EuroBiotech Report—Ipsen's woes, Roche failure, Chiesi, Bayer and Woodford

Map of Europe

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with the ongoing fallout from Ipsen's $1 billion bet on palovarotene. Rocked by back-to-back clinical missteps, Ipsen recorded a €669 million partial impairment on the rare disease drug. Elsewhere, Roche's anti-amyloid beta antibody failed a clinical trial ahead of a readout from phase 3 studies targeting a broader population. Chiesi Farmaceutici set up a rare disease unit in Boston. Bayer moved 400 researchers to an outsourced small molecule unit. Efforts to sell Neil Woodford's biotech holdings faltered. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Ipsen takes €669M hit as palovarotene's prospects wither

Ipsen has recorded a €669 million ($728 million) partial impairment on a rare disease drug it bought last year. The prospects of the drug, palovarotene, took back-to-back hits around the end of 2019, leading Ipsen to dramatically dial down its expectations.
2. Lilly and Roche's antibodies fail late-phase Alzheimer's test

Anti-amyloid beta antibodies in development at Eli Lilly and Roche have failed to improve outcomes in a phase 2/3 Alzheimer’s disease trial. Despite the setback, Roche is continuing two phase 3 trials of its asset in a broader population of Alzheimer’s patients.
3. Chiesi creates Boston rare disease unit ahead of Fabry launch


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Chiesi Farmaceutici has set up a rare disease unit in Boston. The division will develop treatments for patients with rare lysosomal storage, hematological and ophthalmological disorders.
4. Bayer moves 400 R&D jobs to CRO-run small molecules unit

Back in 2018, Bayer mulled outsourcing R&D as part of a greater restructuring. Now, the company is pulling the trigger on that plan, transferring 400 staffers to a “full-fledged research center” to be set up by Nuvisan, a German CRO, in Berlin. 
5. Collapse of £550M deal to sell Woodford's biotechs sparks fire sale fears

A £550 million ($711 million) deal to find new homes for Neil Woodford’s biotech holdings has collapsed, raising the prospect that stakes in companies including Immunocore will be auctioned off for knock-down prices.
And more articles of note>>

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