Arix leads $45M series B for gene therapy biotech LogicBio
June 28, 2017
LogicBio Therapeutics has got off a $45million series B funding round as it eyes the cash for disease-modifying gene therapies in rare childhood diseases. London-based investment firm Arix Bioscienceled the oversubscribed round in the semi-stealth biotech, with new investorsOrbiMed, Edmond De Rothschild Investment Partners, Pontifax, and SBI, alongwith previous investors OrbiMed Israel Partners, also stumping up cash. Arix Bioscience's investment manager, DanielO’Connell, M.D., Ph.D, will join Cambridge, Massachusetts-based LogicBio’sboard as part of the raise. This brings its total raised to $50 million, much of which will be put toward finishing off preclinical work and moving them intohuman tests. The biotech sets itself up as a “breakthrough gene therapy company” targeting “lifelong cures” for serious, early-onset rarediseases by combining the best of gene therapy and gene editing in a one-timetreatment. It was founded in 2014 with platformtechnologies discovered by Adi Barzel, Tel Aviv University, Dr Leszek Lisowski,Children’s Medical Research Institute, Australia, and Professor Mark Kay atStanford University School of Medicine.
The first platform, GeneRide, is a technology that uses homologous recombination that is designed to allow site-specifictransfer of therapeutic genetic material without the use of promoters ornucleases. The company says it also has access to a library of synthetic,non-pathogenic, recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors developed at Stanford that allows for better predictability of vector performance inclinical trials. Joe Anderson, CEO of Arix Bioscience, said:“Early intervention for rare genetic disorders in children is important and LogicBiois uniquely positioned at the forefront of this research area with itsproprietary genetic therapy technology to deliver a durable cure for youngpatients with life-threatening genetic diseases and otherwise limited options.LogicBio has huge potential and, alongside its excellent team and investors, welook forward to supporting the company to achieve continued success in thisarea.”
Roche buys diabetes app firm in digital health push
June 30, 2017
Roche has bought Vienna-based diabetes management platform mySugr for an undisclosed price, the Swiss drugmaker saidon Friday, joining a crowd of companies expanding app-based digital healthservices. Privately held mySugr offers a logbook formobile devices to help people track their blood sugar, medications and activity levels. It has been working with Roche since 2014 and previously got funding from Roche's Venture Fund. With the acquisition, Roche aims to strengthen a diabetes diagnostics business that has faced fierce price pressure in recent years, cutting sales growth and prompting rumors it wants to unload thebusiness. Roche has said it wants to expand the unit, not sell it.