EuroBiotech Report—Lundbeck to buy Alder, Euro biotechs reel in cash and Russian lab blast

Map of Europe
(Pixabay)

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with Lundbeck, which sated its need for near-term growth drivers by placing a big bet on Alder BioPharmaceuticals. Lundbeck is set to buy the biotech for almost $2 billion (€1.8 billion). Elsewhere, several European biotechs raised money. Themis pulled in €40 million in a Merck-backed series D to fund a phase 3 chikungunya vaccine trial. Versantis raised €16 million to take a liver failure drug to clinical proof of concept in two indications. And Divide & Conquer exited stealth with £10 million from Medicxi. In Russia, the facility that houses the smallpox virus suffered an explosion and fire. And more. — Nick Taylor
 
1. Lundbeck pens $2B Alder takeover to boost brain disease pipeline

Lundbeck has struck a deal to buy migraine drug developer Alder BioPharmaceuticals for almost $2 billion (€1.8 billion). The takeover centers on a near-approval anti-CGRP antibody that could address Lundbeck’s need for near-term revenue drivers to mitigate the upcoming loss of patent protection on Northera.
 
2. Themis raises €40M to run phase 3 chikungunya vaccine trial

Themis has raised €40 million ($44 million). The Merck-backed series D positions Themis to take its chikungunya vaccine through a phase 3 trial and move the lead candidate from its immuno-oncology R&D program into humans.
 
3. Versantis raises cash to take liver failure drug to clinical POC

Webinar

CIOs’ Perspectives: Driving Clinical Trial Innovation with a Unified Platform

IT is being challenged with either trying to fix and maintain an already complex system of solution integrations, or exploring driving business impact by unifying its systems under one platform. Attend and learn about the IT benefits to shifting resources away from disparate systems and moving towards a unified platform.

Versantis has raised a €16 million ($18 million) series B round. The Swiss biotech will use the money to gather clinical proof-of-concept data on a drug designed to clear out ammonia and other toxic metabolites that contribute to poor health outcomes in liver disease patients.
 
4. Medicxi founds biotech to Divide & Conquer tough solid tumors

Moncef Slaoui and his colleagues at Medicxi have taken the wraps off a new oncology startup, Divide & Conquer. The biotech wants to interrupt the cell-to-cell communication that may make some solid tumors hard to treat, thereby rendering cancers including glioblastoma vulnerable to existing drugs.
 
5. Blast rocks Russian lab that stores smallpox virus

The Russian facility that houses the smallpox virus has experienced a gas-cylinder explosion that led to a fire. No biohazardous substances were in the room where the explosion happened, according to the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology.
 
And more articles of note>>    

Suggested Articles

Researchers are studying the retrovirus KoRV-A, which is spreading among koalas, to gain new insights into how DNA evolves.

The FDA approved its first rapid in vitro diagnostic for confirming Ebola virus infections with potential results in about a half-hour.

Shionogi and Hsiri Therapeutics first joined forces last year in a licensing and R&D deal focused on tuberculosis and non-tuberculous lung infections.