EuroBiotech Report—Novartis-Xoma, AstraZeneca-Takeda, U.K. life science strategy, uniQure-Therachon and Auris


Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with pipeline comings and goings at two of the big beasts of European biopharma. Novartis strengthened its increasingly-important interest in IL-1 by picking up a failed Xoma drug and related IP. AstraZeneca found itself on the opposite side of the deal table. The Anglo-Swedish company has again opted to share the risk of a CNS program, this time by bringing Takeda on board to co-develop a Parkinson’s disease drug. Representatives of the United Kingdom life science industry asked the government to help grow Big Biotechs. The former CMO of uniQure landed at rare disease startup Therachon. Auris Medical received another compliance notice from Nasdaq. And more.—Nick Taylor  

1. Novartis buys Xoma’s failed IL-1 drug at a knockdown price

Novartis has bought the rights to Xoma’s gevokizumab. The Swiss Big Pharma is paying $31 million (€26 million) upfront for the anti-IL-1 beta allosteric monoclonal antibody, a price that reflects the battering its prospects took as a late-phase clinical development program unraveled.

2. AstraZeneca, Takeda ink Parkinson’s co-development deal

AstraZeneca has teamed up with Takeda to co-develop its preclinical Parkinson’s disease candidate MEDI1341. The deal sees Takeda commit to paying AstraZeneca up to $400 million (€332 million) for the chance to co-develop the alpha-synuclein antibody.

3. Industry puts building Big Biotechs on wish list for U.K. government

The United Kingdom life sciences sector has called for the government to make changes that help grow Big Biotechs and attract thousands of researchers. Industry leaders put together the wish list to influence an upcoming deal between the sector and an increasingly interventionist government.

4. Meyer leaves troubled uniQure for R&D post at Therachon

The ex-chief medical officer of uniQure has left his post and moved over to the small, rare-disease biotech Therachon.

5. Second Nasdaq compliance notice adds to Auris’ woes

Nasdaq has hit Auris Medical with another noncompliance notice. The stock exchange has given Auris until Oct. 2 to meet the stockholders’ equity requirement, a few days more than it has to regain compliance with the minimum bid price rule.

And more articles of note>>