Q&A with Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense

MEDIA 7 | July 17, 2019

Q&A with Latane Conant
Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense has always been keenly focused on leveraging data to ensure marketing programs result in deals, not just leads.

At 6sense, Latane helps sales and marketing leaders increase revenue by tapping into the power of predictive intelligence to uncover buyers who are ready to buy.

MEDIA 7: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
LATANE CONANT:
The first thing I ever wanted to be was a lifeguard and swim coach. When I was 5 years old, I joined the swim team as one of the youngest swimmers. At 13, I was too young to be a lifeguard so I begged them to create a “JR lifeguard” position. This was essentially deck swabbing and towel service but I didn’t care. So they hired me and called me “young jedi”. The head lifeguard loved to play jokes on me. One time he gave me a ruler and said every deck chair needed to be 10 ¾ inches apart. There were 50+ deck chairs, but I went out and started measuring. Finally, after a few chairs, they called me over the loudspeaker to come back to the office and we all had a big laugh. Another time they took me down to the filter room, which was underground and pretty spooky.

BUT as a young jedi, I had to learn how the system worked. We descended under the deck and I climbed a rickety old ladder to look down into the pump. Another lifeguard in scuba gear was waiting underwater and jumped out of the filter tank and scared the bejesus out of me! Once I calmed down I thought it was pretty hysterical! My role could have been seen as pretty mundane - bathroom cleaning and towel folding - BUT I loved the people I worked with so much. I worshipped the lifeguards and swim coaches!

They kept me on my toes and in stitches all summer, so it’s still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I finally graduated to teaching swim lessons, with a focus on kids who did not swim at all and were afraid to go in the pool. Nothing was more rewarding than seeing someone do something they thought they could not, or actually loving something that used to scare them - like put their head underwater, dive off the blocks, or swim the butterfly stroke for a lap.

M7: Latane, you have always thrived on working with wicked smart people. How do you get the best out of them when there is a common notion that it’s difficult to make smart people work together?
LC: 
Talented people want to be able to do great work. Not the average, crank some blogs out or run an event, but truly cool and differentiated things. My job is to be a force field and ensure the team has the opportunity to try different things and do their best work. This means providing focus. A powerful focus tool we use is the V2MOM. V2MOM stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Metrics. Vision is what you want to achieve. Ideally your vision makes everyone uncomfortably excited. Values are why it matters, what you believe, guiding principles for decision making. Methods are where the rubber meets the road and are the top things you will do to achieve the vision.

Under each method, it's key to detail out obstacles (so you can plan around them) and metrics so you know if the method is on track. What’s nice about the system is that it provides built-in planning and is time bound. So every quarter I get my team together and we revise our V2MOM. This builds consensus around the vision and how we are going to get there. Every method gets assigned an owner, which drives accountability. And we publically track the metrics weekly so everyone knows our progress. The interesting thing about the V2MOM is not what's on the V2mom but what is NOT on the V2MOM. Because the process requires hyper prioritization of what you are going to do in a given time period, it forces focus.

I’m pretty obsessed and love the V2MOM. I am happy to share more on how teams can adopt, implement, and use it.  In fact, maybe in my next life, I will be a V2mom consultant!


"Marketing is harder and harder these days because buyers want to remain anonymous."

M7: How does leveraging smart technologies like AI help marketers have an edge over others and achieve on-time targets?
LC:
We need every advantage we can get in order to be successful and AI provides that advantage. Marketing is harder and harder these days because buyers want to remain anonymous. In fact, 90 percent of B2B buying behavior is digital and anonymous. Buyers also buy in teams, so the buying journey and process is very fragmented across many people. According to Gartner, it’s typical for a buying team to have more than 10 people involved. Adding to that, buyers are resistant. Every member of the B2B buying team requires highly personalized multi-touch and multi-channel engagement to take a meeting.
But our current systems are built for known static data, which only 12% of marketers have confidence in.
Revenue-generating teams should look for platforms that allow them to uncover buyer behavior, particularly the anonymous behavior, so they can stop spending money, time, and energy on the accounts that aren’t even in-market. Instead, through AI and big data, that money, time and energy can be used to uncover their “dark funnel,” or the rich information that is being done on your company and/or solution in the dark. Next, they must prioritize. Look across behavior to determine and group buying teams. Look for changes in behavior over time to fully grasp which accounts are in-market, ready for an upsell, or have potential to churn. AI can deliver these insights with a high degree of accuracy so you can know when accounts are getting ready to open opportunities. Enabling you to focus your time, salespeople and BDRs on the BEST accounts. Once you have uncovered anonymous behavior and prioritized timing, it’s time to engage. Engaging is about orchestrating multi-touch, multi-channel, highly personalized messages at scale. This is where AI really shines. It tells us the best time to use display ads vs. email vs a direct mailer and even triggers actions across channels. It also ensures we are personalizing appropriately so if someone has consumed the demo it offers them another piece of content so they aren’t served the demo AGAIN.  Based on their behavior, buying stage, persona, and company we can dynamically deliver the best experience. Teams that use this approach see unbelievable results and are beating out their competition with 40 percent more opportunities, 5x larger deals, and 1.5x faster cycle times.


"Engaging is about orchestrating multi-touch, multi-channel, highly personalized messages at scale. This is where AI really shines."

M7: How does 6sense’s Account Based Orchestration Platform help revenue teams to compete and win in the age of account-based buying?
LC:
I had my team do some research on the typical results b2b sales and marketing teams see from their efforts. The picture is not pretty. In fact EVERY minute:
- DOZENS of interested buyers will visit your website but only ONE will identify themselves.
- Your most important prospect will receive 2 NEW EMAILS. They will likely delete them both without opening.
- Your sales reps will spend ONE-QUARTER of their time on leads who have no intention to buy.
- Your BDR team will make just over 6 calls. They will book ZERO meetings.

No wonder marketing and sales teams get misaligned. This is not competing or winning.

Account Based Marketing is all the rage - It requires selecting the best accounts to go after, detailed insights into accounts and personas, highly personalized multi-channel engagement, alignment with sales, and the ability to track “real stuff” like increased engagement, pipeline, and revenue. ABM makes a lot of sense vs. traditional tactics that result in millions of unopened emails that get sent each year, thousands of dollars spent on swag at events that don’t lead to an opportunity, etc. However, the dirty little secret is that it’s impossible to scale without GREAT customer insights and orchestration capabilities. This is why you hear a lot about ABM pilots and not about ABM at scale.
6sense brings sales, business development, customer success, and marketing together on one platform that provides an unprecedented level of insights and the ability to take action. 

6sense delivers ABM at scale by providing (at a click in an easy to use UI):
- an understanding of best accounts to go after based on your business objective, technographic, firmographic, and real-time behavioral information.
- insights into the key personas to engage, the topics they care about, and where they are in their buying stage.
- orchestrated engagement across tactics from email, to display ads, to direct mail.
- alerts for sales with relevant details like when to call, what to say, what accounts are doing anonymously/in the “dark funnel”, and what marketing activities are working.
- tracking and metrics around how campaigns perform, if new personas engage, if you influenced opportunities, and if you gained net new opportunities.

This means sales and marketing can get BACK to sales and marketing, aligning on a business objective, messaging, and the experience you want to deliver for prospects - one you can actually be proud of. One without useless forms, spam, and cold calls. And because our platform provides transparency, reduced mundane work, and competitive advantage, prospecting actually becomes fun!

M7: What is the “dark funnel” and how can marketers embrace that?
LC:
So, the dark funnel is all of the data, information, people, and research that is happening right now for our product or solution that we have no insights into. You have to zoom out and think about the complexity of this cycle and how it’s changed. First of all, B2B buyers want to remain anonymous for as long as possible and our trick to making them not anonymous was to have some sort of gated content or to maybe try to run them down at a trade show or scan them but that doesn’t work anymore. All of our systems are set up for contact or a lead which is one person. What we find now is buyers buying in these teams, so you have to be able to understand how one person on the team is interacting with another person, how to put them together and how their collective research and desires come together. And again, all of that’s happening anonymously. So, the dark funnel research just went from one person to ten peoples’ research.

The other challenge is, in order to engage with buyers because they get so much noise and are so inundated, in fact in B2B we send about 300 billion emails a year, there’s only 7.7 billion people in the world and that’s not even B2C, so that doesn’t mean they’re on pottery barn’s list. So, our email motion in being able to break out of the noise is incredibly difficult. Hence, we have to have more touches and more capabilities and all of those emails and things that we’re sending are all in this dark funnel, we don’t truly understand how they’re getting consumed. So what ends up happening is we as marketers have to do a lot of guessing in how we design our programs and how we engage with customers and when you can start to really shine a light on the dark funnel and understand that rich research and the buying team and most importantly understand where they are in their journey, understand the timing. Rather than spamming you can start to really personalize in engagement and experience based on what they care about, who they are and most importantly, where they are in the buying journey.


"6sense brings sales, business development, customer success, and marketing together on one platform that provides an unprecedented level of insights and the ability to take action."

M7: To what extent does having a deep insight into a prospect’s buying journey help marketers in sales conversion and closing deals?
LC: 
Marketing is hard, selling is harder, and being a business development rep is the HARDEST. Business Development Reps and AE’s are expected to make hundreds of calls and send tons of email a week, but how do they know the contacts they are calling on aren’t random? Are they even in-market? How do they know when the best time to call is or what to even discuss without knowing the contacts needs? With outbound efforts, BDR’s and AE’s want opportunities, not just activity, but they don’t have a good way to make the right connections with the right content in order to be successful.

To reduce turnover and give outbound sales teams the best chance of success, we have to give them insights, with a robust group of digital signals to show if an account is actually in-market to buy or beginning the early stages of research. And with potential buyers leaving a digital footprint in the form of intent signals across the internet, both known and anonymous interactions with your website, as well as thousands of other 3rd party sites, we can take the guesswork out of identifying which accounts to target and what topics or competitors those accounts are searching.

Deep insights from 6sense help marketing, sales, and BDRs understand where each account is in their buyer journey and focus efforts on those who are actively in-market or in the early stages of research for our product or service. This lets the sales team know the ideal time to engage and what the account is interested in, taking the conversation from a cold call to a productive, meaningful one, driving higher conversions, win rates, and average deal size.

M7: 6sense recently launched Account-Based External Media Campaigns Analytics. How is it enabling media campaign effectiveness?
LC: 
The days of a four martini lunch and a deal are long gone since buyers don't want to talk to sales until they are 70% through the journey. Because of this shift, B2B digital ad spend is projected to hit $6.08 billion this year. It is an effective way to reach buyers in target accounts if done strategically with insights and proper measurement.

This feature focuses on digital agencies and the brands they work with. They use 6sense and all the rich insights on behavior and keywords in their campaign planning. It enables them to micro-segment and take an audience first approach vs designing a campaign and then finding an audience, flipping the campaign planning process on its head. 6sense also allows agencies to compare campaigns across different channels - tracking reach, engagement, and influence of these campaigns on accounts they are targeting for their customers.
Innovative agencies are partnering with us to deliver for their customers and they are seeing high returns on their investment.

M7: What is your favorite quote?
LC: 
“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” - Mick Jagger

ABOUT 6SENSE

6sense’s Account Based Orchestration Platform helps revenue teams compete and win in the age of Account Based Buying by putting the power of AI, big data and machine learning behind every member of the B2B revenue team, empowering them to uncover anonymous buying behavior, prioritize fragmented data to focus on accounts in market, and engage resistant buying teams with personalized, omni-channel, multi-touch campaigns. 6sense helps revenue teams know everything they need to know about their buyers so they can easily do anything they need to do to generate more opportunities, increase deal size, get into opportunities sooner, compete and win more often.

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Carisma has also secured commitments from a syndicate of investors for a $30 million financing, including HealthCap, AbbVie, Wellington Partners, SymBiosis, Penn Medicine, TPG Biotech, MRL Ventures Fund, the therapeutics-focused corporate venture arm of Merck & Co., Agent Capital, Solasta, Livzon, Pictet Alternative Advisors and 4Bio, which is expected to close concurrently with the completion of the merger. With the cash expected from both companies at closing and the proceeds of the concurrent financing, the combined company is expected to have approximately $180 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. These cash resources are expected to be used to advance Carisma’s pipeline through multiple ongoing and planned key data readouts across several clinical trials and to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through 2024. The merger and related financing are expected to close in the next three to four months. “The proposed merger represents an exciting opportunity for shareholders of each company, and we believe it gets us one step closer to our goal of revolutionizing the field of immunotherapy. This transaction will provide us with financial strength to not only continue to develop our lead candidate CT-0508, but also allow us to accelerate the growth of our platform and pipeline within and outside of oncology and develop additional strong strategic partnerships beyond those we already have with Moderna and Novartis. Carisma is focused on delivering cutting-edge technology for patients in a way that has never been done before, and we look forward to advancing this important mission.” Steven Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carisma “This transaction represents the result of a thoughtful and careful review of strategic alternatives over the past four months, during which Carisma’s clinical programs, management team, and corporate strategy stood out amongst the 42 bids reviewed,” said Dr. Thomas Cannell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sesen Bio. “Carisma is an exciting clinical-stage company with groundbreaking science and an impressive management team, which we believe makes them the optimal partner to provide value for our shareholders. Our mission at Sesen Bio has always been to save and improve the lives of patients with cancer, and we believe Carisma has the science and the unwavering patient focus required to make that mission a reality.” About the Proposed Merger Pre-merger Sesen Bio stockholders are expected to own approximately 41.7% and pre-merger Carisma stockholders are expected to own approximately 58.3% of the combined company, in each case before giving effect to the concurrent financing described above and the conversion of the outstanding Moderna convertible note. Under the terms of the merger agreement, stockholders of Carisma will receive newly issued shares of Sesen Bio common stock pursuant to an exchange ratio formula set forth in the merger agreement. The percentage of the combined company that Sesen Bio stockholders will own upon the closing of the merger is further subject to adjustment based on the amount of Sesen Bio’s net cash at the time of closing. Immediately prior to the closing of the proposed merger, Sesen Bio stockholders of record will be issued a contingent value right (CVR) for each outstanding share of Sesen Bio common stock held by such Sesen Bio stockholder as of such date, representing the right to receive certain cash payments from proceeds received by Sesen Bio related to the Roche Asset Purchase Agreement, if any, subject to customary deductions, including for expenses and taxes. SVB Securities is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Sesen Bio for the transaction and Hogan Lovells US LLP is serving as its legal counsel. Evercore Group LLC is serving as lead financial advisor to Carisma for the transaction and BofA Securities, Inc. is also serving as financial advisor to Carisma for the transaction. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP is serving as legal counsel to Carisma. BofA Securities, Inc. and Evercore Group L.L.C. are serving as co-placement agents for Carisma’s concurrent financing and Shearman & Sterling LLP is serving as the placement agents’ legal counsel. About Sesen Bio Sesen Bio, Inc. is a late-stage clinical company focused on targeted fusion protein therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer. Sesen Bio’s most advanced product candidate, Vicineum™, also known as VB4-845, is a locally-administered targeted fusion protein composed of an anti-epithelial cell adhesion molecule antibody fragment tethered to a truncated form of Pseudomonas exotoxin A for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. On July 15, 2022, Sesen Bio made the strategic decision to voluntarily pause further development of Vicineum in the US. The decision was based on a thorough reassessment of Vicineum, which included the incremental development timeline and associated costs for an additional Phase 3 clinical trial, following Sesen Bio’s discussions with the United States Food and Drug Administration. Sesen Bio has turned its primary focus to assessing potential strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing shareholder value. Additionally, Sesen Bio intends to seek a partner for the further development of Vicineum. About Carisma Therapeutics Carisma Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing a differentiated and proprietary cell therapy platform focused on engineered macrophages, cells that play a crucial role in both the innate and adaptive immune response. The first applications of the platform, developed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania*, are autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-macrophages for the treatment of solid tumors. Carisma Therapeutics is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Puma Biotechnology Announces Exclusive License Agreement with Takeda for the Development and Commercialization of Alisertib

Puma Biotechnology | September 21, 2022

Puma Biotechnology, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company, announced an agreement with Takeda to license the worldwide research and development and commercial rights to alisertib, a selective, small-molecule, orally administered inhibitor of aurora kinase A. Alisertib is an adenosine triphosphate–competitive and reversible inhibitor of aurora kinase A and results in disruption of mitosis leading to apoptosis of rapidly proliferating tumor cells that are dependent on aurora kinase A. Alisertib has been tested in clinical trials in patients with metastatic cancers including breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, ovarian cancer, peripheral T cell lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia. Under the terms of the agreement, Puma will assume sole responsibility for the global development and commercialization of alisertib. Takeda will receive an upfront license fee of $7 million and is eligible to receive potential future milestone payments of up to $287.3 million upon Puma’s achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones over the course of the agreement, as well as tiered royalty payments for any net sales of alisertib. Puma initially intends to focus the development of alisertib on the treatment of patients with metastatic estrogen receptor-positive HER2-negative breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer and small cell lung cancer. In ER-positive HER2-negative breast cancer, alisertib has previously been tested in a Phase II clinical trial as a single agent in a Phase II randomized clinical trial as a single agent compared to a combination with fulvestrant and in a Phase II randomized clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel compared to paclitaxel monotherapy. In triple-negative breast cancer, alisertib has previously been tested in a Phase II clinical trial as a single agent and in a randomized clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel compared to paclitaxel monotherapy. Alisertib has demonstrated meaningful clinical activity in these populations and most notably in ER-positive breast cancer patients who have been previously treated with a CDK4/6 inhibitor (JAMA Network Open 2021). Alisertib has also been previously tested in small cell lung cancer in a Phase II clinical trial as a single agent and in a Phase II randomized clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel compared to paclitaxel monotherapy. “There continues to be a need for new drugs for the treatment of metastatic ER- positive, HER2-negative breast cancer and triple negative breast cancer,” said Joyce A. O’Shaughnessy, M.D., the Celebrating Women Chair in Breast Cancer Research at Baylor University Medical Center, Texas Oncology, and Chair of Breast Cancer Research for the US Oncology Network in Dallas, Texas. “The results from the clinical trials of alisertib in these two indications are encouraging and suggest that the drug may be able to provide a clinical benefit to these patient populations, and, due to its novel mechanism, alisertib may be able to provide a benefit in patients who have developed resistance to other treatments modalities,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy. “Treatment options for patients with small cell lung cancer that has progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy are limited, and there is an urgent need for new drugs to treat this patient population,” said Taofeek K. Owonikoko, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Associate Director for Translational Research and Co-Leader of the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “The results from the clinical trials of alisertib in small cell lung cancer suggest that the drug may represent a potentially promising treatment option for these patients and more specifically for patients with molecularly defined tumors that are likely to respond to an aurora kinase A inhibitor such as alisertib,” said Dr. Owonikoko. “We are pleased to be able to complete this licensing agreement with Takeda for alisertib. To date, alisertib has demonstrated strong evidence of antitumor activity, both as a single agent and in combination with other anticancer drugs, in patients with metastatic ER-positive and triple negative breast cancer, as well as in small cell lung cancer. We look forward to the continued development of alisertib.” Alan H. Auerbach, Chief Executive Officer, President and Founder of Puma About Puma Biotechnology Puma Biotechnology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company with a focus on the development and commercialization of innovative products to enhance cancer care. Puma in-licenses the global development and commercialization rights to PB272 PB272 and PB357. Neratinib, oral was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2017 for the extended adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early stage HER2-overexpressed/amplified breast cancer, following adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy, and is marketed in the United States as NERLYNX® tablets. In February 2020, NERLYNX was also approved by the FDA in combination with capecitabine for the treatment of adult patients with advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti-HER2-based regimens in the metastatic setting. NERLYNX was granted marketing authorization by the European Commission in 2018 for the extended adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early stage hormone receptor-positive HER2-overexpressed/amplified breast cancer and who are less than one year from completion of prior adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy. NERLYNX is a registered trademark of Puma Biotechnology, Inc.

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RESEARCH

Asia's first industrial insect company, Nutrition Technologies, closes US$20m equity round to launch new products and expand into new markets

Nutrition Technologies | September 19, 2022

On 19th September 2022 Nutrition Technologies completed an equity venture round of US$ 20m. The round was led by PTT Ventures and supported by Sumitomo Corporation, ING Sustainable Investments, Mandala Capital, as well as continued participation from existing investors: Openspace Ventures, SEEDs Capital and Hera Capital. The round was advised by ING Corporate Finance. The proceeds will be used to fund an expansion into new markets; launch new products; accelerate R&D; and create new strategic partnerships. "Aside from growth in clean-energy, PTT is expanding its portfolio into new businesses corresponding to global trends, sustainability, and social responsibility. We look forward to partnering with Nutrition Technologies to support their next phase of growth. Commercial insect protein production is one of the most important innovations of the past few years, with the potential to disrupt the animal feed and fertiliser sectors and solve multiple issues the world is currently facing. Furthermore, we expect this partnership will provide customers with innovative solutions to revolutionise the agriculture sector as well as improve people's quality of life" Dr. Buranin Rattanasombat, Senior Executive Vice President, Innovation and New Ventures, PTT Public Company Limited. "We are very excited to partner with Nutrition Technologies, an innovative company that has superior technology to produce sustainable protein. We believe insect protein is one of the most important recent solutions to protein production, contributing to solving various environmental issues and addressing several Sustainable Development Goals. We will utilize our business platform and customer network to promote and expand the BSF derived products" said Masahito Uno, GM Life Science Division, Sumitomo Corporation. "Nutrition Technologies fits well in the investment strategy and portfolio of ING Sustainable Investments, as we seek to assist sustainable companies in scaling their operations. Together with our consortium partners we are also keen to support the company in capitalising on various opportunities in the fast-growing European and Asian markets of alternative proteins" Mark Weustink, Head of ING Sustainable Investments "Nutrition Technologies has led the way in delivering black soldier fly solutions at scale and at a price that is competitive on the global markets. It means they are already providing a viable alternative to existing and less sustainable feed options. In achieving that, the team has demonstrated exceptional executional capabilities. Going forward, we have high conviction in their expansion plans" said Hian Goh, Founding Partner, Openspace Ventures. "It is great to welcome our new investors, who collectively bring vast expertise and experience to help us realise our vision. We are also humbled by the continued support provided from our existing shareholders." said Tom Berry, Co-CEO and Co-founder, Nutrition Technologies. The insect sector has gathered increasing attention over the past few years, with the global insect protein market alone estimated to be worth US$343 million in 2021, and expected to grow with a CAGR of 26.49% to reach US$1.3 billion by 2027. As a sustainable solution to help minimise multiple unsustainable practices, the sector as a whole has seen investments totalling nearly US$1 billion, but with multiple technological hurdles, few companies are yet to reach industrial scale, let alone profitability. Global food security has steadily declined for the past few decades and has been significantly tested in recent years through extreme weather events and war. Population growth has fuelled the current 1.2 billion tonnes demand for animal feed ingredients, which has severe environmental consequences both for land and sea. There is a growing protein deficit, with supplies of traditional proteins for animal feed, such as fishmeal and soybean meal, stagnating due to overfishing and deforestation. Meanwhile, organic matter and food waste in landfills are significant contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, and the overuse of chemical fertilisers is severely reducing the productivity and resilience of crucial agricultural soil. "Insects represent a virtually unlimited and untapped pool of biological assets, with huge opportunities for value creation. Tackling food security is only the tip of the iceberg and with our strengthened balance sheet, great partners and best in class IP, we are strategically positioned to lead the next agricultural revolution." said Richard Hayler, CFO, Nutrition Technologies. Since 2015, Singaporean agri-biotech company, Nutrition Technologies, has been creating a commercial replica of the natural decomposition process, using their proprietary growth inoculants and black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) to turn low-grade crop & food waste into highly sought after animal feed ingredients and biofertilisers. Their two hectare production facility in Johor, Malaysia, bioconverts several hundreds of tonnes of organic waste every week. The facility produces functional proteins and oils, which have bioactive compounds that efficiently improve animal growth performance and health outcomes. Over the past few years Nutrition Technologies has conducted multiple trials of their products on fish, shrimp, poultry, piglets and pets, with significant results. Their novel biofertiliser products improve soil health while naturally increasing plant resistance to disease, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. The 165-strong team has been scaling up their operations and selling their products into both domestic and regional markets. "We are increasing production to meet market demand and providing essential ingredients to the domestic agricultural sector as well as boosting exports through shipping our products to Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Chile. We will also commence shipments to the UK and EU very soon." said Nick Piggott, Co-CEO and Co-founder, Nutrition Technologies. Nutrition Technologies' production facilities are a result of over seven years of R&D and their strategic location in the tropics helps to optimise productivity and lower costs. Their proprietary technologies and vertical insect production system are designed to capitalise on the low-energy benefits and suitability of a tropical climate. Their team developed the entire production system, which uses some bespoke automated equipment to ensure strict biosafety, zero-waste and strong unit economics. Through avoided emissions, their products have great potential to help meet global climate change targets. Nutrition Technologies has been doubling down on its success in commercialising insect-microbe systems and their approach to protecting that intellectual property has been lauded by IP experts and publications. "We have had some incredibly exciting breakthroughs over the past two years. Following successful additions to our patent portfolio, we will launch two new revolutionary biological products to the fertiliser market that will address some of the region's greatest challenges in crop productivity." said Martin Zorrilla, Nutrition Technologies.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Sesen Bio and Carisma Therapeutics Announce Merger Agreement

Sesen Bio and Carisma Therapeutics | September 22, 2022

Sesen Bio, Inc. and Carisma Therapeutics Inc. a privately held, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies, announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to combine the companies in an all-stock transaction. The combined company will focus on the advancement of Carisma’s proprietary cell therapy platform that utilizes engineered macrophages and monocytes to potentially transform the treatment of cancer and other serious disorders. Carisma is pioneering the development of chimeric antigen receptor macrophage therapies and is believed to be the only company developing CAR-M therapies with demonstrated proof of mechanism and safety data in clinical trials. The combined company is expected to operate under the name Carisma Therapeutics Inc. and trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “CARM”. Carisma has also secured commitments from a syndicate of investors for a $30 million financing, including HealthCap, AbbVie, Wellington Partners, SymBiosis, Penn Medicine, TPG Biotech, MRL Ventures Fund, the therapeutics-focused corporate venture arm of Merck & Co., Agent Capital, Solasta, Livzon, Pictet Alternative Advisors and 4Bio, which is expected to close concurrently with the completion of the merger. With the cash expected from both companies at closing and the proceeds of the concurrent financing, the combined company is expected to have approximately $180 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. These cash resources are expected to be used to advance Carisma’s pipeline through multiple ongoing and planned key data readouts across several clinical trials and to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through 2024. The merger and related financing are expected to close in the next three to four months. “The proposed merger represents an exciting opportunity for shareholders of each company, and we believe it gets us one step closer to our goal of revolutionizing the field of immunotherapy. This transaction will provide us with financial strength to not only continue to develop our lead candidate CT-0508, but also allow us to accelerate the growth of our platform and pipeline within and outside of oncology and develop additional strong strategic partnerships beyond those we already have with Moderna and Novartis. Carisma is focused on delivering cutting-edge technology for patients in a way that has never been done before, and we look forward to advancing this important mission.” Steven Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carisma “This transaction represents the result of a thoughtful and careful review of strategic alternatives over the past four months, during which Carisma’s clinical programs, management team, and corporate strategy stood out amongst the 42 bids reviewed,” said Dr. Thomas Cannell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sesen Bio. “Carisma is an exciting clinical-stage company with groundbreaking science and an impressive management team, which we believe makes them the optimal partner to provide value for our shareholders. Our mission at Sesen Bio has always been to save and improve the lives of patients with cancer, and we believe Carisma has the science and the unwavering patient focus required to make that mission a reality.” About the Proposed Merger Pre-merger Sesen Bio stockholders are expected to own approximately 41.7% and pre-merger Carisma stockholders are expected to own approximately 58.3% of the combined company, in each case before giving effect to the concurrent financing described above and the conversion of the outstanding Moderna convertible note. Under the terms of the merger agreement, stockholders of Carisma will receive newly issued shares of Sesen Bio common stock pursuant to an exchange ratio formula set forth in the merger agreement. The percentage of the combined company that Sesen Bio stockholders will own upon the closing of the merger is further subject to adjustment based on the amount of Sesen Bio’s net cash at the time of closing. Immediately prior to the closing of the proposed merger, Sesen Bio stockholders of record will be issued a contingent value right (CVR) for each outstanding share of Sesen Bio common stock held by such Sesen Bio stockholder as of such date, representing the right to receive certain cash payments from proceeds received by Sesen Bio related to the Roche Asset Purchase Agreement, if any, subject to customary deductions, including for expenses and taxes. SVB Securities is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Sesen Bio for the transaction and Hogan Lovells US LLP is serving as its legal counsel. Evercore Group LLC is serving as lead financial advisor to Carisma for the transaction and BofA Securities, Inc. is also serving as financial advisor to Carisma for the transaction. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP is serving as legal counsel to Carisma. BofA Securities, Inc. and Evercore Group L.L.C. are serving as co-placement agents for Carisma’s concurrent financing and Shearman & Sterling LLP is serving as the placement agents’ legal counsel. About Sesen Bio Sesen Bio, Inc. is a late-stage clinical company focused on targeted fusion protein therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer. Sesen Bio’s most advanced product candidate, Vicineum™, also known as VB4-845, is a locally-administered targeted fusion protein composed of an anti-epithelial cell adhesion molecule antibody fragment tethered to a truncated form of Pseudomonas exotoxin A for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. On July 15, 2022, Sesen Bio made the strategic decision to voluntarily pause further development of Vicineum in the US. The decision was based on a thorough reassessment of Vicineum, which included the incremental development timeline and associated costs for an additional Phase 3 clinical trial, following Sesen Bio’s discussions with the United States Food and Drug Administration. Sesen Bio has turned its primary focus to assessing potential strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing shareholder value. Additionally, Sesen Bio intends to seek a partner for the further development of Vicineum. About Carisma Therapeutics Carisma Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing a differentiated and proprietary cell therapy platform focused on engineered macrophages, cells that play a crucial role in both the innate and adaptive immune response. The first applications of the platform, developed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania*, are autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-macrophages for the treatment of solid tumors. Carisma Therapeutics is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Puma Biotechnology Announces Exclusive License Agreement with Takeda for the Development and Commercialization of Alisertib

Puma Biotechnology | September 21, 2022

Puma Biotechnology, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company, announced an agreement with Takeda to license the worldwide research and development and commercial rights to alisertib, a selective, small-molecule, orally administered inhibitor of aurora kinase A. Alisertib is an adenosine triphosphate–competitive and reversible inhibitor of aurora kinase A and results in disruption of mitosis leading to apoptosis of rapidly proliferating tumor cells that are dependent on aurora kinase A. Alisertib has been tested in clinical trials in patients with metastatic cancers including breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, ovarian cancer, peripheral T cell lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia. Under the terms of the agreement, Puma will assume sole responsibility for the global development and commercialization of alisertib. Takeda will receive an upfront license fee of $7 million and is eligible to receive potential future milestone payments of up to $287.3 million upon Puma’s achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones over the course of the agreement, as well as tiered royalty payments for any net sales of alisertib. Puma initially intends to focus the development of alisertib on the treatment of patients with metastatic estrogen receptor-positive HER2-negative breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer and small cell lung cancer. In ER-positive HER2-negative breast cancer, alisertib has previously been tested in a Phase II clinical trial as a single agent in a Phase II randomized clinical trial as a single agent compared to a combination with fulvestrant and in a Phase II randomized clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel compared to paclitaxel monotherapy. In triple-negative breast cancer, alisertib has previously been tested in a Phase II clinical trial as a single agent and in a randomized clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel compared to paclitaxel monotherapy. Alisertib has demonstrated meaningful clinical activity in these populations and most notably in ER-positive breast cancer patients who have been previously treated with a CDK4/6 inhibitor (JAMA Network Open 2021). Alisertib has also been previously tested in small cell lung cancer in a Phase II clinical trial as a single agent and in a Phase II randomized clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel compared to paclitaxel monotherapy. “There continues to be a need for new drugs for the treatment of metastatic ER- positive, HER2-negative breast cancer and triple negative breast cancer,” said Joyce A. O’Shaughnessy, M.D., the Celebrating Women Chair in Breast Cancer Research at Baylor University Medical Center, Texas Oncology, and Chair of Breast Cancer Research for the US Oncology Network in Dallas, Texas. “The results from the clinical trials of alisertib in these two indications are encouraging and suggest that the drug may be able to provide a clinical benefit to these patient populations, and, due to its novel mechanism, alisertib may be able to provide a benefit in patients who have developed resistance to other treatments modalities,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy. “Treatment options for patients with small cell lung cancer that has progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy are limited, and there is an urgent need for new drugs to treat this patient population,” said Taofeek K. Owonikoko, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Associate Director for Translational Research and Co-Leader of the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “The results from the clinical trials of alisertib in small cell lung cancer suggest that the drug may represent a potentially promising treatment option for these patients and more specifically for patients with molecularly defined tumors that are likely to respond to an aurora kinase A inhibitor such as alisertib,” said Dr. Owonikoko. “We are pleased to be able to complete this licensing agreement with Takeda for alisertib. To date, alisertib has demonstrated strong evidence of antitumor activity, both as a single agent and in combination with other anticancer drugs, in patients with metastatic ER-positive and triple negative breast cancer, as well as in small cell lung cancer. We look forward to the continued development of alisertib.” Alan H. Auerbach, Chief Executive Officer, President and Founder of Puma About Puma Biotechnology Puma Biotechnology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company with a focus on the development and commercialization of innovative products to enhance cancer care. Puma in-licenses the global development and commercialization rights to PB272 PB272 and PB357. Neratinib, oral was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2017 for the extended adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early stage HER2-overexpressed/amplified breast cancer, following adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy, and is marketed in the United States as NERLYNX® tablets. In February 2020, NERLYNX was also approved by the FDA in combination with capecitabine for the treatment of adult patients with advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti-HER2-based regimens in the metastatic setting. NERLYNX was granted marketing authorization by the European Commission in 2018 for the extended adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early stage hormone receptor-positive HER2-overexpressed/amplified breast cancer and who are less than one year from completion of prior adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy. NERLYNX is a registered trademark of Puma Biotechnology, Inc.

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