EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and Cancer Research Technology teamed up to create a CAR-T company, Chimeric Therapeutics. The latecomer to the CAR-T party is focused on turning discovery work performed at the University of Birmingham into a commercially viable drug. Late preclinical testing of a CAR-T aimed at tumor endothelial marker CLEC14A, a target that the collaborators think could enable them to inhibit the growth of solid tumors, is underway, with a view to moving into Phase I "soon after." Release

> Midatech Pharma ($MTP) signed a licensing agreement with Emergex Vaccines. The deal gives Emergex access to gold nanoparticle technology from Midatech for use in the development of vaccines against infectious diseases. In return, Emergex will hand over initial, milestone and royalty payments. "The ability to synthesize vaccines without biological-derived components, now called 'vaccines on demand', will be an important … strategy for the rapid intervention in 'hot virus' epidemics," Emergex said in a statement. Release

> Symphogen landed a €1.4 billion ($1.6 billion) immuno-oncology deal with Baxalta ($BXLT). The deal sees Copenhagen, Denmark-based Symphogen pocket $175 million upfront, plus gain the chance to pull in upward of $1 billion more if attempts to develop therapeutics against 6 checkpoint targets go the distance. Striking the deal continues the momentum Symphogen gathered in the final months of 2015, when it bounced back from seeing Merck KGaA walk away from a $625 million alliance in January by advancing a Genentech-partnered program into the clinic and extracting €67.5 million from investors. FierceBiotech

> Addex Therapeutics (SWX:ADXN) picked up an orphan drug nod from the FDA for its treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia associated with Parkinson's disease. The drug, dipraglurant, came through a Phase IIa trial in the indication back in 2012. Now, with an interim look at a mGluR5 receptor occupancy clinical trial suggesting dipraglurant is penetrating the brain, Addex is preparing to move the drug into Phase III. Release

> Active Biotech (STO:ACTI) and Teva ($TEVA) suffered another setback in their long, faltering attempt to bring laquinimod to market. The partners decided to drop higher doses of the multiple sclerosis drug, which was tipped to become the successor to Copaxone, from a pair of ongoing clinical trials after 8 participants experienced nonfatal cardiovascular events. Shares in Active Biotech closed down almost 30% on the day of the news, bringing its decline since the heady days of 2011 up to 94%. FierceBiotech

> Complix landed a deal with Merck ($MRK) worth up to $280 million (€260 million) in upfront and milestone payments. Hasselt, Belgium-based Complix will use its Alphabody platform to discover small proteins against up to two intracellular cancer targets, the rights to which Merck has an option to acquire. Merck will fund the research. Complix set up shop in 2008, since when it has pulled in around €20 million in VC cash. Release

> Oncodesign (EPA:ALONC) added Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) to a list of collaborators that already features Sanofi ($SNY), Ipsen (EPA:IPN) and UCB (EBR:UCB). Dijon, France-based Oncodesign will generate small macrocycles designed to hit targets picked by Bristol-Myers. The deal includes an upfront fee of $3 million (€2.8 million), plus up to $80 million in milestones for each molecule that advances through R&D. Shares in Oncodesign closed up almost 14% on the day of the news. FierceBiotech

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