West Coast Bio Roundup: large Waves, giant cash & a Deep Pre-JPM16 Breath

San Francisco cable car rain winter holiday

I’d say this week used to be the calm ahead of the J.P. Morgan storm, excluding that we on the West Coast have had loads of storms this week. possibly no longer tornadoes, however weather sufficiently big to churn up 50 foot waves (January 09, 2016). (not to be at a loss for words with 50 Foot Wave.)

Seeing these surf pictures from Mavericks, simply south of San Francisco, is enough to make my coronary heart drop into my abdomen, although i guess it’s better than having 5,300-12 months-previous micro organism to your abdomen.

There used to be no calm this week in biotech information, both. the selling world has realized that releasing information all over J.P. Morgan is prone to get lost in the vortex because of newshounds circling Union square in 1/2-hour increments, trying to make their subsequent meetings on time.

There was funding news from Vancouver to San Diego, medical trial knowledge from just a few companies, and a hint of movement within the sometimes impenetrable gene modifying patent dispute involving UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna. Wait. Is that sunshine outdoor my window? Time to make hay. Let’s get to the roundup. We’ll begin with the patent dispute, move into funding information, hit just a little M&A, and finish up with trial information and different tidbits.

—As Xconomy reported Monday, the patent combat over possession of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing device is poised to begin a new, difficult segment. Two rival analysis groups, one headed by means of college of California, Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna, the opposite through the extensive Institute’s Feng Zhang, have submitted purposes for CRISPR-Cas9 patents. only Zhang’s facet has got patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark place of work, but the patent examiner has now asked that the dispute rise to a court docket-like atmosphere, known as interference, that might start this year.

—Guardant health, a Redwood metropolis, CA-primarily based diagnostics agency, raised $ one hundred million in a series D spherical led by OrbiMed Advisors to ramp up advertising efforts for its cancer genome diagnostic product, Guardant360. The “liquid biopsy” test detects cells that rising tumors have sloughed off right into a patient’s bloodstream, and it only requires a blood draw.

—Zymeworks of Vancouver, BC, mentioned it has raised a $ 61.5 million (US) series A mezzanine financing—typically the final step before an IPO effort—co-led with the aid of Canadian buyers BDC Capital and Lumira Capital. The antibody developer plans to maneuver its two lead products into medical trials later this yr. The agency also stated it inked a construction maintain Kairos Therapeutics that features an way to merge companies in the future. details weren’t disclosed. Kairos is a spinout of The Centre for Drug research and construction, a Canadian national drug translational middle also based totally in Vancouver. Zymeworks has also signed partnerships with Celgene, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, and Eli Lilly.

—Down San Diego means, Otonomy (NASDAQ: OTIC) raised $ one hundred million in a inventory providing of 20 million shares. the corporate will use the money to sign up about 160 participants in a late-stage medical trial for OTO-104, its treatment for an internal ear disorder often called Meniere’s disease. last month, Otonomy said the FDA authorized its antibiotic compound (Otiprio) to be used in pediatric patients undergoing tympanostomy tube placement.

—South San Francisco, CA-based Cortexyme has tapped Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) because the lead investor in a $ 15 million sequence A spherical to additional its building of an Alzheimer’s remedy aimed at a bacterial pathogen that the corporate has not revealed. it is presently in preclinical studies. Cortexyme used to be seeded by Dolby family Ventures, which is funding novel approaches to fight Alzheimer’s in honor of audio pioneer Ray Dolby, who died of the disease in 2013.

—extra evidence that new techniques to neuroscience are being rewarded with investment: San Francisco biotech Alector, developing remedies for Alzheimer’s and different neurological illnesses, raised a $ 29.5 million collection D funding simply three months after closing a $ 32 million collection C round. As Xconomy precise here, Alector targets to improve medicine that lean upon the growing evidence that the immune machine performs a key function in neurodegeration. the new round used to be led by way of the Dementia Discovery Fund. New traders Amgen Ventures and AbbVie and current traders additionally joined the spherical.

—San Diego’s Pathway Genomics stated it raised greater than $ 40 million in a sequence E spherical from traders that embrace IBM Watson. Pathway, which has raised more than $ one hundred thirty million since it was once founded, has been creating a mobile app with IBM Watson to offer users with personalized well being information according to their well being history. The funding comes one week after Pathway agreed to pay $ 4 million to settle a U.S. division of Justice lawsuit over allegations of kickbacks to physicians in change for affected person referrals. Pathway denied all wrongdoing.

—San Diego’s GlySens mentioned it has closed on a $ 20 million collection D financing led by way of prior investors. GlySens is creating an implantable wi-fi sensor to observe blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. the corporate mentioned proceeds from the round would be used for clinical trials wanted to market the product in Europe and enlarge its operations.

—Ardelyx (NASDAQ: ARDX) of Fremont, CA, raised $ seventy five million in a sale of 7.5 million shares to push ahead with segment three trials of its two lead drug candidates, amongst other things.

—again to San Diego for a spot of M&A: medical instrument maker NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA) paid $ 380 million in money upfront to purchase Aliso Viejo, CA-based Ellipse applied sciences, which could get an additional $ 30 million in milestone payments. Ellipse has developed implantable rods that can be lengthened magnetically to help proper spinal and complex skeletal deformities. The know-how would lend a hand extend NuVasive’s own line of spinal surgical instruments.

—South San Francisco-primarily based Cytokinetics (NASDAQ: CYTK) has begun a seventy two-patient, segment 2 trial in spinal muscular atrophy. Its development companion on the drug, CYK-2127017, is Astellas Pharma.

—Tobira Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TBRA) has clearance to maneuver its drug cenicriviroc into human trials for the liver illness major sclerosing cholangitis. as a result of cenicriviroc has been tested in patients for other indications, reminiscent of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and HIV, Tobira will move in an instant into phase 2 for PSC.

—San Diego’s Effector Therapeutics, which raised $ forty million before Christmas, commenced dosing in an early stage clinical find out about of its drug candidate eFT508 in strong tumors. Effector stated eFT508 also will be examined in lymphoma.

—final bits: Diagnostics agency Veracyte of South San Francisco is moving into new headquarters… Verge Genomics of San Francisco has recruited an all-superstar scientific advisory board, including geneticist George Church and neurologist Rudy Tanzi of Harvard college and Paul Aisen of the college of Southern California… Washington state’s biotech change team life Science Washington has a new period in-between CEO…. Annexon Biosciences of South San Francisco has brought on two new executives.