EuroBiotech:​ ​More​ ​Articles​ ​of​ ​Note

A pile of newspapers

> George Freeman, the former U.K. minister for life sciences, and other politicians at the Conservative Party conference talked up the prospects of biotech post-Brexit. Freeman, who now has a broader role in defining the U.K.’s industrial strategy, said Brexit is a chance to free biotech from “some of the dafter regulations” developed by European officials. But while Freeman wants to free Britain from European regulations, he wants to keep the agency charged with enforcing them in London, despite the idea being rubbished previously on the continent. Bloomberg

> Richard Bungay is to step down as CFO and COO of Mereo BioPharma (LON:MPH) in April. Bungay, who held senior positions at Glide Pharmaceutical Technologies and Chroma Therapeutics before joining Mereo, is leaving the Novartis ($NVS)-partnered drug development shop “to pursue other business interests.” In response, Mereo has begun searching for a replacement CFO and a head of pharmaceutical development. Statement

> Lysogene named Mark Plavsic as its CTO. The new hire continues the buildout of the French gene therapy player’s team in Cambridge, MA, the ranks of which were swelled by the appointment of a CSO and VP of regulatory affairs earlier this year. Plavsic joins Lysogene after a 7-month stint as head of process development and manufacturing at Cambridge-based immunotherapy player Torque Therapeutics, before which he spent more than a decade at Genzyme. The spell at Genzyme included a stretch as senior director of gene therapy development. Release


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> MorphoSys (ETR:MOR) took another step toward the first approval of one of its antibodies. The good news, which sent shares in MorphoSys up more than 20%, was delivered by Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), which reported the drug it licensed from the German antibody specialist bested AbbVie’s ($ABBV) Humira in a Phase III psoriasis trial. MorphoSys is looking to the J&J-partnered drug, guselkumab, to deliver revenue to support its recently ramped-up R&D spending, particularly since a Phase IIb/III miss dampened expectations for a drug it licensed to Novartis. Reuters

> The Alderley Park campus vacated by AstraZeneca ($AZN) has gained a startup incubator. The £500,000 ($635,000) initiative was set up by a group of VC shops, regional life science collaborations and other organizations to support up to 10 early-stage projects. While the financial packages on offer are small, the organizers hope the accompanying access to facility space, experts and clinicians will prove attractive. Bdaily

> RedHill Biopharma ($RDHL) increased the size of its Phase III Crohn’s disease trial by 50%. The trial will now enroll 410 patients, compared to 270 under the original protocol. RedHill unveiled the change alongside other tweaks to the protocol, including the introduction of an option to stop the trial during an interim review of the data scheduled for the second quarter of next year. Release

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