Fryer, Mackay, Fryer, all former Alexion executives

FARMINGTON: Rallybio, LLC, was established to identify and accelerate the development of transformative breakthrough therapies for rare disease, has raised $37.0 million in Series A funding.

5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, and New Leaf Venture Partners led the financing, with additional public-sector participation from Connecticut Innovations.

Rallybio was co-founded in January of this year by Martin Mackay, PhD, Stephen Uden, MD, and Jeffrey Fryer, CPA.

Alexion logo colorBy Mitchell Young

NEW HAVEN: Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. [Nasdaq: Alxn] stock has finally broken out of its doldrums driven by good earnings and a positive clinical trial result. Investors Business Daily and other media outlets said the stock “rocketed,” as it went from $106 to $122 per share in two days.

Only a week earlier investors seemed willing to abandon the company, dumping the stock in response to reporting that Brazil was no longer going to recognize its patent, for flagship drug Soliris.

Even as the company offered that the report was inaccurate and that the Brazilian market was a minor contributor to the company, the stock retreated to the bottom of its six month range.

wilsonBy Mitchell Young

NEW HAVEN: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [NASDAQ:ALXN] is acquiring Wilson Therapeutics AB (publ) for $855 million, in an all cash transaction. Wilson Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company, based in Stockholm, Sweden, that develops “novel therapies for patients with rare copper-mediated disorders.“

The offer represents a premium of 89 percent over the 90-day volume-weighted average of Wilson's shares [NASDAQStockholm:WTX)]. Alexion's board unanimously approved the purchase offer, and Wilson’s board recommended shareholders accept it.

Alexion has added four new directors, three with significant bioscience backgrounds in the past six months. A unanimous vote likely assumes approval of the purchase by activist investor Elliot Management. Elliot had previously raised issues about the management and board of the company. Elliot has since praised the new director picks and had some direct involvement in at least one new board member..

arvinas largeNEW HAVEN: The privately owned and venture financed Arvinas LLC, has raised $55 million Series C financing for development of drugs to address prostate and breast cancers.

The financing was led by new investor Nextech Invest,of Zurich, Switzwerland with participation from additional new investors Deerfield Management, NY Hillhouse Capital, and Sirona Capital, of West Perth, Austrailia. The company’s xisting investors also participated in this financing round, including Canaan Partners, 5AM Ventures, RA Capital Management, OrbiMed, and New Leaf Venture Partners.

Artificial Cell Technologies Inc., CFO has been indicted for embezzlement from the company.

NEW HAVEN: The chief financial officer of Artificial Cell Technologies Inc, .a Science Park based biotech receiving federal research grants was charged with embezzling nearly $1 million from the company. Thomas Malone of New Haven was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam and was released on a $50,000 bond.

ACT is developing malaria and respiratory syncytial virus vaccines, the company reportedly has nine employees and has received funding from private investors and approximately $4.1 million in SBIR grants from the National Institutes of Health since 2008.

ZYDIS S Catalent 0282 v2NEW HAVEN: Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. [NYSE:BHVN] has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Catalent U.K. Swindon Zydis Limited, a subsidiary of Catalent, Inc. [CTLT] ("Catalent") to provide Catalent's Zydis® ODT (orally disintegrating tablet) fast-dissolving formulation for the development of Biohaven's lead calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist product candidate, rimegepant.

The agreement also provides exclusive rights for developing small molecule CGRP receptor antagonists with the Zydis ODT technology. Catalent's proprietary Zydis technology is a unique, freeze-dried, oral solid dosage form that disperses almost instantly in the mouth, without the need for water. With more than 20 products launched in 50 countries and a dispersion speed of three seconds or less, the company says “Zydis ODT is the world's fastest and best-in-class orally dissolving tablet.”

ach01 milind2 deshpande ach04 joseph truitt
CEO Millind Deshpande, "focused on ..Factor D portfoilio." Joseph Truitt named as Chief Operating Office

NEW HAVEN: Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [NASDAQ:ACHN} is reducing its workforce to 70 a decrease of 20% in what it is calling an “operational restructuring plan that aims to focus the organization on advancing Achillion’s existing clinical and late-stage preclinical factor D inhibitors and reduce expenses to maintain its strong balance sheet.”

The plan is hoped to deliver “approximately $10 million of savings in 2018 over 2017 expense levels.

In addition, the Company announced that Joseph Truitt has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer, continuing to report to Chief Executive Officer, Milind Deshpande, Ph.D.