EuroBiotech Report: Iterum-Pfizer, J&J incubator fund, Merck KGaA-Ablynx, Redx suspended and Debiopharm

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Iterum, RM Global, Ablynx, Redx, and Debiopharm were in the news this week.

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Our stories this week revolve around money. Some companies received it. Others spent it. One failed to repay it. Iterum saw the biggest bump to its bank balance. The Dublin-headquartered biopharma raised $65 million (€58 million) to take an antibiotic discovered at Pfizer through a phase 3 trial. Over in Israel, RM Global unveiled a fund with preferential access to the incubator Johnson & Johnson set up with OrbiMed and Takeda. Merck KGaA paid Ablynx a €15 million milestone after accepting the preclinical package for an osteoarthritis candidate. The smallest but most troubling sum of money involved Redx, which felt the repercussions of failing to repay a £2 million loan. Debiopharm paid $25 million upfront to acquire an anti-CD37 non-Hodgkin lymphoma candidate from ImmunoGen. And more. Nick Taylor

1. Iterum bags $65M for phase 3 trial of ex-Pfizer antibiotic

Iterum has completed a $65 million (€58 million) series B to equip it to take its antibiotic sulopenem through phase 3. The financing moves the total raised by the Irish biopharma company since it emerged last year armed with an antibiotic developed by Pfizer past the $100 million mark.

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2. Johnson & Johnson incubator gets dedicated VC fund

RM Global has created a VC fund dedicated to the FutuRx biotech incubator Johnson & Johnson set up with OrbiMed and Takeda. The life science investment banking firm has secured preferential access to FutuRx, positioning it to get in on the ground floor alongside the companies that founded the incubator.

3. Merck KGaA, Ablynx push osteoarthritis asset toward clinic

Ablynx and Merck KGaA have moved their osteoarthritis candidate to the cusp of the clinic. Merck accepted the preclinical package for single-domain antibody ALX-1141, triggering a €15 million ($17 million) milestone payment to Ablynx and teeing it up to start clinical development.

4. Redx stock suspended after loan repayment spat escalates

Redx has suspended trading of its shares after a creditor stepped up its attempt to recoup a loan. Liverpool council called in administrators to help it claw back a £2 million ($2.6 million) loan it gave Redx in 2012 by selling the biotech’s assets.

5. Debiopharm buys ImmunoGen ADC to grow cancer pipeline

Debiopharm has bought a phase 2 antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) from ImmunoGen to add to its clinical-phase cancer pipeline. The agreement gives Debiopharm an anti-CD37 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) candidate in return for $25 million (€22 million) upfront plus milestones.

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