Top Biopharma News for 06/11/2024


Here are the latest stories being discussed in biopharma today:


Today’s Headlines in Biotech & Pharma

BIO’s New CEO Champions a Nationalistic Shift to Engage Congress

Facing critical changes in drug development and sales, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has appointed John Crowley as its new CEO. Crowley, a former biotech CEO and Navy veteran, is restructuring the organization by reducing staff, accentuating national security, and advocating for the Biosecure Act. This US-centric legislation targets Chinese contractors like WuXi AppTec. Crowley describes this strategy as a ‘Sputnik moment’ for the US, aiming to regain control over domestic drug manufacturing and possibly secure congressional support for increased funding in this area.

New Obesity Biotech, Syntis Bio, Offers Alternative to GLP-1s

Syntis Bio, a Boston-based company, has launched with a focus on obesity treatment through its oral daily pill, SYNT-101. This innovative drug aims to mimic gastric bypass surgery by blocking absorption in the upper small intestine and diverting it to the lower intestine. Currently in early human trials, data expected by year-end could support an IND application with the FDA in 2024. Founded by MIT professors Giovanni Traverso and Robert Langer, and led by CEO Rahul Dhanda, Syntis Bio raised $15.5 million in a seed round backed by several investors.

Versant-backed Bright Peak Shifts to Immunoconjugates with $90M Series C

Bright Peak Therapeutics has raised $90 million in a Series C funding round. The company is pivoting from its initial IL-2 focus to an ‘ADC-like’ approach with an ‘immunoconjugate’ therapy. CEO Fred Wiklund explained that choosing a potentially more innovative and competitive program is in line with what biotech companies should aim for, especially in a challenging market.

ARCH Ventures Invests in Moleculent to Advance Cell Interaction Research

Moleculent, a Stockholm-based company, has emerged from stealth mode with $26 million in Series A funding led by ARCH Venture Partners. The company, founded by Olle Ericsson, aims to develop advanced lab equipment capable of scrutinizing cells’ interactions in fine detail. This next-generation functional proteomics tool will allow researchers to analyze proteins involved in cellular communication, potentially revolutionizing how scientists understand cellular interactions.

ADC Startup Raises €30M; Cyrus Biotechnology Spins Out Levitate Bio

Adcytherix has secured €30 million in seed funding to develop next-generation antibody-drug conjugates. The startup is led by Jack Elands, who previously sold Emergence Therapeutics to Eli Lilly for an estimated $470 million. Additionally, Cyrus Biotechnology is spinning out Levitate Bio to commercialize its AI protein design software, developed in partnership with the University of Washington.

FDA Advisors Endorse Lilly’s Alzheimer’s Drug, Promoting a Likely Approval

Eli Lilly’s Alzheimer’s drug, donanemab, received unanimous support from an FDA advisory committee, setting the stage for its approval. The committee voted 11-0 in favor of the drug, based on data demonstrating its efficacy. Despite a surprising FDA decision to delay the approval earlier this year due to safety data and treatment plans, the strong endorsement suggests a favorable outcome is forthcoming.

Ipsen and Genfit Achieve FDA Approval for Rare Liver Disease Treatment

Pharmaceutical companies Ipsen and Genfit have received FDA approval for their treatment targeting primary biliary cholangitis, a rare liver condition. This marks a significant achievement in addressing an underserved area of medicine with limited treatment options.

Oculis Reports Phase 2 Dry Eye Disease Results

Oculis has announced Phase 2 results for their dry eye disease treatment. Although most data were not statistically significant, the company remains optimistic about further development and potential therapeutic benefits.