EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) began the potentially drawn-out process of exiting a R&D site in France. The Big Pharma is trying to find a buyer for the site but, failing that, will shutter the facility. With 70 employees working at the labs and French labor laws to contend with, any outcome that results in the loss of jobs is likely to prove painful. A union representing workers at the site has already voiced its surprise at the planned closure and talked up the effectiveness of the facility. FierceBiotech

> Heptares Therapeutics bagged a $5.5 million (€4.9 million) grant to research a treatment for cocaine addiction and dependence. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded project is looking at Orexin-1, a receptor associated with the modulation of cravings for cocaine and other substances. Sosei-owned Heptares has already identified antagonists of the receptor and will now use the cash to pick a candidate for preclinical development. Release

> Karolinska Development (STO:KDEV) offloaded its stake in XSpray Microparticles. The sale is the latest step in the ongoing attempt to reposition Karolinska Development after a tricky few years for the company. Karolinska Development has turned to some of the same organizations that bought its stake in Pharmanest for the XSpray divestiture. The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies and Recipharm Venture Fund, both of which were involved with the earlier deal, are leading a consortium that is now investing in the growth of XSpray. Release

> Asceneuron raised CHF 30 million ($31 million) to advance its lead program to the completion of a clinical proof-of-concept trial. The program is looking at the effect of Asceneuron's O-GlcNAase inhibitor on the orphan neurodegenerative disorder progressive supranuclear palsy. Alzheimer's disease is another possible target for the types of small molecules the company is researching. Sofinnova Partners led the round in the company, which was set up following the shuttering of Merck Serono's facility in Switzerland. FierceBiotech

> MediWound landed a $112 million (€100 million) deal with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to bring its treatment for severe burns to market in the U.S. The sum is split between financial support for U.S.-focused R&D and commitments to buy the drugs once they are available. Shares in Clal Biotech, which owns 45% of MediWound, jumped 20% following the news. Reuters

> Pharmalink raised SEK 100 million ($12 million) in a mezzanine round ahead of a planned IPO. The Swedish biotech raised the cash from existing investors including Investinor and Industrifonden to finance preparations for a Phase III trial of its kidney disease treatment, Nefecon. At the same time, Pharmalink is keeping one eye on conditions for biotech IPOs on Nasdaq Stockholm. If conditions are favorable next year, the company plans to go public to gather more cash for its clinical trial program. Release

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