Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with Genmab, which filed to end the long wait for its arrival on the Nasdaq. With plans to advance a broad clinical pipeline, Genmab is hoping to raise $500 million (€448 million). Elsewhere, AstraZeneca and Sanofi continued to refine their R&D strategies. AstraZeneca detailed plans to target early-stage cancers, while Sanofi bolstered its oncology team with the addition of Dietmar Berger. Novartis powered Ayala Pharmaceuticals to a $30 million series B round. Newron Pharmaceuticals delayed the start of phase 2/3 schizophrenia studies at the request of the FDA. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Genmab files for $500M IPO to fund multi-front cancer R&D push
Genmab has filed to raise up to $500 million (€448 million) in an IPO on the Nasdaq exchange. The huge offering will set Genmab up to take antibody-drug conjugate tisotumab vedotin to market in cervical cancer while pushing other programs through the clinic.
2. AstraZeneca pivots to early-stage cancer in search of a niche
AstraZeneca is set to prioritize the treatment of early-stage cancers under the leadership of oncology research chief José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D. Talking to The Wall Street Journal, Baselga sketched out why he thinks splitting off from the congested pursuit of late-stage cancers will benefit AstraZeneca and patients.
Sanofi has hired Dietmar Berger as head of development. Berger, a cancer specialist, ended his brief stint in biotech earlier this month to return to Big Pharma R&D at Sanofi.
4. Novartis powers Notch cancer biotech Ayala to $30M series B
Novartis has powered Ayala Pharmaceuticals to a $30 million series B round. Ayala will use the cash to fund midphase development of pan-Notch inhibitor AL101 in adenoid cystic carcinoma.
5. Newron delays pivotal schizophrenia trials amid safety fears
Newron Pharmaceuticals has delayed the start of phase 2/3 schizophrenia studies at the request of the FDA. The agency requested the delay after seeing data from studies of evenamide in mice and dogs.