EuroBiotech Report—Bluebird-Medigene, Novo, MeiraGTx IPO, U.K. biotech and Faron

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. (CC0 Public Domain)

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with Medigene, which positioned itself to pull in up to $500 million (€417 million) in milestones through an expanded pact with Bluebird bio. The expansion adds two targets to the companies' T-cell receptor collaboration.

Novo Nordisk added to its roster of collaborations too, building on the progress of its diabetes stem cell therapy with deals for other assets. Transatlantic gene therapy startup MeiraGTx filed for an $86 million IPO. U.K. trade group BIA called for the democratization of biotech investing. Faron Pharmaceuticals identified low bioactivity as the possible cause of its phase 3 failure. And more. — Nick Taylor  

1. Bluebird adds targets, $500M in milestones to Medigene TCR pact

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Bluebird bio has added two targets and up to €417 million ($500 million) in milestones to its T-cell receptor (TCR) collaboration with Medigene. The expanded deal tasks Medigene with applying its TCR technology platform to additional target antigens of interest to Bluebird.

2. Novo Nordisk steps up interest in diabetes, Parkinson’s stem cell therapies

Novo Nordisk has talked up the progress of its Type 1 diabetes stem cell therapy program. With the diabetes project clearing milestones and moving within a few years of the clinic, Novo is stepping up its interest in stem cell therapies more broadly. 

3. Gene therapy startup MeiraGTx files for $86M IPO

MeiraGTx has filed for an $86 million IPO to advance a handful of gene therapies into and through clinical trials. The transatlantic biotech is initially targeting inherited retinal diseases with therapies designed to halt vision loss.

4. BIA backs tax changes to 'democratize' biotech investing

Trade group BioIndustry Association (BIA) has detailed its vision for unlocking capital to support the growth of British startups. The BIA wants the government to “democratize” biotech investing by eliminating perceived barriers to more widespread participation in the sector.

5. Faron fingers low bioactivity as possible cause of phase 3 flop

Faron Pharmaceuticals has zeroed in on low levels of interferon-beta bioactivity to explain why its phase 3 traumakine trial failed comprehensively. The biotech is now testing product batches to assess whether the formulation is to blame for the lackluster data.

And more articles of note>>