Monthly Archives

July 2019

Regenxbio out-licenses gene therapy vector to Pfizer

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REGENXBIO (NASDAQ:RGNX) inks an agreement with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) granting it a non-exclusive global license, with sublicense rights, to its NAV AAV9 vector for the development and commercialization of gene therapies for the treatment of a rare inherited neurodegenerative movement disorder called Friedreich’s ataxia.

Under the terms of the deal, RGNX will receive an upfront payment, milestones and royalties on net sales. Specific financial terms are not disclosed.

Via Seeking Alpha

Virginia Bio Names John Newby CEO

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RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Virginia Bio, the statewide non-profit trade association for the life science industry, today announces that John L. Newby II is named CEO, effective August 5, 2019.

Newby will be leaving his current role as the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS), where he leads an 850-member Agency located across 50 Virginia locations, delivering employment, education, benefits, behavioral health and long term health care services to Virginia’s Reservists, Guardsmen, transitioning service members and 725,000 veterans.

Andrew Krouse, Chairman of the Board Virginia Bio and CEO of the clinical stage pharmaceutical company Cavion, Inc., Charlottesville, VA, said: “We are fortunate to have someone of John Newby’s caliber and leadership experience at the helm of Virginia Bio. We face great opportunity for our members, the industry and the state, in rapidly changing times. Newby is an extraordinarily experienced leader with statewide responsibilities and national vision. He has a heart for service and an extraordinary dedication to Virginia. He has a proven track record of execution. He is passionate about the opportunities in our industry and knows what it takes to turn ideas into reality.”

Prior to leading VDVS Newby practiced corporate, intellectual property and Hatch-Waxman biopharmaceutical law at international law firms in Richmond and Washington DC, and at a multinational company. Newby previously commanded an Air Force special operations unit supporting the U.S. Army’s 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne), and served in Iraq as an aviator aboard the Boeing B-1B Lancer strategic bomber. Newby received his commission and Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Click here to read the entire release.

Maryland VC totals ‘rebound’ with $226M raised in Q2

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Venture funding raised by Maryland companies took a big jump in the second quarter of the year, as companies in the state raised a total of $226 million.

That’s a 180% increase over the first quarter total of $80 million, according to data from a PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree report. The number of deals also increased, from 19 in the first quarter to 21.

When it comes to overall totals, it marked a “a significant rebound for the state,”  said Brad Phillips, a director in PwC’s Emerging Company Services practice. It came after totals dipped in Q1 coming off a year in 2018 that saw the highest VC haul since 2001.

It also followed an overall trend that makes judging a single quarter difficult, as Maryland consistently sees up-and-down totals from quarter to quarter in the region.

Phillips also noted that three of the top five deals in the region were for Maryland-based companies, as well as 62% of the funding and more than half the number of deals within the DMV region. Those three biggest deals all came from Gaithersburg-based companies in the form of a $75 million Series B investment in biotech company Viela Bio, a $50 million Series B for on-demand manufacturing marketplace Xometry and a $22 million Series C for biopharmaceutical company Sirnaomics. Overall, the state ranked 12th in the U.S. for number of dollars invested and 11th for number of deals.

Read more via Baltimore.

Illumina Establishes First East Coast Location in University of Maryland BioPark

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BALTIMOREJuly 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Maryland (UM) BioPark and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, today announced Illumina, Inc., a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems, as the newest tenant in the UM BioPark’s 801 W. Baltimore St. building. The building is owned by Ventas, Inc., a life sciences real estate investment trust (REIT) and is part of Wexford’s Knowledge Community development at the UM BioPark.

Illumina’s 13,000-square-foot space in the UM BioPark will house its new Illumina Solutions Center facility, providing training lab capabilities and office space for customers and commercial teams. It will be the company’s first commercial location on the East Coast and will host hundreds of employees and customers annually.

“Our team is excited for the opportunity to inhabit the UM BioPark and to build upon our strong working relationship with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences and its Director, Claire Fraser, PhD. We believe this will facilitate collaborative engagement in research activities with our academic partner, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB),” shared Mark Van Oene, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Illumina. “We are inspired by all the ways genomics can stimulate economic activity to maximize impact in the region and fuel research with the potential to improve health outcomes for patients.”

Click here to read the entire press release.

MacroGenics and I-Mab Announce Exclusive Collaboration and License Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Enoblituzumab in Greater China

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ROCKVILLE, Md. and SHANGHAIJuly 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — MacroGenics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGNX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, and I-Mab Biopharma (I-Mab), a China and U.S.-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery and development of first-in-class and best-in-class biologics in immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases, announced today that the companies have entered into an exclusive collaboration and license agreement to develop and commercialize enoblituzumab. This investigational drug is an immune-optimized, anti-B7-H3 monoclonal antibody that incorporates MacroGenics’ proprietary Fc Optimization technology platform. Enoblituzumab represents one of the most advanced programs in development directed against B7-H3, a target for which no agent is currently approved. I-Mab obtains regional development and commercialization rights in mainland ChinaHong KongMacau and Taiwan.

As part of the collaboration, I-Mab will both lead regional studies in its territories as well as participate in global studies conducted by MacroGenics. MacroGenics intends to initiate a Phase 2 study of enoblituzumab in combination with MGA012 (also known as INCMGA0012), an investigational anti-PD-1 antibody that MacroGenics licensed to Incyte Corporation, in first-line patients with head and neck cancer later this year.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with I-Mab to further accelerate and broaden the development of enoblituzumab and to support our mission of bringing innovative medicines to patients with high unmet medical needs,” said Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MacroGenics. “We believe that I-Mab is an ideal partner given its track record of rapidly progressing innovative immuno-oncology programs and its ability to tap into the growing pharmaceutical market in this region.”

Click here to read the entire release.

WBJ – Altimmune to acquire California company for up to $93M

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Maryland biotech Altimmune Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire California drug developer Spitfire Pharma Inc. in a move that sent the local company’s stock skyrocketing Tuesday.

Under the deal, Gaithersburg-based Altimmune (NASDAQ: ALT) will make a $5 million upfront payment in common stock to Spitfire’s equity holders, who could also receive $8 million in future clinical and regulatory milestone payments and up to $80 million in sales milestones, the company reported.

Both companies’ boards of directors and Spitfire equity holders approved the merger, according to public filings. The transaction is expected to close this month and is subject to customary closing conditions.

The deal puts Spitfire’s flagship product candidate — a treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, a condition marked by fat buildup in the liver — into Altimmune’s pipeline of flu and anthrax vaccines. South San Francisco-based Spitfire was started by Dr. John Nestor and Velocity Pharmaceutical Development LLC, which was created by West Coast venture capital firm Presidio Partners. The company was formed to develop a treatment for NASH, the most severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that causes inflammation and liver cell damage.

The product is slated to enter clinical development next year, with a phase 1 clinical trial on the horizon for 2021. The company projects a $10 million budget to get it there.

For Altimmune, a clinical-stage immunotherapeutics company, the addition makes sense; the candidate, now called ALT-801, builds on its liver disease work within its hepatitis B program, according to the company. It’s “a transformative transaction,” said Dr. Vipin Garg, Altimmune’s president and CEO, in a statement.

“NASH is a significant unmet need. There are no approved treatments available, and prevalence is growing worldwide as a consequence of an expanding obesity epidemic,” Garg said. “Compelling preclinical data generated by Spitfire suggests that ALT-801 could reverse obesity, a primary cause of NASH, thereby reducing excess liver fat, inflammation and fibrosis associated with the disease.”

Click here to read more via the Washington Business Journal

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