EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note


> Touchstone Innovations rejected a £500 million ($650 million) all-share offer from IP Group. But Touchstone accepted that the proposal has “certain merits” and it could come under pressure from shareholders to make a deal. Investors who own almost three-quarters of Touchstone’s stock, including Woodford Asset Management, Invesco and Lansdowne, support the deal. If the takeover goes ahead, it will bring together two of Britain’s most active tech transfer firms. Between them, the investors have helped companies including Mission Therapeutics, Oxford Nanopore, PsiOxus Therapeutics and Summit Therapeutics turn science performed in the golden triangle into nascent businesses. But both have struggled to turn their portfolios into a returns for investors. Statement I More

> A phase 3 trial of Atox Bio’s treatment for necrotizing soft tissue infections cleared a preplanned futility analysis. The drug, AB103, is a peptide designed to bind to the CD28 receptor. By hitting this target, Atox Bio thinks it can turn the immune system against infections. Release

> The National Institute on Aging committed $14.8 million to a study involving AC Immune’s beta amyloid Alzheimer’s disease candidate crenezumab. The Alzheimer’s prevention study is tracking people in Medellin, Colombia, who are genetically predisposed to developing the disease. Having secured the extra cash, researchers will use tau PET to assess the effect of the antiamyloid drug on the brain. Statement (PDF)


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> The U.K. BioIndustry Association (BIA) published a report claiming the country is in track to establish itself as the third global biotech hub. BIA based its claim on the strength of the U.K.’s pipeline and the amount its companies raised, although it still lags behind the top two hubs Boston, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, California, in both regards. It is unclear whether the changes set to be triggered by Brexit will help or hinder the U.K.’s attempt to close the gap. Release I Reuters

> Actelion posted phase 2 data on a key asset for the biotech that will emerge from the takeover by Johnson & Johnson. The 490-person trial linked the orally active dual endothelin receptor antagonist to statistically significant reductions in mean diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Idorsia, the biotech that will be left behind when J&J buys Actelion, plans to move into phase 3 on the strength of the data. The question is whether J&J will pay $230 million to opt-in to the program. Statement

> Shares in NeuroVive Pharmaceutical jumped after the company posted a rare piece of good news. The Swedish drug developer reported NeuroSTAT came through a phase 2 trial in patients with traumatic brain injury. NeuroVive plans to start a phase 3 trial of the candidate. The drug is the same cyclosporine formulation as the CicloMulsion-branded asset that failed trials in 2015 and 2016. Release

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