BioSpace Global Roundup, May 23

Map of the world made out of pills

Rinri Therapeutics – U.K.-based Rinri Therapeutics secured £1.4 million ($1.77 million) in seed funding to support its ongoing growth. Rinri is developing a novel cell-based therapy to restore hearing. The funding round was co-led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and UCB Ventures and joined by BioCity. Rinri, which spun out of Sheffield University, seeks to reverse neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss through the repair of the damaged cytoarchitecture in the inner ear. In parallel with the financing, Rinri appointed Simon Chandler as chief executive officer. Chandler spent the past four years at IP Group, where he was responsible for early-stage investments and company-building for UK university life science spinouts.

Mogrify Ltd. – Cell therapy company Mogrify moved to the Cambridge Science Park in the U.K. Mogrify is located at TusPark’s Cambridge Bio-Innovation Centre featuring facilities for biotech research and health-tech innovation. The Bio-Innovation Centre is the first of its kind to be built at the Cambridge Science Park and is fitted with laboratories for multiple occupiers in the life sciences sector. Mogrify is its anchor tenant and occupies 12,000 square feet of laboratory and office space.

TTP Plc -- Another Cambridge, U.K.-based company, TTP plc., partnered with diagnostic company Quotient Ltd.to develop and implement a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for Quotient’s proprietary MosaiQ system. MosaiQ, is a consolidated testing platform that allows for multiple tests across different modalities. The instrument is designed to be a game-changing solution, which Quotient believes will increase efficiencies, improve clinical practice, deliver significant workflow improvements and operational cost savings to laboratories around the world. TTP has been an integral development partner for MosaiQ, providing extensive technology, science and engineering input.

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Owlstone Medical– Owlstone Medical partnered with Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to discover and validate a breath-based test to help facilitate the early diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension and its subtypes. This development program will be solely funded by Actelion. The collaboration will initially involve collecting breath exhaled Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from over 1,000 patients using Owlstone Medical’s proprietary sampling device, ReCIVA. These VOCs will be analyzed by Cambridge-based Owlstone Medical to identify those that are associated with PH, in order to develop biomarker signature(s) that can help facilitate earlier detection of the disease.

Respivant Sciences – Switzerland-based Respivant Sciences, a division of Roivant Sciences, dosed the first patients in its Phase IIb SCENIC trial, which is studying RVT-1601 for the treatment of persistent cough in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. RVT-1601 is a proprietary inhalation formulation of a mast cell stabilizer with pleiotropic immune modulating activity delivered directly to the lungs via a proprietary electronic nebulizer device. IPF is a progressive lung disease with no known cure and a median time to death or transplant of 3 to 5 years. Approximately 130,000 adults in the United States and as many as five million adults worldwide are believed to have IPF. An estimated 75 percent of people with IPF experience a persistent, hard-to-treat, dry chronic cough. Respivant also announced the launch of a new website – IPFCough.com – designed to be a resource for IPF patients and their caregivers, as well as to increase awareness of the impact of cough on IPF patients.

Sigrid Therapeutics AB – Sweden-based Sigrid announced its first in class medical device, SiPore15 has been selected for oral presentation in the Advanced Technologies Track at the 28th European Diabetics Congress, July 17-18 in Scotland. SiPore15 is designed to treat the growing number of pre-diabetics and newly diagnosed diabetics by significantly reducing blood sugar, blood lipids and body fat composition. The presentation, titled “Entrapping Digestive Enzymes with Engineered Silica Particles Reduces Metabolic Risk Factors”, the will highlight SiPore15’s mode of action along with the growing body of clinical evidence from the ongoing trials program.

Sofinnova Partners – Paris-based venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners launched its new fund, MD Start III with which closed above its original target of €40 million ($44.62 million). The fund is focused on supporting medtech companies. With the new fund, Sofinnova continued to reinforce its coverage across the life sciences sector. MD Start has a unique business model. It sources medtech innovations at their origin, when they are still concepts, and works with clinicians to develop their inventions into companies. MD Start III was supported by a number of investors, including Bpifrance, Medtronic, LivaNova and several new investors including the European Investment Fund and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

MaaT Pharma -- The Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI), the French Patent Office, issues three new patents to France-based MaaT Pharma. The patents cover MaaT’s sample collection device and the overall processes associated with obtaining, processing, storing and administering human gut samples. Also, the patents cover an innovative process to freeze-dry samples preserving the viability and taxonomic profile of the microbiome and enabling the development of an oral formulation.

Valneva SE – France-based Valneva announced further positive Phase I results for its chikungunya vaccine candidate, VLA1553. The objectives of VLA1553-101 Phase I study were to assess the overall safety and immunogenicity profile after a single vaccination across three dose levels. The Part B analysis of the ongoing study includes the overall safety and immunogenicity results up to Month 7, unblinded on a group level and including first results from the “intrinsic human viral challenge.” The company said the results showed an excellent immunogenicity profile in all vaccinated dose groups after a single vaccination.

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