EuroBiotech Report—Mullen backs Vicarius, GlaxoSmithKline jilts Ionis, CellAct lands $250M deal and data on Sanofi diabetes pill


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in Switzerland, where a clutch of ex-Biogen leaders has hatched an ambitious plan to provide U.S. biotechs with a new way to bring drugs to market in Europe. James Mullen chipped into a CHF 21 million round to get the startup going. GlaxoSmithKline walked away from Ionis Pharmaceuticals’ transthyretin-targeting antisense drug despite everything being set up for an approval filing. CellAct landed a $250 million deal with Mundipharma. Lexicon posted more data on its Sanofi-partnered diabetes pill. And more. - Nick Taylor  

1. James Mullen backs Vicarius’ $22M series A

James Mullen has teamed up with colleagues from his days leading Biogen to help U.S. biotechs bring drugs to market in Europe. The resulting startup has raised CHF 21 million ($22 million) to get off the ground—and plans to return for about 10 times that once its business gets up to speed.


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2. GSK jilts Ionis rare disease drug as FDA filing nears

GlaxoSmithKline has jilted Ionis Pharmaceuticals just before the pair was due to file for approval of inotersen. The action furthers recently installed GSK CEO Emma Walmsley’s plan to purge the Big Pharma of its rare disease programs.

3. CellAct punches above its weight with Mundipharma deal

German biotech CellAct has brought its cancer drug CAP7.1 through to phase 2 testing with a little over $10 million in financing—and has now claimed the reward of a $250 million partnership with Mundipharma.

4. Lexicon builds case for Sanofi-partnered diabetes pill

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals has bolstered the case for its Sanofi-partnered diabetes pill. The latest update means Lexicon now has data from two phase 3 trials showing the effect of the SGLT1-SGLT2 inhibitor sotagliflozin on A1C in patients with Type 1 diabetes is sustained over 52 weeks.

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