Venn and University of Utah partner on immuno-oncology molecule; Biogen losing another exec

→  Venn Therapeutics plans to advance a small molecule designed by Haitao (Mark) Ji at the University of Utah. The molecule is a β-catenin/BCL9 inhibitor that they believe will make tumors more susceptible to the body’s immune response. β-catenin signaling is understood to be responsible for cancel cells evading anti-tumor immunity. Since developing the molecule, Ji has moved to the University of South Florida‘s Tampa Bay Technology Incubator.

→  Biogen is losing another executive, reports the Boston Business Journal. After five years as president of human resources, Kenneth DiPietro will leave that role tomorrow. His is the latest in a growing list of departures from the company. Over the past two months, Biogen has purchased drugs for Alzheimer’s and stroke, while under pressure to grow its pipeline.

→  Aerie predicts gross proceeds of $125 million after increasing their initial underwritten public offering by $25 million. Aerie says it will use the funds to expand activities across the board, including preclinical, clinical, and manufacturing initiatives within and beyond North America. The offering follows on the heels of a late-stage success, which boosted its share price and set the stage for the raise.

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