BioBiz: Immusoft inks deal with Takeda Pharma; Affyimmune closes $30M Series A Funding

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Rare disease therapy developer, Immusoft, has signed a licensing agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical with a total potential value of more than $900 million, to discover, develop and commercialize transformative cell therapies in rare inherited metabolic disorders with central nervous system manifestations and complications using Immusoft’s Immune System Programming (ISP™) technology platform, which modifies a patient’s B cells and instructs the cells to deliver gene-encoded therapies.

The collaboration will focus on delivering protein therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier, a promising area of Immusoft’s research, which has the potential to enable the treatment of diseases with high unmet need. Under the terms of the agreement, Immusoft will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and research funding support. The company is also eligible to receive future option fees and milestone payments with a total potential value of more than $900 million if all options are exercised and all milestones are achieved over the course of the partnership.

AffyImmune Therapeutics, Inc., recently closed a $30 million Series A+ funding by ORI Capital. The Company’s “Tune & Track” platform finely tunes the affinity of CAR T cells to reduce toxicity and increase CAR T cell longevity while allowing in vivo monitoring through a proprietary tracking system.

The funding will be used to advance the Phase 1 study of AffyImmune’s lead asset, AIC1000, for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer and refractory poorly differentiated thyroid cancer. In addition, AffyImmune will be able to conduct IND-enabling efforts for two additional pipeline candidates, and fund select drug discovery activities. AffyImmune also plans to double its headcount in the next nine months, with a focus on expanding its in-house discovery and leadership teams.

Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited has dosed its first patient in its ‘OPALESCENCE’ Phase II study of TLX250-CDx (89Zr-DFO-girentuximab) in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) at the Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest (ICO) in St Herblain, France.

This investigator-led study, led by Dr. Caroline Rousseau at ICO, aims to evaluate how carbonic anhydrase IX (CA9) imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) can be utilised for diagnosis and staging of TNBC and to develop a deeper understanding of CA9 as a potential therapeutic target in this patient population.1 The study will enroll 12 patients. TNBC has a poorer prognosis than other breast cancer subtypes and is characterised by its aggressive behaviour and distinct patterns of metastasis. There is a major unmet need due to the lack of targeted therapies for TNBC.

Telix Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Colin Hayward stated, “Telix is very pleased to see a first patient dosed in this important study of TLX250-CDx in TNBC, an aggressive breast cancer subtype that is poorly served by current tracers. Should the targeting properties of this PET/CT imaging tracer be established in TNBC, our intention is to broaden future applications for Telix’s lutetium-177 and actinium-225 based CA9 therapies.”

Medical device maker, Certus Critical Care Inc, has just been awarded two grants from the Department of Defense (DOD) totaling $3.1 million. The first of two grants included a $1.2 million non-dilutive equity grant that will enable the continued development of Certus’ Endovascular Variable Aortic Catheter (EVAC). Certus was also awarded a $1.9 million grant from the DOD for the continued development of their advanced ventilator analytics monitor. 

EVAC is a next-generation endovascular device with automated functionality for precision blood pressure control.  The initial FDA use indication will be for hemorrhagic shock. The EVAC System consists of both an endovascular catheter and an automated controller. The catheter is a low-profile endovascular device that uses precision sensors and adaptive algorithms to salvage patients affected by profound shock from blood loss.