EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

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> InnaVirVax secured FDA clearance to start a Phase II trial of its HIV immunotherapy. The trial, which follows on from a study run in Europe, will administer VAC-3S to patients for 36 weeks. After stopping treatment, researchers will monitor patients to see how long they can control their viral load without the therapeutic intervention. “Our goal is to allow patients living with HIV to stop their antiretroviral treatment which have long term complications, while controlling their viral load and therefore to improve their quality of life,” InnaVirVax CEO Joël Crouzet said in a statement. Release

> DS Biopharma unveiled plans to advance DS102 into a Phase IIa chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) trial. The drug, which until this week was best known as a potential treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is moving into the clinic in COPD on the strength of preclinical data generated by the company. DS has evidence to suggest DS102 has bronchodilatory effects. More details of the preclinical data are due to be published later this year. Release

> Boehringer Ingelheim added another strand to its alliance with BioMed X, an industry-academia collaboration center. The new program, which follows on from a collaboration targeting epigenetic drivers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is looking at novel approaches to the treatment of psychiatric diseases. Boehringer is bankrolling the research for two years and has the option to add a further two years to the program. Release

> Relief Therapeutics secured the first tranche of a planned €2.5 million ($2.8 million) Series A round. The money, which was provided by Global Emerging Markets, will support preparations for clinical development of atexakin alfa, an experimental treatment for diabetic neuropathy. Relief in-licensed the drug in September from Merck KGaA, where the three founders of the Swiss biotech worked prior to setting up the company in 2013. Release

> MorphoSys (ETR:MOR) teamed up with MD Anderson to hustle anticancer antibodies through to clinical proof of concept. The project will see MorphoSys apply its Ylanthia platform to the generation of antibodies against jointly selected targets, after which it will collaborate with a team at MD Anderson to move through target validation, preclinical development and into the clinic. MorphoSys has the option to pick up any assets that make it through to proof of concept. Release

> Vifor Pharma added another close-to-market asset to its portfolio. The Swiss biopharma, which has been buying a pipeline and portfolio in anticipation of a split from its parent company, now has the rights to commercialize Pfizer’s ($PFE) biosimilar copy of Amgen’s ($AMGN) Epogen in the U.S. Hospira, which Pfizer acquired, originally filed for approval of the drug in 2014, only to receive a FDA complete response letter the following year. Release

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