MEDICAL

NiKang Therapeutics Completes $200 Million Series C Financing to Advance Highly Differentiated Small Molecules Addressing Difficult-to-Drug Targets

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.

Spotlight

The legalization of marijuana is a controversial topic. In the United States, pot is still illegal at the federal level, but several states have legalized the sale of medical cannabis and decriminalized recreational use as well. As more government officials and public health experts debate the issue, our neighbors to the north, in Canada, have gone ahead and legalized the sale of the popular plant nationwide.


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MEDICAL

Aspect Biosystems Announces Partnership with JDRF to Advance Development of a Bioengineered Tissue Therapeutic to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

Aspect Biosystems | April 07, 2022

Aspect Biosystems ("Aspect"), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered tissue therapeutics to transform how we treat disease, is pleased to announce a partnership with JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization. The JDRF-Aspect partnership supports Aspect's focus on developing a bioengineered tissue therapeutic for type 1 diabetes that will provide insulin independence and control of blood sugar without the need for chronic immune suppression. In addition to funding, JDRF is also contributing strategic support through its deep expertise and vast network in the diabetes field. Aspect is leveraging its proprietary bioprinting technology, therapeutic cells, and materials science to create a pipeline of cell-based tissue therapeutics that replace or repair damaged organ functions. These therapeutics are rationally engineered to be biologically functional, immune-protective, and suitable for surgical implantation to treat diseases such as type 1 diabetes. For more than 20 years, JDRF has been a leader in cell-based tissue therapy research for type 1 diabetes, This funding partnership with Aspect Biosystems will support and continue scientific advancements in the field and undeniably take us closer to finding a cure." Esther Latres, Assistant Vice President of Research at JDRF. Together with JDRF, we are aligned on the mission to develop a curative therapy for the millions of patients around the world who are affected by type 1 diabetes, This partnership will help advance our cutting-edge pancreatic tissue program and bring us a step closer to human trials." Tamer Mohamed, CEO at Aspect Biosystems. About Aspect Biosystems Aspect Biosystems is a biotechnology company creating bioengineered tissue therapeutics to transform how we treat disease. Aspect is applying its microfluidic 3D bioprinting technology internally to develop these advanced therapeutics and partnering with leading researchers and industry innovators worldwide to tackle the biggest challenges in regenerative medicine. About JDRF International JDRF's mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.5 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Takeda to Acquire Adaptate Biotherapeutics to Develop Novel Gamma Delta (γδ) T Cell Engager Therapies Targeting Solid Tumors

Takeda | January 11, 2022

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced the exercise of its option to acquire Adaptate Biotherapeutics a UK company focused on developing antibody-based therapeutics for the modulation of variable delta 1 (Vδ1) gamma delta (γδ) T cells. Through the acquisition, Takeda will obtain Adaptate’s antibody-based γδ T cell engager platform, including pre-clinical candidate and discovery pipeline programs. Adaptate’s γδ T cell engagers are designed to specifically modulate γδ T cell-mediated immune responses at tumor sites while sparing damage to healthy cells. The planned acquisition of Adaptate follows Takeda’s recently exercised option to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics and is intended to further accelerate the development of innovative γδ T cell-based therapies. Combining GammaDelta’s cell therapy-based platform and Adaptate’s antibody-based γδ T cell engager platform with Takeda’s strong research and development organization positions Takeda to be at the leading edge in deploying the full potential of γδ T cells in the fight against cancer. The planned acquisition complements Takeda’s ongoing efforts to research and develop cell engagers for solid tumor applications, bolstered by the novel T cell engager COBRA platform, which was acquired from Maverick Therapeutics in another successful build-to-buy collaboration. “Partnering with early-stage innovators to access cutting-edge platforms in the fight against cancer is at the center of our R&D strategy. Adaptate’s γδ T cell engager platform and the team’s deep understanding of γδ T cell biology gives us an opportunity to develop a new class of therapeutics that tap into powerful innate immune mechanisms. The planned acquisition will strengthen our immuno-oncology R&D efforts as part of our ongoing pursuit of life-transforming medicines for patients with cancer.” Christopher Arendt, Ph.D., Head of Oncology Cell Therapy and Therapeutic Area Unit of Takeda Adaptate was formed in 2019 as a spin-out company from GammaDelta with investment from Abingworth LLP and Takeda, in which Takeda received an exclusive right to purchase Adaptate for a pre-negotiated upfront payment. The acquisitions of Adaptate and GammaDelta are expected to be finalized in Q1 of Takeda’s fiscal year 2022, pending completion of review under applicable antitrust laws, including the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in the U.S. “Our acquisition by Takeda recognizes the tremendous work put in over the last two years by Adaptate’s incredibly talented team,” said Dr. Natalie Mount, CEO of Adaptate. “We have rapidly demonstrated, in preclinical models, the therapeutic potential of our novel Vδ1-targeting antibodies, and this move brings us an exciting step closer to realizing the full potential for Vδ1 T cell targeted therapies to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients.” In addition, Tim Haines, Chair & Managing Partner at Abingworth noted, “Having played an instrumental role in creating Adaptate, we are delighted to see the impressive developments of its γδ T cell therapeutic antibody portfolio to date, under the leadership of Natalie Mount. We look forward to seeing Takeda progress Adaptate’s very promising therapeutic antibodies into the clinic.” Takeda’s oncology pipeline focuses on novel strategies that leverage the power of the immune system, with a focus on innate immunity. Innate immune responses serve as the body’s first defense mechanism against disease and involve the orchestration of a broad arsenal of mechanisms and cell types, including γδ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, that may help to overcome cancer’s ability to evade immune recognition. Adaptate has discovered a unique set of antibodies that selectively modulate γδ T cell activity in the tumor microenvironment. The antibodies provide a precisely targeted signal to the immune system, thereby offering the opportunity for superior efficacy and safety compared to conventional immuno-oncology approaches in solid tumors. Takeda’s Commitment to Oncology Our core R&D mission is to deliver novel medicines to patients with cancer worldwide through our commitment to science, breakthrough innovation and passion for improving the lives of patients. Whether it’s with our hematology therapies, our robust pipeline, or solid tumor medicines, we aim to stay both innovative and competitive to bring patients the treatments they need. About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments, guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Genetics and Hematology, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in healthcare in approximately 80 countries and regions. About Adaptate Biotherapeutics Adaptate Biotherapeutics is an immunotherapy company developing an innovative portfolio of therapeutic antibodies designed to modulate the activity of a patient’s own cytotoxic gamma delta T cells in situ. Our exquisitely targeted approach offers the potential to safely and effectively address the challenges often encountered by current cancer immunotherapies.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

FEN Industries Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label for Terreplenish® Soil Microbes

FEN Industries | February 22, 2022

FEN announced today that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label. The product, Terreplenish®, has 97% biobased content. Third-party verification for a product's biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the Farm Bill. The primary goal of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products. Biobased products have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that exacerbate global climate change. Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts. "Terreplenish® Soil Regenerating Microbes sequester 45-60lbs of nitrogen per growing season, providing an alternative to petroleum derived fertilizer products," Cathy Scratch, FEN Founder "We applaud FEN Industries for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label," said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. "Products like Terreplenish® contribute to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities and decreases our reliance on petroleum." According to a report that USDA released in 2019, biobased products contributed more than $500 billion to the U.S. economy and estimated reduction of fossil fuels associated GHG emissions from biobased products equivalent to approximately 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). The increased production of biobased products contributes to the development and expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy - where society looks to agriculture for sustainable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals, and products. About FEN Industries: A fen is a unique ecosystem that nurtures bio-nutrient diversity and conserves water as a necessary buffer between habitats that naturally siphons toxins. FEN Industries is an accelerated composting technology company that creates Terreplenish® - an OMRI Listed, 97% certified biobased product and approved by California Department of Agriculture. The high cost of nitrogen fertilizer can be reduced significantly with the addition of Terreplenish® soil regenerating microbes while providing many other benefits like pathogen control, phosphorous control, and better plant emergence scores. Additional revenue can be generated by participating in the many phosphorous reduction programs and carbon sequestration projects.

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MEDICAL

Dover To Acquire Manufacturer Of Flow-Measurement Devices For Biopharma And Semiconductor Production Applications

Dover | May 11, 2022

Dover (NYSE: DOV) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Malema Engineering Corporation ("Malema"), a designer and manufacturer of high-precision, mission-critical flow-measurement and control instruments serving customers in the biopharmaceutical, semiconductor, and industrial sectors. Malema will become part of the PSG business unit within Dover's Pumps & Process Solutions segment. Malema's products will expand Dover's biopharma single-use production offering, which already includes Quattroflow pumps, CPC connectors, and em-tec flowmeters. Based in Boca Raton, FL, and with facilities in San Jose, CA, Singapore, South Korea, and India, Malema expects to generate approximately $40-45 million in revenue during the full year 2022 and has a robust growth outlook. Over the past four decades, Malema has cultivated a loyal base of blue-chip customers, OEMs, and end-users with substantial aftermarket and recurring revenue streams. Malema's first-of-its-kind single-use flow sensor using Coriolis technology offers superior flow-measurement performance and accuracy versus alternative technologies, reducing the potential for measurement error and eliminating the need for calibration in time-sensitive and contamination-intolerant environments. We see a tremendous long-term growth opportunity in the bioprocessing industry driven by a strong and growing pipeline of effective novel biologic drugs, biosimilars, protein therapies, non-COVID mRNA vaccines, as well as budding cell & gene therapies. Additionally, the growing adoption of more efficient single-use production processes supports a robust outlook for our offerings of single-use components to end-customers. We believe that pairing Malema's technology with our existing portfolio of single-use pumps for biopharma processing will greatly enhance the accuracy and value proposition of our solutions to our customers. PSG's President, Karl Buscher. We are methodically building out our biopharma platform through proactive capacity additions, new product development, and opportunistic acquisitions of highly-attractive niche component technologies, Malema represents a strategic and highly-complementary flow-control and sensing technology and further strengthens our sensor portfolio with new proprietary technology. In addition to attractive biopharma applications, we expect strong growth in the semiconductor space on the capacity expansion and re-shoring tailwinds." Richard J. Tobin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dover. The purchase price is comprised of $225 million in cash at closing, subject to customary purchase price adjustments, and up to $50 million in contingent consideration dependent on the achievement of certain financial objectives over a two-year period. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. About Dover: Dover is a diversified global manufacturer and solutions provider with annual revenue of approximately $8 billion. We deliver innovative equipment and components, consumable supplies, aftermarket parts, software and digital solutions, and support services through five operating segments: Engineered Products, Clean Energy & Fueling, Imaging & Identification, Pumps & Process Solutions, and Climate & Sustainability Technologies. Dover combines global scale with operational agility to lead the markets we serve. Recognized for our entrepreneurial approach for over 65 years, our team of over 25,000 employees takes an ownership mindset, collaborating with customers to redefine what's possible. Headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, Dover trades on the New York Stock Exchange under "DOV." About PSG: PSG is a global pump solution expert and leading manufacturer of pumps, systems, and related flow-control technology for the safe and efficient transfer of critical and valuable fluids and materials. Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, PSG is comprised of several world-class brands, including Abaque®, All-Flo®, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray®, em-tec®, Griswold®, Hydro Systems™, Mouvex®, Neptune™, Quantex™, Quattroflow®, and Wilden®. PSG products are manufactured in three continents – North America, Europe, and Asia – in state-of-the-art facilities that practice lean manufacturing and are ISO-certified. PSG is part of the Pumps & Process Solutions segment of Dover Corporation.

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Spotlight

The legalization of marijuana is a controversial topic. In the United States, pot is still illegal at the federal level, but several states have legalized the sale of medical cannabis and decriminalized recreational use as well. As more government officials and public health experts debate the issue, our neighbors to the north, in Canada, have gone ahead and legalized the sale of the popular plant nationwide.

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