EuroBiotech Report—Ablynx-Novo, Heptares CSO departs, Allergan eyes KaNDy, Synpromics-UCL and CRISPR

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. This week’s rundown begins with comments made by Van Herk Investments, Ablynx’s largest shareholder. In contrast to Ablynx, the investor is open to talking to Novo Nordisk now. But it warned the Danish drugmaker it will need to dial up its bid to win investor support for a takeover. Fiona Marshall, Ph.D. left Sosei and its subsidiary Heptares to take the reins at Merck’s planned London drug discovery center. Allergan is reportedly looking to acquire KaNDy Therapeutics. Synpromics formed a gene therapy collaboration with UCL. A European CRISPR patent ruling went against the Broad Institute. And more. Nick Taylor  

1. Ablynx investor opens door to Novo deal at a higher price

Ablynx’s largest shareholder is open to supporting a takeover by Novo Nordisk. The funder, Van Herk Investments, thinks Novo’s most recent offer was too low but will encourage Ablynx to enter talks if a sufficiently sweetened bid is received.

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2. Heptares, Sosei shuffle leadership as CSO Marshall departs

Fiona Marshall, Ph.D., is set to leave Sosei. Marshall has served as CSO of the company since it bought Heptares. She is departing to take on a senior role at another business.

3. British newco KaNDy Therapeutics said to be in Allergan M&A crosshairs

Allergan, flush from a series of small and mid-sized deals over the past 18 months, is reported to be seeking a buyout of women’s health company KaNDy Therapeutics.

4. Synpromics, UCL ally to aim gene therapies at blood-based diseases

Synpromics has entered into another gene therapy collaboration with UCL. This time around, the aim is to apply Synpromics’ synthetic promoter expertise to the development of gene therapies against diseases affecting blood production.

5. Broad Institute knocked back by European CRISPR patent ruling

Determining who owns the intellectual property surrounding the gene-editing CRISPR/Cas9 technology has been a combative affair, and the Broad Institute just came out on the wrong side of the latest skirmish.

And more articles of note>>