A stellar week for Optimum clients

Novo Holdings leads Clasp Therapeutics’ $150m fundraiser 

Novo Holdings co-led Clasp Therapeutics’ $150 million fundraiser to develop precision immune-oncology using next-generation T-cell engagers. 

Clasp is leveraging advances made by its scientific founders at Johns Hopkins University, including leading cancer geneticist and HHMI investigator Bert Vogelstein, M.D., and immuno-oncology pioneer Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., who have envisioned a new approach to single out cancer cells for destruction by the immune system. 

Mission Therapeutics begins landmark trial of MTX325, a potential disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s Disease 

Cambridge-based Mission Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech developing first-in-class therapeutics targeting mitophagy, announced on Thursday the start of a Phase I first-in-human clinical trial of MTX325, its potential disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). 

The start of the trial, which is taking place in the UK, follows the publication of a key academic paper in the journal Nature Communications last December by scientists at Cambridge University, Harvard University and Mission Therapeutics. The paper outlined Mission’s preclinical research in mouse models, which supports the thesis that MTX325 can modify the course of PD by targeting an enzyme called USP30.  

 Heidelberg Pharma receives royalty cash, reports progress in multiple myeloma study 

Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) specialist Heidelberg Pharma began the week on a positive note, announcing on Tuesday that it had received the first non-refundable cash payment of $25 million from its royalty purchase agreement with HealthCare Royalty signed earlier this month. 

Ladenburg, Germany-based Heidelberg also reported progress from its lead ADC candidate HDP-101 in a Phase I/IIa multiple myeloma study –  following a protocol amendment approved by the FDA the study will be expanded to include a dose escalation cohort. 

Novo Nordisk Foundation in collab to build world-leading AI supercomputer 

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is playing a leading role in Denmark’s collaboration with NVIDIA to establish a national centre for AI innovation that will house one of the world’s most powerful AI supercomputers. 

The Danish side of the collaboration is led by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO). Researchers from Denmark’s public and private sectors will be able to gain access to a state-of-the-art NVIDIA AI supercomputer optimised for large-scale AI projects, as well as world-leading NVIDIA software platforms, training, and expertise. 

Vicore Pharma announces FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for digital pulmonary fibrosis therapy Almee 

Vicore Pharma Holding AB on Tuesday announced FDA Breakthrough Device Designation status for Almee™, a 9-week digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to be used as an adjunct treatment of anxiety symptoms related to pulmonary fibrosis (PF). 

The FDA Breakthrough Devices Program designates those medical devices that are evaluated as providing a more effective treatment for life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases. 

Poolbeg makes patent progress in the United States 

Poolbeg Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company focussed on the development and commercialisation of innovative medicines targeting diseases with a high unmet medical need, announced on Wednesday that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the US Patent Office in relation to its Immunomodulator II patent application. A Notice of Allowance is a precursor to the expected formal grant of a patent in due course. 

4SC AG provides results for financial year 2023 and outlook for 2024 

4SC AG on Friday published its financial results for the financial year ended 31 December 2023, and provided an outlook for 2024. The full report is available at 4SC’s website. 

CEO Jason Loveridge described 2023 as a “breakout year” with highlights including the groundwork for a regulatory review by the European Medicines Agency of lead product resminostat (Kinselby) for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. 

Look out for Curve Therapeutics on the London conference circuit 

Also, make sure you look out for the Curve Therapeutics team, who will be hitting the London conference circuit with their revolutionary intracellular screening platform, addressing complex and challenging disease targets. 

The Southampton-based biotech will be at the Anglonordic Life Science Conference on 18th April, BioTrinity on 23-24 April and New Modalities on 25th April. 

Congratulations to Astronautx on winning the One Nucleus Best R&D Company Award 

Finally, congratulations to our client Astronautx on winning the One Nucleus award for the best Primary R&D Company on Thursday evening.  

Optimum’s Zoe Bolt was even on hand to present an award at the ceremony at London’s No.11 Cavendish Square.