EuroBiotech Report—Novartis, Immunocore-Scancell, Wren A round, Novo and BioNTech

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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week in the U.K., where Novartis laid the groundwork for improved big data handling capabilities by partnering with the University of Oxford. The alliance will initially focus on multiple sclerosis and IL-17 inhibitors. Elsewhere in the U.K., Samantha Paston left Immunocore to take up the head of research position at Scancell, and Wren Therapeutics raised £18 million ($23 million) to research protein-misfolding diseases. Over in Denmark, Novo Holdings’ REPAIR Impact Fund revealed investments in antibiotic resistance startups. BioNTech struck a deal to buy MAB Discovery’s antibody generation unit. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. Novartis allies with Oxford academics for big data R&D drive

Novartis has teamed up with the University of Oxford to use artificial intelligence to improve drug development. The collaboration will analyze MRI data from 35,000 multiple sclerosis patients and results from IL-17 inhibitor trials to better understand diseases important to Novartis’ prospects. 

2. Immunocore lifer leaves to head research at TCR rival Scancell

Samantha Paston has ended her long association with Immunocore to take up the head of research position at Scancell. Paston’s appointment is part of a broader effort by Scancell to add experience as it steps up its immunotherapy development activities.  

3. Wren raises £18M to drug protein-misfolding diseases

Wren Therapeutics has raised £18 million ($23 million). The British biotech will use the series A round to advance its research into drugs to treat protein-misfolding diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

4. Novo Holdings' antibiotic resistance fund backs 3 biotechs

Novo Holdings’ REPAIR Impact Fund has revealed investments in three antibiotic resistance startups. The investments funneled around $16 million (€14 million) of the fund’s $165 million budget into the startups to support research into antibiotics and prophylactic vaccines.   

5. BioNTech buys MAB antibody unit to expand tech portfolio

BioNTech is set to acquire MAB Discovery’s antibody generation unit. The deal will give the German mRNA specialist exclusive access to a unit it has worked with for the past five years. 

And more articles of note>>