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