EuroBiotech Report: Galapagos bolsters case for Gilead-partnered Crohn’s drug

Map of Europe

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Galapagos, Oasmia Pharmaceutical and Alizé Pharma all reported upbeat clinical trial data this week. Belgium’s Galapagos shared a snapshot from the extension to a Phase II trial of its Gilead-partnered JAK1 inhibitor, filgotinib, in patients with Crohn’s disease. In neighboring France, Alizé trumpeted data from a Phase II trial of its Prader-Willi syndrome candidate, in which the drug bested a placebo in terms of improvements to food-related behavior. Oasmia, the most advanced of the three biotechs, published a look at the overall survival data it hopes will snag it an FDA approval in ovarian cancer. The other two companies profiled this week are gearing up for clinical trials of their own. Imutex, a newly founded £14 million ($20 million) joint venture between SEEK Group and hVIVO, is heading toward a Phase IIa trial of its universal vaccine candidate, while Intensity Therapeutics is set to use cash from Jim Mellon-backed SalvaRx to advance its cancer program into the clinic. And more. Nick Taylor

1. Galapagos bolsters case for Gilead-partnered Crohn’s drug with 20-week data

Galapagos ($GLPG) has added more data to the growing repository supporting the use of its Gilead ($GILD)-partnered JAK1 inhibitor in patients with Crohn’s disease. The latest readout, which comes from an extension to the Phase II trial that reported results in December, suggests that responses to the drug continue up to week 20 while also hinting at the potential to lower the dosing.

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2. Oasmia barrels toward FDA filing after ovarian cancer drug clears PhIII

Oasmia Pharmaceutical ($OASM) has posted top-line data from a Phase III trial designed to support a filing for approval with the FDA. The study found that Oasmia’s formulation of paclitaxel was as effective in patients with ovarian cancer as Taxol in terms of overall survival, an outcome that adds to existing evidence of its noninferiority in terms of progression-free survival.

3. Alizé to advance Prader-Willi drug following PhII completion

Alizé Pharma is preparing to advance the development of its treatment for Prader-Willi syndrome after the drug AZP-531 came through a Phase II study. In the 47-person clinical trial, participants with the genetic appetite-affecting disorder who received AZP-531 showed a significant improvement in food-related behavior.

4. SEEK, hVIVO invest £14M to create universal flu vaccine joint venture

SEEK Group and hVIVO (LON:HVO) have teamed up to create Imutex, a startup with a Phase IIa-ready universal flu vaccine and plans to advance a Zika virus shot into the clinic. The founding companies have invested £14 million ($20 million) and committed technology and resources to get Imutex off the ground.

5. SalvaRx starts build out of cancer portfolio with 9% stake in preclinical player

The ex-Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) oncology executives now running SalvaRx (LON:SALV) have picked Intensity Therapeutics as the fund’s second investment. SalvaRx, which is backed by Jim Mellon, has taken a 9.2% stake in Intensity through a Series A round intended to support the advance of the company’s lead candidate into the clinic.

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