EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

University College, London began enrolling patients in a clinical trial of its stem cell-based laryngeal implants. The study is looking for 10 people who suffer from a narrowing of the voicebox and upper windpipe, each of whom will receive an implant that combines materials from a donor with their own stem cells. Scientists involved with the project will process donor voice boxes and windpipes with enzymes and detergents to remove cells. The connective tissue that remains will then be used as a scaffold on which to grow stem cells taken from the bone marrow of each trial participant. Study

Alderley Park Ventures made its first investment. AstraZeneca ($AZN) helped to set up the £5 million ($7.8 million) fund as part an attempt to soften the blow of its retreat from Alderley Park. Alderley Analytical, a provider of bioanalytical services, was the recipient of the first investment, picking up £200,000 to step up its business development activities. The size of the investment is in the middle of the range Alderley Park Ventures expects to make. Release

Genmab (CPH:GEN) struck a DuoBody licensing deal with Novo Nordisk ($NVO). The deal nets Genmab a $2 million (€1.8 million) upfront fee from its Danish compatriot, but the meat of the money will follow if Novo Nordisk advances candidates to the points at which milestones are triggered. Novo Nordisk has the exclusive right to apply Genmab's technology to the development of bispecific antibodies against two targets. If Novo Nordisk ops to retain exclusivity, it will pay up to $250 million per target in milestones. FierceBiotech

Vernalis (AIM:VER) reported its treatment for neuropathic pain as a result of spinal cord injury has missed its primary endpoint in a Phase II trial. The fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor failed to outperform a placebo in terms of pain reduction. Vernalis will now stop investing in the program, although it is still looking to partner the asset. The conclusion of the trial marks the end of Vernalis' investments in its pipeline of new chemical entities. Release

E-Therapeutics (AIM:ETX) made immuno-oncology the focus of its drug discovery efforts. The move is part of the British biotech's strategy of putting its discovery resources into "areas of high and immediate demand," a description that is a good fit for immuno-oncology today. E-Therapeutics is focusing initially on IDO1 and TD02. Programs looking at other immuno-oncology targets are in the works, too. Release

Kuros Biosurgery raised CHF 15 million ($15.5 million). The financing round, which was led by LifeCare Partners and LSP Life Sciences Partners, gives the Swiss biomaterial specialist money to move its lead products toward commercialization. KUR-023, a sealant, is nearing the market, while Kuros' lead orthobiologics product, KUR-111, is now on the cusp of Phase III. Release

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