Syndicate content

Archive - Oct 15, 2020

Codiak BioSciences, Specializing in Exosome-Based Therapeutics, Announces Pricing ($15/Share) of Initial Public Offering

On October 13, 2020, Codiak BioSciences, Inc., a clinical-stage company focused on pioneering the development of exosome-based therapeutics as a new class of medicines, announced the pricing of its initial public offering (IPO) of 5,500,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $15.00 per share, for gross proceeds of approximately $82.5 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. [Editor’s Note: CDAK price at end of day October 15 was $12.09/share.] All of the shares are being offered by Codiak. In addition, Codiak has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 825,000 additional shares of common stock at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The shares are scheduled to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on October 14, 2020 under the ticker symbol “CDAK,” and the offering is expected to close on October 16, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Evercore ISI, and William Blair are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering and as representatives of the underwriters. Wedbush PacGrow is acting as lead manager for the offering. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and became effective on October 13, 2020. This offering is being made only by means of a prospectus. Copies of the final prospectus, when available, may be obtained from: Goldman Sachs & Co.

Researchers ID Mechanism Underlying Bone Marrow Failure in Fanconi Anemia

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the USA have identified the mechanism behind bone marrow failure developing in children that suffer from Fanconi anemia. The findings may help to develop new therapies for the disorder. Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disease affecting small children and characterized by bone marrow failure, developmental abnormalities, and predisposition to multiple forms of cancer. The molecular mechanisms behind FA are inherited mutations in genes encoding DNA repair proteins, leading to irreversible bone marrow failure. The exact mechanisms of how these genetic mutations lead to the exhaustion of stem cells from the bone marrow have been unknown. Now, the researchers have identified a cause for this failure. The findings were published online on September 29, 2020 in Cell Stem Cell. The article is titled “MYC Promotes Bone Marrow Stem Cell Dysfunction in Fanconi Anemia.” “The results open new paths for developing novel therapies for the disease, for which the only curative treatment currently available is stem cell transplantation. Understanding the mechanism of bone marrow failure better can help to plan stem cell transplantations and to develop new therapies for milder forms of Fanconi anemia,” says Anniina Färkkilä (photo), MD, PhD, Docent and Clinical Researcher at the University of Helsinki, and Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Helsinki University Hospital. In the study, researchers at the University of Helsinki analyzed the gene expression of individual cells, and found, to their surprise, overexpression of the MYC gene in the bone marrow stem cells of patients with Fanconi anaemia. MYC is one of the best-known genes regulating the formation of malignant tumors.

New Study Suggests Crucial Role for T-Cells in Asymptomatic COVID-19 Infection

COVID-19 remains stubbornly inconsistent. More than a million people have died and 35 million have been diagnosed, but a large fraction of people infected with the coronavirus--about 45%, according to recent estimates--show no symptoms at all. A retrospective study of 52 COVID-19 patients, published online on October 7, 2020 in mSphere, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, may help researchers better understand why not everyone show symptoms of the disease. The article is titled “Descriptive, Retrospective Study of the Clinical Characteristics of Asymptomatic COVID-19 Patients.” The study's authors found that asymptomatic patients hosted viral loads comparable to those of symptomatic patients, but asymptomatic patients showed higher levels of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell responsible for immune responses), cleared the viral particles faster, and had lower risks of long-term complications. Further analyses suggested the interaction between the virus and the immune system likely played a role in that process. "Our findings suggested an important role for lymphocytes, especially T-cells, in controlling virus shedding," said virologist Yuchen Xia, PhD, at Wuhan University's School of Basic Medical Sciences in China, senior author of the new study. The wide range of COVID-19 symptoms is well documented. Asymptomatic carriers, on the other hand, often go undiagnosed, but can still shed the virus and spread it to others. Understanding why some patients get sick and others don't is one of the most important challenges in curbing the pandemic, Dr. Xia said. "They may cause a greater risk of virus transmission than symptomatic patients, posing a major challenge to infection control." Dr.