EuroBiotech Report—Bayer-Loxo, CRISPR-CureVac, Gates’ Alzheimer’s investment, Novartis and Macrophage


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with two deals involving Bayer. The standout, big ticket item is Bayer’s deal with Loxo Oncology, which will see the German company funnel $1 billion (€850 million) into its new partner over the coming years in exchange for rights to cancer drugs. The second deal involves Bayer-CRISPR Therapeutics joint venture, Casebia Therapeutics, which secured a source of Cas9 mRNA constructs from Germany’s CureVac. Elsewhere, the U.K.’s Dementia Discovery Fund raised $50 million from Bill Gates, Novartis added to its gene editing arsenal and British biotech Macrophage Pharma extended a preclinical immuno-oncology contract. And more.—Nick Taylor  

1. Bayer pays $400M upfront to buy into Loxo cancer drugs

Bayer has paid $400 million (€340 million) and committed to more than $1 billion more to buy into Loxo Oncology’s tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitor franchise. The agreement puts Bayer in charge of global commercialization of a drug that chalked up a 75% response rate in a midphase trial.

2. CRISPR, Bayer JV tap CureVac for Cas9 mRNA constructs

CRISPR Therapeutics and its joint venture with Bayer have struck a deal with CureVac. The pact tasks CureVac with developing Cas9 mRNA constructs for use by CRISPR and joint venture Casebia Therapeutics in three in vivo gene-editing liver disease programs.

3. Bill Gates pledges $50M for Alzheimer’s disease fund

Billionaire Bill Gates turns his philanthropic eye toward Alzheimer’s disease with a $50 million investment in the U.K.-based Dementia Discovery Fund.

4. Novartis, already up on CRISPR, CAR-T, looks to new gene editing R&D

Novartis has penned a new deal with Homology Medicines as it looks to boost its already impressive R&D work in cell and gene therapy.

5. Concept buy Aquila inks immuno-oncology deal with Macrophage Pharma

Concept Life Sciences’ recent acquisition of Aquila BioMedical has quickly produced a return—an extended contract with Macrophage Pharma to support its preclinical immuno-oncology programs.

And more articles of note>>