Bio Roundup: IDO Fallout, Express Scripts Dumps Amgen, Isaly Out & More

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Stat published a story detailing allegations that he sexual harassed the firm’s female employees.

—Arcturus Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ARCT) canceled the annual shareholders meeting scheduled for next week as litigation between the San Diego company and its former chief executive escalated, threatening to derail, or at least delay, its drug development efforts.

DATA & DUMPS

—Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ESPR) of Ann Arbor, MI, said its cholesterol-lowering drug bempedoic acid passed its latest Phase 3 test, but a spike in deaths in the trial sent investors running. Esperion’s shares are down more than 50 percent this week. Two months ago, Esperion made the unusual move of announcing bempedoic acid’s price before all Phase 3 data were ready. Here’s more from Forbes.

—After reporting positive results from a mid-stage trial, Karyopharm Therapeutics (NASDAQ: KPTI) plans to seek accelerated FDA approval of selinexor for multiple myeloma patients who have failed at least five other drugs.

—Allergan (NYSE: AGN) said it ended work on experimental psoriasis drug, leaving nothing to show for its $640 million acquisition of Vitae in 2016. A second drug from the purchase, for dermatitis, was shelved soon after the buyout. Allergan said it would take a $535 million write-off.

—Weeks after its lead drug flunked a Phase 3 trial, eviscerating its shares, Edge Therapeutics (NASDAQ: EDGE) has begun a strategic review and is considering a sale, merger, or other options.

FUNDINGS

—Cambridge, MA-based Casma Therapeutics started up with a $58.5 million Series A round from Third Rock Ventuers and plans to use drugs to induce “autophagy,” a process cells use to break down and recycle their waste. Casma is led by Keith Dionne, a longtime Boston-area biotech entrepreneur who ran Constellation Pharmaceuticals from 2012 to 2016.

—Foresite Capital closed a $668 million fund, the fourth and largest fund of the San Francisco healthcare and life sciences investment firm.

—San Diego’s SynthoRx raised $63 million to advance a reworked version of interleukin-2 (IL-2), which was approved to treat kidney cancer in the 1990s.

AND LASTLY…

—The National Institutes of Health said it would open its precision medicine research project, called All of Us, to the public after a year of pilot tests. Amid heightened concerns about personal privacy, the goal is to recruit 1 million Americans to volunteer their health and genetic information into a vast research database.

Frank Vinluan and Alex Lash contributed to this report.

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