EuroBiotech Report—ADCT bags $200M, data sink DBV, AstraZeneca deal and BioInvent CEO, GenSight CMO depart


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in Switzerland, where ADC Therapeutics unveiled a $200 million megaround. AstraZeneca and other old and new investors piled into the round, equipping ADCT to generate pivotal data on its two lead drugs without initiating its long-gestating IPO plans. The stay-private strategy keeps ADCT shielded from the scrutiny and burden of life on public markets. DBV Technologies felt that scrutiny and burden this week when the failure of its peanut allergy drug to clear the FDA’s bar in phase 3 plunged its stock to a 2017 low. But, with the candidate statistically beating placebo, DBV and others think it still has a shot at winning approval. AstraZeneca offloaded an unidentified asset to Roivant Sciences. Michael Oredsson resigned as CEO of BioInvent, clearing the company to hire a leader with more scientific skills. GenSight Biologics’ CMO stepped down. And more.—Nick Taylor  

1. AstraZeneca helps ADCT to $200M megaround to push anticancer ADCs to pivotal data

ADC Therapeutics has raised $200 million (€170 million), bringing its total haul up to $455 million. The antibody-drug conjugate specialist will use the money to take its two lead hematological cancer assets through registrational trials.

2. DBV peanut allergy vaccine fails trial, but analysts say don’t write it off yet

DBV Technologies’ peanut allergy vaccine missed the mark—by a whisker—in a phase 3 trial but is still at least 50:50 for FDA approval, say analysts at Jefferies.

3. Roivant bags AstraZeneca drug

Roivant Sciences has licensed a deprioritized investigational candidate from AstraZeneca. The deal gives Roivant, Axovant’s parent company, another partly developed, unloved drug to try to turn into a star.

4. BioInvent CEO resigns in shift toward scientific leadership

Michael Oredsson will step down as CEO of BioInvent at the end of the year. The company framed the decision as mutual and motivated by a desire to install a leader with more scientific experience.

5. GenSight Biologics’ CMO steps down as Barrett Katz takes over

Parisian gene therapy biotech GenSight says its chief medical officer, Mohamed Genead, M.D., has stepped down for personal reasons.

And more articles of note>>