Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with more bleak news for Ipsen, which saw its $1 billion bet on Clementia Pharmaceuticals run into more problems. Having suffered a safety scare last year, Ipsen has begun 2020 with a failed futility analysis. Elsewhere in Europe, large pharma companies adjusted their pipelines. AstraZeneca regained the rights to brazikumab from Allergan, which remains responsible for funding trials of the autoimmune drug. Roche dumped an antisense hepatitis B drug. GlaxoSmithKline gave the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute the rights to its tuberculosis vaccine. Sanofi's olipudase alfa hit the primary endpoint in a phase 2/3 trial. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Ipsen's $1B bet on the ropes after interim phase 3 analysis
Ipsen has paused a phase 3 trial of palovarotene after an interim analysis found it is unlikely to meet its primary efficacy endpoint. The setback is another blow for the retinoic acid receptor gamma agonist, which has run into safety and efficacy problems since Ipsen acquired it in a $1.3 billion (€1.1 billion) takeover of Clementia Pharmaceuticals.
2. Allergan axes AstraZeneca deal, clearing path for AbbVie merger
Allergan has terminated a deal with AstraZeneca to clear a regulatory barrier to its pending merger with AbbVie. The terms of the termination return the rights to brazikumab to AstraZeneca but leave Allergan on the hook for the cost of development in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
3. Roche dumps antisense hep B drug after bagging rival asset
Roche has dropped an antisense hepatitis B drug shortly after licensing a rival therapy from Dicerna Pharmaceuticals. RG6004 fell off Roche’s pipeline as part of a periodic cull that affected a handful of other experimental programs.
4. GSK hands TB vaccine to Gates Foundation's nonprofit biotech
GlaxoSmithKline has licensed a tuberculosis vaccine to the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. The deal sets the stage for a push to build on recent phase 2b data and make the vaccine available in low-income countries where the disease is prevalent.
5. Sanofi's rare disease drug hits endpoint, teeing up 2021 filing
Sanofi’s olipudase alfa has improved outcomes in patients with a rare genetic disease. The primary endpoint success in a phase 2/3 trial, coupled with midphase pediatric results, sets Sanofi up to file for approval in acid sphingomyelinase deficiency next year.
And more articles of note>>