EuroBiotech Report—Merck-Brexit, Innate-BMS, UCL-Synpromics, MorphoSys and Auris

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. This week began with big news on either side of the Channel. In the U.K., the government sought to squeeze all the political capital out of Merck’s plans to open a drug discovery center in London, while over in France Innate Pharma struggled to find a way forward for its floundering, Bristol-Myers Squibb-partnered cancer drug, lirilumab. Back in London, UCL brought Synpromics on board to help its Parkinson’s gene therapy research program. MorphoSys offloaded the Chinese rights to multiple myeloma asset MOR202 to I-Mab Biopharma. Switzerland’s Auris Medical suffered another setback in the clinic. And more. Nick Taylor

1. Merck places £1B bet on R&D in post-Brexit Britain

Merck is set to invest about £1 billion ($1.3 billion) to open a drug discovery facility in London. The decision is a vote of confidence in the United Kingdom at a time when it is struggling to convince companies they will thrive in the country after Brexit.

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit: The Premier Educational Event Focused on Decentralized Clinical Trials

In this virtual environment, we will look at current and future trends for ongoing virtual trials, diving into the many ways companies can improve patient engagement and trial behavior to enhance retention with a focus on emerging technology and harmonized data access across the clinical trial system.

2. Innate hopes dosing tweak will save BMS-partnered lirilumab

Innate Pharma has admitted that it can’t see an obvious way to bring its cancer antibody lirilumab forward in development after it flunked a second clinical trial.

3. UCL, Synpromics ally to develop Parkinson’s gene therapy

UCL is collaborating with Synpromics on a gene therapy for young-onset Parkinson's disease. The pact will see UCL work with Synpromics on synthetic gene promoters that enable highly specific gene therapies.

4. MorphoSys sells China rights to Darzalex rival in $120M deal

MorphoSys has found a buyer for the Chinese rights to multiple myeloma candidate MOR202. The deal puts I-Mab Biopharma in charge of developing the CD38 antibody in China and neighboring territories in return for $120 million in upfront and milestone payments.

5. Auris Medical hit by another late-stage trial flop

Small cap Auris Medical has been hit hard by the phase 3 failure of its sudden deafness candidate, leading it to halt work on a second late-stage test for the med.

And more articles of note>>