GlaxoSmithKline has helped Sitryx to a $30 million (€26 million) funding round. Newly formed British biotech Sitryx will use the money and its relationship with GSK to move immunometabolism assets toward human testing.
Sitryx is built upon research into the role metabolic pathways play in the function of immune cells and, by extension, the development of cancers and autoimmune diseases. By designing drugs that act on these pathways, Sitryx and its transatlantic syndicate of founding scientists think they can correct immune cell function and stop tumor growth.
GSK became aware of the research through an initiative that connects it to immunology academics. Seeing the potential, GSK’s drug discovery and chemistry teams are working with Sitryx and sharing technologies and chemical matter with the startup.
The Big Pharma is one of a clutch of well-known investors that helped get Sitryx off the ground. SV Health Investors, which provided initial seed funding, co-led the round with Sofinnova Partners. GSK and Longwood Fund chipped in cash too, giving Sitryx the means to advance one of its portfolio of oncology and immuno-inflammatory drugs to the cusp of the clinic.
“The funding round was sized to allow us to achieve one IND/CTA approval and, if projects progress as we anticipate, to initiate IND-enabling preclinical studies for a second program,” Sitryx CEO Neil Weir said.
Weir served as SVP of UCB Pharma until recently. The CEO joined a company that has already built up a portfolio of early-stage small molecules, proteolysis-targeting chimeras and topical formulations aimed at oncology and immuno-inflammatory indications.
The breadth of the portfolio factored into Weir’s decision to join Sitryx.
“Sitryx presented an opportunity for me to build on my pharmaceutical experiences, to lead an organization and work with an excellent set of founding scientists,” Weir said. “Having the confidence that sufficient funding would be generated to give a real opportunity to discover novel medicines was also important. And this is not a one-shot company, we have a portfolio of opportunities to develop here so I’m very excited about the company’s potential.”
By: Nick Paul Taylor
Source: Fierce Biotech
A monkeypox outbreak is emerging in the U.S. and Europe, and at least one country is amping up countermeasure preparedness. Bavarian Nordic has secured a contract with an unnamed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in Europe, in response to the emergence of monkeypox cases, the Danish company said Thursday.
Moderna’s recent chief financial officer debacle—in which Jorge Gomez departed on his second day on the job—raised questions about the company’s hiring process given its rush to global biopharma prominence. The most obvious one: How was it possible for Gomez to be hired when he was under investigation by his previous employer, Dentsply Sirona of Charlotte, N.C.
Merck & Co. is plucking a cancer project from the branch of Chinese-based Kelun Pharmaceutical for up to $1.4 billion, but details from the New Jersey-based Big Pharma have been hard to come by. The deal, first disclosed Monday on the Shenzhen stock exchange, has Merck handing over $47 million in upfront cash in exchange for ex-China rights to a “macromolecular tumor project.”