EuroBiotech Report—AstraZeneca-Mystic, GlaxoSmithKline R&D cull, Bayer fail, Compugen setback and MHRA relocation 

The United Kingdom’s drug regulator is moving its headquarters to within half a mile of the EMA’s current home.

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with big news at the United Kingdom’s two biggest drugmakers. GlaxoSmithKline got the ball rolling by revealing it is ditching more than 30 pipeline prospects in a major revamp of its R&D operation, before AstraZeneca showed the danger of betting too much on any one program when its Mystic trial came up short.

The big setback to AstraZeneca followed shortly after Bayer suffered a blow of its own. Bayer’s bad news also came in the form of weak data from a pivotal trial of a cancer asset. The German company also made headlines for dumping one of the immune checkpoint programs it was working on with Compugen. The U.K. regulator is moving its office to near to where EMA is based. 

1. AstraZeneca's I-O combo fails crucial Mystic trial in lung cancer

One of AstraZeneca’s big hopes, a combo of its new I-O med with another experimental cancer drug, has missed a key primary endpoint in first-line lung cancer patients.

2. GSK stops development of 30 pipeline prospects, mulls sale of rare disease unit

GlaxoSmithKline is scrapping more than 30 drug development programs. The major cull of pipeline prospects will see GSK focus 80% of its R&D budget on the top candidates in four therapeutic areas and potentially exit the rare disease space.

3. Bayer ADC fails pivotal mesothelioma trial

A pivotal trial of Bayer’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) anetumab ravtansine has missed its primary endpoint. The drug failed to improve progression-free survival in mesothelioma patients, causing the stocks of Bayer’s collaborators ImmunoGen and MorphoSys to slip.

4. MHRA to move HQ to same area as EMA’s London digs

The United Kingdom’s drug regulator is moving its headquarters to within half a mile of the EMA’s current home. Staffes are set to move to their new digs in east London in the middle of next year, shortly before their peers at the EMA are scheduled to leave the city.

5. Bayer drops checkpoint regulator from Compugen pact

Bayer has jettisoned one of the two immune checkpoint regulators it picked up from Compugen. The decision follows a review that foresaw bleak prospects for the program and little reason to invest in its development.

And more articles of note>>