EuroBiotech Report—NousCom round, Cellectis hold lifted, Sanofi MS deal, AstraZeneca trial fail and BI NASH pact 


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in Switzerland, where NousCom took the lid off a €42 million ($49 million) round that sets it up to move an off-the-shelf neoantigen cancer vaccine into the clinic. Across the border in France, Cellectis celebrated getting out from under its clinical hold. However, with the patient death still fresh in everyone’s mind, it will need to proceed slowly at first. Our last three stories come from heavyweights of European biopharma. Sanofi put up $805 million to license a preclinical multiple sclerosis drug. AstraZeneca revealed tezepelumab missed the primary endpoint in an atopic dermatitis trial. Boehringer Ingelheim struck its second NASH deal in as many weeks. And more. 

1. NousCom bags €42M to trial off-the-shelf cancer vaccine

Cancer vaccine startup NousCom has raised €42 million ($49 million). The round equips a team last seen leading Okairos to a €250 million buyout by GlaxoSmithKline to take off-the-shelf neoantigen cancer vaccine NOUS-209 into the clinic.

2. FDA lifts hold on Cellectis’ CAR-T trial, adds go-slow caveat

The FDA has lifted the clinical hold it placed on Cellectis’ CAR-T trials in September following the death of a patient. Cellectis is now a step closer to restarting enrollment in the studies yet faces new restrictions that will cap how quickly it gets back up to speed.

3. Sanofi pays $40M, commits $765M more for preclinical MS drug

Sanofi has committed up to $805 million to license multiple sclerosis drug PRN2246 from Principia Biopharma. The French Big Pharma is paying $40 million upfront to pick up the preclinical asset, with $765 million more to follow if it passes all the milestones that await.

4. After asthma success, AstraZeneca and Amgen’s tezepelumab misses in atopic dermatitis

AstraZeneca and Amgen’s tezepelumab has missed the primary endpoint in a phase 2a atopic dermatitis trial. The midphase misstep raises doubts about the prospects of the thymic stromal lymphopoietin antagonist making a mark in a congested field featuring Sanofi, Pfizer and Novartis.

5. Boehringer gets deeper into NASH, RNA with MiNA pact

Boehringer Ingelheim has entered into its second RNA therapeutics NASH deal in as many weeks. The new pact sees Boehringer commit to up to €307 million ($356 million) to work with MiNA Therapeutics on up to three targets relevant to NASH and other fibrotic liver diseases. 

And more articles of note>>