EuroBiotech Report—GSK cuts, Genfit at the FDA, Kiadis buys CytoSen, Cerevance hire and Acticor

Map of Europe

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in the U.K., where workers at GlaxoSmithKline's Stevenage R&D site are bracing for a round of redundancies. GSK plans to make the cuts to adapt its organization to Hal Barron's revised R&D strategy. Elsewhere, Genfit secured a FDA breakthrough tag for elafibranor in primary biliary cholangitis as it heads toward the start of phase 3 in the indication. Kiadis struck a deal to buy CytoSen Therapeutics and add Carl June to its scientific advisory board in the process. Cerevance named ex-AstraZeneca scientist Roland Bürli as its VP of drug discovery. Acticor's blood thinner reduced hemorrhage risk in a clinical trial. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. GSK warns of possible layoffs as Barron's revised R&D strategy takes effect

GlaxoSmithKline is set to lay off a small number of R&D employees at its Stevenage, U.K., site as part of a wider rethink of its drug development operation. The layoffs come as GSK revises its R&D strategy under the scientific leadership of Hal Barron.
2. Genfit bags FDA breakthrough tag on route to phase 3 in PBC

Genfit has secured FDA breakthrough designation for elafibranor in primary biliary cholangitis on the back of midstage data. The breakthrough tag comes as Genfit gears up to start a phase 3 trial in the indication later in the year.
3. Kiadis to buy CytoSen, adding June to advisory board

Kiadis is set to buy CytoSen Therapeutics to expand into anti-cancer natural killer (NK) cell therapies. The all-stock transaction will give Kiadis control of a preclinical NK cell therapy and see it add CAR-T pioneer Carl June to its scientific advisory board.
4. Cerevance gains a new drug discovery chief as another AstraZeneca executive jumps ship

Roland Bürli, Ph.D., who headed up neuroscience medicinal chemistry at AstraZeneca, has left the British drugmaker for greener pastures. He joins Cerevance as vice president of drug discovery as the CNS-focused biotech looks to advance a suite of treatments for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. 
5. Acticor's blood thinner cuts hemorrhage risk in human study, could offer hope for acute stroke

Widely prescribed blood thinners such as COX-1 inhibitor aspirin and P2Y12 antagonist Plavix have a common problem: By decreasing platelet aggregation, they also increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. An experimental drug with a novel mechanism of action might be able to cut that bleeding risk, a small first-in-human study has found.
And more articles of note>>