Takeda, ex-Allergan CEO lead $13M Series A to get into clinic with NIH

Cancer

Bioniz Therapeutics is slated to start a Phase I trial for one of its cytokine inhibitors in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Now, it’s nabbed a $13 million cash infusion in a Series A financing to advance that and other work.

The round was co-led by Takeda Ventures and Dr. David Pyott, who was previously chairman and CEO of Allergan. Cota Capital and Joe Kiani, the chairman and CEO of patient monitoring company Masimo ($MASI), also participated.

"Bioniz is an exciting, emerging biotechnology company with a truly novel approach to addressing autoimmune diseases and cancer,” said Pyott in a statement. “I look forward to working with the company and its leadership, and together, realize our vision to create the next generation of selective immune therapies." He was CEO of Allergan from 1998 through 2015.

Webinar

How ICON, Lotus, and Bioforum are Improving Study Efficiency with a Modern EDC

CROs are often at the forefront of adopting new technologies to make clinical trials more efficient. Hear how ICON, Lotus Clinical Research, and Bioforum are speeding database builds and automating reporting tasks for data management.

The Irvine, CA-based startup aims to discover and develop first-in-class peptide therapeutics that inhibit multiple cytokines, both selectively and simultaneously. Its lead programs are BNZ-1 and BNZ-2.

The idea is to selectively inhibit functionally redundant cytokines while leaving the rest of the cytokine network untouched to treat immuno-inflammatory diseases and cancer.

BNZ-1, a selective inhibitor of cytokines IL2/IL9/IL15 that is slated to treat HTLV-1-associated myelopathy and for certain T-cell leukemias, is lined up for the clinical trial with NIH. BNZ-2 is a preclinical selective inhibitor of cytokines IL15/IL21 that’s intended to treat celiac disease and other immuno-inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

"The acceptance of the BNZ-1 IND is a great accomplishment by our team and we are excited to collaborate with the NIH on the clinical advancement of this program," said Bioniz founder, President and CEO Dr. Nazli Azimi.

As part of the financing, Ilan Zipkin, senior investment director of Takeda Ventures, and Masimo’s Kiani have joined the company’s board.

- here is the release

Related Articles:
NIH clamps down on two labs, interrupting trial work by Kite’s star scientist
NIH team claims a breakthrough in ketamine depression research
NIH researchers pinpoint potential Gaucher, Parkinson’s candidate
NIH launches database to aggregate and share genomic data for Cancer Moonshot

Suggested Articles

Eli Lilly is combining the oncology team at Lilly Research Laboratories with Loxo Oncology and putting a trio of Loxo execs at the helm.

The failure of SAGE-217 to beat placebo wiped more than 50% off Sage’s share price as investors digested the implications of the data.

The data tee Aurinia up to file for FDA approval next year and go on to address a major unmet medical need.