Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with a pair of immuno-oncology deals. Cell Medica opened its wallet to acquire Delenex, a Swiss company that emerged from Alcon’s $589 million (€531 million) takeover of ESBATech with assets its new owner sees as enabling CAR programs. And Celyad handed over certain regional rights to its allogeneic NKR-2 T-cell immunotherapy to Ono Pharmaceutical in return for $12 million upfront and close to $300 million in milestones. Christine Placet, fresh from selling Trophos to Roche in a $470 million deal, jumped into another hot field: gene therapy. And having landed at Horama, Placet has persuaded investors to bankroll the advance of its retinitis pigmentosa treatment into the clinic. Antibiotic player Motif Bio filed for a Nasdaq IPO. Boehringer Ingelheim teamed up with the University of Dundee to develop a new class of medicines. And more. Nick Taylor
Cell Medica has bought Delenex, a Swiss biotech that spun out of ESBATech as part of its $589 million (€531 million) takeover by Novartis’ ($NVS) Alcon. The deal gives Cell Medica single-chain variable fragment (scFv) technology that will serve as the targeting system for the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies it is codeveloping with Baylor College of Medicine.
Celyad ($CYAD) has struck a JPY 31 billion ($306 million) deal with Ono Pharmaceutical for the rights to its allogeneic NKR-2 T-cell immunotherapy in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The deal gives Celyad an upfront cash boost and a source of ongoing income at a time when it is trying to recover from the late-phase failure of its heart failure cell therapy.
Christine Placet has rounded up money for her first venture since leading Trophos to a $470 million ($521 million) takeover by Roche ($RHHBY). The financing sees Placet secure Series A funding to bankroll her plans for Horama, an ophthalmic gene therapy company that is advancing a treatment for retinitis pigmentosa toward the clinic.
Motif Bio (LON:MTFB) is forging ahead with plans to list its stock on Nasdaq. The British biotech has formalized its long-standing interest in a U.S. listing by filing paperwork with the SEC, setting it up for an IPO it hopes will deliver the cash it needs to wrap up a Phase III trial of its antibiotic, iclaprim.
Boehringer Ingelheim has teamed up with the University of Dundee to develop proteolysis-targeting chimeric molecules (PROTACs), a new class of drugs designed to degrade proteins. The idea is to leverage the cell’s own disposal system to eliminate proteins involved in the development of diseases including cancer.