Asher Bio Raises $108m For Immune Cell-Specific Therapies
Series B Follows $55m Series A Round In March
With a CD8-targeting IL-2 mutein as its lead program, the start-up is developing cis-targeted immunotherapies that selectively target two molecules on the same immune cell for improved efficacy and safety.
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Nektar is hoping the combination of bempegaldesleukin and Opdivo could have better chances in kidney and bladder cancers, but analysts aren’t sure and see other IL-2 therapeutics as having better prospects.
Private Company Edition: The astonishing pace of venture capital investment in drug development continues with another $1.5bn in financings of $100m or more, including $152m for Pyxis and $126m for Omega. New VC funds also continue to launch, including RiverVest’s fifth fund, totaling $275m.
Bristol Myers Squibb brought the last of nine new drugs to market last year – all needed to help it overcome three big losses of exclusivity this decade – so the focus this year is commercial execution.