Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with a pair of deals between Alexion and European biotechs. Having previously reached across the Atlantic to buy Wilson Therapeutics, Alexion has now struck deals with Affibody and Zealand Pharma to bolster its early-stage pipeline. Elsewhere, Nightstar shed light on the level of interest in gene therapy assets in a report on events leading up to a buyout bid from Biogen. Three other companies took a close look at Nightstar before Biogen made its move. Genfit closed in on a $132 million Nasdaq IPO. Shares in Allergy Therapeutics fell following a clinical setback. And more. — Nick Taylor
Alexion and Zealand Pharma have teamed up to develop peptide therapies for complement-mediated diseases. The deal will see Alexion pay $25 million (€22 million) upfront to work with Zealand on the subcutaneously-delivered therapies.
Alexion has paid Affibody $25 million (€22 million) to co-develop a treatment for rare IgG-mediated autoimmune diseases. The deal gives Alexion rights to an anti-FcRn drug designed to have a longer half-life than rival assets in development at Argenx, UCB and other companies.
The level of interest in gene therapies has been laid bare by a report on Biogen’s pursuit of Nightstar Therapeutics. Biogen ultimately landed its target with an $877 million (€772 million) all-cash offer, but only after seeing off interest from three other companies.
Genfit, a French biotech with a phase 3 NASH program, has set its terms for its Nasdaq IPO. With the proceeds, the company hopes to complete the phase 3 trial for its lead asset elafibranor and build out its commercial organization in preparation for a potential launch.
Allergy Therapeutics saw its stock down by 40% in early trading in London Monday morning after its birch pollen drug failed to move the needle in a key phase 3 trial, though the biotech, no stranger to setbacks, has vowed to keep calm and carry on.