Natera INC. and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have entered a research agreement to analyse and study the DNA markers of kidney transplant rejection.

According to the agreement, the partners will investigate the level of donor-derived, cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) in hundreds of banked plasma samples collected at UCSF, using Natera’s Proprietary PCR platform and algorithms.

The agreement enables the partners to analyse whether the routine measurements of dd-cfDNA can predict the organ injury and therefore improve clinical outcomes.

Evelo Biosciences has entered a research agreement with Mayo Clinic to further develop novel immune-microbiome cancer therapies.

According to the agreement, the two partners will jointly work on isolation and characterisation of cancer-associated bacteria from patient’s samples and tumour biopsies for the development of onco-microbials to treat cancer.

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Attenua INC. has entered a definitive agreement to acquire oral Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor assets from Catalyst Biosciences.

Pursuant to the agreement, Attenua will pay an upfront payment of $1m and up to $105m as development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, and royalties to Catalyst Biosciences.

The transaction enables Attenua to expand its businesses and Catalyst Bioscienes to realise additional value for a subset of the non-core assets.

"Attenua INC. has entered a definitive agreement to acquire oral Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor assets from Catalyst Biosciences."

Protagonist Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, has announced an initial public offering (IPO) of 5,835,000 of its common stock shares. The company expects to raise gross proceeds of up to $75.8m through the offering.

The company plans to invest the funds partly to advance the phase IIb clinical trials of PTG-100, to complete investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies for PTG-200 and PTG-300 and to use the remaining for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Avrobio INC. has raised $25m in a series A venture financing round, which was co-led by Atlas Venture L.P. Clarus Venture LLC, and SV Life Sciences Advisers LLP.

The company plans to use the proceeds to further develop the clinical-stage programmes for fabry disease and acute myeloid leukaemia, as well as expand its pipeline for rare diseases and solid and liquid cancers.

Image: Evelo Biosciences has entered a research agreement with Mayo Clinic. Photo: Courtesy of Nephron.