Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start with Healx, an AI-enabled biotech with big plans for the $56 million series B round it raised this week. Armed with the money, Healx plans to start 40 rare disease programs while advancing existing assets into the clinic. Abalos Therapeutics also raised money, reeling in €12 million from investors including Boehringer Ingelheim's VC wing to develop anti-cancer viruses. Elsewhere, Ipsen added another treatment for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva to its pipeline through a deal with Blueprint Medicines. Gilead Sciences and Galapagos shared a 52-week update on filgotinib. ReNeuron presented data on its stem cell vision loss therapy. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Healx raises $56M to launch 40 rare disease R&D programs
Healx has raised $56 million (€51 million) to launch 40 rare disease programs while taking some of its existing assets into the clinic. The ambitious target is enabled by an AI drug discovery platform Healx thinks gives it a scalability that has more in common with tech than biotech.
2. Boehringer's VC wing backs anti-cancer virus startup
Abalos Therapeutics has raised €12 million ($13 million) to discover and develop cancer drugs based on an arenavirus strain. The series A round sets Abalos up to generate anti-tumoral virus strains and take them toward testing in humans.
3. Ipsen bags Blueprint drug to move deeper into ultra-rare disease
Ipsen has struck a deal with Blueprint Medicines to add another treatment for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) to its rare disease pipeline. The backloaded, $535 million (€485 million) deal comes months after Ipsen paid $1 billion to buy Clementia Pharmaceuticals for an FOP therapy.
4. Gilead, Galapagos share 52-week update on filgotinib
Gilead Sciences and Galapagos have said 52-week phase 3 data for JAK1 inhibitor filgotinib in rheumatoid arthritis are consistent with earlier readouts. The update comes as Gilead prepares to make the case that filgotinib is safe and effective to the FDA.
ReNeuron has presented detailed data from a phase 1/2a clinical trial of its stem cell treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. Shares in ReNeuron fell more than one-third after the release of top-line data at the start of the month, but the biotech argued the detailed results are positive for its prospects.
And more articles of note>>