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Bio Roundup: Precision Med and Google, Heron, Lilly, Sarepta & More

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a $37 million round for Cleave Biosciences, a San Francisco Bay Area startup developing cancer drugs… The state of Texas added $3.5 million to San Antonio-based Fe3 Medical’s Series B funding, bringing the total to $14.5 million… Humacyte, of Durham, NC, got a $9.9 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to help fund the development of “off the shelf” bioengineered blood vessels.

—On the IPO trail: Northville, MI-based Gemphire Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GEMP) went public, but Gemphire had to settle for a $30 million raise, rather than the $45 million it previously hoped for. Milpitas, CA-based Protagonist Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTGX) fared better, raising $90 million in an IPO priced in line with its projections.

—Deals, deals, and more deals: Allergan paid $95 million for privately held Menlo Park, CA-based ForSight VISION5 and its experimental, implantable glaucoma treatment, which dispenses the drug bimatoprost (Lumigan) into the eye over the course of several months… Versartis, of Menlo Park, CA, got $40 million from Tenjin for rights in Japan to its growth hormone deficiency treatment somvaratan… Swiss biopharma Helsinn paid $15 million up front for rights to pracinostat, an experimental acute myeloid leukemia drug from San Diego, CA-based MEI Pharma (NASDAQ: MEIP)… Danish biotech Genmab got $5 million up front from Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) for rights to an experimental bi-specific antibody drug for HIV… Zymeworks, of Vancouver, Canada, paid an unspecified licensing fee to grab rights to an antibody discovery technology developed by Innovative Targeting Solutions.

—Cambridge-based Editas Medicine (NASDAQ: EDIT) teamed up with Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ: ADVM) in a pact to develop methods of delivering gene editing therapies to the eye for a group of undisclosed retinal diseases. Menlo Park, CA-based Adverum got $1 million up front in the deal.

—Vedanta Biosciences, based in Cambridge, will work with scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center to develop microbiome-based cancer immunotherapies.

—In Boston-area people news, stem cell scientist George Q. Daley was named the new dean of Harvard Medical School. He’ll begin his tenure on Jan. 1.

— San Antonio, TX-based Inspyr hopes to find a partner to help fund the clinical trials of a drug it’s developing for liver cancer and glioblastoma, according to newly hired CEO Chris Lowe.

—The Metis Foundation, a San Antonio nonprofit focused on helping military researchers land Department of Defense funding, plans to raise $3 million in private funds for cancer vaccine research.

David Holley contributed to this report.

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