EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> Novo A/S CEO Eivind Kolding resigned after two years in the job. The decision, which was triggered by the board concluding Novo A/S needs a CEO with a "different profile" than Kolding, has resulted in chairman Sten Scheibye taking over leadership of the organization on an interim basis. Exactly why the board of Novo A/S, a prominent biotech investor, felt Kolding was no longer the best person for the job is unclear. Scheibye wants to keep the reasoning a secret for now "so as not to prejudice the recruitment process," he said in a statement. The motivation appears to be unrelated to the current financial performance of the group. "Novo A/S will report its best results ever in 2015," Scheibye said. Statement (PDF)

> Dilaforette teamed up with the Bahrain-based Arabian Gulf University (AGU) to take a sickle cell disease drug through Phase II. The clinical trial will assess the effect of the drug, sevuparin, on vaso-occlusive crises in patients with sickle cell disease. AGU is chipping in $1.2 million (€1.1 million) in nondilutive funding to support the trial, as well as helping out with the clinical research itself, in return for capped royalties should the drug generate sales. Dilaforette, a Karolinska Development (STO:KDEV) portfolio company, expects to have data from the Phase II trial in the second half of the year. Release

> American-Israeli cannabis player Cannabics Pharmaceuticals is planning a $4 million (€3.6 million) placement, Globes reports. The cash will go toward development of a sustained-release cannabinoid formulation targeted at end-of-life cancer patients, a population Cannabics thinks can benefit from access to a more precise, controlled way of administering the active ingredients found in cannabis. A team in Israel is testing the idea in a 40-person trial. Globes

> Zealand Pharma (CPH:ZEAL) began dosing patients in a Phase II trial of its experimental treatment for short bowel syndrome (SBS), ZP1848. The drug, a long-acting GLP-2 analog, has advanced to this stage on the strength of preclinical data that suggest it could outperform existing options for patients with SBS. Shares in Zealand, which now has three proprietary peptide specialty medicines in Phase II, rose 10% following the release of the news. Statement

> Grünenthal opened a R&D facility in Aachen, Germany. The 12,500-square-meter building, which will house up to 150 scientists across three floors of laboratories, forms part of Grünenthal's attempt to establish an internal research operation capable of delivering a pipeline of candidates. In pursuit of this operation. Grünenthal has spent €131 million ($146 million) on real estate, buildings and production sites over the past 5 years. Release

> An investigator-initiated trial of Adaptimmune's ($ADAP) T-cell therapy resumed following a probe into the death of a participant. Leading United Kingdom cancer clinical research center The Christie hit pause on the study when a patient died 46 days after receiving an infusion of the therapy. After investigating the death, The Christie has revised the protocol--notably by cutting the intensity of the preconditioning chemotherapy regimen--and reinitiated enrollment in the study. Statement

Suggested Articles

Novo Nordisk and Dicerna are teaming up on liver-related diseases, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), to the tune of $225 million.

After announcing it was slashing scores of jobs, Alkermes is now willing to put down nearly $1 billion to buy out CNS biotech Rodin Therapeutics.

The top-line readout appears to justify the risk the partners took when they advanced the drug despite missing the primary endpoint in phase 2.