EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> Pierre Fabre struck a deal with Inserm to discover new immuno-oncology targets. The three-year collaboration will pair the translational medicine experience of Pierre Fabre with the research skills of Cordeliers Research Center, a 450-person Paris-based operation that investigates immunity and cancer under the patronage of Inserm. By involving Pierre Fabre early in the process, Inserm hopes to cut the time it takes for academic research to translate into drug development programs. Release (PDF)

> Galapagos ($GLPG) landed a $2 billion deal (€1.8 billion) with Gilead ($GILD). The agreement gives Galapagos $725 million upfront in the form of a licensing fee and equity investment, plus up to $1.35 billion in milestones, in exchange for rights to the JAK1 inhibitor that AbbVie ($ABBV) walked away from earlier this year. Galapagos has agreed to pay 20% of R&D costs and has kept the option to co-promote the drug in certain markets. Gilead will pay tiered royalties, starting at 20%, on global sales. Release

> MS Ventures, Aglaia Oncology Fund II and Novo Seeds teamed up to funnel €3.4 million ($3.7 million) into Inthera Bioscience, a Swiss biotech developing small molecule drugs for solid tumors. "The broad applicability of Inthera's technology is intriguing," MS Ventures' Jasper Bos said in a statement. "Protein-protein interactions are one of the most promising target classes in oncology but have been notoriously intractable. The possibility to rationally design small molecule inhibitors against them could break new ground in targeted cancer therapy." Release

> AstraZeneca ($AZN) reiterated its commitment to Sweden by teaming up with the Wallenberg Centre for Protein Research. The collaboration will dig into the secretome, a term for proteins secreted by cells. AstraZeneca will screen its compound library against secretome proteins in a bid to uncover new targets for its drug development team. "Harnessing the power of the secretome in this unprecedented way will help us to identify new biomarkers, drug targets and ultimately develop next-generation biological treatments," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a statement. FierceBiotech

> Complix committed to advancing its autoimmune drug candidate into the clinic. The drug, CMX-02, is seen as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis and Crohn´s disease. Hasselt, Belgium-based Complix has designed CMX-02 to target both TNFα and IL-23, cytokines involved in the inflammation cascade. The idea is set to be tested in the clinic, with Complix striking a deal with Selexis to support the production of the experimental drug. Release

> Freeline Therapeutics joined the growing scrum of biotechs aiming to treat bleeding diseases using gene therapy. The UCL spinout has rounded up £25 million ($38 million) from the Wellcome Trust's £200 million investment vehicle to bankroll its work, which is centered on an adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy platform. In a Phase I/II trial, a treatment based on the platform cut bleeding episodes by 90% over three years. FierceBiotech

> AstraZeneca bought a 55% stake in Acerta Pharma for $4 billion (€3.7 billion). The Big Pharma has the option to scoop up the remaining 45% of the Dutch cancer player for $3 billion. Acalabrutinib, a blood cancer drug, is the focal point of Acerta's pipeline. "Acalabrutinib provides us with a small molecule presence in blood cancers to complement our existing immunotherapy approach, in collaboration with Celgene ($CELG) in hematological malignancies," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told the Wall Street Journal. WSJ (sub. req.)

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