BioSpace Global Roundup, July 9
Sofinnova Partners – Venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners, one of Europe’s largest life sciences VC groups, announced the second investment from its MD Start III Fund, a medtech accelerator. The most recent investment is in MastOR, a French company leveraging its core expertise in surgical robotics to develop enhanced laparoscopic devices to improve the precision and ergonomics of minimally-invasive surgery. MD Start III previously invested in Gradient Denervation Technologies in February. The company is developing a medical device for a transvascular treatment of pulmonary hypertension, based on prior research and intellectual property developed at Stanford University.
Landcent – Netherlands-based Landcent is seeking a €2 million investment for bringing to market the next generation of malaria prevention products and technologies. Once implemented this could prevent up to 2.1 million deaths and 658 million preventable cases of malaria, the company said. The initiative will accelerate the World Health Organization’s goal of a malaria-free world by 2040.
Gesynta – Sweden’s Gesynta raised SEK 190 million in one of the largest private biotech placements of the year in the Nordic region. The placement was led by European life science fund manager Hadean Ventures, joined by existing investor Industrifonden and private funds. The funds will be used to support the continued development of the company’s lead candidate GS-248 in systemic sclerosis patients. GS-248 provides both anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory effects and has the potential to become a new efficacious treatment for the microvascular dysfunction, which leads to both pain and ulcerations due to poor blood flow in small vessels, that systemic sclerosis patients suffer from.
Immune Regulation – London-based Immune Regulation Ltd. announced that it entered into a Teaming Agreement with DynPort Vaccine Company LLC to jointly evaluate the potential of Immune Regulation’s drug product ILR201104 to treat COVID-19 related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in U.S. clinical trials. Immune Regulation’s drug candidate IRL201104 has been shown to quickly and markedly reduce the excessive infiltration of neutrophils in the lungs in a preclinical model of acute lung inflammation. A single dose of IRL201104 has been shown to reduce neutrophil infiltration quickly and maintain this effect for at least 24 hours.
Findimmune – Oncology-focused Findimmune, based in France, announced its incorporation in France within Gustave Roussy, a leading cancer center in Europe. Findimmune and Gustave Roussy entered into licensing and partnering master agreement to develop different drugs close to Phase I, and develop the drug discovery platform on the reprogramming of macrophages, especially tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) as well as pro-inflammatory macrophages involved in inflammatory diseases. Three drug candidates, acting on immune system, will be developed in various types of solid tumors with critical unmet medical needs such as advanced forms of melanoma resistant to immune-therapy, rhabdomyosarcoma in children, and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndromes.
Horizon Discovery Group – Based in Cambridge, England, Horizon Discovery Group announced the introduction of its stably expressing Cas9 and dCas9-VPR cell lines to help accelerate gene knockout and gene activation experiments, respectively. The cell lines are optimized to work alongside Horizon’s Edit-R predesigned synthetic single-guide RNA (sgRNA) and CRISPRa guide RNA, offering researchers a complete solution to simplify and streamline CRISPR gene editing and modulation workflows. Horizon’s Cas9 and dCas9-VPR stable cell lines were generated using its Edit-R Lentiviral particles with a blasticidin resistance cassette and are provided in pooled format.
Zealand Pharma – Denmark-based Zealand Pharma A/S announced the opening of a new facility in Boston, which will be led by Frank Sanders, president of Zealand Pharma U.S. The new 5,000 square feet office, located in the Seaport at 34 Farnsworth Street, will accommodate about 40 employees who will be primarily focused on commercial and HR functions. In addition to the Seaport location, Zealand Pharma also has U.S offices in Marlborough, Mass and New York. Zealand has two proprietary molecules with four differentiated late-stage programs/drug-device products/indications; dasiglucagon to improve the treatment of metabolic diseases and glepaglutide, for gastrointestinal diseases. Dasiglucagon is a stable glucagon analog being developed in four indications, including severe hypoglycemia, for which the company filed a New Drug Application with the FDA. Dasiglucagon is also in a Phase III trial for congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI).
GenSight Biologics – Paris-based GenSight said patients treated with Lumevoq experienced sustained efficacy and safety three years after a single injection with the gene therapy. These findings come from CLIN06, the long-term follow-up study to which participants in the RESCUE and REVERSE Phase III pivotal trials were invited. The new data will reinforce GenSight Biologics’ submission of Lumevoq for marketing authorization in the European Union, which it intends to file in September 2020.
Sigrid Therapeutics – Sweden’s Sigrid Therapeutics gained a U.S. patent that covers the use of a novel silica-based biomaterial SiPore15 for the treatment and prevention of obesity. The patent provides exclusive rights to the company’s lead product in the U.S. until 2033.
Vetter Pharma – Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization Vetter Pharma, based in Germany, acquired a clinical manufacturing site in Austria to support growing global demand. The production site was purchased along with its existing inventory including a vial filling line and a freeze dryer for liquid and lyophilized products as well as material preparation and laboratory equipment.
BIA Separations – Slovenia-based BIA Separations signed distribution agreements with India’s GeneX India Biosciences and IT Technologies. Both companies will act as sole distributors of BIA Separations’ products and services across their respective regions of India, and Singapore and Malaysia. BIA Separations provides research and method development services for the purification of large and complex biomolecules including those with therapeutic applications. Through the agreements, both distributors will provide academic researchers, CMOs and biopharmaceutical companies access to BIA Separations’ proprietary CIMac analytical and CIMmultus preparative purification technologies for cell and gene therapies, including viral vectors, nucleic acids, phages, and exosomes.