EuroBiotech Report: Lundbeck’s ADHD fail, Medivir sells unit, NASH Series C, Boehringer ADCs and Motif Bio

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in the Nordic region, where Lundbeck and Medivir were in the news. Lundbeck made waves by revealing that Brintellix failed to beat the placebo in a Phase II ADHD trial, denting its hopes of securing a new indication for the antidepressant. Over in Sweden, Medivir offloaded its commercial unit to its compatriot Karo Pharma for SEK 908 million ($101 million). The sale refocuses Medivir as a pure biotech. Further south, two biotechs added to their coffers. Belgium's Promethera Biosciences extended its Series C to fuel its expansion into NASH. And NBE Therapeutics secured CHF 20 million ($20.5 million) from investors including Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund to take the first of its antibody-drug conjugates into the clinic. Motif Bio sought to raise money or delay a payment after hitting a cash crunch. And more. Nick Taylor

1. Lundbeck, Takeda drug fails to best placebo in ADHD PhII

Brintellix has failed to beat the placebo in a Phase II trial in adult ADHD patients. Lundbeck (CPH:LUN) and its partner Takeda were looking to the trial to open a new indication for the antidepressant, but the data have dented their hopes.

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2. Medivir sells unit for $100M to trigger biotech rebirth

Medivir (STO:MVIR-B) has agreed to sell its commercial unit to Karo Pharma (STO:KARO) for SEK 908 million ($101 million) in cash. The deal pushes forward Medivir’s plan to shed its established drugs and emerge as an oncology-focused biotech.

3. Promethera boosts Series C to €26M to join NASH race

Promethera Biosciences has added to its Series C to support its expansion into major liver diseases including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The additional funding moves Promethera toward its goal of getting a stem cell NASH candidate into the clinic in the second half of next year.

4. Boehringer backs $20M round in ADC cancer player

NBE Therapeutics has raised CHF 20 million ($20.5 million) from investors including PPF Group and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF). The antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) specialist will use the Series B to move its lead candidate through a Phase I/II trial.

5. Motif Bio seeks last-gasp financing as cash crunch hits

Motif Bio (LON:MTFB) has warned that it lacks the money to continue operations. The antibiotic player is resuming its once-thwarted attempt to list on Nasdaq and considering rescheduling what it owes its CRO Covance in an attempt to keep going until it posts Phase III data next year.

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