AI-powered drug-maker Recursion Pharmaceuticals secures USD 121 M to accelerate its clinical programs

Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a next-gen biopharma company, has raised USD 121 Million in Series C financing. The Series C round was led by Baillie Gifford’s flagship investment trust, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC, with participation by new institutional investors Intermountain Ventures, Regents of the University of Minnesota, Texas Tech University System, and few additional angel investors. Combining artificial intelligence with drug discovery, the company plan to use the proceeds to fuel its drug discovery platform along with discovering and adding new chemical entities and predicting safety pharmacology. The company also plans to advance its already growing pipeline for cavernous cerebral malformation and neurofibromatosis type 2. At present, the neurofibromatosis type 2 therapy market has no effective medical therapies that can assure complete cure with no or minimal side effects. While surgeries can obliterate the tumour, but they involve the risk of nerve damage and drug therapy in combination with chemotherapy does not ascertain 100% effective tumour removal. However, pharma companies such as AstraZeneca, Array Biopharma, SpringWorks Therapeutics etc. are actively working towards the development of potential therapies to meet the neurofibromatosis 2 unmet medical needs of the currently used therapeutics. As per DelveInsight estimates, the launch of emerging therapies such Selumetinib (AstraZeneca), Binimetinib (Array Biopharma) and PD-0325901 (SpringWorks Therapeutics) will significantly impact the Neurofibromatosis 2 market during the forecast period (2019-2028).

Bayer’s Gadavist MRI agent gets FDA thumbs up to treat adult patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease

The US FDA today approved Bayer’s Gadavist (gadobutrol) injection for gauging cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to evaluate myocardial perfusion (stress, rest) and late gadolinium enhancement in adult patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). Coronary artery disease is the most common and leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women.
Gadavist is the first, and the only FDA approved gadolinium-based contrast agent, promising to help clear blood supply of the heart muscles and assess the rates of myocardial perfusion at rest and during stress. The injection was first approved in the U.S. in the year 2011 for intravenous use in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to detect and visualize areas with disrupted blood-brain barrier and/or abnormal vascularity of the central nervous system. Later on, in 2014, the FDA expanded its approval for MR of breast cancer to assess the extent of malignancy.  In the year 2016, in the US, Gadavist received a green signal to evaluate known or suspected supra-aortic or renal artery diseases.

Gilead gains broader access to Galapagos pipeline, inks USD 5 M upfront deal

Gilead Sciences and Galapagos NV have entered into a 10-year collaboration to gain and expand their clinical portfolio mutually. This agreement will help Gilead gain access to an innovative collection of six clinical-phase assets, 20 preclinical programs, and a drug discovery platform in the form Galapagos with an exclusive product licensing right outside Europe. On the other hand, Galapagos may receive a lumpsum amount of USD 3.95 Million upfront and plans to use the capital received to accelerate its R&D programs.
Moreover, Gilead is making a USD 1.1 Billion equity investment in Galapagos, thus getting a hold on Galapagos’ pipeline. The drug makers are also thinking to revise certain specific terms regarding filgotinib, the lead candidate under trials for treating advanced rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases to provide Galapagos with a broader commercialization role in Europe. Gilead plans to invest more in Galapagos’s candidates GLPG1690 and GLPG1972, already under trials, if they produce positive results in treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and osteoarthritis, respectively.