San Diego

PacBio’s $600M Omniome buyout brings together long & short of DNA sequencing

DNA sequencing company Pacific Biosciences has reached a $600 million agreement to acquire Omniome, a startup with complementary sequencing technology. The cash and stock deal comes about 18 months after antitrust concerns led PacBio and sequencing giant Illumina to terminate their tie-up.

Erasca’s IPO leads the way as three cancer biotechs raise $534M for clinical trials

Cancer drug developer Erasca, whose mission is to “erase cancer,” has raised $300 million from its IPO. The clinical-stage biotech addresses a single elusive cancer target; it has multiple programs taking multiple approaches, two of them in human testing and the rest on track to join them.

Wugen unveils $172M to take natural killer cell therapies to solid tumors

Wugen, a biotech developing “off-the-shelf” natural killer and CAR T cell therapies, has raised $172 million in Series B financing. The company’s lead program has already reached human testing and the new capital will be used to continue that research and advance other pipeline programs to the clinic.

Heron Therapeutics’ combo drug for post-surgical pain wins FDA nod on third try

Heron Therapeutics is positioning its drug, Zynrelef, as a way to help patients avoid addictive opioid painkillers following surgery. The extended-release formulation offers analgesic effects over 72 hours—when postsurgical pain is most severe and more likely to require pain management medication.

Two new biotechs unveil $112M combined for antibody drug conjugates for cancer

The list of FDA-approved antibody drug conjugates (ADC) is growing, and two more biotech startups have emerged from stealth with new cash and new approaches to this type of cancer drug. Adcendo and Adcentrx raised a combined $112 from their Series A financings.

Startup Boundless Bio brings in $105M to break the circle behind cancer growth

Boundless Bio’s research has uncovered a previously unknown driver of cancer growth and drug resistance. With $105 million in Series B financing, the biotech is on a path to bring to the clinic small molecules that address this target, called extrachromosomal DNA.

Stealthy biotech Janux nabs $125M and joins chase to direct T cells to solid tumors

Biotech startup Janux Therapeutics has a technology that selectively and safely directs T cells to strike cancer cells and an R&D partnership with Merck. Now it has $125 million in Series B financing as it joins the chase to bring these T cell engager drugs to solid tumors.

FDA rejects Acadia’s bid for Nuplazid approval in dementia-related psychosis

The FDA’s rejection of Nuplazid cited clinical trial results in subgroups of patients. Acadia Pharmaceuticals said the FDA’s decision goes against all feedback the company previously received and amounts to an incorrect way of evaluating dementia patients.

Illumina’s $7.1B Grail buyout is challenged by FTC on competitive grounds

The Federal Trade Commission is opposing Illumina’s proposed $7.1 billion Grail acquisition, arguing that it will reduce competition for multi-cancer early detection tests. Illumina disagrees with the regulator’s position and will oppose the FTC’s challenge.

Neurocrine nixes Parkinson’s gene therapy from Voyager Theraeutics alliance

The Neurocrine decision follows a clinical hold placed on the Parkinson’s program in December. It’s Voyager’s second loss of an R&D partner in the past year; AbbVie previously ended an alliance aiming to develop gene therapies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

$200M investment to advance clinical programs for Ambrx

The San Diego-based biopharma firm has several oncology therapies in development and has partnered in the past with the likes of Astellas, BeiGene and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

VelosBio raises $137M Series B round to support suite of ROR1-targeting cancer drugs

The company is currently running a Phase I study of its lead candidate, the antibody-drug conjugate VLS-101, in patients with lymphomas and leukemias. It has two additional antibody-drug conjugates and a bispecific antibody in preclinical development.