EuroBiotech Report: Amgen-Nuevolution, $95M Series A, Medicxi, Boehringer and PhII data

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with news from two of the big beasts of global biopharma. Amgen joined Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Merck ($MRK) and Novartis ($NVS) on the list of drugmakers to see potential in Nuevolution and its platform. The Big Biotech struck an oncology and neuroscience pact that could see it pay Nuevolution $410 million (€367 million) per program. Boehringer Ingelheim, our other big beast, had more downbeat news. Having talked up its pact with Hanmi Pharmaceutical just months ago, the German drugmaker pulled the plug this week. At the other end of the biopharma food chain, investors pumped money into two biotechs with divergent aspirations. Carrick Therapeutics raised $95 million from Woodford Investment Management, the fund formerly known as Google Ventures and others to bankroll its plans to grow into Europe’s leading oncology company. Kymo Therapeutics has rather humbler goals. The immune inflammatory disease startup is looking to turn $11 million from Medicxi and science from Metabrain Research into clinical proof-of-concept data that enable its investors to cash out. Bone Therapeutics posted an early look at data from one of its mid-phase cell therapy trials. Nick Taylor

1. Amgen strikes early-stage oncology, neuroscience R&D pact with Nuevolution

Amgen ($AMGN) has become the latest big-name drugmaker to strike a deal to access Nuevolution’s (STO:NUE) discovery platform. The Big Biopharma will work with Nuevolution to discover and develop oncology and neuroscience therapeutics, before going on to license promising programs in return for up to $410 million (€367 million) apiece in upfront and milestone payments.

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2. Boehringer backs out of $730M lung cancer pact with Hanmi following data review

Boehringer Ingelheim has backed out of the $730 million (€650 million) lung cancer pact it struck with Hanmi Pharmaceutical last year. The decision follows a reevaluation of available clinical data and the competitive landscape, a process that led Boehringer to conclude it should cut its losses and focus on other pipeline programs.

3. Oncology fledgling Carrick bags $95M Series A, names ex-AstraZeneca, Lilly exec as CEO

Carrick Therapeutics has wrapped up a $95 million (€85 million) Series A to fuel its ambition to grow into Europe’s leading oncology company. The startup has persuaded some big names to back its plan, with ARCH Venture Partners and Woodford Investment Management leading the round and a who’s who of academic researchers joining the scientific advisory board.

4. Medicxi commits $11M to take single-asset metabolic disease newco to clinical POC

Medicxi is putting up €10 million ($11 million) to support Kymo Therapeutics through to clinical proof of concept. Newly founded Kymo will use Medicxi’s money to further Metabrain Research’s work on inhibitors of kynurenine metabolism (KMO), a mechanism of action the partners think could address metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes.

5. Bone Therapeutics posts interim PhIIa data, building case for bone-forming cell therapy

Bone Therapeutics (EBR:BOTHEhas posted an interim look at data from a small Phase IIa trial of its allogeneic cell therapy in lumbar spinal fusion. The vertebral bodies fused in all 8 of the subjects to complete one year of follow-up, putting Bone Therapeutics on a path it hopes will lead to a series of positive data readouts in 2017.

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