Biotech Industry Updates: Major Ventures, Partnerships, and Corporate Changes

January 17, 2024
  • Jennifer Doudna’s Latest Venture: Doudna’s lab published a study in Nature Biotechnology about using antibody fragments for gene editing in T cells. She co-founded with Jenny Hamilton, Azalea Therapeutics, a genetic medicine delivery startup. Azalea has raised $10 million, according to Forbes.
  • Aclaris CEO Steps Down: Aclaris Therapeutics’ CEO, Douglas Manion, will step down following mixed results from a Phase IIb eczema study of their JAK inhibitor. The company’s shares have fallen significantly, and Neal Walker will be the interim CEO.
  • Tome Biosciences Partners with Genevant Sciences: Tome Biosciences is collaborating with Genevant Sciences for a gene editing therapy for a rare liver disorder. The deal is valued at $114.3 million, plus future sales royalties.
  • Orion Buys Stake in LegoChem: Orion Corp’s subsidiary, Pan Orion Corp, is purchasing a controlling stake in LegoChem for $415 million. This follows LegoChem’s $100 million licensing agreement with Johnson & Johnson for an ADC targeting TROP-2.
  • Swiss Biopharma’s Series B Funding: Stalicla completed a $17.4M Series B funding round to support clinical trials in neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, including autism and substance use.
  • Cyrano Therapeutics’ Funding for Hyposmia Treatment: Cyrano Therapeutics raised $9 million in Series B funding to advance its treatment for hyposmia through Phase II trials.
  • Instil Bio Shutting Down UK Operations: Instil Bio plans to close its UK operations, involving workforce reductions. This follows a restructuring last year that led to significant job cuts in the US.

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[Source: Endpoints, January 16th, 2024]

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