immunology

Dice’s IPO roll comes up with $204M for R&D of oral drugs to rival biologics

Dice Therapeutics raised $204 million from its IPO to support development of oral drugs that could compete against biologic drugs that are injected or infused. Also debuting on the public markets were Tyra Biosciences and Procept BioRobotics.

Rome Therapeutics raises $77m for junk DNA-targeting drugs

Startup Rome Therapeutics has raised $77 million in second-round financing to help mine sequences of DNA – which were dismissed for years as ‘junk’ – for hidden treasure. The Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech is focusing specifically on the 60% of DNA sequences that repeat themselves hundreds or thousands of times in the genome, known as the …

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Novartis’ transplant drug hope iscalimab flunks mid-stage trial

Novartis hopes of improving on tacrolimus as the standard drug for preventing organ rejection in transplant patients have been dashed after its iscalimab candidate failed a mid-phase trial. An interim analysis of data from the CIRRUS-1 trial suggested that iscalimab (CFZ533) was less effective than tacrolimus at preventing rejection in kidney transplant patients when both …

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Lilly taps Lycia for protein degrader tech in $1.6bn deal

Eli Lilly has bolstered its position the fast-emerging area of protein degrader drugs, agreeing a $1.6 billion-plus deal with Lycia Therapeutics spanning up to five drug targets. The drugmaker has looked close to home for its latest entry into the category, as Lycia’s founder Prof Carolyn Bertozzi has held a seat on its board of …

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With Alzheimer’s market opening up, Lilly forms neuroscience unit

Eli Lilly is one of the front runners in the bid to follow Biogen and Eisai onto the market with an anti-amyloid drug for Alzheimer’s disease, and its preparing the ground with a restructuring of its business units. As of 5 September, Lilly’s BioMedicines division will be split in two to form Lilly Neuroscience and …

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Bayer bolsters R&D platform with $2bn Vividion takeover

Bayer headlined its second-quarter results this morning by unveiling a deal to buy Vividion Therapeutics, saying it will boost its ability to develop medicines against targets once considered “undruggable.” Bayer is paying $1.5 billion upfront to claim ownership of Vividion‘s drug discovery platform, which uses chemoproteomics to identify new binding sites on proteins and find …

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Sanofi swoops on partner Translate, buying the mRNA firm for $3.2bn

Sanofi has been forging ever-closer ties with its mRNA partner Translate Bio since the two started working together in 2018, and has now gone all in, offering $3.2 billion to buy the company outright. The $38-per-share deal – a 56% premium to Translate’s recent share price before an after-hours surge in the stock on rumours …

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Final hurdle falls as UK backs AZ’s $39bn takeover of Alexion

The UK’s competition regulator has approved AstraZeneca’s $39 billion acquisition of US-based drugmaker Alexion, without opting for a broader inquiry into the deal. The nod from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after an initial assessment means that it concluded no antitrust risks were associated with the deal. It was the final needed from a …

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COVID-19 neutralising antibody tests – an integrated approach

Nina Garrett, R&D director at Abingdon Health discusses the key role antibody testing is playing in the pandemic and how an integrated approach with vaccines could help life resume. Millions of tests for COVID-19 are taken worldwide every day, as they become an increasingly important tool for our return to normality. Testing programmes have been …

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BMS Extends its 2019 Collaboration with Exscientia for AI Driven Drug Discovery

Shots: Exscientia to receive ~$50M as up front, ~$125M as milestones and additional clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones of over $1.2B along with royalties on net sales of any marketed therapies resulting from the collaboration The expanded collaboration has the potential to add to the BMS drug pipeline whilst enhancing Exscientia’s portfolio of shared assets. …

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Wall Street is lukewarm to Vera’s pivot from gene editing to rare kidney disease

Vera Therapeutics raised $47.9 million from its IPO to continue clinical development of its lead asset, a potential treatment for the kidney disease IgA nephropathy. But the company is joining a crowded field of companies aiming to develop a drug for the rare disorder.

Delay in giving second jabs of Pfizer vaccine improves immunity

Study finds antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 three-and-a-half times higher in people vaccinated again after 12 weeks rather than three Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK’s decision to delay second doses of coronavirus vaccines has received fresh support from research on the over-80s which found that giving the Pfizer/BioNTech booster after 12 …

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Sanofi begins three-year immunology R&D tie-up with Stanford

Sanofi has begun a three-year research collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine, working on better understanding of immunology and inflammation through open scientific exchange. The French pharma said it plans to provide funding and scientific inputs into projects of mutual interest in several therapeutic areas including autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions. Sanofi’s success in …

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Serimmune CEO: Leveraging the functional antibody repertoire will transform healthcare

In response to emailed questions, the CEO and CTO talk about the immune intelligence startups’ Human Immunity Map — a growing database of immune interactions that can support the development of multiplex diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.

AstraZeneca jab worry may play into hands of anti-vaxxers, say Tories

Iain Duncan Smith, former leader, and another MP, warn of eroded confidence in vaccine plan after ‘messy’ MHRA advice Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A decision to offer people under 30 an alternative vaccine to the AstraZeneca jab has prompted concern that some could shun the injection over fears about its …

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NIH abandons convalescent plasma trial in mild COVID

Another trial of convalescent plasma in people with COVID-19 has missed the mark, this time in mild to moderate disease, further dashing hopes that the therapy could have an impact on the infection.  Convalescent plasma taken from recovered COVID-19 patients is laden with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and the hope was this could be used to …

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Vaccine experts call for clarity on UK’s 12-week Covid jab interval

British Society for Immunology calls for a robust programme monitoring the body’s immune response Experts have called for greater clarity on the monitoring in place to assess the 12-week dosing interval for Covid-19 vaccines, as the row over delayed second doses continues. The UK’s coronavirus vaccination programme was shifted late last year to prioritise administering …

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Vaccine experts call for clarity on UK’s 12-week Covid jab interval

British Society for Immunology calls for a robust programme monitoring the body’s immune response Experts have called for greater clarity on the monitoring in place to assess the 12-week dosing interval for Covid-19 vaccines, as the row over delayed second doses continues. The UK’s coronavirus vaccination programme was shifted late last year to prioritise administering …

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Oxford Covid vaccine works in all ages, trials suggest

Vaccine being trialled by Oxford University and AstraZeneca offers hope for all age groups Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage One of the world’s leading Covid-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in both older and young adults, raising hopes of a path out of the gloom and economic destruction wrought by …

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