Author Archives: Richard Daverman

CDMO GenScript ProBio raises $224m

GenScript ProBio of Nanjing, a biologics CDMO with operations around the globe, has raised $224 million in a C round funding. ProBio offers end-to-end contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services from drug discovery to commercialization for antibodies, cell and gene therapies. The company said it would use the capital to increase manufacturing capacity, advance its R&D offerings and acquire companies that add services. After the funding, GenScript Biotech, a gene synthesis company, will continue to own 70% of ProBio,…

WuXi Bio signs $1.5bn TCE antibody pact with GSK

WuXi Biologics has out-licensed global rights for up to four preclinical bi- and multi-specific TCE antibodies to GSK in a $1.5 billion agreement. TCEs are antibody-based immunotherapies that redirect T cells to kill cancer cells. Initially, GSK will have the rights to a preclinical bispecific antibody that crosslinks tumor cells and T cells by targeting a tumor-associated antigen (TAA) on tumor cells and CD3 expression on T cells. GSK may exercise rights for up to three additional earlier-stage preclinical TCE antibodies.…

Full-Life to acquire peptide firm Focus-X for $245m

Full-Life Technologies, a year-old Brussels-Shanghai radiotherapeutics company, will acquire New Jersey’s Focus-X Therapeutics for up to $245 million. Using its proprietary peptide engineering technology. Focus-X has built a portfolio of eight radiopharmaceuticals targeting various cancers. Its lead assets are a prostate specific membrane antigen (PMSA)-targeted peptide for advanced prostate cancer and a neurotensin receptor type 1 (NTSR1)-targeted peptide for pancreatic cancer. Focus-X shareholders will receive an upfront payment, up to $245 million in milestones plus royalties on sales. Founded in 2020,…

IASO collaborates with Umoja for allogenic CAR-T therapies

Umoja Biopharma of Seattle to test the efficacy of its iCIL off-the-shelf cell therapy platform with Shanghai IASO Bio’s CAR candidates. Umoja’s allogeneic stem cell-based cell therapy platform uses a proprietary manufacturing process to direct differentiation and expansion of iCILs, a novel class of innate lymphocytes with potent anti-tumor activity. Initially, the companies will work to develop off-the-shelf therapies for patients with acute myeloid leukemia. IASO’s lead product is an autologous BCMA CAR-T currently at NDA stage in China that…

Neurophth enters $140m gene therapy collaboration with Cyagen

Wuhan Neurophth has announced a $140 million agreement to use Cyagen’s AI platform to discover novel AAV vectors. Cyagen is a Santa Clara, California gene therapy contract research organization (CRO) with offices in China and Japan that offers genetically modified rodent models. Neurophth is developing gene therapies for ophthalmology indications. The company’s lead drug recently started a Phase III trial for ND4-mediated Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (ND4-LHON) with plans to conduct trials of the drug in China and the US.…

JW partners with 2seventy to develop T Cell immunotherapies

Shanghai JW Therapeutics will partner with Boston’s 2seventy bio to use 2seventy’s cell therapy platform to develop T cell-based immunotherapies for Greater China. The collaboration will focus initially on 2seventy bio’s MAGE-A4 TCR program in solid tumors. JW will be responsible for development, manufacturing, and commercialization within China. 2seventy bio will receive milestones and royalty payments on revenues in China, and 2seventy may use JW’s clinical data to support ex-China development. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. JW…

VectorBuilder raises $57m in China for gene therapy delivery

Chicago-based VectorBuilder, a gene therapy delivery CDMO, raised $57 million in a Series C round from China investors. VectorBuilder develops and optimizes gene delivery products for research institutions and pharma companies. Earlier this year, the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) announced plans to build a $500 million gene delivery manufacturing and research campus in Guangzhou, China. The C round was co-led by Legend Capital, Suikai Investment (55% owned by state-owned firm Guangzhou Development District Investment Group) and Yuexiu Industrial…

Moderna and China at impasse over mRNA COVID vaccine

Moderna is ‘eager’ to sell its mRNA vaccine in China but balks at the idea of transferring its technology or building a manufacturing facility in the country. The conditions being imposed by China are: Moderna must sign up with a China-based partner, transferring all its technology to the China company and allowing the China company to make the drug, or the company must build a China manufacturing facility, again with a China partner, which would not involve a technology transfer.…

Neukio Bio raises $50m for allogenic CAR-T therapies

Shanghai, China-based Neukio Biotherapeutics has completed a $50 million Series A-1 funding to support development of its cell therapy molecules, especially off-the-shelf allogenic CAR-T therapies. After raising $40 million in an Angel round last year, the company will use these latest funds to accelerate preclinical/clinical validation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapy products, while also expanding its team and operations. This latest funding was led by CD Capital, with participation from Alwin Capital and Surplus Capital…

Porton Advanced raises $80m for CGT CDMO Operations

Chinese cell and gene therapy (CGT) CDMO Porton Advanced Solutions has completed an $80 million Series B round to expand its business into new markets. The Suzhou, China-based company has built an integrated contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) platform that provides plasmids, cell therapy, gene therapy, oncolytic virus, nucleic acid therapy and microbial vectors used for gene therapy. Currently, Porton has a 40,000 square-foot R&D and GMP production facility that has been operating for over two years. It expects a…