More News! Eczema, gene therapies, antimicrobial glass and more…

Try as we might, we can’t cover all the fascinating biotech news that is out there. Here’s a roundup of what didn’t make the cut over the last couple of weeks.

Clinical trials

  • UK biotech SkinBio Therapeutics reported that its candidate ‘microbiome’ cream for treating eczema is safe and helps improve skin hydration in a first test in healthy volunteers.
  • Adocia announced positive early results from a phase I trial of a new formulation of pramlintide and fast-acting insulin developed by the French company for treatment of type 1 diabetes.
  • 72-week results from GenSight Biologics phase III trial of its gene therapy for Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy showed continued sight improvement in patients, but no notable difference in improvement between placebo and gene-therapy treated eyes.

Regulations and funding

  • Dutch biotech Uniqure received US FDA fast track status for its gene therapy for treating Huntington’s disease, which should allow the treatment to be approved more quickly if found to be effective.
  • The US FDA approved UK-based ViiV Healthcare’s Dovato, a once-daily, single-tablet, two-drug regimen for previously untreated adults with HIV infection.
  • Nanna Therapeutics, a UK biotech developing drugs to target age-related diseases, received a grant of €960,291 from Innovate UK to help develop its drugs targeting mitochondrial disorders and related conditions.
  • UK-based Arterius and researchers at the University of Bristol received a €1.3M grant from Innovate UK to fund a collaboration to develop biodegradable stents for implantation in patients with serious cardiovascular disease.
  • Irish biotech Avectas raised €8.9M in equity funding to develop its non-viral cell engineering technology for use in cell and gene therapies.
  • Probiodrug, a German biotech, raised €8.2M from private sales of shares to help fund a phase IIb trial of its Alzheimer’s therapy and to develop new immune checkpoint inhibitors to target cancer.  
  • International molecular diagnostics firm Yourgene Health says it’s planning to buy UK-based genetic testing company Elucigene for a proposed €10.6M to expand its genetic test portfolio.

Collaborations

  • French biotech Theranexus, which focuses on treating neurological diseases, will partner with researchers in Rennes to use artificial intelligence to help the company choose better drug targets.
  • Gene therapy biotech Gyroscope Therapeutics and medical device company Orbit Biomedical, both based in the UK, will merge to create an ‘end-to-end’ retinal gene therapy company that can manufacture all its own therapies and components.
  • PureTech Health will partner with German big pharma Boehringer Ingelheim to develop immuno-oncology drugs that can target the lymphatic system in a deal that could be worth more than €200M to the US biotech.
  • Enesi Pharma will collaborate with the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to use the UK biotech’s solid vaccine technology to target the flu virus.

Science

  • ‘Bioactive’ glass, containing small amounts of cobalt, can kill a number of pathogenic microbes, showed UK researchers, who believe this new material can be used to help target antimicrobial resistance.  

Images via E. Resko

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