Unity Biotechnology: Investment In A Long And Healthy Life Becoming Possible

biotech | February 22, 2017

For some time I've been tracking work on extending healthy lives and longevity, both from a scientific as well as an investment perspective. I indicated that there are a number of young biotech companies that start out seeking to extend lifespan, but as a survival mechanism, end up choosing a disease that is more common with age and seek to address that.

Spotlight

The spreadsheet conundrum... Joe Smith, sales director for Great Start-Up Number 5 Billion and Thirty-One, puts on a blindfold and reaches out blindly for something, ANYTHING, to help him organize his team’s deals and commissions. He’s hopeful. He’s waiting. He knows he’ll come back with something. We’re talking metaphorically, of course. He’s not actually HOLDING a spreadsheet, he’s using Excel—because it’s the lowest hanging fruit. It’s free and easy to learn. And for a while, you know what? It works great. He can use VLOOKUPS and shortcuts to navigate. He can import booking results and activity metrics from Salesforce or his CRM. He can get so good at it that packaging complex algorithms becomes second nature.


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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Harbour BioMed Announces Approval for Phase I Trial of B7H4x4-1BB Bispecific Antibody in Australia

Harbour BioMed | February 28, 2022

Harbour BioMed announced that, it has been approved by the Institutional Review Boards to commence phase I trial of its B7H4x4-1BB bispecific antibody in Australia. This study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and preliminary anti-tumor activity of HBM7008 in patients with solid tumors. HBM7008 is generated from our unique and innovative HBICE® platform. It targets Tumor Associated Antigen mediated crosslinking T cell activation through 4-1BB. B7H4 is overexpressed on a variety of solid malignancies, including breast, ovarian, endometrial and non-small cell lung cancers. With its crosslinking dependent specificity on tumors and potent immune modulation activity, HBM7008 has shown excellent safety profile with strong anti-tumor efficacy in the pre-clinical study, including completed response observed in mouse tumor model. "4-1BB is one of the most promising anti-tumor immune targets, providing new solutions for tumor treatment. Based on preclinical study data, we are highly confident in B7H4x4-1BB bispecific antibody. We will efficiently promote this clinical study to provide an novel, effective and safe treatment for patients, so that more tumor patients can benefit from the innovative therapeutic." Dr. Xiaoxiang Chen, Chief Development Officer of Harbour BioMed About HBM7008 HBM7008 is a bispecific antibody targeting Tumor Associated Antigen B7H4x4-1BB that not only displays high potency in the T cell co-stimulation and tumor growth inhibition, and potentially may also translate to better safety due to its strict dependency of TAA-mediated crosslinking T cell activation. HBM7008 is one of the fully human bispecific antibodies developed from the HBICE® platform of the Company. It is the only bispecific antibody against these two targets globally. Its unique specificity on tumors and immune modulation activity makes it a promising therapeutics in PD-L1 negative or PD-1/PD-L1 resistant patients. It also has the potential to avoid 4-1BB liver toxicity risk observed in other products with the benefit of its innovative biology mechanisms and bispecific design. About Harbour BioMed Harbour BioMed is a global biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel antibody therapeutics focusing on immunology and oncology. The Company is building its robust portfolio and differentiated pipeline through internal R&D capability, collaborations with co-discovery and co-development partners and select acquisitions.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

EyeBio Raises $65M in Series A Funding to Develop New Generation of Eye Disease Therapies

Eyebiotech Limited | February 23, 2022

Eyebiotech Limited a privately held ophthalmology biotechnology company working to deliver a new generation of therapies for eye diseases, today announced the completion of a successful $65 million Series A funding round. SV Health Investors led the round, alongside Samsara BioCapital and Jeito Capital, with additional financial backing from MRL Ventures. The Series A brings together an international team of executives and investors with an extensive track record for developing ground-breaking ophthalmology therapies. EyeBio launches with a specific mission: to protect, restore, and improve vision for people who are underserved by available eye disease therapies. The company will use proceeds from the Series A to assemble and develop a diversified pipeline of product candidates that combines scientifically compelling targets with innovative translational approaches. The company has established a footprint in the United Kingdom to take advantage of the innovation-friendly environment for its clinical trial development. EyeBio welcomes inquiries regarding in-licensing and acquisition of assets into its portfolio. “Advances in research are revealing new opportunities to translate science into solutions that serve patients with eye diseases who have urgent and unaddressed medical needs. Patients and physicians deserve new and better solutions, which is why this team of serial disruptors has banded together to form EyeBio. We are launching at an exciting time, and we are equipped with the resources to make a significant impact.” Dr. Guyer, Co-Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of EyeBio “EyeBio is well positioned to improve outcomes for patients by addressing a segment of ophthalmology that needs further innovation,” said Dr. Adamis, Co-Founder, Director, and Chair of the Advisory Board of EyeBio. “Success requires an ability to execute and deliver new therapies with speed and quality. EyeBio has the talent, skillset, and willingness to introduce new solutions to address familiar problems.” Prior to co-founding EyeBio, Dr. Guyer served as executive chairman and CEO of Iveric Bio, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for retinal diseases. Dr. Adamis previously served as Senior Vice President of Development Innovation at Genentech, a member of The Roche Group. Over his career, he led development programs in multiple therapeutic areas and oversaw 25 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals. About EyeBio Eyebiotech Limited is a privately held ophthalmology biotechnology company dedicated to developing and delivering a new generation of therapies to protect, restore, and improve vision in patients with sight-threatening eye diseases. Founded in August 2021 by David Guyer, M.D., and Anthony P. Adamis, M.D., EyeBio has a leadership team composed of serial disruptors in ophthalmology drug development. With operations in the United States and the United Kingdom, EyeBio is building and advancing a pipeline of ocular therapies that combine scientifically robust targets with innovative translational approaches. About SV Health Investors SV Health Investors is a leading healthcare fund manager committed to investing in tomorrow’s healthcare breakthroughs. The SV family of funds invests across stages, geographic regions, and sectors, with expertise spanning biotechnology, dementia, healthcare growth, healthcare technology and public equities. With approximately $2.7 billion in assets under management and a truly transatlantic presence with offices in Boston and London, SV has built an extensive network of talented investment professionals and experienced industry veterans. Since its founding in 1993, SV has invested in more than 200 companies with more than 90 of these having achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. About Samsara BioCapital Samsara BioCapital is a new breed of biotech investment fund focused on translating cutting-edge biology into new therapies to treat patients with unmet medical needs. Founded in 2016 by Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D., our team of scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs takes a long-term view to value creation across all stages of public and private life science companies. We believe in a collaborative, hands-on approach, working closely with entrepreneurs to harness exciting scientific advances and build leading companies. Samsara actively manages over US $1 billion in assets on behalf of endowments, foundations, and family offices. About Jeito Capital Jeito Capital is a global leading investment company with a patient benefit-driven approach that finances and accelerates the development and growth of ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports entrepreneurs through its expert, integrated, multi-talented team and through the investment of significant capital to ensure the growth of companies, building market leaders in their respective therapeutic areas with accelerated patients’ access in Europe and the United States. Jeito Capital has €534 million under management. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States. About MRL Ventures MRL Ventures Fund (MRLV) is the therapeutics-focused corporate venture fund of Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Kenilworth, N.J., USA. From its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., USA, the MRLV team invests globally in early-stage innovative therapeutics companies that are developing transformative medicines in any therapeutic area using any modality. The MRLV team of experienced life-sciences venture capital professionals is committed to supporting great entrepreneurs in their quest to create value through building companies that have a meaningful impact on health and disease.

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Cortexyme Successfully Completes Acquisition of Novosteo

Cortexyme | May 21, 2022

Cortexyme, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutic approaches to improve the lives of patients diagnosed with degenerative diseases, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Novosteo, a privately-held biotech company focused on targeted therapeutics to treat rare skeletal diseases, bone cancer and injury. Novosteo stockholders now own approximately 15.5% of the combined company. With the completion of the acquisition, Cortexyme appointed former Novosteo executives Dr. Dirk Thye as Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Karen Smith as Chief Medical Officer of Cortexyme. Dr. Thye and Dr. Philip Low have been appointed to the Cortexyme’s Board of Directors. Cortexyme plans to change its name to Quince Therapeutics, Inc. in the coming months to reflect the broadening pipeline of the company. Inducement Grant Under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(C)(4) In conjunction with the close of the Novosteo acquisition, Cortexyme reported that the Compensation Committee of the company’s Board of Directors approved grants of stock options to purchase an aggregate of 3,744,255 shares of Cortexyme’s common stock, which includes options to purchase (i) 1,979,650 shares to Dr. Dirk Thye, (ii) 1,365,449 shares to Dr. Karen Smith, (iii) 353,656 shares to Brendan Hannah, and (iv) an aggregate of 45,500 shares to six additional newly hired employees. The stock options will be issued under the Cortexyme, Inc. 2022 Inducement Plan with a grant date of May 23, 2022 and an exercise price equal to the closing price of a share of Cortexyme common stock on the grant date. The stock options are being issued as an inducement material to each new employee entering into employment with Cortexyme, in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The stock options vest over four years, with 25% vesting on the first anniversary of the vesting commencement date for each employee and the remainder vesting in 36 installments over the following three years, subject to each employee being continuously employed by Cortexyme as of such vesting dates. About Cortexyme Cortexyme, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRTX) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of patients diagnosed with degenerative diseases. The company’s innovative pipeline includes a precision bone growth molecule and drug-targeting platform to treat rare skeletal diseases, bone cancer and injury, in addition to small molecule therapeutics targeting the infectious pathogen P. gingivalis’ role in degenerative disease progression, including for indications such as periodontal disease, oral potentially malignant disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

WILLOW BIOSCIENCES TO HOST INVESTOR PRESENTATION WEBCAST

Willow Biosciences Inc. | February 01, 2022

Willow Biosciences Inc. a leading biotechnology company that manufactures pure, consistent and sustainable cannabinoids via yeast biosynthesis, announced that it will host a webcast investor presentation on Thursday, February 3rd at 2:00 PM EST. During the webcast, Willow's President and Chief Executive Officer Trevor Peters will provide a presentation through a PowerPoint discussion that will cover key areas of Willow's business. After the formal presentation, investors will have an opportunity to ask relevant questions through an interactive Q&A portal. About Willow Biosciences Inc. Willow is a leading biotechnology company that develops and produces high-purity, plant derived ingredients for the consumer care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. Willow's FutureGrown™ biotechnology platform allows scale production of pure, consistent, and sustainable product to benefit both B2B and B2C customers. Willow's R&D team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products for both the consumer and pharmaceutical industries.

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Spotlight

The spreadsheet conundrum... Joe Smith, sales director for Great Start-Up Number 5 Billion and Thirty-One, puts on a blindfold and reaches out blindly for something, ANYTHING, to help him organize his team’s deals and commissions. He’s hopeful. He’s waiting. He knows he’ll come back with something. We’re talking metaphorically, of course. He’s not actually HOLDING a spreadsheet, he’s using Excel—because it’s the lowest hanging fruit. It’s free and easy to learn. And for a while, you know what? It works great. He can use VLOOKUPS and shortcuts to navigate. He can import booking results and activity metrics from Salesforce or his CRM. He can get so good at it that packaging complex algorithms becomes second nature.

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