Philanthropic Donations and Debt Financings Rake in Cash for Cancer, Alzheimer's and Mental Health Research

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Quick Look

  • BridGene Biosciences Nabs $38.5M for First-in-Class Oncology Treatments
  • Iveric Bio, Hercules Capital and Silicon Valley Bank Make Financial Deal to Help Launch Atrophy Treatment
  • PCORI Dedicates $258M for Mental Health, Heart Care and Other Conditions
  • Inozyme and K2HealthVentures Invest $70M in Treatments for Abnormal Mineralization
  • Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Others Support Alzheimer's Research Funding
  • Carmot Therapeutics Scoops Up $160M for Cancer and Metabolic Disease Treatments

BridGene, PCORI and Carmot Therapeutics raked in funding for oncology treatments this week. Other money came from various debt financings and philanthropic donations to treat conditions such as Alzheimer's, mental health and geographic atrophy. 

 BridGene Biosciences Nabs $38.5M for First-in-Class Oncology Treatments

After completing a Series B round of financing, BridGene Biosciences announced that it had raised $38.5 million. With the funding, the California-based has two main goals. The first is to invest in its chemoproteomic IMTEC platform, which screens small molecules to identify previously undruggable targets. The second goal with the money is to pave the way for BridGene's oncology pipeline, starting with its lead project, a covalent TEAD inhibitor. BridGene's partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical will accelerate the pipeline of products. 

Iveric Bio, Hercules Capital and Silicon Valley Bank Make Financial Deal to Help Launch Atrophy Treatment

New Jersey-based Iveric Bio is working on launching Zimura (avacincaptad pegol), a treatment for geographic atrophy (GA). The drug is currently being tested in the Phase II GATHER2 trial and will be launched in the United States, pending regulatory approval.

To prepare financially for the launch, Iveric entered into a $250 million non-dilutive debt financing with Hercules Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. Iveric is borrowing $50 million of that in July, $150 million is dependent on hitting milestones, and another $50 million is awaiting lenders' approval. 

"We are grateful to secure this non-dilutive financing as it further strengthens our balance sheet and provides financial flexibility as we look to fund the potential commercial launch of Zimura," David F. Carroll, chief financial officer of Iveric Bio, said.

PCORI Dedicates $258M for Mental Health, Heart Care and Other Conditions

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010, announced it has set aside $258 million for funding awards. The money will support 26 new research studies. Some efforts the funding will go toward will include $52.5 million to improve heart-related health care, such as antianginal medications and cardiac rehabilitation, $72 million to improve mental health care, including pharmacologic treatments for bipolar disorder and a benefit/harm study of intravenous ketamine, and $3.9 million to promote the uptake of evidence from PCORI-funded research into practice, such as antibiotic versus appendectomy success rates.

Inozyme and K2HealthVentures Invest $70M in Treatments for Abnormal Mineralization

Boston-based Inozyme Pharma entered into a flexible debt facility agreement with K2 HealthVentures, a healthcare-focused specialty finance company, for up to $70 million. With the financial support, Inozyme can pave its operational runway into Q2 2024. 

The debt facility will boost Inozyme's lead candidate, a drug called INZ-701 for ENPP1 deficiency and ABCC6 deficiency. The cash will also support the company's current Phase I/II clinical trials as well as some planned registrational trials. 

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Others Support Alzheimer's Research Funding

In 2018, the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) launched its Diagnostics Accelerator, a program focused on developing tests to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. On Tuesday, the ADDF announced the second phase of the accelerator, bringing in another $50 million in funding, bringing the total funding amount to around $100 million. The move also brought on new investors, such as Biogen and Eli Lilly, in addition to their original investors, which included Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Leonard A. Lauder. 

"Thanks to the work of the funded researchers, there are now dozens of new biomarkers in the pipeline, which are critical to advancing new therapeutics for Alzheimer's and helping us better understand this disease," Niranjan Bose, managing director of health and life sciences at Gates Ventures, said. 

Carmot Therapeutics Scoops Up $160M for Cancer and Metabolic Disease Treatments

A Series D financing brought in $160 million for Carmot Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company. Carmot's biggest advantage is its proprietary drug discovery platform, Chemotype Evolution. The platform helps identify novel covalent inhibitors and new therapeutics. 

With the financing in hand, Carmot has the cash to support its multiple Phase II studies and a Phase I study of its current lead candidates, which are incretin modulators that treat obesity and several of its co-morbidities, including type 2 diabetes. 

 


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