EuroBiotech Report—Crescendo’s $70M round, Horizon rebuffs Abcam, FDA slows Compugen and Iterum IPO

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with Crescendo Biologics, which raised $70 million (€57 million) to progress an anti-cancer bispecific T-cell engager into human testing. Elsewhere in the U.K., Abcam had a £270 million takeover bid turned down by fellow Cambridge-based firm Horizon Discovery. The FDA blocked the start of Compugen’s phase 1 cancer trial. Iterum filed for a $92 million IPO to fund late-phase trials of an ex-Pfizer antibiotic, and more.  

1. Crescendo raises $70M to trial bispecific T-cell engager

Crescendo Biologics has raised $70 million (€57 million) to take its lead bispecific T-cell engager into the clinic. The financing equips Crescendo to show whether its vision for dialing up T-cell activity in the tumor microenvironment translates into humans.

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2. Horizon Discovery rejects Abcam’s ‘highly opportunistic’ £270M buyout bid

Horizon Discovery has rejected a £270 million ($367 million) takeover bid from Abcam. The gene editing specialist issued a strongly worded rebuttal of the offer after Abcam went public with its plan, calling the bid “highly opportunistic” and repudiating the strategic rationale for the merger.

3. FDA demand puts Compugen’s solid tumor checkpoint trial on ice

The FDA has temporarily blocked Compugen’s plans to start a phase 1 trial of PVRIG-targeting cancer drug COM701. Officials caused the delay by demanding to see additional CMC information before signing off on the study.

4. Iterum files for $92M IPO to bankroll phase 3 trials of ex-Pfizer antibiotic

Iterum Therapeutics filed to raise $92 million in an IPO that will support the phase 3 clinical trials of oral and intravenous versions of the antibiotic sulopenem.

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