EuroBiotech Report—Genentech backs U.K. accelerator, GSK punts heart drug, Boehringer and more

Map of Europe

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in Cambridge, U.K., where life science accelerator Start Codon revealed it has secured money from Roche's Genentech to help early-stage biotechs. Elsewhere, GlaxoSmithKline offloaded a failed cardiovascular disease drug to Fulcrum Therapeutics, which plans to give it a new life as a muscular dystrophy prospect. Researchers presented preclinical data on Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly's Jardiance in heart failure. A report showed the growing willingness of biotechs to take drugs deep into development unpartnered. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Genentech backs U.K. accelerator to help pre-A round startups

Genentech has backed Cambridge, U.K.-based life science accelerator Start Codon. The money will enable Start Codon to provide startups with the funding, lab space and support they need to get to a series A fundraise.
2. Fulcrum bags failed GSK drug, plots muscle-wasting pivot

GlaxoSmithKline has offloaded the global rights to failed cardiovascular disease drug losmapimod to Fulcrum Therapeutics. Fulcrum plans to reposition the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor as a treatment for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).
3. BI and Lilly's diabetes drug Jardiance reverses heart failure in animal models

Eli Lilly’s and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance, approved by the FDA in 2014, is already a blockbuster in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. But the companies have been aiming to get the drug approved to treat patients with heart failure who don't have diabetes, and they can now point to promising preclinical results in that indication.
4. Biotechs getting bigger in late-stage R&D, leaving Big Pharmas behind: report

The biotech industry is becoming the most active group for later-stage pipeline work, and while Big Pharma sees its R&D share drop, emerging life science companies are better prepared to go it alone.
And more articles of note>>