first two prod­uct can­di­dates, which Cedil­la is keep­ing un­der wraps for now. Glucks­mann said the com­pa­ny has about 5 or 6 on­col­o­gy pro­grams run­ning in par­al­lel, which are still years away from the clin­ic.

“One of our tar­gets is some­thing that peo­ple have been try­ing to drug for over 20 years,” she hint­ed.

Back in 2018, Cedil­la was aim­ing to up­stream a com­mon ap­proach to pro­tein degra­da­tion by us­ing small mol­e­cule drugs to desta­bi­lize dis­ease-caus­ing pro­teins. The pro­tein degra­da­tion field has seen plen­ty of cash flow this year, with new­com­er Jan­pix rak­ing in a $19 mil­lion launch round ear­li­er this month, days af­ter C4, one of the pi­o­neers, land­ed its IPO.

Cedil­la’s fo­cus to­day is still on small mol­e­cules, but for in­hi­bi­tion. “By un­der­stand­ing the nov­el tar­get bi­ol­o­gy, how the pro­teins are mod­i­fied, how they take on dif­fer­ent states, we are able to re­veal new small mol­e­cule bind­ing pock­ets, or bind­ing sites,” Glucks­mann said. “The bind­ing of that small mol­e­cule may af­fect degra­da­tion and/or in­hi­bi­tion,” she added lat­er.

In ad­di­tion to the Se­ries B, Cedil­la is bring­ing Cas­din CIO and founder Eli Cas­din and Box­er se­nior VP Do­minik Naczyn­s­ki on­to its board of di­rec­tors. Since launch­ing in 2018, the biotech has grown from a hand­ful of em­ploy­ees to 35 staffers.

“It takes a vil­lage to de­vel­op drugs,” Glucks­mann said. “And it’s great to have so­phis­ti­cat­ed and ex­pe­ri­enced in­vestors to be part of the team.”

Glucks­mann was re­cruit­ed by Third Rock as an en­tre­pre­neur-in-res­i­dence in 2017, with the in­ten­tion that she would launch Cedil­la. The team took six months to nail down a busi­ness and re­search plan, then un­veiled the com­pa­ny in 2018.

“For me what was ex­cit­ing was to take well-val­i­dat­ed on­col­o­gy tar­gets — where we un­der­stand the bi­ol­o­gy [and] we un­der­stand the role that they play in hu­man dis­ease — and then a tool, which is small mol­e­cules that we know how to de­vel­op, and com­bin­ing those two … to do some­thing nov­el with a team that is ex­pe­ri­enced,” she said.

Third Rock chipped in again to the Se­ries B, as well as new in­vestors Eli Lil­ly and Schroder Ad­veq.

Has the mo­ment fi­nal­ly ar­rived for val­ue-based health­care?

RBC Capital Markets’ Healthcare Technology Analyst, Sean Dodge, spotlights a new breed of tech-enabled providers who are rapidly transforming the way clinicians deliver healthcare, and explores the key question: can this accelerating revolution overturn the US healthcare system?

Key points

Tech-enabled healthcare providers are poised to help the US transition to value, not volume, as the basis for reward.
The move to value-based care has policy momentum, but is risky and complex for clinicians.
Outsourced tech specialists are emerging to provide the required expertise, while healthcare and tech are also converging through M&A.
Value-based care remains in its early stages, but the transition is accelerating and represents a huge addressable market.

Andy Plump, Takeda R&D chief (Jeff Rumans for Endpoints News)

What kind of PhI­Ib da­ta is worth $4B cash? Take­da’s Andy Plump has some thoughts on that

A few months back, when Takeda caused jaws to drop with its eye-watering $4 billion cash upfront for a mid-stage TYK2 drug from Nimbus, it had already taken a deep dive on the solid Phase IIb data Nimbus had assembled from its dose-ranging study in psoriasis.

Now, it’s rolling that data out, eager to demonstrate what inspired the global biopharma to go long in a neighboring, but new, disease arena for the pipeline. And the most avid students of the numbers will likely be at Bristol Myers Squibb, who will have a multi-year head start on pioneering the TYK2 space with Sotyktu (deucravacitinib) as Takeda makes its lunge for best-in-class status.

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No­vo Nordisk re­mains un­der UK scruti­ny as MHRA con­ducts its own re­view in 'in­cred­i­bly rare' case

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is now reviewing Novo Nordisk’s marketing violation that resulted in its loss of UK trade group membership last week. Novo Nordisk was suspended on Thursday from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) for two years after an investigation by its regulatory arm found the pharma broke its conduct rules.

MHRA said on Tuesday that its review of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) investigation is standard practice. An MHRA spokesperson emphasized in an email to Endpoints News that the situation with Novo Nordisk is “incredibly rare” while also noting ABPI took “swift and proportionate action.”

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FDA in­di­cates will­ing­ness to ap­prove Bio­gen ALS drug de­spite failed PhI­II study

Ahead of Wednesday’s advisory committee hearing to discuss Biogen’s ALS drug tofersen, the FDA appeared open to approving the drug, newly released briefing documents show.

Citing the need for flexibility in a devastating disease like ALS, regulators signaled a willingness to consider greenlighting tofersen based on its effect on a certain protein associated with ALS despite a failed pivotal trial. The documents come after regulatory flexibility was part of the same rationale the agency expressed when approving an ALS drug last September from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, indicating the FDA’s openness to approving new treatments for the disease.

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FDA warns Proc­ter & Gam­ble over NyQuil la­bel's in­gre­di­ent list­ings

The FDA on Tuesday released a warning letter sent earlier this month to the Mason, OH-based site of Procter & Gamble Manufactura, raising questions about the list of ingredients on the label and in the electronic filing.

The warning says that for P&G’s over-the-counter Vicks Nyquil Severe Hot Remedy Cold and Flu Plus Congestion, there’s a “mismatched” list of active ingredients between the labeling and the electronic listing file. The listing file for the active ingredients did not match the active ingredients in the electronic file.

FTC says patent bat­tle over Parkin­son's drug could have 'sig­nif­i­cant im­pli­ca­tion­s' for pa­tients

The Federal Trade Commission has gotten involved in a patent feud over Supernus’ Parkinson’s drug Apokyn, a case the agency said may have ‘‘significant implications” for patients who rely on the drug.

Sage Chemical won the first generic approval for its Apokyn formulation (also known as apomorphine hydrochloride injection) back in 2022. The non-ergoline dopamine agonist is approved to treat Parkinson’s symptoms during “off episodes,” such as difficulty moving, tremors and intense cramping. However, regulators specified that the approval pertained to the generic drug cartridges only, not the injector pen required for administration.

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: What could a US Tik­Tok ban mean for phar­ma? Pfiz­er, Lil­ly lead phar­ma March Mad­ness ad­ver­tis­ers

Just as pharma marketers finally make moves into TikTok, the threat of a US ban on the social media channel is now looming. Already banned on federal employee phones by an initial Congressional act, more bills and maybe bans are on the way. With rare bipartisan agreement, lawmakers have introduced legislation that would give the US president the power to ban TikTok (although not mentioned by name) and other foreign-owned technology platforms that represent a security threat to the US.

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Chat­G­PT with phar­ma da­ta de­buts for med­ical meet­ings, be­gin­ning with AACR

What do you get when you combine ChatGPT generative AI technology with specific pharma and clinical datasets? A time-saving tool that can answer questions about medical conference abstracts and clinical findings in seconds in one new application from ZoomRx called FermaGPT.

ZoomRx is debuting a public version of its generative AI product specifically for medical conferences beginning this week for the upcoming American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting that runs April 14-19.

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Vipin Garg, Altimmune CEO

Al­tim­mune’s shares halved af­ter in­ter­im look at PhII weight loss drug da­ta

Altimmune’s attempt to catch up to Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly’s GLP-1 drugs hit an investor snag Tuesday after the biotech shared interim Phase II weight loss data.

The Maryland biotech’s pemvidutide is a GLP-1/glucagon dual receptor agonist meant to activate GLP-1 receptors to squash appetite and glucagon to ramp up energy use. The 2.4 mg dose showed a placebo-adjusted weight loss of 9.7% at week 24 of 48, which Jefferies analysts said would be comparable to Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide (Wegovy) and Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide (Mounjaro).

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