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Big-Pharma Defection Continues

In a continuation of a developing trend, two big-pharma executives left their cozy corner offices for the fast and wild biotech world. This year we have already seen a number of big names defect for the biotech world, the reasons for which were covered here. These latest appointments add further evidence to the fact that biotech has regained its form and now has pulling power.

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Biotech Investors Follow Pattern in Funding and Hiring Executives

Written by: Karl Simpson

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Pharming snares ex-Karolinska Development CFO

Pharming Group NV (EURONEXT: PHARM) proposed the election of Mr Robin Wright as the Company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and member of the Management Board at an Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) of shareholders, to be held on Wednesday 28 October 2015 at 14:00 hrs CET.

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Agilis Biotherapeutics Strengthens Board of Directors

Agilis Biotherapeutics a biotechnology company in Cambridge, Massachusetts  which is advancing innovative DNA therapeutics for rare genetic diseases that affect the central nervous system (CNS), appointed Arthur Tzianabos, Ph.D. to the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Tzianabos already serves on the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board and will continue serving in this capacity. Dr. Tzianabos brings extensive experience to the boardroom, with more than 20 years of experience in business and drug development of therapeutics in industry and academia. Dr. Tzianabos is currently President of OvaScience, Inc., a global life sciences company developing new fertility treatments. Prior to his leadership role at OvaScience, Dr. Tzianabos was Senior Vice President and Head, Research and Early Shire Human Genetic Therapies.

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Annie Chen Appointed CMO at Nimbus Therapeutics

Nimbus Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on harnessing the power of computational chemistry to design breakthroughs for serious, underserved diseases, today announced the appointment of Annie C. Chen, M.D., M.P.H., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chen brings more than a decade of industry experience and joins Nimbus from Merck & Co., where she most recently served as Executive Director of Clinical Research, Section Head of Vaccines.

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Audion Therapeutics has Investors Listening

Audion Therapeutics is a Netherlands based biotech developing therapeutics in the area of hearing loss, an area that has garnered serious interest from investors against the backdrop of an ageing population. This investor sentiment has meant that Audion Therapeutics was able to raise €2.5 million Series B investment from INKEF Capital, a Netherlands based venture capital firm. In addition, Audion announced that, together with a strong international consortium of development partners, it was awarded a 5.8 million Euro grant through the Horizon 2020 program, an important funding source for many European biotechs. The combined funds of €8.3 million enable Audion to progress its lead program targeting sensorineural hearing loss to clinical Proof of Concept.

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Sanofi Genzyme Bioventures announce a brace of deals

Sanofi Genzyme Bioventures announced to financing deals today (Sept 8 – 2015), as it contributed to the financing of Proteostasis Therapeutics, a Series B mezzanine round of $37m to the company developing a cystic fibrosis drug for the orphan disease. The financing in the Cambridge, MA based company was led by Cormorant Asset Management and also included Rock Springs Capital Management. Existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Elan Science One, HealthCare Ventures, Fidelity Biosciences, Novartis Bioventures, Novartis Venture Fund, and Sanofi Genzyme BioVentures also participated in the financing.

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Selecta Biosciences recruits $38m Series E and CMO

Selecta Biosciences raises $38m in Series E funding and also appoints Earl (‘Skip’) Sands, MD, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). The company is a clinical stage biotech developing a novel class of targeted antigen-specific immune therapies. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance multiple product candidates from Selecta’s Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP) platform, which creates antigen-specific immunotherapeutics, with priority implementation of the clinical program for Selecta’s lead immunotherapeutic candidate, SEL-212, which is designed to be the first nonimmunogenic biologic therapy for gout.

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Flex Pharma adds Cubist executive to Board of Directors

Robert J. Perez, former Chief Executive Officer of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has joined its Board of Directors at Flex Pharma, a biotech which is developing therapies for exercise associate muscle cramps, nocturnal leg cramps, an neuromuscular related spasms.

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Wellstat Therapeutics given FDA nod for XURIDEN in Rare Disease

Wellstat Therapeutics Corporation has announced in September that the US Food and Drug Administration granted marketing approval for XURIDEN™ (uridine triacetate), a pyrimidine analog for uridine replacement indicated for the treatment of hereditary orotic aciduria (HOA). With the approval of XURIDEN for the treatment of HOA, the FDA also granted Wellstat Therapeutics a Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher. HOA is an extremely rare, potentially life-threatening, genetic disorder in which patients cannot synthesize adequate amounts of uridine and consequently can suffer from hematologic abnormalities, failure to thrive, a range of developmental delays, and episodes of crystalluria leading to obstructive uropathy.

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