Amberstone Biosciences Secures $12 Million Series A Financing to Advance Immuno-Oncology Pipeline of Tumor Microenvironment Activated Therapeutics

Amberstone Biosciences, Inc. | January 04, 2022

Amberstone Biosciences an emerging biotherapeutics company with unique expertise in conditionally active immunotherapeutics, today announced the completion of a $12 million Series A financing round. The funding was led by Viva BioInnovator, Co-win Ventures and Sinovation Ventures, with additional support from ChangRong Capital, Lifespan Investments and existing shareholders.

Amberstone will use the proceeds from the financing to advance its highly differentiated tumor microenvironment activated therapeutic programs including bispecific antibodies and immunocytokines to the investigational new drug application (IND) enabling stage.

We are tremendously grateful for the strong support from our new and existing investors. With our unique Tumor Microenvironment Activated Therapeutics programs, we aim to develop safer and more effective therapies to benefit cancer patients. The funding and broad expertise and resources in the field provided by our investors will take us another step closer to our mission.”

 Amberstone Biosciences President and CEO, George Wu, PhD

“Amberstone’s T-MATE therapeutic molecules enabled by its innovative single-cell discovery engine represents a real breakthrough in immune-oncology. We are thoroughly impressed by Amberstone team's rich experience in the cancer biology space. Viva is excited to work with Amberstone and syndicate partners to support its mission to provide next-generation innovative treatment options to patients,” said Han Dai, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer of Viva Biotech and Head of Viva BioInnovator.

“T cell immunotherapy has encountered great challenges in the complex microenvironment of solid tumors. The T-MATE molecules discovered through Amberstone’s world-leading cross-disciplinary drug discovery engine will break through the bottleneck of traditional methods and bring new hope to the treatment of solid tumors. Co-win Ventures is thrilled to work with Amberstone’s team and co-investors to explore the next generation of immunotherapies in solid tumors,” said Xin Huang, MD/PhD, a managing partner of Co-win Ventures.

“The expertise and strengths of Amberstone core team synergize well with one another. We are optimistic with the company’s uncapped growth potential. Amberstone exemplifies our firm’s investment strategy and mission to support deep-tech innovative entrepreneurs and companies,” said Sinovation Ventures’ partner in healthcare, Mr. Peter Wu.

About Amberstone Biosciences, Inc.
Incorporated in 2018, Amberstone Biosciences is an emerging biotherapeutics company developing a novel class of targeted and conditionally active immunotherapeutics to treat solid tumor cancers and other diseases. Amberstone Biosciences’ pipeline is driven by an innovative high-throughput single-cell functional discovery platform and strong expertise in an interdisciplinary field of biology, engineering, and therapeutic development. 

About Viva BioInnovator
As the venture arm of Viva Biotech Holdings, Viva BioInnovator is dedicated to investing globally in biotech innovations that address unmet medical needs across multiple therapeutic areas. Leveraging Viva Biotech’s rich experience and technical advantages in novel drug R&D, Viva BioInnovator has built a strong track record in providing both cash and in-kind services its portfolio companies worldwide. 

About Co-win Ventures
Founded in 2009, Co-win Ventures focuses on early-stage companies in healthcare and TMT sectors and advocates a team culture of equality, transparency, sharing and innovation. It has operated 17 independent US dollar and/or RMB funds and has invested in over 140 companies, including Taimei Medical Technology, Genecast, Huake Precision, Cytek, InnoLight Technology, Memsensing, Eastsoft, New Vision, Aolian Electronics, and Sanchao Advanced Material among others. 

About Sinovation Ventures
Founded by Dr. Kai-Fu Lee in 2009, Sinovation Ventures is committed to nurturing the next wave of deep-tech entrepreneurs and companies. Sinovation is headquartered in Beijing and operates in multiple major cities. With over US$2.7 billion under management, Sinovation is a leading tech VC firm with a unique “TECH VC” model that is uniquely enhanced by its Artificial Intelligence Institute led by Dr. Lee. Sinovation invests in artificial intelligence, healthcare tech, robotics/automation, semiconductor, enterprise software, and digital lifestyle areas. To date, Sinovation has invested in over 400 companies. 


Israel has a bustling life sciences industry which affects the well being of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. This infograph is a snapshot into this industry.

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Akili Announces Public Company Board of Director Nominees

Akili Interactive | July 11, 2022

Akili Interactive a leading digital medicine company pioneering the development of cognitive treatments through game-changing technologies, announced the nominees for its future board of directors, effective upon the closing of Akili’s business combination with Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I subject to customary closing conditions. Shares of the new public company’s common stock are expected to trade on Nasdaq under the symbol “AKLI.” Akili’s public company board of directors is expected to consist of seven directors, with several new and recent additions, including William (BJ) Jones, Chief Commercial Officer of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals; Christine Lemke, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Evidation Health; Ken Ehlert, former Chief Scientific Officer at UnitedHealth Group; and Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of Social Capital and Chairman and Managing Partner of SCS. Nominees also include existing Akili directors Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., J.D., Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D. and Eddie Martucci, Ph.D. These director nominees bring industry leadership and deep expertise in access and reimbursement, innovative go-to-market approaches and groundbreaking research that will guide Akili as the company enters its next phase of growth to commercialize digital therapeutics at scale. “Akili is creating a new class of medicine that has the potential to fundamentally change how we think about cognitive health. As we forge this new path, it’s important to have a broad range of expertise, from pioneering leading-edge science to navigating our healthcare system to establishing new standards of patient care. The board and I look forward to supporting Eddie and his team as they bring their first product to market, and hopefully many more breakthrough therapeutics in the coming years.” Chamath Palihapitiya, incoming chair of Akili’s board of directors Eddie Martucci, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akili, added: “We look forward to becoming a publicly-traded company through our merger with SCS and we are proud to nominate this impressive slate of life sciences and technology leaders to constitute Akili’s new public board and help guide our corporate and clinical strategy.” Board Member Biographies Chamath Palihapitiya founded Social Capital in 2011 and has been its Managing Partner since its inception. Mr. Palihapitiya also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the board of directors of DNAB, DNAC and DNAD. In addition, Mr. Palihapitiya currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the board of directors of each of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. IV and Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI. Mr. Palihapitiya previously served as the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the board of directors of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. from May 2017 until the consummation of its business combination with Virgin Galactic in October 2019, and served as the Chairman of the board of directors of Virgin Galactic until February 2022. Mr. Palihapitiya also previously served as the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the board of directors of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. II until the consummation of its business combination with Opendoor Labs Inc. in December 2020 and as the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the board of directors of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. III until the consummation of its business combination with Clover Health Investments, Corp. in January 2021 and as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. V until the consummation of its business combination with Social Finance, Inc. in May 2021. Mr. Palihapitiya also served as a director of Slack Technologies Inc. from April 2014 until October 2019. Prior to founding Social Capital in 2011, Mr. Palihapitiya served as Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, and is recognized as having been a major force in its launch and growth. Mr. Palihapitiya was responsible for overseeing Monetization Products and Facebook Platform. Prior to working for Facebook, Mr. Palihapitiya was a principal at the Mayfield Fund, one of the United States’ oldest venture firms, before which he headed the instant messaging division at AOL. Mr. Palihapitiya graduated from the University of Waterloo, Canada with a degree in electrical engineering. William Jones, Jr. has served as Chief Commercial Officer of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals Holding Company Ltd., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, where he has been responsible for building the company’s commercial capability and launching their first FDA-approved product (Nurtec ODT), since April 2019. Prior to Biohaven, from January 2016 to March 2019, Mr. Jones served as Vice President, Head of Sales and Commercial Operations for the general medicine business unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company. Mr. Jones holds a B.S. in human factors engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.S. in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Christine Lemke has served as a member of Akili’s board of directors since September 2021. Since March 2012, Ms. Lemke has been employed by Evidation Health, Inc., a real-world health measurement and engagement platform, where she currently serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer and Director. Since February 2016, she has also served as co-founder and General Partner of Ensemble Labs, GP, an investor in early stage health technology companies. Prior to Evidation Health and Ensemble Labs, Ms. Lemke was co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Sense Networks, Inc., developers of the first machine learning platform for mobile phone activity data. Ms. Lemke holds a B.A. in business from the University of Washington and an MBA from HEC Paris. Kenneth Ehlert has served as a member of Akili’s board of directors since December 2021. Previously, he held senior leadership positions at UnitedHealth Group, a publicly traded managed healthcare and insurance company, including most recently as Chief Scientific Officer from December 2017 to July 2021. From January 2009 until December 2017, Mr. Ehlert served as Chief Executive Officer of Savvysherpa Inc., a research and development firm. Mr. Ehlert holds a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Brigham Young University and an M.S. in applied economics from the University of Minnesota. Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., J.D., has served as a member of Akili’s board of directors since June 2021 and previously served as a member of Akili’s board of directors from November 2017 until September 2019. Since February 2017, Dr. Chowrira has served as President and as a member of the board of directors of PureTech Health plc. Prior to joining PureTech Health, Dr. Chowrira served as President of Synlogic, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing synthetic microbiome-based therapeutics. Dr. Chowrira also previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology company, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Addex Therapeutics Ltd., a biotechnology company. Prior to that, Dr. Chowrira held various leadership roles at Nektar Therapeutics, Merck & Co., Sirna Therapeutics and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. Since September 2018, Dr. Chowrira has also served as a member of the board of directors of Vedanta Biosciences, Inc., a clinical stage company. He was previously on the boards of Vor Biopharma, Inc., a publicly-traded cell and genome engineering company, between August 2018 and June 2020, and Karuna Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from August 2017 to December 2019. Dr. Chowrira received a J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, an M.S. in molecular biology from Illinois State University and a B.S. in microbiology from the UAS, Bangalore, India. Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., one of Akili’s co-founders, has served as a member of Akili’s board of directors since November 2014 and as Chief Science Advisor since January 2011. Dr. Gazzaley is the David Dolby Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (“UCSF”), and the Founder & Executive Director of Neuroscape at UCSF, where he has been employed since July 2005. Additionally, Dr. Gazzaley is co-founder and Chief Scientific Advisor of JAZZ Venture Partners LLC, a venture capital firm focused on technologies that improve human performance. Dr. Gazzaley has also been on the Board of Trustees of the California Academy of Sciences since May 2019, a Science Council Member there since August 2019, and a Science Fellow there since May 2020. From January 2015 to January 2018, he served as a Science Board member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Dr. Gazzaley holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Binghamton University, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience and an M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and his residency in neurology at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. W. Edward Martucci, Ph.D., one of Akili’s co-founders, has served as Akili’s Chief Executive Officer and as a member of Akili’s board of directors since August 2015, including as Akili’s employee beginning in September 2017. From June 2009 to September 2017, Dr. Martucci was employed by PureTech Health PLC, a publicly traded biotherapeutics company, where he co-founded Akili in 2011 and served as Akili’s Chief Operating Officer from 2011 until August 2015. Since February 2017, he has served on the board of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, a digital therapeutics industry advocacy organization. Dr. Martucci holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Providence College and a M.Phil. and Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University. About Akili Akili is pioneering the development of cognitive treatments through game-changing technologies. Our approach of leveraging technologies designed to directly target the brain establishes a new category of medicine – medicine that is validated through clinical trials like a drug or medical device but experienced like entertainment. Akili’s platform is powered by proprietary therapeutic engines designed to target cognitive impairment at its source in the brain, informed by decades of research and validated through rigorous clinical programs. Driven by Akili’s belief that effective medicine can also be fun and engaging, Akili’s products are delivered through captivating action video game experiences.

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Anitoa Launches Molecular Test (PCR) for Monkeypox

Anitoa | June 30, 2022

Anitoa Systems, market leader in fast, portable molecular testing, today announced the availability of a CE-marked turn-key PCR solution for testing Monkeypox. This portable solution includes one of a family small foot-print real time PCR instruments called the Maverick qPCR, with an extraction-free multiplex PCR reagent that tests OPXV/MPXV gene-targets in the skin lesion sample from patients suspected of infection with Monkeypox. Anitoa's Monkeypox test is designed to be carried out on-site, near patient, thus avoiding the need to transport patient samples to central labs for testing. The World Health Organization reported that over 2,100 people in 42 countries have been diagnosed with monkeypox as of June 15, nearly all during the past two months. As of June 17, the CDC reports 24 confirmed monkeypox cases in California, US. Although The CDC reports that the threat to the general U.S. population is considered low, it is important for healthcare providers worldwide to have a preparedness plan. Already having a presence in Africa, Anitoa Systems has started deloying its near-patient Monkeypox test in selected clinics in Africa. Anitoa is prepared to deliver its Monkeypox test solution world-wide when the need arises. Anitoa's Maverick line of multiplex real time PCR devices are lab-accurate, fast, portable and calibration-free. They can operate on battery power (including car battery) and takes up very little bench space. Maverick qPCR instruments are built on Anitoa's proprietary CMOS biosensor technology. They have been used widely for on-site testing of food, environment samples and agriculture products due to its rugged all solid-state design, small form factor, and lower operation cost. Anitoa's Monkeypox detection solution is part of an on-going program at Anitoa to develop tests to help combat a series of neglected tropical diseases in low resource settings. These tests currently include IVDR tests for Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Malaria We are closely monitoring the situation of Monkeypox infections around the world and tailoring our test solutions to the needs of the people affected." Zhimin ding, CEO of Anitoa Systems, LLC About Anitoa Anitoa Systems, a medical device technology start-up established in 2013 with headquarter in Sunnyvale, California, develops highly integrated and portable bio-sensor devices for molecular detection, based on its unique CMOS image sensor-based fluorescence and chemiluminescence molecular imaging. By replacing the traditional bulky and costly photon-multiplier tube (PMT) and CCD-based optical sub-systems, Anitoa's ultra-low-light CMOS sensor technology enables a new generation of compact and inexpensive molecular testing platforms targeting infectious, oncology and cardio-vascular markers. Anitoa manufactures its qPCR instruments and test kits in Hangzhou, China and Fremont, California.

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Enveric Biosciences Announces Reverse Stock Split

Enveric Biosciences | July 15, 2022

Enveric Biosciences, Inc. a neuroscience-focused biotechnology company developing next-generation, psychedelic-inspired mental health medicines, announced that it intends to effect a reverse stock split of its common stock at a ratio of 1 post-split share for every 50 pre-split shares. The reverse stock split will become effective at 4:05 p.m., New York time, on Thursday, July 14, 2022. Enveric’s common stock will continue to be traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “ENVB” and will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis when the market opens on Friday, July 15, 2022. At a special meeting of stockholders held on July 14, 2022, Enveric’s stockholders granted the Company’s Board of Directors the discretion to effect a reverse stock split of Enveric’s common stock through an amendment to its Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended, at a ratio of not less than 1-for-10 and not more than 1-for-100, such ratio to be determined by the Company’s Board of Directors. At the effective time of the reverse stock split, every 50 shares of Enveric’s issued and outstanding common stock will be converted automatically into one issued and outstanding share of common stock without any change in the par value per share. Stockholders holding shares through a brokerage account will have their shares automatically adjusted to reflect the 1-for-50 reverse stock split. It is not necessary for stockholders holding shares of the Company’s common stock in certificated form to exchange their existing stock certificates for new stock certificates of the Company in connection with the reverse stock split, although stockholders may do so if they wish. The reverse stock split will affect all stockholders uniformly and will not alter any stockholder’s percentage interest in the Company’s equity, except to the extent that the reverse stock split would result in a stockholder owning a fractional share. Any fractional share of a stockholder resulting from the reverse stock split will be rounded up to the nearest whole number of shares. The reverse stock split will reduce the number of shares of Enveric’s common stock outstanding from 52,684,548 shares to approximately 1,053,691 shares. Proportional adjustments will be made to the number of shares of Enveric’s common stock issuable upon exercise or conversion of Enveric’s equity awards and warrants, as well as the applicable exercise price. Stockholders whose shares are held in brokerage accounts should direct any questions concerning the reverse stock split to their broker. All stockholders of record may direct questions to the Company’s transfer agent, American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC, at 1-877-248-6417 or 1-718-921-8317. About Enveric Biosciences Enveric Biosciences, Inc. is a neuroscience-focused pharmaceutical company developing next-generation, psychedelic-inspired mental health medicines. Enveric’s robust pipeline supports drug development from the clinic to commercialization aimed to help millions of patients in need around the world suffering from conditions that include cancer-related distress, PTSD and more.

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Pfizer Completes Acquisition of ReViral

Pfizer | June 10, 2022

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced the successful completion of its acquisition of ReViral, a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel antiviral therapeutics that target respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). ReViral brings to Pfizer a portfolio of promising therapeutic candidates, including sisunatovir, an orally administered inhibitor designed to block fusion of the RSV virus to the host cell. Sisunatovir has been granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It significantly reduced viral load in a phase 2 RSV human challenge study in healthy adults and is currently in phase 2 clinical development in infants. The development program for sisunatovir is expected to continue in both adult and pediatric populations. A second program is focused on the inhibition of RSV replication targeting the viral N protein. The lead candidate in this program is currently in phase 1 clinical development. We are excited to bring ReViral’s promising investigational treatments for RSV into our anti-infective pipeline at Pfizer. This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to advancing pioneering science – both through our in-house expertise and our work with leading, innovative companies – with the goal of delivering new breakthroughs to patients suffering from serious infectious diseases, We believe these therapeutic candidates – and the scientific expertise that has advanced their development – will complement our ongoing work to help combat RSV infections, and we look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to further support these endeavors.” Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical of Pfizer. RSV is a respiratory pathogen, which can lead to severe and life-threatening lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in high-risk populations, including young children, immunocompromised individuals, and older adults. It is estimated to cause infections in approximately 64 million people, resulting in about 160,000 deaths, globally each year. Currently, treatment options for RSV are limited, with care management focused primarily on supportive measures for people with the illness. About Pfizer: At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.

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Israel has a bustling life sciences industry which affects the well being of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. This infograph is a snapshot into this industry.