EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note


> ViraTherapeutics named Heinz Schwer as CEO. The appointment puts an executive with a history of selling companies to MorphoSys in charge of the Boehringer Ingelheim-partnered virus-based cancer immunotherapy startup. Schwer previously led Sloning BioTechnology and Lanthio Pharma to takeovers by MorphoSys. Release

> The European Medicines Agency (EMA) awarded PRIME designation to Apogenix’s asunercept in glioblastoma. The CD95-ligand inhibitor secured a spot on the EMA’s priority program on the basis of data from an 86-patient clinical trial. The asunercept arm recorded a 20.7% rate of progression-free survival after six months, as compared to 3.8% in the control arm. Statement

> Alcobra outlined plans to cuts its costs by 40%. The Israeli biotech said it would enact a “significant reduction in force” to save the money. Alcobra has suffered a string of setbacks in the clinic in recent years, leaving it with a market cap of $31 million (€28 million). The company had $45 million in cash as of the end of March. Release

> TiGenix provided an update on its application for approval of Crohn’s disease stem cell therapy Cx601 in Europe. The Belgian biotech plans to file responses to the European Medicines Agency’s day 180 questions in August, keeping it on track to receive a regulatory decision by the end of the year. Statement

> High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) held the first, €245 million close of its third fund. The state-backed German seed fund is also tweaking its terms, notably by dialling up its investment ceiling from €2 million to €3 million. HTGF may invest more than this in “exceptional cases.” The rethink follows criticism of the returns—or lack thereof—generated by HTGF. Release

> Strekin raised CHF 10 million to take its treatment for sudden hearing loss into the clinic. The Swiss drug repurposing shop is developing a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma agonist for use in the indication. Strekin plans to pursue a trade sale once it has the data to attract suitors. Statement