EuroBiotech Report—Brexit, BioNTech success, GlaxoSmithKline inks AI deal, Silence takes Alnylam to court and Shire makes cuts


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. While biotech professionals in the U.S. were celebrating the Fourth of July, their peers in Europe continued to strike deals, start court cases and post data. We start this week with news from London, where two government politicians discussed the principles they will follow when reshaping drug regulation after Brexit. A clutch of companies that will be affected by this process were in the news. Scottish AI-enabled drug discovery shop Exscientia followed up its deal with Sanofi by forming a pact with GlaxoSmithKline, and Silence Therapeutics began a legal dispute with Alnylam over RNAi patents. Back in the EU27, Germany’s BioNTech posted early, promising data on its cancer vaccine. Ireland’s Shire discussed plans to consolidate its operations in the U.S. And more.—Nick Taylor  

1. U.K. politicians push for cooperation with EMA post-Brexit

Senior politicians in the British government have called for the country to work closely with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) after Brexit. The statement suggests the politicians are willing to stand up to colleagues pushing for a clean break from European regulation and want to reassure the industry they will minimize disruption.

2. Glimmers of hope for cancer vaccines as two neoantigen shots hit the mark

All 13 patients that participated in the study of BioNTech’s IVAC Mutanome vaccines developed an immune response against three or more cancer antigens that were unique to their individual tumors, and eight who had no visible tumors at the time of vaccination remained cancer-free 23 months later.

3. GlaxoSmithKline, Exscientia ink AI-based drug discovery deal worth up to $42M

GlaxoSmithKline has inked a drug discovery collaboration with Exscientia, which automates drug design with its artificial intelligence-based platform.

4. Silence takes Alnylam to court over RNAi IP dispute

Silence Therapeutics has asked United Kingdom High Courts of Justice to rule on an intellectual property dispute with Alnylam and The Medicines Company. The British biotech wants to know whether it is entitled to intellectual property rights on some of the companies’ late-phase assets.

5. Shire will cut U.S. locations and move HQ in consolidation push

Shire has decided to concentrate its U.S. operations into two main sites in Massachusetts—Cambridge and Lexington—in a move that will probably lead to the closure of some locations.

And more articles of note>>