News

GeNeuro targets retrovirus protein in MS

Country
Switzerland

Recent positive data from a Phase 2b trial of patients with multiple sclerosis illustrates the role of pathogenic HERV-W protein in the genesis of the disease. The protein was neutralised by an antibody therapy developed by GeNeuro SA, the first time this has been shown in a clinical trial.

MorphoSys launches US IPO

Country
Germany

MorphoSys AG has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to make an initial public offering of its shares on the Nasdaq market. The offering will consist of up to 8.3 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs), the German company said on 9 April.

Novartis to acquire AveXis

Country
Switzerland

Novartis appears set to become a first mover in gene therapy again with the agreed acquisition of AveXis Inc, a company with a late-stage gene replacement therapy for treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Combination IO study in melanoma stopped

Country
United States

A Phase 3 trial in which a combination of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and the IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat were being studied in patients with metastatic melanoma has been stopped after failing to show a benefit in progression-free survival, according to Incyte Corp and Merck & Co Inc.

Venture group becomes independent

Country
France

Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP) has separated from the Rothschild banking group to become an independent firm owned by its 55 employees and trading under the new name Andera Partners. The move comes as European venture capital becomes more international, and competition for promising assets increases.

Cellectis’ allogeneic portfolio gets boost

Country
France

France-based Cellectis SA has acquired a new partner for its portfolio of products for cancer that are based on donor T cells that have been engineered to target specific antigen on cancer cells. The allogeneic portfolio had been licensed to Pfizer Inc and Servier.

Sofinnova launches healthcare crossover fund

Country
France

Paris-based Sofinnova Partners has launched a new €275 million fund to expand the scope of its investments in life science to include late-stage private and public companies primarily located in Europe.

Bayer acquisition of Monsanto moves closer to completion

Country
Germany

Subject to approval from US regulators, Bayer AG hopes to conclude its $66 billion takeover of Monsanto Co in the second quarter. The transaction would be the third merger of its kind in just under 12 months, illustrating the global consolidation of the agrochemical and seed businesses. This is being enabled by biotechnology, which makes it possible for crops to be engineered to resist insects, and digital technology which gives farmers new tools for managing their fields.

Evotec to convert into an EU company

Country
Germany

Evotec AG plans to swap its German legal structure for a form of European incorporation that will enable it operate across European borders without the need for a network of subsidiaries. The European incorporation, Societas Europaea, SE, is part of the still-evolving European capital market.

Vobarilizumab fails in systemic lupus erythematosus

Country
Belgium

Vobarilizumab, a protein therapeutic that showed efficacy at Phase 2 in rheumatoid arthritis, has failed to meet the primary endpoint of dose response in a separate Phase 2 study of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.