EuroBiotech: More Articles of Note

> Ixchelsis posted top-line data from a Phase IIa trial of its treatment for premature ejaculation. The British biotech gave the drug, the oral oxytocin receptor antagonist IX-01, or a placebo to 88 people with severe, lifelong premature ejaculation. Ixchelsis found IX-01 was associated with a more than 3.5-fold improvement in intravaginal ejaculatory latency times compared to placebo, a result that was statistically significant. Patients in the treatment arm also reported improvements in feelings of control and distress. Ixchelsis is now working through a Phase IIb dose-ranging study. Release

> GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) dropped its plan to seek approval in the U.S. for the eczema drug Toctino it bought from Basilea Pharmaceutica (SWX:BSLN) in 2012. Basilea, which pocketed £146 million ($209 million) when it handed over the drug, has an option to reacquire the U.S. rights to the drug, which as recently as August appeared to be heading toward a NDA. The terms of the mooted reacquisition have yet to be disclosed publicly. FierceBiotech

> Transgene (EPA:TNG) has borrowed €20 million ($22 million) from the European Investment Bank. The cash is set to support the advance of infectious disease candidates in development at Transgene, including treatments of chronic hepatitis B, virus-induced cancers and tuberculosis. Transgene has a Phase II treatment for human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced cancers that it wants to test alongside checkpoint inhibitors, plus a drug against chronic hepatitis B infection that entered the clinic late last year. Release (PDF)

> Galapagos ($GLPG) pulled the plug on an ulcerative colitis program after a Phase IIa trial delivered lackluster data. While the 64-person trial found the drug, GLPG1205, was safe and well tolerated, it fell short of showing that it could outperform the placebo in terms of efficacy. Having missed the efficacy endpoints, Galapagos sees no point in persisting with GLPG1205 in ulcerative colitis, but it isn't ruling out the possibility of aiming the GPR84-targeting inflammatory drug at another disease. FierceBiotech

> CellAct Pharma posted interim data from a Phase II trial of its lead candidate in people with biliary tract cancers. The drug, an inactive precursor of Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) Etopophos, is being tested in a randomized trial of 50 people, 18 of whom were evaluable at the time of the interim data analysis. More than half of patients met the primary objective of disease control, while the one-year survival rate clocked in at 41%, around 20% higher than CellAct said it would have expected based on historical controls. Release (PDF)

> AstraZeneca ($AZN), GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) added to the pool of VC cash swilling around the United Kingdom's academic hot spots. The Big Pharma peers have joined up with Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Cambridge to set up Apollo Therapeutics Fund, a £40 million ($57 million) investment vehicle focused on advancing preclinical academic research to the point at which it is an attractive commercial proposition. When a project reaches such a point, the three Big Pharma partners can scrap to acquire the program or leave it to be licensed by someone outside of the venture. FierceBiotech