EuroBiotech Report—Merck-Themis, Juvenescence financing, GSK filing and NuCana fail

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with Themis, which unveiled a vaccine R&D pact with Merck, its first such deal with an industry player. Merck is participating in a financing round at Themis as part of the agreement. Elsewhere, Jim Mellon’s Juvenescence raised $100 million (€90 million) to take its stable of anti-aging programs to readouts. GlaxoSmithKline filed for approval of renal anemia drug daprodustat in Japan. NuCana stopped a phase 3 trial of its pancreatic cancer candidate early for futility. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Merck teams up with Themis to develop vaccines

Merck has struck a deal to work with Themis Bioscience on vaccine R&D. The agreement sees Merck invest in Themis and commit up to $200 million (€180 million) in milestones to secure vaccines against an undisclosed target.
2. Juvenescence raises $100M to fund longevity assets to early readouts

Juvenescence has raised $100 million (€90 million) to advance multiple anti-aging programs. The U.K. company, which was co-founded by Jim Mellon, has reeled in $165 million over 18 months to establish itself at the forefront of the nascent longevity sector.
3. Chasing Astellas and Mitsubishi, GSK files for Japanese approval of oral anemia drug

GlaxoSmithKline has filed for approval of renal anemia drug daprodustat in Japan. The filing follows data from Japanese phase 3 trials that assessed the oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor in chronic kidney disease patients.
4. NuCana's retooled chemo drug comes up short in pancreatic cancer phase 3

NuCana pulled off its $100 million Nasdaq debut on the promise of its reformulated cancer meds, including a version of Eli Lilly’s Gemzar the company hopes will replace the veteran chemotherapy in some cancers. But that drug has hit a snag in its lead indication: pancreatic cancer. 
And more articles of note>>