Tyrogenex Presents Phase 1 Study of X-82 for Wet AMD at the International Symposium on Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics Clinical


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Tyrogenex, a privately held company focused on the development of next-generation targeted therapeutics for cancer and ophthalmology, is pleased to announce that data from its phase 1 safety study of orally-administered X-82 in patients for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was presented today at the 12th International Symposium on Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ISOPT) Clinical in Berlin.

X-82 is a dual inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in development for treatment of wet AMD and solid tumors. Data from this phase 1 study support the recently initiated phase 2 study referred to as “APEX” for wet AMD in Previously treated Eylea patients with X-82.

“Anti-VEGF and anti-PDGF therapies for wet AMD require injections into the eye currently,” said Michael D. Webb, Tyrogenex President and CEO. “This data from our phase 1 study has captured the interest of eye specialists because X-82 is the only orally-administered therapeutic in development for wet AMD, and it has the potential to offer an alternative to frequent eye injections and affect the quality of life on how patients with wet AMD are treated.”

The data from the phase 1 study of X-82 was presented by Jason S. Slakter, MD, of the Vitreous-Retina-Macula Consultants of New York, during his presentation entitled, “New Drugs in Development for Wet AMD.” Dr. Slakter is a Scientific Advisory Board Member for Tyrogenex.

About the APEX Trial

APEX is a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, dose-finding phase 2 study being conducted throughout the U.S. at 20 sites and five sites in the U.K. The study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of X-82 in the prevention of vision loss due to wet AMD. APEX is expected to enroll 132 subjects. The primary endpoint of the APEX study is the mean change in visual acuity score from day 1 to 52 weeks after randomization. Another key endpoint is the reduction of the number of injections needed for the duration of the study. Additionally, systemic and ocular safety will be evaluated by assessing ECG, laboratory analyses, adverse events and serious adverse events.

About Wet AMD

AMD is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 50 in the United States and Europe. There are two forms of the disease, namely “dry” and “wet” AMD. Wet AMD is characterized by the growth of new blood vessels into the central region of the retina. These new and abnormal blood vessels cause severe central vision loss due to retinal damage caused by leakage of the blood vessels and subsequent scar formation. Anti-VEGF therapies and photodynamic therapies have been approved for wet AMD.

About Tyrogenex

Tyrogenex is developing X-82, as a targeted therapeutic for ophthalmological diseases and solid tumors. Preliminary data from a phase 1/2 pilot study show that X-82 is well tolerated and did not exhibit any dose-limiting toxicity during the study.

For ophthalmology, a phase 1 study shows X-82 was able to maintain or improve vision in all subjects who received the drug for the six-month study duration and most subjects did not require any rescue injections during that time. There were no dose-limiting toxicities encountered during the study.

In oncology, VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as X-82, typically have demonstrated benefit in a variety of cancers though dosage, and use of this class in combination with other therapies, has been limited by side effects. Phase 1 data presented at American Society of Clinical Oncology show that X-82 could a have a significantly lower toxicity profile, which may make it an ideal candidate for combination therapy.

Corporate Contact:
Tyrogenex Corporate Communications
Teri Swift, 561-727-9559
Media Contact:
David Connolly, 617-374-8800 ext. 108

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GrabTaxi grabs $350M to grow its e-hail vehicle service across Southeast Asia


GrabTaxi, an Uber-style e-taxi service operating in Southeast Asia, has raised a colossal 0 million round, taking its total funding speeding past the 0 million mark.

Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi is now available in 26 cities across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. It now counts 110,000 drivers across the Southeast Asia region.

Though GrabTaxi has primarily focused on taxis to date, it has expanded into other vehicle-types too, including motorbikes (“GrabBike”) and private cars (“GrabCar”) — which are more suitable in some markets, depending on income levels and the level of road congestion. And it’s these verticals that GrabTaxi says it’s hoping to grow even more with its latest funding in tow.

Among the participants in GrabTaxi’s latest round are U.S. investment firm Coatue, as well as a handful of big-name newcomers from China —  China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation (CIC), and, perhaps more notably, Didi Kuaidi. “Didi” is an e-taxi company based in China, and one of Uber’s biggest rivals in the region.

“This investment is not only a statement on GrabTaxi’s dominance in the region, but also the growth potential of Southeast Asia on a global level,” explains Anthony Tan, CEO and cofounder of GrabTaxi. “GrabTaxi is at the forefront of the startup industry in Southeast Asia and it is a mantle we carry proudly.”

While GrabTaxi’s 0 million in funding may pale in comparison to Uber’s billion or Didi’s .5 billion, this latest round makes the Singapore-headquartered company one of Southeast Asia’s best-funded startups. And if nothing else, it shows that the demand for “taxis in your pocket” shows no sign of easing.

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Esports documentary will debut with live StarCraft competition

All Work All Play

Playing games for a living is hard work. And that’s why By Experience is building a StarCraft event around a documentary about esports, dubbed All Work All Play: The Pursuit of eSports Glory.

By Experience specializes in organizing events at movie theaters, and it is teaming up with the filmmakers, StarCraft maker Blizzard Entertainment, and esports league ESL to create a livestreamed event for the debut of the documentary.

At the live event, a number of esports stars will compete in a tournament for Blizzard’s new expansion game, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. The Legacy of the Void is the first major StarCraft release since 2013.

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Fans will be able to attend the event at ESL Studios in Burbank, Calif., or watch it any of the participating movie theaters (up to 2,000 of them) throughout North America. The star players include Chris “Huk“ Loranger, Kevin “qxc“ Riley, Brandon “puCK“ Loranger, and Geoff “iNcontroL“ Robinson. The event will be broadcast on July 21, and it will be hosted by Joshua “Clutch” Gray.

The event will feature a live Q&A between the global audience and Patrick Creadon, the director of the film; Michal Blicharz, the director of pro gaming at ESL; and pro eSports gamers.

Julie Borchard-Young, co-president of By Experience said the event will give fans a unique opportunity to participate in an esports experience at a local cinema.

The film is a behind-the-scenes documentary that follows the ascent of esports. It showcases some of the best pro gamers in the world as they fought for the Intel Extreme Masters championship earlier this year. The film will screen during the live special event and again on July 28 in Europe.

Top professional StarCraft II players and gamers will battle it out in a 2v2 “Archon Mode” match in StarCraft II, Legacy of the Void. In that mode, two players share control of a single base and units. The game is currently in beta testoing.

The commentators for the event include Nathanias Fabrikant and Andre “Gretorp” Henchua. By Experience handles digital events at movie theaters and other locations. It has sold 23 million tickets to date since it did a live broadcast of David Bowie’s Reality album in 2003.

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Funding Daily: Today’s tech funding news, in one place


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Here’s a list of today’s tech funding stories, updated as the day unfolds. Tip us here if you have a deal to share.

Voxel8 raises M to help bring 3D-printed electronics to the masses

Voxel8, creators of a 3D electronics printer, has raised million to grow its team and develop the core technology that enables companies to 3D-print products with built-in electronics.

While the company previously raised an undisclosed round of financing, today represents the first significant VC funding the company has taken on. Braemar Energy Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners led the round, with participation from Autodesk — through its Spark Investment Fund — and In-Q-Tel.


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This list will be updated with breaking funding news all day. Check back for more.

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Shinra Technologies launches dev tools to build massive cloud-based game worlds

Shinra Technologies showed its demo in Austin at SXSW.

Shinra Technologies announced that it has released tools that will enable indie game developers to build massive game simulations with its cloud-based game-streaming service.

New York-based Shinra has released both English and Japanese language versions of its Community Cloud Development Kit (CCDK). The tools give indies a way to harness the power of remote rendering on the Shinra cloud for testing and presentation purposes. While Shinra itself is not making games, it is creating the underlying technology to make massive simulations with thousands of game characters and huge virtual worlds.

Shinra has made the CCDK available today on GitHub, where it can be downloaded for free by anyone.

Shinra Technologies’ vision for the CCDK is for every indie developer, in any part of the world, to have a simple and effective means to create a cloud game. The development kit supports all three of Shinra Technologies’ cloud-based architectures: 1-to-1 (single-player games), N:N (virtual MMO), and 1:N (supercomputer multiplayer).

Shinra Technologies’ Indie Business Manager Simon Ferrari said in a statement that the CCDK is an “all-in-one introduction” to Shinra’s distribution process.

Hearthstone, Call of Duty lead Activision to $611M in digital revenues last quarter

Call of Duty knows how to sell those microtransactions.

In recent years, game spending has shifted from traditional retail to digital purchases and stores, and Activision is one of the companies capitalizing on this.

During the company’s second quarter, which ended June 30, the company generated 9 million in revenues. Of that total, 1 million came from digital channels. That means that the publisher made more than 80 percent of its total sales from these online means. This shows the power that digital and connected games have, and Activision is definitely one of the game makers that knows how to deliver content for that audience.

In its quarterly report, Activision pointed out games like Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Destiny that have attracted players and spending. Combined, they have more than 70 million registered players and have generated over .25 billion in total spending. While some of that comes from the physical Destiny disc, a lot also comes from the 100 percent digital in-game purchases for Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm as well as Destiny’s expansions.

But it’s not just those newer Activision and Blizzard properties that are performing well in digital. The publisher also notes that Call of Duty’s year-over-year Q2 earnings saw a significant increase.

“Season pass, downloadable content, and microtransaction offerings have helped drive increased engagement and monetization [for Call of Duty],” reads the Activision quarterly report. ”

Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg specifically noted Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Supply Drops, which players can buy and use to get perks and killstreak rewards during matches. These items have helped Activision give a boost to its average revenue per player.

And looking forward, the publisher should have no trouble continuing its digital success. In September, Activision and Bungie will release The Taken King expansion for Destiny. This “mega expansion,” as the company is styling it, will go on sale for and most people will buy it digitally. Activision will likely also continue offering up more microtransactions in Call of Duty: Black Ops III when it debuts in November.

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