EuroBiotech Report—Gilead-Hookipa, Erytech fail, NASH startup, Vernalis-Daiichi and AMRC


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with Hookipa Biotech, which added Gilead to its list of strategic investors in a $60 million (€50 million) series C. In a week in which multiple European biotechs celebrated upbeat cancer data—see more articles of note at the bottom of this page for details—Erytech hit a bum note with its readout. The failure in acute myeloid leukemia wiped 27% off the French biotech’s stock. Elsewhere, biotechs laid the groundwork for their march toward data. Many of the names behind Dezima and Akarna came together to take a NASH drug through phase 2b. Daiichi Sankyo tapped Vernalis for drug discovery support. AMR Centre signed up to help Russian startups develop antimicrobials. And more.—Nick Taylor  

1. Gilead backs $60M Hookipa round to fund immunotherapy R&D

Gilead has joined Boehringer Ingelheim and Takeda on the list of investors in Hookipa Biotech. The big biotech participated in a $60 million (€50 million) series C intended to equip Hookipa to advance its cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine and cancer candidate through early clinical testing.

2. Erytech rocked by phase 2b failure in AML

Erytech has delivered a nasty surprise to the investors who backed its IPO last month. The French biotech’s lead candidate failed to improve overall survival in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), wiping 27% off its stock.

3. Ex-Dezima executives scoop €25M for midphase NASH trial

NorthSea Therapeutics has raised €25 million ($29 million) to put a NASH drug through phase 2b. The round reunites some of the executives and investors who helped Dezima and NASH startup Akarna to takeovers by Amgen and Allergan, respectively.

4. Vernalis, Daiichi form oncology drug discovery collaboration

Daiichi Sankyo has tapped Vernalis for its drug discovery expertise. The agreement will see Vernalis turn its fragment and structure-based drug discovery platform on undisclosed cancer targets.

5. AMRC strikes deal to aid Russian antimicrobial research

The AMR Centre (AMRC) has teamed up with Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation to further development of therapies that overcome microbial resistance. AMRC will provide preclinical support to startups working out of an incubator overseen by the foundation.

And more articles of note>>