Mediar Therapeutics, a Mass General Brigham-backed biotech, raised $85 million to develop drugs for diseases that cause scarring in organs. Rahul Ballal, who until recently led a struggling Boston biotech called Imara that focused on blood disorders, was appointed chief executive last month. (The Boston Globe)

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals halted its Phase I/II trials after a serious adverse event and is looking for ‘strategic alternatives.’ This comes after a patient on BPX-601 experienced serious side effects, including grade 4 cytokine release syndrome. This was the second dose-limiting toxicity in the dose-escalation cohort. (Endpoints News)

The Food and Drug Administration said Paxlovid is not associated with COVID rebound. This is the first time the FDA has publicly discussed if the phenomenon is actually due to the antiviral — a question that’s swirled around its use since Pfizer’s drug was granted emergency use authorization in December 2021. (Axios)

Novartis has commenced with the sale of some of its ophthalmology assets. The pharma giant is seeking buyers for the front-of-eye portfolio, including Xiidra, which had $487 million in 2022 sales. (Bloomberg)

Eton Pharmaceuticals acquired Tulex’s pediatric rare disease drug ET-600. The drug candidate is being developed to treat an endocrinology condition that is estimated to impact less than 5K children in the U.S., according to the company. (Seeking Alpha)