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Derived from Strategic Transactions, Informa’s premium source for tracking life sciences deal activity, the Venture Funding Deals column provides a comprehensive monthly review of emerging biopharmaceutical companies that have received venture funding. This month’s column covers deals announced in January and February 2017.
This month's roundup also records a second tie-up between Florida State and Spotlight Innovations, while Taiwan's Lin Biosciences licenses global rights to a CDC7 kinase inhibitor from Columbia and Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Scientists are now recognizing that many kinds of cancers are able to build their own blood-supply systems even in the presence of anti-angiogenic drugs including antibodies and tailored chemicals. While no one can say for sure just what enables "angiogenic escape" and "vascular mimicry" by cancers, researchers are pursuing clues - and some companies are working to develop new drugs based on their findings. For its part, Carolina BioPharm believes that the small peptide it currently has in Phase IIa trials will prove to be a better angiogenesis inhibitor than Avastin and its ilk, because it inhibits not only VEGF but also placental growth factor (PlGF).
Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals Inc. is saying little about its lead drug candidate, CPI-613, which entered its first Phase I/II human clinical trial in late 2008, but the company and its backers believe they are developing a potentially game-changing class of new molecules and technology for delivering them. Its Altered Energy Metabolism Directed platform specifically utilizes the difference in cancer cells’ metabolic appetite to facilitate selective delivery of a novel small molecule (CPI-613 being the first example) into the cells’ mitochondria. Similarly the company’s Emulsiphan leverages those same metabolic differences to deliver drugs specifically to the cancer cell cytoplasm.
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