Tag Archives: Sutro Biopharma

Sutro Biopharma’s Chief Scientific Officer, Trevor Hallam, writes in Scientific American Guest Blog

Sutro BiopharmaSutro Biopharma’s CSO Trevor Hallam, Ph.D., wrote a guest blog in Scientific American, “Antibody-Drug Conjugates and Cancer Treatment: Making “Smart Bombs” Smarter.” The article highlights the new efforts to improve antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) from their first-generation counterparts.

With the recent FDA approval of Roche’s Kadcyla and Seattle Genetics’ Adcetris, the ADC space is heating up, and new technologies will further advance the next generation of ADCs. Sutro’s cell-free protein synthesis technology enables the incorporation of non-natural amino acids at any site in the antibody structure, resulting in single-species ADCs with site-specific conjugation of linker and drug. Because the ADCs can be synthesized rapidly and in parallel, hundreds of variants can be generated and screened quickly. This shortens development times to as little as weeks, as opposed to years. Sutro’s technology is currently used to create next-generation ADCs and bispecific antibodies.

Sutro is collaborating with Celgene Corporation, as well as some other biotech and pharmaceutical companies, on the design and development of next-generation ADCs and bispecific antibodies.

Scientific American

Russo Partners Heads to the 31st Annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference

JPMorganThis week Russo Partners finalized activities surrounding the 31st annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference and prepared to head to San Francisco for the meeting, which will be held from Jan. 7-10.

Multiple clients will present at the conference, including Arena Pharmaceuticals, which is preparing to launch the first FDA-approved treatment for overweight and obese patients in 13 years, Flexion Therapeutics, which recently secured $60 million in Series D financing to advance its osteoarthritis drugs, and Ziopharm Oncology, which has two ongoing Phase 3 studies involving its novel chemotherapy drug.

In addition, other clients presented at the Biotech Showcase 2013, including Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), CureVac, Resverlogix, Sutro Biopharma and Sernova.

Russo Partners worked to secure multiple media or investor meetings for each client in attendance, reaching out to journalists, investors, analysts and bankers. We also supported client communications activities related to the conference, such as developing speaking points for media meetings and news releases announcing client presentations.

We look forward to seeing everyone in the city next week!

Sutro Biopharma Forms Collaboration with Celgene Corporation worth up to $500 Million to Design and Develop Next-Generation Antibody Drug Conjugates and Bispecific Antibodies

This week Sutro Biopharma announced a collaboration with Celgene Corporation to design and develop antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and bispecific antibodies. The deal is worth up to $500 million if all milestones are met.

Under the collaboration, Sutro will design and develop ADCs and bispecific antibodies for two undisclosed targets as well as manufacture a proprietary Celgene antibody. Sutro will receive a substantial upfront payment, an equity investment in the company and payments for the completion of research, development and regulatory milestones. The company is also eligible to receive royalties on product sales.

Sutro has developed a cell-free protein synthesis technology that enables site-specific chemical modifications and the generation of hundreds of variants of proteins. This approach allows rapid and systematic screening as well as shortens development times to as little as weeks, as opposed to years. Sutro is applying the technology to create best-in-class ADCs and bispecific antibodies, both of which are therapeutics that require much optimization.

Russo Partners worked to secure coverage of the news across industry publications, including The Pink Sheet, BioWorld Today and Scrip, as well as regional outlets, including the San Francisco Business Times. Read more about the collaboration below in the article from FierceBiotech and the San Francisco Business Times.


San Francisco Business Times

More Impressive Data from Roche’s Antibody Drug Conjugate, T-DM1

This week at the European Society of Medical Oncology, Roche presented additional impressive data involving its antibody drug conjugate (ADC), T-DM1. In a large study of women with HER2-positive breast cancer, patients were shown to have a statistically significant improvement in overall survival of 30.9 months when treated with T-DM1, compared to 25.1 months for patients treated with the standard of care (lapatinib/capecitabine). This study was simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

These results only add to the excitement generated by ADCs, which has steadily grown since last year’s FDA approval of the first ADC, Seattle Genetics’ ADCETRISTM. Russo Partners works with multiple companies developing drug conjugates, including Ambrx, Sutro Biopharma and Endocyte.

Ambrx is using its site-specific protein medicinal chemistry technology to create next-generation drug conjugates. This June, the company formed a partnership with Merck worth up to $303 million to design and develop drug conjugates based on Ambrx’s technology for oncology and non-oncology indications.

Endocyte is developing small molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs), which are comprised of a small molecule conjugated to a potent chemotherapy drug as well as companion imaging diagnostics for each therapeutic. The company recently formed a partnership with Merck work up to $1 billion for its lead SMDC, etarfolatide.

Sutro’s biochemical protein synthesis technology enables the development of best-in-class ADCs as well as next-generation bi-specific/multispecific antibodies. The company recently closed a second tranche of Series C financing of $16.5 million that will be used to advance development of therapeutics created with the technology.

Read more about the T-DM1 data in the article below from MedPage Today:

MedPage Today

Spring Financing Round-Up: Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Argos Therapeutics and Sutro Biopharma Raise Venture Capital Funding

Financings have been a hot topic this spring for Russo Partners as multiple companies with which we work secured venture capital funding to advance clinical programs. Below are more details about each company’s announcement, including the planned use of the funds and sample media coverage.

Alder BioPharmaceuticals

In April, Alder BioPharmaceuticals raised $38 million in a Series D financing that will accelerate the development of its pipeline of antibody therapeutics, including ALD403, a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-inhibiting antibody for the treatment of migraine, as well as ALD518, an IL-6-inhibiting antibody that is currently in Phase 2 clinical studies for cancer-related indications. Alder retained the rights to develop ALD518 in cancer-related indications as part of a partnership formed with Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2009.

The round was led by new investor Novo Ventures and joined by existing investors Sevin Rosen Funds, Ventures West, HIG Ventures, TPG Biotech, Delphi Ventures and WRF Capital. Read more about this announcement in the following article from Xconomy and news brief from Fortune.



Argos Therapeutics

Also in April, Argos Therapeutics closed a $25 million Series D financing to support the initiation of a Phase 3 study, ADAPT, evaluating lead therapeutic AGS-003 in newly diagnosed metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). AGS-003 is a personalized dendritic cell immunotherapy created using the company’s Arcelis technology, which optimizes a patient’s autologous dendritic cells to trigger a tumor- or pathogen-specific immune response.

The financing was led by Forbion Capital and included other existing investors TVM Capital, Lumira Capital, Intersouth Partners, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Morningside Group and Aurora Funds. Read more about this announcement in the following articles from BioWorld Today and The News & Observer, a regional publication covering news from the Research Triangle area.

BioWorld Today

The News & Observer

Sutro Biopharma

In May, Sutro Biopharma closed a $16.5 million second tranche of a Series C financing that will advance its next-generation antibody programs, including the development of antibody drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies. Sutro’s therapeutics are created using the company’s cell-free biochemical synthesis technology, which allows the production of proteins that cannot be produced using conventional technologies.

The financing was led by Skyline Ventures and included the participation of Lilly Ventures, Amgen Ventures, SV Life Sciences and Alta Partners. Read more about this news in the following articles from the San Francisco Business Times and FierceBiotech.

San Francisco Business Times


BIO Investor Forum: Supporting Our Clients’ Participation as Panelists, Presenters

Last  week took us to San Francisco for the 10th Annual BIO Investor Forum, an investor conference focused on private and emerging public biotech companies. Multiple clients were involved in the conference either as presenters or panel participants discussing key issues affecting the biotechnology industry. Russo Partners was there to support their activities.

Clients participating on panels included Sutro Biopharma and GlobeImmune. William Newell, chief executive officer of Sutro Biopharma, a company with a biochemical protein synthesis technology platform enabling the design and development of novel proteins that previously have been inaccessible or difficult to produce, provided insight into the future of biosimilars and development strategies on the panel titled Biologics: Billions from BioBetters?

On another panel titled Immunotherapy: Heal Thyself, Timothy Rodell, M.D., president and chief executive officer of GlobeImmune, a company developing therapeutic vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases, discussed the promising future of immunotherapies.

Our clients Anaphore and Flexion Therapeutics also participated in the conference as presenting companies. Brinson Patrick Securities also took advantage of this conference for onsite networking and media opportunities.

At a rich networking event such as BIO Investor Forum, Russo Partners works to maximize our clients’ time spent at the conference by connecting the company executives to key members of the life sciences community.

We look forward to preparing our clients to deliver their “stories” at the next industry event.

Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine Roundtable: Building on the Commercial and Policy Base for Effective Collaboration in Biotech

On Monday, California biotech industry executives met to discuss the challenges faced by small biotech start-ups in today’s deal-making environment.

The roundtable, moderated by William Looney, the editor in chief of Pharmaceutical Executive, and hosted by Joseph Panetta, the executive director of Southern California’s life science trade association, BIOCOM, focused on understanding what models work for drug development, partnering and commercialization in the wake of a shifting economic climate.

Source James Dickens

William Looney, Pharmaceutical Executive (Source James Dickens)

Joe Panetta, BIOCOM (Source James Dickens)

The event was organized by Russo Partners and included panelists from biotech companies, big pharma and venture capital in California whose collective insight shed light on the ever-changing world of innovation and big pharma partnering.

Kleanthis Xanthopoulos, Regulus Therapeutics (Source James Dickens)

Jay Lichter, Avalon Ventures (Source James Dickens)

Bob Baltera, Amira Pharmaceuticals (Source James Dickens)

The topics of discussion included the factors that contribute to a biotech start-up’s success, such as a clinically relevant pipeline and cash liquidity, as well as the regulatory and financial pressures of today’s marketplace.  Panelists were asked to describe their own strategies for negotiating big pharma partnerships and where they see opportunity in 2011 and beyond.

Kathy Bowdish, Anaphore (Source James Dickens)

Bill Newell, Sutro Biopharma (Source James Dickens)

A summary of the discussion and the conclusions drawn from the roundtable will be featured in the January issue of Pharmaceutical Executive.

The roundtable participants:

Bob Baltera, President and CEO, Amira Pharmaceuticals

Kathy Bowdish, President and CEO, Anaphore

Jay Lichter, Managing Director, Avalon Ventures

Margi McLoughlin, Senior Director R&D Business Development, Pfizer Inc.

Bill Newell, CEO, Sutro Biopharma

Kleanthis Xanthopoulos, President and CEO, Regulus Therapeutics

Joseph Panetta, Executive Director, BIOCOM [host]

William Looney, Editor in Chief,  Pharmaceutical Executive [moderator]

Ian Stone, Russo Partners [observer]

Heidi Chokeir, Russo Partners [observer]