EuroBiotech Report—Gilead-Galapagos, Nouscom hire, Prothena cuts, Crescendo-Zai and EMA

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with the progress of Gilead and Galapagos' filgotinib, which came through a phase 2 in one indication and advanced into phase 3 in another. Elsewhere, Nouscom poached a CMO from Pfizer. Transatlantic biotech Prothena laid off 57% of its staff. Crescendo Biologics entered into a psoriasis pact with Zai Labs. The EMA started laying the foundation of its new headquarters. And more.Nick Taylor

1. Gilead, Galapagos hit goal in psoriatic arthritis phase 2

A phase 2 trial of Gilead and Galapagos’ filgotinib in psoriatic arthritis has met its primary endpoint. The midphase trial linked the JAK1 inhibitor to significant improvements on a symptom score, laying the groundwork for psoriatic arthritis to join the partners’ growing pot of late-phase opportunities.


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2. European cancer vaccine startup Nouscom poaches Pfizer I-O executive

Swiss oncology biotech Nouscom has nabbed Pfizer’s former global clinical leader of early and late stage immuno-oncology/hematology Adrian Woolfson, M.D., Ph.D., as its new CMO.

3. After AL amyloidosis flop, Prothena slashes workforce by 57%

To say that Prothena had a turbulent year would be an understatement. In the span of a month, the biotech went from inking an R&D deal with Celgene worth up to $2 billion to dumping its lead asset, an AL amyloidosis drug, after it missed its primary and secondary endpoints in a midstage test with a poor prognosis for phase 3. 

4. Crescendo cuts psoriasis drug deal with China’s Zai Labs

Just weeks after closing a $70 million second-round financing, U.K. biotech Crescendo Biologics has signed another partner for its slimline antibody-like drug candidates, this time outside its core cancer focus.

5. EMA lays cornerstones for new Amsterdam headquarters

The European Medicines Agency has begun laying the foundation for its new Amsterdam headquarters, aiming to finish construction by November 2019.

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