EuroBiotech Report: Astellas-Ogeda, Verona IPO, Calypso IBD deal, BerGenBio IPO and Enterprise Therapeutics


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with two deals between European biotechs and larger Japanese companies. Belgium’s Ogeda struck the most attention-grabbing deal by landing an €800 million ($853 million) buyout bid from Astellas. The jewel of the deal is fezolinetant, an NK3 receptor antagonist that shone in a phase 2a trial as a treatment for menopausal hot flushes. Over in Switzerland, Merck KGaA spinout Calypso Biotech landed a deal with Eisai-Ajinomoto joint venture EA Pharma. Verona Pharma filed for an $86 million Nasdaq IPO to fund mid-phase trials in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. BerGenBio raised NOK 425 million in its IPO, setting it up to complete for phase 2 cancer trials. Enterprise Therapeutics received funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. And more. Nick Taylor

1. Astellas to buy GPCR specialist Ogeda for €500M upfront

Astellas has struck a deal to buy Ogeda for €500 million ($534 million) upfront. The takeover will give Astellas a potential nonhormonal treatment for menopausal hot flushes that cleared a phase 2a trial earlier this year.

2. Verona files for $86M IPO to fund COPD, cystic fibrosis trials

Verona Pharma has filed to raise up to $86 million (€81 million) through a Nasdaq IPO. The British respiratory disease specialist is seeking the money to bankroll midphase clinical trials of RPL554 in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis.

3. Merck KGaA spinoff licenses IBD drug to Eisai joint venture

Merck KGaA spinoff Calypso Biotech has licensed its inflammatory bowel disease candidate to EA Pharma, a joint venture between Eisai and Ajinomoto. The agreement gives EA Pharma the global license to anti-MMP-9 monoclonal antibody CALY-001.

4. BerGenBio completes IPO, raising $49M for cancer trials

BerGenBio has completed its IPO in Oslo. The Norwegian cancer biotech hit its target price and sold out the overallotment, resulting in it pulling in NOK 425 million ($49 million) to invest in a clutch of phase 2 trials of Axl inhibitor BGB324.

5. Enterprise Therapeutics secures cash for cystic fibrosis work

Enterprise Therapeutics has secured funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The money will enable Enterprise Therapeutics to further research through its bronchospheres, a technology designed to facilitate high-throughput screening in miniaturized models of the human airway.

And more articles of note>>