EuroBiotech Report—Lundbeck-Prexton, Adaptimmune, Medicxi, Affimed and Oxford Nanopore 

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with a takeover. Lundbeck put €100 million ($123 million) on the table to acquire Prexton Therapeutics ahead of a midphase readout on its sole asset, a Parkinson's disease drug. If the mGluR4 positive allosteric modulator clears that hurdle, Lundbeck will start handing over milestones that could total €805 million. Adaptimmune reported partial responses in solid tumor patients who received its GlaxoSmithKline-partnered T cells. Medicxi set up C21Med to create new startups and investment opportunities. Affimed named Leila Alland, M.D., as its CMO. Oxford Nanopore raised $140 million to fund the expansion of its sequencing business. And more.—Nick Taylor  

1. Lundbeck to buy Prexton for phase 2 Parkinson’s drug

Lundbeck is paying €100 million ($123 million) upfront to buy Prexton Therapeutics and its midphase Parkinson’s disease candidate. The takeover gives Lundbeck control of an mGluR4 positive allosteric modulator designed to improve the long-term symptom control of dopaminergic agents.

2. Adaptimmune’s GSK-partnered T cells trigger responses in solid tumor patients

Adaptimmune has seen partial responses in three of the first four myxoid/round cell liposarcoma (MRCLS) patients treated with its T cells. The early data raised hopes the GlaxoSmithKline-partnered drug will be effective in multiple types of solid tumor, sending Adaptimmune shares up nearly 20%.

3. Medicxi founds biotech creation engine C21Med

Medicxi has created an “ideas factory” to boost its capacity to turn early-stage science into pipelines of drug candidates and startups to develop them. The VC fund is setting up the venture with its CSO, David Grainger, Ph.D., and Johnson & Johnson’s Richard Mason, M.D.

4. Affimed hires CMO with Big Pharma background to oversee I-O R&D

Affimed has named Leila Alland, M.D., as its CMO. Alland landed the role on the strength of a CV that features stints spent advancing clinical oncology programs at AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis.

5. Oxford Nanopore raises $140M to set up sequencing showdown with Illumina

Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) has tapped a global syndicate of investors for $140 million to fuel its attempts to upend the genome sequencing market. The financing equips ONT to scale up its operation as it moves deeper into territory currently colonized by Illumina and Pacific Biosciences.

And more articles of note>>