EuroBiotech Report—Boehringer failure, Roivant-Poxel, Santhera’s CF deal, CRUK and Erytech

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week, sadly not for the first time, with news of a failed Alzheimer’s trial. Boehringer Ingelheim is the latest company to go up against the disease and lose. The German pharma is scrapping development of its PDE9 drug in the indication following the midphase fail. Roivant, the parent company of Axovant, is another firm with experience of a failed Alzheimer’s program. With Axovant’s failure still fresh in the memory, Roivant is moving into another challenging area—diabetes—through a $650 million deal with Poxel. Santhera also bolstered its pipeline in the wake of a setback, in its case by licensing a cystic fibrosis drug from Polyphor. Cancer Research UK detailed plans to support its clinical trial network. Erytech set out its breast cancer clinical trial strategy. And more.Nick Taylor  

1. Boehringer scraps PDE9 Alzheimer’s program after trial flop

Boehringer Ingelheim has scrapped plans to develop its PDE9 inhibitor in Alzheimer’s after the drug flopped in phase 2. BI 409306 failed to show superiority over placebo in cognition across a midphase program that enrolled 457 patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s.

2. Roivant expands into metabolic diseases with $650M Poxel diabetes pact

Roivant Sciences has struck a $650 million deal to acquire near-global rights to Poxel’s phase 3-ready Type 2 diabetes drug imeglimin. The deal ends Poxel’s long wait for a partner capable of shouldering the burden of a late-phase diabetes program and starts Roivant’s expansion into metabolic diseases.

3. Santhera, reeling from DMD blow, lands cystic fibrosis drug

Santhera Pharmaceuticals has licensed a clinical-phase cystic fibrosis asset from Polyphor. The Swiss biotech penned a CHF 127.5 million ($138 million) deal for the human neutrophil elastase inhibitor to expand its clinical pipeline.

4. Cancer Research UK in $63M clinical trial boost

British-based oncology R&D charity Cancer Research UK will inject £45 million ($63 million) across its clinical trial network in the U.K.

5. Erytech doubles down on solid tumor trials for red cell drug therapy

After disappointing data in leukemia, France’s Erytech is refocusing its red blood cell-encapsulated drug therapy to solid tumors—and will target triple-negative breast cancer in its next trial.

And more articles of note>>