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Week in Review: Xbiome Acquires Diabetic Foot Ulcer Therapy in $139 Million Deal
Deals and Financings
Xbiome, a Shenzhen AI-based microbiome drug development company, in-licensed China rights to an inflammatory disease therapy developed by Aurealis, a Swiss synthetic biology company, in a deal worth up to $139 million (see story). Xbiome will develop AUP-16 in Greater China for Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) and other chronic wounds. AUP-16 is a genetically engineered Lactococcus lactis, a non-pathogenic, probiotic bacteria. Last month, Xbiome completed a B+ funding of nearly $100 million. It has been approved to begin US trials of its lead program, an oral microbiome therapy for graft-versus-host disease.
Cure Genetics of Suzhou closed a $60 million Series B round to advance clinical development of its cell therapy candidates for hematological and solid tumors (see story). Cure was established by CRISPR pioneers in 2016 to develop therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers and genetic diseases. Its CRISPR-mediated single or multiplex gene editing platform is aimed at producing more effective or safer cell therapy products, including universal CAR-T candidates. The financing round was led by Advantech Capital and joined by Oriza Holdings, Blue Ocean Private Equity and Qiming Venture Capital.
Hong Kong's Grand Pharmaceutical (HK: 00512) acquired greater
Xiamen Biotime Biotech in-licensed a package of five drug assets (mostly preclinical) from Adlai Nortye, a
Ractigen Therapeutics, an RNAa company, closed a Series A+ financing totaling $30 million to bring its portfolio of 10 programs into clinical trials (see story). RNAa is based on short duplex RNAs, known as small activating RNAs, which up-regulate targeted endogenous genes, increasing production of therapeutic proteins silenced in diseased cells. Ractigen will also scale-up its oligonucleotide manufacturing capabilities. One year ago, Ractigen completed an $18 million Series A round. The A+ round was led by SDIC Venture Capital. The company is located in the Industry Park of Life and Health Science of Rudong,
Ignis Therapeutics, a Shanghai CNS company, acquired China rights from NeuroSigma of Los Angeles to a device that treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (see story). The Monarch eTNS System is based on external trigeminal nerve stimulation (eTNS). In the
EdiGene, a Beijing gene-editing company, announced a translational R&D collaboration with the Haihe Laboratory of Cell Ecosystem to develop hematopoietic stem cell regenerative therapies and a platform technology (see story). The Haihe Lab focuses on fundamental research and translation in the cell ecosystem. Under the agreement, both parties will work together to develop hematopoietic stem cell regenerative therapies, novel genetically-modified hematopoietic stem cell therapies and innovative biomarkers for quality control of stem cell production. EdiGene has started
Shanghai I-Mab (NSDQ: IMAB) partnered with Hangzhou Qiantang New Area to build a manufacturing facility for its transition to commercialization (see story). I-Mab Hangzhou's initial product will be felzartamab, an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody that has completed Phase III trials as a third-line treatment for multiple myeloma. The facility has already started pilot manufacturing operations including process development and analytical laboratories. Construction of an 80,000-square-meter manufacturing facility was completed in December 2021.
Suzhou ImmVira has started pilot-scale manufacturing of its custom-designed next-gen oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) vector, which ImmVira will use to enable CAR-T treatment of solid tumor cancers (see story). The vector will cause the tumor to express antigens that a CAR-T therapy will recognize. ImmVira will use the herpes simplex virus (oHSV) vectors to conduct pharmacological and toxicological studies for
Trials and Approvals
Applied Pharmaceutical Science has been approved to start US trials of its next-gen selective RET inhibitor, a proposed therapy for solid tumor RET cancers (see story). APS, a Beijing-Philadelphia company, is a precision therapy cancer biotech that develops cancer therapies based on cancer genetics, protein structure/function, synthetic medicinal chemistry, and verification via experiment and computation. The trial will enroll solid tumor patients with RET gene alterations or resistance to first-gen RET.