Global Roundup: England's Calyx Establishes US Toehold in North Carolina
England-based Calyx, a clinical and regulatory solutions and services provider, is establishing a toehold in the United States. The company is opening a U.S. headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Calyx, which partners with companies on clinical projects, selected the North Carolina site, located adjacent to the Research Triangle Park hub, due to its proximity to many of its clients. That client list includes some of the pharma industry’s largest pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations, Calyx said.
Calyx Chief Executive Officer Gavin Nichols said the opening of the U.S. headquarter is “representative of the high value” the company places on its customer relationships.
“Working closely with these many successful clinical trial sponsors and CROs – and leveraging the rich pool of experienced industry talent in the area – enables us to continue our mission of providing the innovative technology solutions and services our customers need to speed the discovery of new treatments,” Nichols said in a statement.
Elsewhere around the globe:
Summa Equity Fund – Sweden’s Summa Equity Fund II acquired a majority stake in U.S.-based Axion BioSystems. Summa said its equity investment in Axion aligns with the company’s focus on solving global challenges and supporting sustainable development goals established by the United Nations.
H.E.L. Group – London’s H.E.L. Group expanded its North American operations with the establishment of a West Coast hub in California, and a Central Region hub in Missouri. The new locations will benefit sales, technical and field application support for the company. H.E.L’s expansion of its U.S. operations supports customers carrying out cutting-edge research vital to achieving global health improvement and sustainability goals.
CARMAT – France-based CARMAT announced the first commercial implant of its Aeson artificial heart. This implant of the Aeson artificial heart was performed by a team in Naples, Italy. This implant represents the first sale ever recorded by CARMAT since it was created in 2008. It is a major milestone that opens-up a new chapter in the company's development. In accordance with its strategy, in 2021, CARMAT intends to focus its Aeson artificial heart marketing efforts on Germany, and address one or two other EU countries, including Italy, the company said.
BC Partners – London’s BC Partners sold a majority stake in Pharmathen, a leading European pharmaceutical company, to Partners Group for an estimated €1.6 billion (about $1.89 billion). Founded in 1969, Pharmathen is a specialist in the development of “sustained release” technologies, with best-in-class R&D capabilities.
Mologic – U.K.-based Mologic has been acquired by Global Access Health, a group of philanthropic funds and investors led by the Soros Economic Development Fund. Mologic develops lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies including tests that can help combat tropical diseases such as dengue, bilharzia, and river blindness, as well as for COVID-19. GAH said the transaction is important because it transitions a for-profit company into a social enterprise and allows it to entirely reinvest its profits in pursuing these goals. This transformation will give it the ability to address gaps in the provision of global diagnostics in low-income communities and regions that profit-focused business has failed to address. As part of the transaction GAH will integrate both Mologic and a sister non-profit entity, Global Access Diagnostics (GAD), which is focused on low-cost manufacturing of diagnostic tests, and licenses Mologic’s technology in Africa and South Asia.
Panakès Partners – Panakès Partners, an Italian venture capital firm in the life sciences sector, announced the first closing of its €150 million ($180 million) Purple Fund, which is the firm’s second fund. The fund will invest in companies at the forefront of innovation, with a focus on Europe, and Italy in particular, which remains underserved in terms of Venture Capital funding, Panakès said. The Purple Fund is the second venture capital fund dedicated to life sciences launched by Panakès Partners. Panakès’ first fund, raised in 2016, supported companies in the medtech sector. To-date it has invested in 12 portfolio companies, which have collectively received almost €200 million in funding.
Owlstone Medical – U.K.-based Owlstone announced the publication of a peer-reviewed study in Nature Scientific Reports. The paper investigates the performance of filters embedded in face masks for supporting the detection of SARS-CoV-2 as an alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS). Owlstone Medical applied its breath-based diagnostic research expertise and Breath Biopsy technology to develop a system for the controlled generation of small aerosol particles to measure the limit of detection of viral capture on filters. Following this, hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 were recruited to give samples of exhaled breath aerosol by breathing into a face mask for comparison with samples collected with NPS.
FairJourney Biologics S.A. – Portugal-based FairJourney partnered with Paragon Therapeutics and Iontas Limited. The venture will harness IONTAS' proprietary mammalian display technology and explore diverse panels of novel antibody candidates with the potential to advance wholly owned candidates into the Paragon Therapeutics discovery pipeline.
Orbit Discovery – Based in the United Kingdom, Orbit Discovery has raised $7.6 million in funding. The financing was led by Oxford Sciences Innovation, with participation from Borealis Ventures, Perivoli Innovations, and other institutional and individual investors, including Kapil Dev Joory. Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate Orbit’s growth as a leading provider of peptide discovery services. Orbit’s novel bead-based and microfluidic technology platform enables the screening of peptide libraries for target binding and subsequent activity in cell-based functional assays. This makes the platform ideal for identifying active peptides against both soluble proteins and membrane bound targets such as GPCRs.
Myovant Sciences – Switzerland-based Myovant received approval from the European Commission for Ryeqo (relugolix 40 mg, estradiol 1.0 mg, and norethindrone acetate 0.5 mg) for the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of uterine fibroids in adult women of reproductive age, with no limitation for duration of use. The approval is based on safety and efficacy data from the Phase III LIBERTY program, which consisted of two replicate, 24-week, multinational clinical studies (LIBERTY 1 and LIBERTY 2), a one-year extension study, and supportive bone mineral density data from a randomized withdrawal study.
RedHill Biopharma – Israel’s RedHill Biopharma announced that OptumRx, part of the UnitedHealth Group, has added Talicia (omeprazole magnesium, amoxicillin and rifabutin) to its Commercial Formulary as an unrestricted brand for H. pylori treatment.
Intravacc – Nethelands-based Intravacc announced that the Chinese National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) granted Sinovac Biotech LTD market authorization for its Sabin-IPV (sIPV) inactivated polio vaccine, developed by Intravacc and out-licensed to Sinovac. This multivalent polio vaccine was developed by Intravacc for the purpose of providing low and middle-income countries with the opportunity to produce their own safe polio vaccine in the context of the global polio eradication initiative.
Minaris Regenerative Medicine – Germany’s Minaris Regenerative Medicine GmbH will be the commercial European manufacturer for bluebird’s Skysona (elivaldogene autotemcel, Lenti-D). Today, the European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorization for Skysona, the first and only gene therapy for patients with Early Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD), a life-threatening progressive neurodegenerative disease.