What’s up at Immunocore?; Pfizer nabs a key ‘breakthrough’; Adaptimmune raises $100M

→ What’s up at Immunocore? Vantage is reporting that Immunocore’s chief strategy officer Kevin Pojasek is out, marking the latest in a long line of C-suite departure for the company. CEO Eliot Forster was first to depart, even though he was engaged in trying to raise another massive round for the company. Then there was a long string of exits, which have all been put down to personal reasons.

Adaptimmune $ADAP, a sister company of sorts to Immunocore, says it just raised $100 million. The TCR biotech expert, allied with GSK, sold shares to Matrix Capital Management Company, New Enterprise Associates and Syncona Portfolio Limited.

Loxo wasn’t the only company to get a breakthrough drug designation from the FDA today. Pfizer says it landed BTD status for PF-06651600, their JAK 3 for alopecia areata. The breakthrough designation should give them easy access to regulators as they look for an early OK, provided their Phase II data hold up.

→ Cambridge, MA-based Checkmate Pharmaceuticals has done a deal with Pfizer and Merck KGaA to run a combination study using  their TLR9 agonist CMP‐001 with avelumab against advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck that’s proved resistant to checkpoint inhibitors.

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