Jan. 10 Quick Takes: AbbVie taps Anima for mRNA therapeutics

Plus updates from Alto, Union, AskBio-Recode, Phathom and more  

January 11, 2023 1:45 AM UTC

The latest partner for New Jersey-based Anima Biotech Inc. is AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), which will draw on the privately held biotech’s phenotypic screening and mRNA discovery expertise in a three-target deal spanning oncology and immunology. Anima will receive $42 million up front and is eligible for $540 million in option fees and milestones, plus royalties. The biotech has previously partnered with Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4502).

Alto Neuroscience Inc. is moving BDNF-targeting antidepressant ALTO-100 into a Phase IIb study this month based on newly announced results from a Phase IIa study in which the therapy met the primary endpoint. In a biomarker-defined group with major depressive disorder, the treatment led to significantly greater changes in depression scores and response rates compared with subjects without the biomarker. The Stanford University spinout, which raised $35 million in series B funding in October, is taking a computational, biomarker-based approach to neuropsychiatry...