CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Neurophth | January 19, 2021
Neurophth Therapeutics, Inc., a subsidiary of Wuhan Neurophth Biotechnology Ltd. gene therapy organization, and AAVnerGene Inc., a practicing AAV innovation organization, reports a strategic partnership to provide Neurophth with overall rights to commonly choose adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids for the next generation ophthalmic gene therapy.
AAVnerGene's Tissue-specific, Highly-transductive and Expressive New AAVs (ATHENA) screening stage can productively choose the best AAV vector for every cell type in a high-throughput (HTP) way. Significant difficulties in AAV-based gene therapy are the transduction productivity, conceivable resistance to the capsid and complex assembling measures. The capacity to distinguish appropriate cutting edge AAV vectors that could beat the limits of before generation AAV vectors is basic to a patient for accomplishing adequate helpful articulation of the moved gene in the most minimal portion dose regular strategy, for example, intravitreal (IVT) injection with reasonable cost.
"AAVnerGene's proprietary technology may create capsid libraries derived from artificial intelligence machine learning, DNA shuffling or directed evolution allowing a significant increase in AAV genetic payload capacity, production, and transduction with the ability to penetrate through the inner limiting membrane of the retina, thus potentially enhance the overall transduction efficiency of capsid library-derived AAV vectors," said Alvin Luk, Ph.D., M.B.A., Chief Executive Officer of Neurophth. "Importantly, if proven successful, the administration of the selected AAVnerGene capsid variant(s) in gene therapy may enable repeated dosing AAVs in both adults and pediatric patients, potentially improving the clinical efficacy at a lower vector dose with better penetration of the barriers in eyes using a safer and less invasive procedure such as intravitreal injection which lower the risk of immune response to the capsid."
NiKang Therapeutics | May 31, 2021
NiKang Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing innovative small molecule oncology medicines to assist patients with unmet medical needs; today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $200 million Series C financing led by Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, and Octagon Capital Advisors with participation from a premier syndicate of funds, including new investors EcoR1 Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Wellington Management, Ally Bridge Group, Pavilion Capital, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, RA Capital Management, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Samsara BioCapital, PFM Health Sciences, Invus, Janus Henderson Investors and Logos Capital. All existing investors, including CBC Group, RTW Investments, LP, Lilly Asia Ventures, Matrix Partners China, and Casdin Capital, participated in the financing. About the funding, Bing Yao, Ph.D., former CEO and chairman of Viela Bio, and Ting Jia, Ph.D., founder and chief investment officer of Octagon Capital Advisors, will join NiKang’s Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to have such an outstanding group of investors as our shareholders,” said Zhenhai Gao, Ph.D., co-founder, president, and chief executive officer of NiKang. “Their support of our vision allows us to build the world’s leading precision oncology company. We are now well-positioned to rapidly advance our pipeline into the clinic, including our differentiated HIF-2 alpha inhibitor, and to bring our company to the next level of growth.”
“This financing is a testament to the quality of our science and team,” Kelsey Chen, Ph.D., MBA, chief financial officer, added. “Since joining NiKang, I have witnessed the passion and dedication of a group of talented scientists who are devoting their lives to advancing treatments for patients. We are grateful to be recognized by such a high-caliber group of investors.”
“NiKang has made remarkable progress over the last eight months since our initial investment,” said Ting Jia, Ph.D., a chief investment officer of Octagon. “We are impressed by the team’s accomplishment. We believe NiKang’s unique approach to attacking difficult-to-drug targets offers promising opportunities to develop breakthrough treatments for cancer patients. We are excited to co-lead the series C financing and partner with the NiKang team to accelerate its growth.”
“We are proud of what NiKang has achieved since its inception,” said Sean Cao, executive chairman of NiKang and managing director of CBC Group, which incubated the company. “The strength of this group of investors validates NiKang’s achievements and demonstrates their confidence in NiKang’s potential to grow into a leading innovative drug company.”
Proceeds will be used to advance the company’s lead drug candidates into the clinic, expand the pipeline, and fund internal drug discovery programs.
About NiKang Therapeutics
NiKang Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech company focused on discovering and developing innovative small molecule oncology medicines to assist patients with unmet medical needs. Our target selection is driven by deep insights into disease biology and molecular pathways. Our discovery approach is informed by target structure biology and capitalizes on structure-based drug design. The successful implementation of our strategy enables us to rapidly and efficiently discover and advance proprietary drug candidates with the most desirable pharmacological features into clinical studies. We strive to bring transformative medicines to patients in need.
Xylyx Bio | September 30, 2020
Xylyx Bio, a leader in advanced disease models for drug discovery, today announced the launch of specialized contract R&D services that support improved assessment of antifibrotic drug candidate efficacy. Despite ongoing advances, the current drug discovery paradigm is highly inefficient. Approximately 40% of development costs are associated with preclinical studies, yet 80% of drug candidates fail before reaching Phase I trials, largely due to lack of translatability of efficacy data to humans. Commonly used assays have limited ability to predict how a drug candidate will act when introduced into patients, costing biopharma companies billions in the quest to determine which drugs will be most effective. To address this, Xylyx Bio now offers specialized contract R&D services based on its highly predictive IN MATRICO™ platform. Xylyx Bio's custom assays incorporate human disease-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) substrates combined with clinically relevant informatics to better represent human biology and reliably de-risk drug discovery through early efficacy signals that simultaneously reduce costs and development time.