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November 8, 2017 Comments (0) Views: 519 Biotech, Biotech Briefing, Blog

Biotech Briefing: Progenity Raises $125 Million for Precision Diagnostics

Plus: UCSD study gives clue to how one tumor suppressor fuels cancer

Reports + Research

Progenity Raises $125 Million for Precision Medicine Diagnostics and Therapeutics

By far one of the largest raises for San Diego this year, Progenity closed a $125 million financing round comprising equity and debt. Harry Stylli, the company’s founder and executive chairman, states that the financing proceeds will be used to develop diagnostics and therapeutics for the GI tract, including precision molecular diagnostics tools, precision therapeutics, microbiome analytics, and consumer health nutrition. The company also states that they have technologies and tests for pre-eclampsia, genetic carrier testing, inheritable cancer genetics, liquid biopsy, and noninvasive prenatal testing.


Klotho Therapeutics Raises $10 Million for Kidney Disease Treatment

Klotho, one of SDVG’s 2017 Cool Companies, announced a first closing of their Series A for $10 million, led by Thynk Capital. Klotho is also the name of the company’s recombinant protein therapeutic in development to treat kidney disease.


OncoSec’s Phase 2 Data in Melanoma Jumps Stock

The company reported that a combination of their drug ImmunoPulse IL-12 and Keytruda, an anti-PD-1 inhibitor, provided a 57% progression free survival rate at 15 months with 100% duration of response and median PFS not yet reached. The combo treatment was tested in metastatic melanoma patients who were indicated to be unlikely to respond to anti-PD-1 therapy.


UCSD Study Gives Clue to How p53 Fuels Cancer through Inflammation

UC San Diego researchers have shed more insights onto one of the longest studied tumor suppressors, p53. Normally, p53 guards against cancer, detecting damaged DNA and instituting a stop on cell division, and mutated p53 releases the brakes and allows damaged cells to grow uncontrolled – the definition of cancer. This research indicates that p53 may also stimulate an immune response that helps cancers grow and spread. Understanding this inflammatory response may inform how to develop new cancer therapies.


Read + Listen

POW! Podcast of the Week

The Naked Scientists have a great collection of science podcasts and radio shows. My favorite one so far: “How long can we survive without a head?”

BOW! Book of the Week

Why does astrophysics matter? How do we fit in the universe? Don’t have time to read? One of the best science thought leaders, Neil deGrasse Tyson, gives you Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.



It’s Happening Here

November 14
Join Cantor Fitzgerald and Banyan Biomarkers for an inside look at raising capital with an investment bank. The lunchtime event is called Fast Forward: A Startup’s Guide to Investment Banks.

November 15
Save the date for a first look at the 2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report.

November 16
Biocom Annual “Celebration of Life” Dinner will take place November 16. The James Bond-inspired event, “Dare to be Extraordinary,” will feature Scott Hamilton and Karolyn Smith as the dinner speakers.


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