One problem with drugs for muscular disorders is that not enough medicine reaches the muscle, says Romesh Subramanian, CEO of Dyne Therapeutics. Subramanian’s startup has developed a way to target delivery of drugs to all muscle types, and it is emerging from stealth with $50 million in funding to advance its compounds toward human testing.
Six months after Eli Lilly notched a second-runner-up approval for its CGRP migraine drug Emgality, the Atlas-founded biotech that brought it over the proof-of-concept gate five years ago has sold all its royalty interest for $260 million.
Back in September 2018, the FDA approved Lilly’s Emgality, an anti-CGRP antibody therapy, for the preventative treatment of episodic and chronic migraine.
Arteaus Therapeutics, a biotech company founded by Atlas Venture in 2011, played a critical role in Emgality’s early development, helping it rapidly advance from its first-in-human studies through a randomized, controlled, double-blinded Phase 2 Proof of Concept (PoC) trial in only 30 months.
Today Novartis announced the acquisition of IFM Therapeutics’ portfolio of NLRP3 antagonists, via the purchase of IFM Tre, a subsidiary of IFM (here, here). These immunomodulatory medicines target the inflammasome, a key innate immune node whose pathologic chronic activation is associated with several metabolic, fibrotic, autoimmune, and neurological diseases.
It’s the lucky biotech that has a short and sweet runway. Most companies bring a drug to market — and begin to bring in revenue — only after years or decades of work.
But a company backed by Atlas Venture that’s less than a year old is the first acquisition of 2019 for Novartis. The pharmaceutical giant is paying more than $300 million upfront for IFM Tre, a Boston-based startup, in a deal that could be worth more than $1.5 billion if the company’s drugs meet certain undisclosed milestones.