EuroBiotech Report—AstraZeneca, Sanofi drop drugs, De Rothschild fund, U.K. VC and J&J

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with pipeline culls at two leading pharma companies. AstraZeneca got the week started by canning monotherapy development of a PD-1 drug it acquired in a $500 million takeover. Sanofi then followed up by dropping a cancer drug it picked up from ImmunoGen. Elsewhere, VC funds pulled in cash. Edmond De Rothschild Investment Partners brought in €345 million ($430 million) for the fifth version of its BioDiscovery fund. And two British investors returned from China laden with cash to invest in startups in their home country. Johnson & Johnson set up its first JLABS incubator in Europe. And more.Nick Taylor  

1. AstraZeneca stops monotherapy study at centerpiece of $500M buyout

AstraZeneca has stopped monotherapy development of a PD-1 drug it acquired in a $500 million (€400 million) biotech buyout. The candidate, MEDI0680, was the centerpiece of AstraZeneca’s takeover of Amplimmune.

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2. Sanofi culls ImmunoGen cancer drug from clinical pipeline

Sanofi has dropped an anticancer antibody-drug conjugate it licensed from ImmunoGen. The French pharma gained full control of the anti-LAMP1 drug as part of a recent deal but has now removed the asset from its pipeline.

3. De Rothschild raises €345M Europe-skewed life science fund

Edmond De Rothschild Investment Partners has raised €345 million ($430 million) for its latest fund. The haul makes BioDiscovery 5 the largest fund dedicated to biotechs and medical devices in Europe and tees up Edmond De Rothschild to invest in 15 to 17 companies.

4. Chinese funds plow cash into British VC shops

Chinese investors are set to pump money into two British funds. The agreements stand to create investment vehicles with more than $1 billion (€810 million) under management and an interest in bringing British innovations to China.

5. Johnson & Johnson opens first European JLABS incubator

Johnson & Johnson has opened its first JLABS incubator in Europe. The 30-startup hub will supercede the JLINX incubator J&J helped to set up at its R&D site in Beerse, Belgium.

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