Cambridge, U.K.'s Kymab touts its drug development platform as an ideal way to spotlight new antibodies, and some bright minds would seem to agree, as the Wellcome Trust and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have teamed up on a $40 million round for the biotech.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has picked Susan Desmond-Hellmann to lead as its next CEO, bringing the Genentech veteran's years of experience in drug development and academia to one of the largest charitable organizations in the world.
In its joint venture, Glaxo will front $1.8 million for work on the thermostability of vaccines. GSK will set out to make adjuvants--used to boost the effectiveness of vaccines--more heat stable. The project fits within the broad scope of work attempting to break the "cold chain" supply process that requires vaccines to remain refrigerated--a big challenge for developing countries.
Two major milestones will accelerate Zyomyx's push to get its point-of-care HIV diagnostic test out into the developing world. The company sealed a deal for $12 million in fresh financing and also agreed to make Mylan its distribution partner in a move that will help the test reach global, emerging markets.
PrePex, a simple nonsurgical circumcision device made of a rubber band and a grooved ring, has gained crucial World Health Organization approval.
Researchers at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne are developing an inexpensive, easy-to-use radiology machine that's functional in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the developing world where conditions are pretty rough.
Diagnostics magnate Alere has hooked up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a tuberculosis assay and support its point-of-care HIV test.
A closely watched study of a new Gates-backed tuberculosis vaccine--MVA85A--failed to deliver desperately hoped-for data that it could guard infants against the lethal disease. Investigators said the jab failed to prove that it had a comparable effect as that seen in a study involving adults.
GSK plans to keep advancing the program, which has garnered millions of dollars in support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to the London-based drugmaker.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has stepped up with another equity investment in a biotech company, this time making a major contribution to a $13 million Series A add for a startup aiming at a universal preventive as well as therapeutic approach to influenza. Omega Funds also joined the venture top-up, bringing the first venture round for Cambridge, MA-based Visterra to $26 million.