EuroBiotech Report: Alzheimer’s gene therapy, IPOs, Innate Pharma and a 160% stock surge


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in France, where BrainVectis poked its head above the parapet to reveal it had raised money to fund its gene therapy programs. And the startup isn’t going after just any indication. Underpinned by the research of a gene therapy pioneer who drove forward a program now at bluebird bio ($BLUE), BrainVectis has set its sights on Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. Across the border in Switzerland, AC Immune is targeting some of the same indications with more conventional therapeutic approaches. The next step is a Nasdaq IPO that AC Immune hopes will add approximately $50 million (€45 million) to its coffers. While AC Immune is heading to Wall Street for its IPO, its compatriot Adienne Pharma & Biotech is staying closer to home. Adienne wants to file for an IPO in Switzerland to generate cash for a late-phase trial of its graft-versus-host disease drug. Back in France, Innate Pharma lined up a quick-fire succession of potentially stock-shifting trial readouts, including a look at data on its AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb-partnered programs. And the Paris stock exchange burst into life, driving the share price of Abivax up by 160% and dragging a clutch of biotechs up in its wake. And more. Nick Taylor

1. Gene therapy startup bags cash to fund preclinical work in Huntington's, Alzheimer's

A startup based on the work of gene therapy pioneer Nathalie Cartier-Lacave has secured Series A funding to advance programs against Huntington's and Alzheimer's. The idea is to use gene therapies to lower neuronal cholesterol levels by increasing expression of the CYP46A1 enzyme.

2. Genentech-partnered AC Immune tees up $68M IPO to bankroll Alzheimer's R&D

AC Immune has set the terms for its long-mooted Nasdaq IPO. The Alzheimer’s specialist, which lists Biogen ($BIIB), Genentech and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) among its partners, is looking to raise as much as $68 million (€61 million), the bulk of which will go into the development of an unpartnered early-phase liposomal therapeutic vaccine.

3. Adienne plans Swiss IPO to fund pivotal GvHD trial and advance orphan drug pipeline

Adienne Pharma & Biotech is planning to list its shares in Switzerland. The orphan drug specialist is seeking the cash injection to push its graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) drug over the regulatory finish line, and advance programs against Gaucher’s disease, mantle cell lymphoma and typical hemolytic uremic syndrome.

4. Innate enters busy period as AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers-partnered trials near readouts

Innate Pharma (EPA:IPH) has lined up back-to-back clinical trial readouts for the final months of 2016. The French immuno-oncology player is set to post first looks at data on drugs being developed with AstraZeneca ($AZN), Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and its in-house teams.

5. Abivax, buoyed by HIV milestone, leads surge in value of biotech stocks in Paris

Abivax's share price has surged more than 160% in a little more than one trading session. Investors drove up the stock on the back of news regarding its HIV collaboration, sparking a chain of events that saw the share prices of a clutch of biotech stocks surge on the Paris exchange.

And more articles of note>>