BUSINESS INSIGHTS

NextRNA Launches with $56 Million in Funding to Bring Transformative Non-Coding RNA-Directed Medicines to Patients

NextRNA Therapeutics | March 02, 2022

NextRNA Therapeutics, a biotechnology company unlocking the potential of non-coding RNAs to develop transformative therapeutics, announces its launch with $9.3 million in seed financing and a $46.8 million Series A led by Cobro Ventures and Lightchain Capital, with additional participation from Circle Alternative Investments, Evans Capital, Jefferies, Rivas Capital, and Willett Advisors. Proceeds will be used by the company to augment its target and drug discovery engine, expand its pipeline, and advance lead programs.

The vast majority of DNA is copied into RNAs that do not make proteins. These RNA molecules, called “non-coding RNAs,” play essential roles in cells by interacting with and modulating the activities of proteins. These interactions can drive pathogenic processes in multiple disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and neurology. Non-coding RNAs, in particular long non-coding RNAs, and their interacting proteins therefore represent a vast and untapped class of novel therapeutic targets.

NextRNA is uniquely positioned to be the leader in non-coding RNA-directed medicines. We have established a robust target and drug discovery engine to systematically identify disease-relevant long non-coding RNAs and their interacting proteins. By developing selective small molecules to drug these interactions, we plan to translate discoveries of non-coding RNA targets into a robust pipeline of transformative therapies across multiple disease areas.”

Dominique Verhelle, Ph.D., MBA, co-founder, chief scientific officer, and interim chief executive officer, NextRNA

NextRNA was established based on pioneering work by Carl Novina, M.D., Ph.D., at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “By understanding the interactions between long non-coding RNAs and specific proteins, we can decode the function of long non-coding RNAs and apply it to create medicines,” said Dr. Novina, co-founder of NextRNA.

Since its founding in January of 2021, NextRNA has established its initial team, built out the target and drug discovery engine, and advanced two small molecule programs in oncology and immunology.

“NextRNA is at the forefront of innovation in the field of non-coding RNAs,” said Todd Kaloudis, Managing Director at Cobro Ventures. “There is growing excitement around the potential of non-coding RNA-directed medicines, and we are pleased to have such an experienced team focused on NextRNA’s vision of bringing transformative therapies to patients.”

About NextRNA Therapeutics
NextRNA is a biotechnology company with a mission to translate pioneering science into transformative therapeutics for the benefit of patients. The company is leveraging its proprietary technology platform to systematically identify disease-relevant non-coding RNAs and their interacting proteins, and to develop selective small molecules to drug these interactions. NextRNA investors include Cobro Ventures, Lightchain Capital, Circle Alternative Investments, Evans Capital, Jefferies, Rivas Capital, and Willett Advisors.

Spotlight

The structure of how healthcare is delivered varies greatly between countries, depending on the financing arrangements and national primary healthcare concerns. However, the basic components and stakeholders are broadly similar, as are global concerns of containing spiralling healthcare costs and improving and optimising access to care and services. This overview examines the extent to which mobile applications can support the pharmaceutical sector. It will examine why these applications have largely not been driven by the mobile industry, and identifies the potential role for MNOs if they want to take on a larger portion of this sector.

Spotlight

The structure of how healthcare is delivered varies greatly between countries, depending on the financing arrangements and national primary healthcare concerns. However, the basic components and stakeholders are broadly similar, as are global concerns of containing spiralling healthcare costs and improving and optimising access to care and services. This overview examines the extent to which mobile applications can support the pharmaceutical sector. It will examine why these applications have largely not been driven by the mobile industry, and identifies the potential role for MNOs if they want to take on a larger portion of this sector.

Related News

PHARMACY MARKET

Eyenovia's Novel Optejet® Dispenser Puts People's Eyes First

Eyenovia | September 06, 2022

Eyenovia, Inc. an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print therapeutics, brings human-centric design to ophthalmology with its novel Optejet® dispenser. Traditional eye drops normally overdose the patient's eye with medication and preservatives. Eyenovia's easy-to-use, novel Optejet® dispenser administers precisely 8µL of medication to the eye, effectively treating the patient's condition while creating a more gentle dosing experience. "The unique delivery mechanism of the Optejet® will fundamentally change how we think about eye medication. Right now, traditional eye drops can result in significant dose-related side effects for the treatment of chronic illnesses like glaucoma. The Optejet® dispenser is designed for patients to experience easier administration and fewer side effects with similar efficacy." Michael Rowe, CEO of Eyenovia The Optejet® dispenser administers ophthalmic solutions horizontally using Eyenovia's proprietary Microdose Array Print (MAP™) technology. The system functions similar to an inkjet printer, delivering accurate microdoses through a precision spray. Traditional eye drops deliver four to five times larger volume than the human eye can actually hold, which causes eye drops to roll down the face and overdose the eye with preservatives. Poor delivery of eye drops is more than an inconvenience; it can prevent patients from using necessary medication because of the side effects. For example, with medication to help dilate the pupils for eye exams, up to 23% of patients experienced stinging and burning with the eye drops, causing patients to forgo eye exams. In Eyenovia studies, less than 1% of patients experienced stinging and burning. "Medications only work if patients take them, and with the Optejet, we have designed a way for patients to benefit from an easy-to-use, appropriate, lower dose spray that results in similar efficacy. We're excited for physicians and providers to be able to offer this revolutionary technology in the near future to patients who deserve a more positive experience," said Rowe. Eyenovia's first marketed invention is expected to be MydCombi™, a first-in-class drug-device combination microdose for in-office pupil dilation. This potentially will help save physician's chair time, eliminating the traditional three eyedrops used for a patient's eye exam. Other exciting innovations in the Eyenovia pipeline include MicroLine and MicroPine. About Eyenovia, Inc. Eyenovia, Inc. is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print therapeutics. Eyenovia is currently focused on the late-stage development of microdosed medications for mydriasis, presbyopia, and myopia progression.

Read More

PHARMA TECH

Patients With Serious Ophthalmologic Conditions Have Access to Phospholine Iodide®

AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy | September 28, 2022

AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy has received exclusive access to Phospholine Iodide® from Fera Pharmaceuticals. Phospholine Iodide is used to help reduce elevated intraocular pressure of glaucoma and for accommodative esotropia in children. "AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy is excited to be able to offer this invaluable therapeutic option to help correct these chronic and rare ophthalmologic conditions. These patients deserve access to this life-changing therapy that may actually preserve their vision. Our manufacturer partners know we offer resources to help patients stay on therapy and yield the best possible outcomes." Lisa Mymo, vice president, pharma and financial services at AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy As one of the nation's largest specialty and home delivery pharmacies, AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy has direct access to the majority of limited distribution drugs on the market. In addition to Phospholine Iodide, the following medications are also available through AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy: Camzyos manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb, treats adults with a rare heart condition known as symptomatic New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II-III obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to improve functional capacity and symptoms. Vivjoa manufactured by Mycovia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., treats postmenopausal and permanently infertile women with recurrent vaginal yeast infections. About AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy provides hope and care for better tomorrows to patients with rare diseases and chronic conditions by delivering medications from its specialty and home delivery pharmacies. Our advanced analytical capabilities, pharmacy expertise and technology solutions enable providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and health plans to deliver optimal health outcomes. Through personalized care and clinical programs, along with access to the leading number of limited distribution drugs, patients can get back to what matters most. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the company holds several national pharmacy accreditations and has team members across the United States.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co. Ltd. Announce Strategic Collaboration

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 16, 2022

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co., Ltd. announced that they have entered into a conditional exclusive license agreement for NeuroBo to develop and commercialize DA-1241 and DA-1726, which are currently being evaluated for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis obesity and type 2 diabetes. DA-1241 is a novel G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 119 agonist, which promotes the release of key gut peptides GLP-1, GIP and PYY, which, in turn, play an important role in glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism and weight loss. DA-1241 is a synthetic, selective small molecule, suitable for oral administration and has been shown to be well tolerated in phase 1 studies. Further, its multimodal mechanism appears to induce strong anti-NASH effects, supported by potential best-in-class efficacy, as demonstrated in pre-clinical studies. DA-1726 is a novel oxyntomodulin analogue functioning as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor and glucagon receptor dual agonist. OXM is a naturally-occurring, 37-amino acid peptide hormone that is released from the gut after ingestion of a meal, activating both the GLP-1 and glucagon receptors, prompting reduced food intake as well as an increase in energy expenditure, potentially resulting in superior body weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 receptor agonists. The beneficial effects of this dual mechanism of DA-1726 on weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 activity has been demonstrated in animal models. Additionally, DA-1726 has shown the ability to improve hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis when compared to the GLP-1 agonist, semaglutide in these same models. Under the license agreement, NeuroBo will be responsible for global development, regulatory and commercial activities other than for certain Asian-Pacific geographies. Dong-A will manufacture clinical supplies and initial commercial supplies of the product at its manufacturing facility in Korea. "The acquisition of these two cardiometabolic assets marks a seismic shift for NeuroBo, providing us with a highly promising, diversified pipeline with several upcoming value inflection points in the NASH and obesity space -- areas with enormous market opportunity," stated Gil Price, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NeuroBo. "Through this agreement, Dong-A, one of our largest shareholders, has reaffirmed its commitment to remain a long-term strategic partner of NeuroBo. Dong-A is dedicated to our success and we are grateful it has also committed to provide continued support to facilitate the clinical development of the licensed assets. Once the transaction has closed, which is contingent upon certain closing conditions, we will be uniquely positioned to initiate a phase 2a study of DA-1241 in NASH in the first half of 2023, with data expected in the second half of 2024. We also intend to initiate a phase 1a safety study of DA-1726 in the first half of 2023, for which data is expected in the second half of 2023. We are truly excited about the prospects of NeuroBo as we transition to a cardiometabolic company across the large and growing markets of obesity and NASH." "We are highly enthusiastic about this opportunity to accelerate development of our novel treatments in partnership with NeuroBo. Dong-A plans to continue to strengthen its R&D capability and to seek additional collaboration opportunities to establish ourselves in the US market", Min Young Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Dong-A About the Proposed Licensing Transaction Under the terms of the license agreement, Dong-A will receive an upfront payment of $22 million in Series A convertible preferred stock, which will automatically convert into common stock upon receipt of requisite stockholder approval, and will be eligible to receive commercial- and regulatory-based milestone payments, dependent upon the achievement of specific regulatory and commercial developments. Dong-A will also be entitled to single digit royalties on net sales of the two assets. Dong-A has also agreed to commit $15,000,000 toward financing the assets, subject to NeuroBo's ability to obtain additional financing under the terms of the license agreement. The license agreement has been approved by the board of directors of NeuroBo. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to obtaining third party financing for development of the assets and other customary closing conditions. About NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company historically focused on therapies for neurodegenerative, infectious, and, upon closing of the license agreement, cardiometabolic diseases. Its therapeutics programs currently include ANA001, an oral niclosamide formulation, which is in Phase 2/3 clinical trials to treat patients with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19); NB-01 for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy; NB-02 for the treatment of symptoms of cognitive impairment and to modify the progression of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the malfunction of tau protein; and gemcabene currently being assessed as an acute treatment for COVID-19 in combination with ANA001. NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. About Dong-A Dong-A ST Co. is a leading healthcare company in South Korea with a business focus on developing, manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical products and medical devices worldwide. Dong-A has successfully developed and marketed several products globally and continues to develop prospective clinical candidates. Dong-A also provides licensed-in and licensed-out drugs, and medical devices, including high-technology medical devices, custom-made products, and sets of artificial cardiac circuits for use in open-heart surgery. Dong-A has over 5,500 employees including 2,300 in the pharmaceutical sector. Dong-A was founded in 1932 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

Read More