EuroBiotech Report—NorthSea B round, Boehringer deal, AstraZeneca-MiNA, Galecto and Novo

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with two events in the nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) space. NorthSea Therapeutics issued the first piece of news, revealing it has raised a $40 million (€36 million) series B round to wrap up its phase 2b NASH trial. The next day, Boehringer Ingelheim made the latest in a series of plays for the NASH market, snapping up IL-11 antibodies from Enleofen with applications in the indication. Elsewhere, MiNA Therapeutics, one of Boehringer's other NASH partners, teamed up with AstraZeneca to develop small activating RNA drugs against a metabolic disease target. Galecto struck a deal to merge with PharmAkea. Novo Holdings' antibiotic fund tweaked its investment strategy, positioning it to help take assets deeper into the clinic. And more. — Nick Taylor
 
1. NorthSea raises $40M to wrap up phase 2b NASH trial

NorthSea Therapeutics has raised a $40 million (€36 million) series B round to wrap up its phase 2b nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) trial. The financing comes months after NorthSea enrolled the first NASH patient in the trial of its structurally engineered fatty acid icosabutate.
 
2. Boehringer buys Enleofen IL-11 platform to boost NASH pipeline

Boehringer Ingelheim has struck another deal to expand its pipeline of NASH prospects. The latest deal sees Boehringer swallow Enleofen’s anti-IL-11 antibody platform, putting it on the hook for up to $1 billion in milestones per product. 
 
3. AstraZeneca taps MiNA to treat metabolic diseases by activating genes

AstraZeneca has teamed up with MiNA Therapeutics to test small activating RNA (saRNA) molecules in metabolic diseases. The agreement gives AstraZeneca the option to negotiate a license for saRNA molecules after getting a look at preclinical data on the candidates. 
 
4. Galecto to merge with onetime Celgene partner PharmAkea

Galecto is set to merge with PharmAkea. The deal will see Denmark’s Galecto incorporate in the U.S. and add a clinical-phase treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to its pipeline.
 
5. Novo Holdings tweaks fund to take antibiotics deeper into the clinic

Novo Holdings has changed the scope of its REPAIR Impact Fund to enable it to bankroll antibiotics for longer. REPAIR began life focused on projects between lead optimization and phase 1, but, in light of the tough funding environment for anti-infectives, will now support programs into phase 2.
 
And more articles of note>>