EuroBiotech Report—EMA relocation, Vifor goes solo, Fox funding for Mission, U.K. funding boost and Destiny CEO


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. With the clock now ticking on the United Kingdom’s split from the European Union, charm offensives intended to lure the region’s regulator are in full swing. All bar six of the 27 countries that could host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have registered their interest in hosting the regulator post-Brexit. The rest of this week’s news comes from countries that are watching the process from the sidelines. Switzerland’s Vifor Pharma completed the IPO of its sister unit, setting it up to pump cash into its pipeline over the next few years. Back in Britain, the cause of the upheaval facing EMA, the government began handing out the £4.7 billion ($5.9 billion) science funding boost it hopes will stave off the Brexit blues. Mission Therapeutics and the University of Oxford secured a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to test USP30 inhibitors. Destiny Pharma named a biotech veteran with IPO experience as its CEO. And more. Nick Taylor

1. List of would-be EMA host cities lengthens, as head calls for rapid decision

The queue to host the European Medicines Agency is lengthening by the day, with most of the 27 countries remaining in the EU post-Brexit now laying out the welcome mat for the regulator.

2. Vifor flies solo, plans spending spree as sister unit files IPO

Vifor Pharma has become an independent company following the IPO of its sister unit, Galenica Santé. The split and stock listing gives Vifor money to pay off debt it accrued in its $1.5 billion (€1.4 billion) takeover of Relypsa and continue the accelerated period of investment it initiated to prepare for life on its own.

3. Mission bags Fox Foundation grant for Parkinson’s program

Mission Therapeutics and the University of Oxford have landed a grant to fund testing of USP30 inhibitors. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) is putting up the money to enable Mission to test its USP30 inhibitors in stem cell-derived Parkinson’s disease models.

4. U.K. starts handing out £4.7B boost to science funding

The United Kingdom has unveiled bioscience research investments facilitated by the government’s commitment to provide £4.7 billion ($5.9 billion) more in R&D funding over the next five years. Officials at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have awarded cash to projects tackling topics including the role of epigenetics and the immune system in aging.

5. Destiny hires CEO with IPO experience as antibiotic 2b nears

Destiny Pharma has hired Neil Clark as its CEO. The appointment puts a biotech veteran who has helped to take two companies public in charge of the anti-infective specialist as it gears up for a phase 2b of its Staphylococcus aureus candidate.

And more articles of note>>